Design objects have expanded into many areas along with advances in ICT. At Fujitsu, we have been practicing product design and user-interface design from the user's viewpoint in line with customer needs and social trends. Now, we are promoting "user experience (UX) design" to enhance user satisfaction in the use of ICT. This special issue introduces customer case studies applying UX design methods and processes, the use of technologies for achieving a compelling UX, and the development of related products and services.
A digital revolution is progressing rapidly with advances in big data, IoT, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The key challenge is creating new ideas for leveraging ICT in the best way for a given situation, moving us toward a human-centric society. The next step in ICT design must focus on total development: to understand people, society, and technology, to envision an ideal on the basis of the principles of human behavior and emotion, to consider future experience and a system to achieve it, and to design optimum services and indispensable products as the best total system. To achieve this, we need a methodology for designing visions and experiences for the future. This paper outlines Fujitsu's user experience (UX) design method for designing visions and experiences, with reference to design thinking and human-centered design (HCD), from a historical viewpoint. It then presents Fujitsu's latest UX design framework and methods.
Design thinking, a popular approach in business today, helps companies to see challenges in the field from users' viewpoints and to devise solutions creatively using designers' sensitivity and techniques. This trend has expanded the scope of designing to cover not only object forms but also intangible forms such as services. Against this background, Fujitsu Design Ltd. develops solutions through human-centered design, including device/interface, space, and communication design. We have recently collaborated with Paramount Bed Holdings Co., Ltd. to create a service vision in the field of medical care and develop a video that illustrates the future of care beds. This paper explains the process of creating this service-vision video on the basis of user experience (UX) design, introducing Paramount Bed's Smart Bed System, which utilizes ICT to manage biometric information in an integrated fashion.
The scope of applying the concept of user experience (UX) has been expanding in recent years. Fujitsu Design Ltd. takes various approaches to UX design. One of them is the perspective of ensuring a special purchase experience for customers by providing multiple prototyping opportunities as they determine the details of end products with a retailer. This paper describes our efforts to develop a complete UX design for GLOBE-TROTTER ASIA PACIFIC LTD., a custom-made luggage and goods company. This service is called "MY ONLY TROTTER," and it aims to make traditional bespoke purchasing a special experience in itself by integrating projection mapping, 3D computer graphics (3D-CG), and other ICT features into ordering processes.
In February 2014, the municipal government of Kawasaki City and Fujitsu signed a framework agreement to cooperate in finding ways to leverage big data and open data. Kawasaki City released "Kawasaki Apps," a series of apps designed to provide citizens with useful information using positioning data and linked open data (LOD), such as information for families with children and for protection against disasters. As a participant in this project, Fujitsu worked on developing a system that could provide timely information to young parents through Kawasaki Apps. We were responsible for designing an app for young parents to help them raise their children. This was done considering the user experience (UX) for various usage situations. A pilot study was conducted in Asao Ward in January 2015. About 80% of the participating users gave positive feedback such as "the app is useful" and "would like to continue using it." On the basis of the responses of pilot study participants as well as of municipal employees, this app was approved for a city-wide roll-out in Kawasaki, and went into full development in June 2015, followed by its launch in April 2016. This paper explains the UX design processes involved in the development of this Kawasaki App for young parents.
As we approach the digital business era, initiatives to utilize digital technologies to create new value have begun. These initiatives involve not only so-called waterfall development based on existing processes, but also collaborative efforts with customers through the user experience (UX), which can only be gained from the people who use products and services. To provide a venue for such co-creation, we launched in May 2016 FUJITSU Knowledge Integration Base PLY (hereafter, PLY) at Fujitsu Solution Square in Ota City, Tokyo. The concept behind PLY is to provide a space where system engineers with experience in co-creation engage with customers to develop new value based on the environment and concepts supported by these engineers. This paper describes how we created the PLY environment and moved forward with co-creation initiatives.
