Let's Get Physical


Last month we opened up our studios to the international networking group, ‘Ladies That UX’.  The night’s event, called ‘Let’s Get Physical’, was a chance for the group of User Experience (UX) experts to gain first-hand experience of our user-center design approaches used here at Kinneir Dufort.

The four workshops aimed to highlight key areas of consideration when designing experiences for physical products, and also demonstrate our working processes in an immersive and physical way.

Geographic Markets Workshop

To help explain the challenges encountered when designing physical products for global markets, we created an interactive approach that demonstrated just how hard this can be. Often user interfaces and instructions need to be translated into different languages to launch a product, service or even a piece of packaging worldwide. User steps need to be clearly communicated but by using minimal text. The difficulty here lies in creating graphics and icons that can be correctly interpreted by various languages and cultures all over the world.

We set up our very own version of the popular board game Pictionary where participants were asked to draw a short phrase (in this case, small extracts from a simple instruction leaflet for a pair of gaming headphones). The activity demonstrated how difficult communicating seemingly simple instructions such as, "Can connect headphones to a PC" using no text, just colour and numbers can be.

Extreme Environments Workshop

Here at Kinneir Dufort we often work with companies in the Industrial and Defence sector to develop products that hold simple yet robust technology that can be used not only in extreme environments, but whilst wearing protective and sometimes cumbersome uniforms.

This workshop demonstrated the challenges that arise when using digital products in such environments and the importance of keeping the end user at the heart of the design.

A scene of a natural disaster was recreated for the teams to participate in a rescue mission. In order to give them a taste of how difficult it can be to complete simple tasks in extreme environments, the team were given weighted clothing and heavy duty gloves to wear, and were tasked with finding their way through the wreckage in the dark to find a comrade’s missing phone, and then use it to communicate their location to the rescue party while wearing large gloves.

Sensory Workshop

Understanding the role of different senses and how they can be leveraged to deliver brand experiences is complex and requires innovative approaches. We often use techniques based on studies rooted in experimental psychology, which are frequently used for the food and drinks industry.  

The experiments in this workshop aimed at demonstrating how our four senses alter our perception of taste: Does chocolate taste different if eaten whilst listening to different music? Do lights impact on how jelly tastes?

User Empathy Workshop

Only 23% of the population are considered to be fully able*, proving that design must be inclusive and needs to consider all potential users.

To demonstrate empathetic design, the group played a simple card game while simulating a mixture of difficulties that people often experience every day.  Taking the Elderly as the focus target group, we set up common obstacles that they often have to contend with; some of the group wore ear defenders to ‘impair’ their hearing, others taped their fingers to emulate arthritis, while others applied grease to their glasses to reduce their vision.

*Ref. https://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/downloads/idtoolkit.pdf


@LadiesThatUXBRS what an awesome evening it was. Feeling inspired! Thanks for a top evening. The bar has been raised!”


Thanks so much @KinneirDufort we had such a fun, extreme, sensory night!!! #LTUXBRS #UX


Blindfolds, pictionary, a sensory room & an earthquake.. what inspiring way to learn about design! @KinneirDufort


For further information or to contact the team at Kinneir Dufort, please get in touch. [email protected]inneirdufurt.com.