Foxconn Research Team
FIH Mobile Limited mid-2015 - early 2017
The Leadership Opportunity:
The Business: HMD Global is a Finnish mobile phone company and corporate entity created in 2015 to manage the contractual relationship entered into by both Nokia and Foxconn International Holdings to produce and launch Android-based mobile smart phones with exclusive, licensed rights to the Nokia brand.
The Product: Foxconn International Holdings was interested in delivering to Nokia and HMD Global customizations to the user experience that were specific to the initial markets where the phones would be sold (e.g. Nokia 6 in China).
The Leadership Need: The AVP of User Experience, as a former Nokia UX Leader, was hired to build a team in Taipei to deliver on these custom, branded experiences by building the company's first mobile software user experience team. I was hired to serve as the research director.
Team Structure and Hiring - Training
1 Building out the team
Strategic organizational design and flexing of my leadership muscles.
I hired, trained, and managed a staff of 2 researchers and 2 design technologists.
Mia Tsai and Kay Wu were researchers I hired from the company's Human Factors and Ergonomics team. New experiences provided to them included field research both local and abroad, the creation of a rapid design evaluation program, and running competitive product evaluations.
Jason Chueh and Ison Hung were experienced software engineers with a background in mobile technologies and development. Based on their familiarity with the Android Developer Platform, APIs, and porting rituals, we hired them to work closely with our mobile UX Designers to build prototypes the team would then use for both testing and the documentation of the specifications. This was their first experience rapid prototyping with designers.
2 Training staff on research activities
An active role helping the team deliver on research and work with vendors, partners, and internal stakeholders.
In order for my staff to fully grasp the intent behind the prototyping work as well the labor-intensive nature of setting up the opportunities for feedback from consumers, I coached them through every task, large and small, related to setting up all of the team's research activities. We established vendors with whom to work in two markets outside of Taiwan, prepared for and conducted concept validation work on mobile prototypes in Singapore, prepared for and conducted usability and hardware acceptance testing with high-fi prototypes in Manchester UK, and put together a rapid, iterative guerrilla testing process in-house for quick feedback loops. I also guided them on how to structure and execute a competitive evaluation [see Camera+ project] as well as synthesize research data as a team, in a workshop style, utilizing sticky notes and affinity clustering.
© 2019 by Peter Roessler.