The new technology "Creative Digital Spaces Technology" is based on the idea of a room in which all surfaces are equipped with display/touch-panel functionality, and where people can project the data stored in their personal devices onto these displays to share information with other people in the same room, for communication without the restriction of device screens. This technology liberates people from the boundary of the small screens of PCs and smart devices and realizes a virtual window system over a large shared area on desks and walls in the room, making it easy to display and share information with simple operations. For example, a workshop participant may connect his/her smart device to the display system installed in the room to project the device screen onto a wall or a table-top in a larger format. Operations in the space are instantly conveyed to the devices, and it is possible to intuitively exchange information between multiple devices. This paper explains the concept and system configuration of the Creative Digital Spaces Technology, outlines the pilot system, and describes future development.
Fujitsu offers spaces where ICT and design are combined to enable people to experience and develop new values, and where co-creation workshops with customers are held. These workshops for co-creation focus on given topics, aiming to identify challenges and solutions. Here, we employ original methods and tools developed by Fujitsu. Since these co-creation workshops have been in great demand at Fujitsu subsidiaries outside Japan in recent years, we evaluated the applicability of the methods and tools currently used at our workshops in Japan. We found that they have uniquely Japanese aspects that are advantageous and appreciated in other countries. This paper describes these methods and tools, which are actually employed at the co-creation space "HAB-YU platform" in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. It goes on to present and discuss cases in which co-creation workshops using these methods and tools were held overseas, as well as challenges and future prospects.
Education is an upcoming market for tablet devices, which have already been widely introduced in business contexts. In an effort to promote ICT in education, the Japanese government and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology are encouraging schools to provide each student with a tablet. Fujitsu offers the ARROWS Tab Series for this purpose, but some trouble with the products meant that we struggled in this market. Given this situation, we focused our product development on the user experience (UX) of schoolchildren, and addressed various kinds of feedback from classrooms. These efforts led to the development of the School Tablets ARROWS Tab Q506/ME and Q507/PE. As a result, these products achieved a market share of 67% in FY2016. This paper explains this Q506/ME in terms of the on-site insights, UX design, and market responses.
Competition in the market for IoT has been growing fierce in recent years. In this climate, it is important to differentiate the products/services we offer from those of our rivals, and this requires prompt realization, and repeated evaluation and validation, of ideas and hypotheses to perfection. This will ensure that these products/services deliver value to customers. Fujitsu Advanced Engineering Ltd. has developed an event management solution, EXBOARD, leveraging its sensor technology. In an event venue, EXBOARD gathers data from the sensor beacons embedded in visitors' devices, and stores the data on a cloud system. These data are used to visualize information in real time, such as numbers and locations of people staying in each zone, people's interest levels in certain exhibitions, visitor flow, and so on. The collected data are also used to help to develop further innovations through analyses. In the development of EXBOARD, we employed the service design process. Working with designers from Fujitsu Design Ltd., we evaluated the concepts and hypotheses at an exhibition venue, to verify its potential and practicality. This paper describes the development of EXBOARD. It outlines how we evaluated the system at the exhibition venue, and presents some examples of application.
In recent years, more and more people have been recognizing that communication is very important in pursuing collaborations and innovations. Recent efforts to involve people from a variety of backgrounds in the development process, such as brainstorming, evaluation, and modification, have shown that such efforts can create new user experience (UX). Notably, there are projects where participants include people with certain difficulties. In April 2015, Fujitsu launched a new communication tool, FUJITSU Software LiveTalk, aiming to include hearing-impaired people in the circle of community. Throughout the developmental phases, we collaborated with contributors who were hearing-impaired. In the development of LiveTalk, we observed the participants to identify characteristic behaviors of hearing-impaired people in their workplaces as well as challenges they encounter when communicating with people who can hear normally. Their opinions were also shared with us to help create a prototype equipped with features that addressed them. Through the user evaluation and feedback on this prototype, we repeatedly improved the model to make it easier to use. It is an application that realizes smooth bilateral communications between hearing-impaired people and people with normal hearing, based on a new UX design. This paper explains the development of LiveTalk.