Mobile devices integrate into our daily lives more seamlessly every day in ways both completely awesome and totally terrifying regardless of our age, environment…or state of inebriation. Everyone is affected: Earlier this year, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office lamented that Bay Area commuters’ mobile phone obsession prevented anyone from noticing a gunman on a train; in the UK, children as young as 4 are in therapy for gadget addiction; according to Mashable, 1 in 5 children under age 8 use mobile devices in the United States every day; And of course, the elimination of texting while driving has become the new agenda for highway police everywhere.
There are (probably more than) two lessons here: First, we should probably put down our gadgets every once in a while, at least according to Louis C.K.; and second, responsive design (aka: the website/app design practice which ensures accessibility and ease of use regardless of the device or platform) is too important for businesses to ignore. According to Scott Noonan, CTO at Boston Interactive, “There is no mobile internet anymore, only the internet.” Consumers today expect information to be available instantaneously, 24 hours a day, optimized for their laptops, desktops, blacktops, iPads, iPhones, Microsoft surface tablets, Kindle fires… you name it. Businesses must respond to this demand with optimized apps and websites that appeal to a broad range of users, regardless of age, environment, device, or mental state. So how does one achieve app and website perfection? Design for, and test your responsive designs on drunk people. Seriously. If they can handle it, anyone can.
Dave Lieb, the founder of file- and contact-sharing app Bump recently told Fast Company that one of their most effective app-testing methods was to introduce the app to people in bars, and get their inebriated, but brutally honest feedback. Lieb told Fast Company, “Drunk people are maybe a good approximation of distracted people.” I see his point. According to BuzzFeed, small children are essentially tiny drunk adults, too. Could bars be the new focus group for responsive design?
Three sheets market research seems to think so. This is a company of self-proclaimed researchers and adult beverage enthusiasts dedicated to improving consumer experiences through consumer testing…with a literal twist. Check it out:
Though definitely not the most scientific of testing models, I think this is an awesome idea. By definition, drunk people are less coordinated, easily frustrated, and way, way too honest: meaning your feedback will be on point…probably. If nothing else, It’s a great way to turn employee happy hours into responsive design testing, and who’s going to say no to a totally legitimized cocktail at work? Happy Friday, ladies and gents; anyone need me to test out their app design?