My design consultation with Nokia and Microsoft

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A few weeks ago I was notified that I won a design consultation from Nokia for my Windows Phone app, Space Weather.  I was offered a flight, hotel stay, and a one-on-one consultation with a senior Microsoft UX designer Dave Crawford. It was a great experience.  I haven’t had time to implement any of the changes that were discussed in this session, so I am documenting the days I spent in San Francisco for now.  Once I release a new version of the application with the proposed changes I will write all about it.

 

Day 1

I flew to San Francisco from Minneapolis and landed in 50 degree weather, a welcome change from the single digits we were having in Minnesota.  I was picked up from the airport with another winner, Darin, a the driver took us to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel which is right next to Union Square in San Francisco.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Day 2

On day 2 I went to the Microsoft office in San Francisco.  Here I met the Nokia / Microsoft / DVLUP team, as well as the film crew.  From here we all walked a few blocks away to film.  Here are some photos from that afternoon.

After the interviews, Darin and I went off exploring.  We didn’t have a ton of time so our destination was the Golden Gate Bridge.  I know, obvious right?  We used HERE Transit to get there.  This app didn’t disappoint!  It got us there without any issues.

I took some photos while I was there. (These were all taken with my Lumia 1020 Windows Phone)

I took a short video too.

 

That evening we had dinner with the team at the Marketbar.

Day 3

The next day was the design consultation.  This is where I met one-on-one with Dave Crawford and he helped me redesign my app.  There were interviews before and after.

Dave helped re-imagine my app, Space Weather, in drawings and even a prototype application.  Here are some of the sketches.  We were given these awesome sketchpads along with icon stencil to help mock up our UI in the future.

Time to go home

Overall this was a great experience.  It was nice to get some feedback on the application from someone who is an expert in this field.  Dave really took the time to understand the experience I was trying to deliver in my application and through this new design will help me to share it with my customers.   After the consultation I left feeling re-energized about my app.  There is a lot of work to do but I think it will be worth it in the end.  I am not going to go in to detail on what we discussed but his ideas will be incorporated in my app in a future release.  Thank you Nokia, Microsoft, DVLUP, Kavita, Ali, Brad, Kyle and the film crew, and especially Dave!

(Obligatory street car shots)

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