About Creative Jam
Adobe produced Creative Jam sessions across the United States in 2018. One such event was held in New Orleans, LA. Former co-worker, fellow designer Michael Alford and I attended the event as a team, the “Punomatics.” These events, usually held every year, are produced around the challenge of using a single app from their Creative Cloud suite to meet a design challenge. The Creative Jams of 2018 were organized around Adobe XD, a user experience and user interface design and prototyping app.
The competition facet of this Creative Jam was to design an app informed and guided by a theme which Adobe provided. The theme was “Let’s Do It Again.” Michael and I decided to tune our approach to the theme in a way that played upon the sound of “Do It” as “Duet” — as we’re such eager fans of word play. From our interpretation of the theme, as Duet, we designed an imaginary karaoke competition app.
We called it “Let’s Duet Again.”
As this competition required that we design the app’s user interface in three hours, we had no time for user testing! Don’t hold that against us! Inspired by Adobe’s challenge, the app’s user interface is influenced upon several user experience constraints that we assembled from practices and considerations that we have gleaned in our day jobs as user experience-focused interactive designers.
The User Experience
- Always consider the user’s contexts. You won’t design an app which resonates with the users unless it meets them where they are.
- Subdued colors chosen from lower brightness values were hewn from the color gamut out of respect for the darker environment of bars (where else do people do karaoke?). These muted brightness values cause less optical strain, especially in darker environments. No blinding your user!
- Super simple user interface! Knowing (yes, I know it’s anecdotal and not data-enlightened) that karaoke is usually held in lounges, we know that the participants have voluntarily increased their cognitive burdens.
- No account setup. Sober people sometimes have a hard time setting up user accounts. Do you think that inebriated users will be more or less successful?
The System Experience
This app won’t be difficult to develop (says the design guy!). The nature of such an app affords us the opportunity to drastically simplify the feature set, which accommodates a simpler user interface.
- No account setup. Less administrative overhead for the bars which serve up this app.
- Each round of competition is a new one, and the data is throw-away data. We don’t have implement complicated data stores.
- Karaoke competitions are throw-away events. We don’t have to retain statistics or analytics or even session data for more than 1 night. Maybe even a couple of hours at most!
As the awards in the additional images demonstrate, we tied with another team for People’s Choice Award and we earned second place in the Professional Judges’ Award too. The other teams were phenomenal and we were nervous facing such stiff competition. Congrats to the first place winners!
I look forward to next year’s Creative Jam.