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Brian Duffy filed a great report for CNN about a bulletproof tailor in Bogotá. The tailor combines high fashion with body armor. Duffy ended up getting shot in the gut while wearing one of the garments – it worked. What does Colombian tailor Miguel Caballero have to do with mobile design and user experiences? Caballero knows his target audience, he knows what works and he delivers a quality product. Here are some quotes from Miguel Caballero and lessons that can inspire mobile user experience design.

Miguel says “We have to study what the aim of the user of this type of clothing to design the better option to these people.” Sometimes stakeholders in projects have difficulty in distinguishing what they want in an app versus what a user wants. A user-centered approach is frequently the key to the success (and profitability) of an application. Do you constantly put the user in the forefront when designing for mobile?

How will your app be used in a variety of situations? Our bulletproof tailor does. Caballero looks at how the garment will be used – internally, externally, in a hot climate and a cold climate. What’s the context of how the user will be using your app. Walking? Driving? In a loud restaurant? In a quiet location. In a bright park? In a dark theater? In emergencies? In the car or at the office? Think about every possible situation and consider every option. Do you think about multiple contexts when designing for mobile?

Miguel involves everyone in his product testing. He requires all employees to wear the clothing and then he shoots them. Are you utilizing feedback from all your stakeholders for mobile design?

Shooting his employees is the way Miguel exercises “quality control”. It’s a great idea to involve everyone in your process. I’m a big fan of kaizen from a design as well as business standpoint. Are you always trying to improve your mobile design projects?

Being on top of social and lifestyle trends is critical when designing mobile user experiences. Miguel has plans to expand and market to the hip-hop community. Are you leveraging social trends when designing your mobile user experiences?

So take a lesson from a Columbian tailor – know your audience, design for them, involve everyone in testing, keep up on trends, and think outside the box.

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