1425999385 1397217154 science cover

Designing The Invisible Experience (15 minutes workshops)

15 minutes workshops that can boost your creativity

Lately we had an interesting course about Designing The Mobile Experience at UXD studies with Piotr Słowik. I found it very inspiring and thus I’d like to share that with you and ask for your thoughts.

In a middle of 3 hours course on a sunny Sunday afternoon we’ve been challenged as a group to solve the following case:


Design a mobile experience for a banking app for an iOS platform.

Sound kinda boring don’t you think? So the fun begins with the context — our user is a blind person. As an additional context —  user uses public transport and wants to check the bank account balance.


15 minutes.

First thoughts

We were confused. Since we all can see and we didn’t have any experience with visually impaired people, like — at all, it was hard to imagine what such a person has to go through every day. Not to mention how it is like to use a smartphone as one.

Our assumptions

We imagined a visually impaired person as a well organized in their day-to-day struggle with the world. Since our user is going to use the app in a public transport, we assumed that they somehow already paired the smartphone with the bank account to login only via PIN password. The user also has a headset.


We came up with a black screen with absolutely no signs at all. This ensures that no sensitive data can be exposed to a stranger who could overlook something over the users shoulder.


Login experience. We focused on the login part in the first place. Having in mind the public transport context — which is usually a pretty loud environment —  and our app’s sensitive data we thought that login with voice commands is — obviously — not a good idea. After a few minutes of discussion we came up with an idea of login with braille language signs. After choosing our the app, the user is prompted via voiceover or a vibration to draw a braille signs on the iphone screen surface. To confirm the credentials she/he taps 2 times or shakes the phone after each letter.

Then we asked ourselves how the system should respond to user’s input. Single vibration as a confirmation from the system that they've logged in correctly seemed like a good idea. Double vibration is an alert saying that login went wrong and you have to ‘type’ your PIN again. Additionally system can output a voice command saying that login has failed.

Check account balance experience. First we thought that a simple numeric keyboard with voice saying ‘press 1 for account balance, press 2 for account history…’ would be enough. However that just didn’t felt right after taking under consideration our context of a laud public transport spot and the fact that if you want to check your balance you want to do it as fast as possible. So we came up with a simple gesture system. Once you’re logged in simply swipe down to trigger system to read your account balance.

Browse history experience. After concentrating on gestures it seemed natural that browsing history should be a simple swipe left, swipe right gestures combined with a sound confirmation. Swipe left to hear: “Yesterday. Spent 32$ in Walmart”.

After the session each group had 3 minutes to present their idea. Each presentation began a discussion that could last for hours!


We actually don’t know if the solution we proposed is possible to achieve at the moment with an iOS platform. We also don’t know if that would be a good solution for a person with seeing difficulties. However I can ensure you that this kind of challenging exercise can get the blood going really fast and generates absolutely great amount of creativity that can be soon concentrated on solving other tasks!

If you have thought comments please don’t hesitate to ping me over twitter.

On 11.04.2014 in Mobile and Design