CRUSH application (creative direction and design)

CRUSH application (creative direction and design)

CRUSH is a unique hybrid product for marketing professionals that combines the tools of productivity software with the rich narrative of a content “title,” as well as the learning process of a training program. This is a tool for marketers to explore the market and competitive environment for their products and services and develop strategies for positioning it more effectively. It is fundamentally a tool for doing “real” work and is intended to be used repeatedly as the market changes and for different products and services. It is a synthesis of the concepts and process of Regis McKenna, an internationally recognized authority on Marketing, and reflects his approach to Environmental Analysis, Competitive Analysis, and Positioning. Users of this product finish with not only a well-developed marketing plan, goals, and well-design reports, but most importantly, a rich understanding of the present market and its inherent connections. In this way, they are being trained in this process while using it for their work without the experience of typical, hypothetical “training courses.” There are case studies and anecdotes to refer to at every point that explain the importance of each step and the relevance to real world examples.

1993-1995

Participants:

Henri Poole: Project Management
Nathan Shedroff: Information, Interaction, and Visual Design, Production
Brooks Cole: Visual Design
Kathleen Egge: Visual Design, Production
Don Brenner: Programming
Cody Harrington: 3D Modeling and Animation
Hands On Technology: Client

The design reflects the nature of the information, tasks, and processes as well as the assumptions of the audience. The division of the small gold buttons from the spheric gray ones is deliberately attempting to differentiate functions. In this case, the gold buttons represent program-level features while the grey spheres actually control the model itself. The three-dimensional quality to these are intended to relate to the three-dimensional model.

The colors used in the pie-shaped model to divide categories of issues are used consistently throughout the product to link together related information. For example, the highlight color uses the same hue for all aspects of that categories functions and interface elements.

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The entire structure of CRUSH is organized to support Regis McKenna’s approach and process of marketing products. The model users are presented with reflects the relationships of the disparate pieces of market information. The cognitive model introduced about these relationships and the visualization of it in this model is the most pervasive and important part of the product. This model is designed so that users can envision their markets and relationships even when away from their computers. While users are able to work in any part of the process at any time, they are encouraged to complete all parts before making evaluations of their work. Their work is saved as with other tools and they can share it easily with others.

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The models and screen layouts in which they work are designed to help organize their thoughts about the topics at hand. For example, the pie-shaped chart is designed to communicate the concept that all environmental issues are part of a larger market experience.

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This model returns in different forms to support different tasks, views of the material, and extensions of it (such as the barrel-shape it turns into). The organization of the disparate bits of data into this form becomes so pervasive that users can envision the model and its connections in their minds when they are not present at the computer.

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A narrative is available to guide users through the process should they forget what to do or the relevance to these tasks to their daily work.

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Users are able to attach other documents in any medium (text, images, video, etc.) as evidence of their interpretations and suppositions. This allows them to give complete and defensible presentations to others. Detailed reports can then be printed to share with colleagues.

Every screen uses a consistent layout to distinguish content, navigation, and controls.

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