Athletes go digital report – IDF Milan

Athletes go Digital was the 5th IDF Milan workshop and the third event that we organized in collaboration with an Italian Startup.

During a warm Saturday of November, Antonella, Giovanni and Emiliano (that couldn’t join) told us about their startup focused on sports like Volleybal, Basket, Rugby and Waterpolo. Their platform is designed for satisfying the communication and the management needs of sport teams and athletes.

The first release of the platform will focus the Volleyball teams. During the founders presentation, we discovered an high level of complexity that goes beyond the simple Volleyball leagues. At first we should discuss some platform’s functions, but during the Questions&Answers session we decided to switch on something different.

We analyzed the Volleyball world and all the personas that live, work and play around it. Then we deigned a minimum viable product asking the founders for a business validation. During the team works, the two teams worked on two different aspects of the platform. The first group made an home page concept designed for all the potential users. The second group wrote down a list of functions that could help the adoption and the use of the platform in the after the launch.

The results of the workshop were really positive.
The founders discussed their project facing our UX design oriented questions like: “What will see the potential users during the first visit? What will after subscription? How to engage the local teams?”. Beside attendees like me discovered an unknown and complex world that needs a strong digitalization, while the others that played volleyball, confirmed that the founders had a really good idea.

At last we thank Ivan Vaghi for giving us the Early Morning location.

If you are a Startup or a Company interested in hosting an event or a workshop, contact the Local Leader Antonio Patti.

IDF Milan workshop report – Design beyond visual boundaries

Last Saturday September 20th, IDF Milan organized its 4th event “Design beyond visual boundaries” in collaboration with the Italian startup Horus Technology. The main objective of the workshop was to start designing the User Interface of their product.

Horus is a device that supports visually impaired people like a virtual assistant. It will be positioned on normal glasses and it will interact through audio bone conduction and a manual controller with buttons. Horus will have two 5mpx cameras, a separated battery pack and it won’t rely on internet/bluetooth connections to be functional.


Horus main functions are:

  • text recognition
  • navigation (obstacles, road signs and shops signs recognition)
  • face and objects recognition (description and memorization)

During the first part of the event, the CTO Luca Nardelli introduced Horus and gave us a document that he wrote with the Business Developer Benedetta Magri. After the introduction the IDF Milan people shooted dozens of questions to Luca and Benedetta, creating one of the most amazing brain storming that I ever done.
We had a list of functions and we had the important mission to create an interface that we can’t really figure out. We were going beyond our visual and intellectual boundaries!

Thank God, Antonino Cotroneo, a visually impaired Engineering Student, joined us and helped us to mash the Horus functions with the real users needs, feelings, problems and so on. The opportunity to work on a real problem was amazing. Having Antonino there with us increased the value of our design process adding that human kind involvment that we can’t have for any other “commercial” product.

Watch the Horus introduction and the hard questions and answers session.

After two hours of team work, the three groups presented their works focused on a single function and a device UI interaction pattern proposal. Obviously none of us had the time to analize all the day-life implications. Following you can find the three teams full presentations, but first I want to list the most interesting design suggestions that the participants have had:

  • the device should not be embarrassing to use in social context: avoid audio commands like “What’s in front of me?“, “Scan the room“, “Read the text
  • the device should have some natural gestures related with some usual glasses movements
  • the device should simulate the real reading approach: if the readers is watching the text Horus will read, if don’t Horus will stop reading even if it has already the full text in memory
  • the device should understand the written text hierarchy and formatting
  • the device should mix simple audio and spoken messages (not words) for mapping road obstacles and their positions like Doppler effect or Bat’s radar
  • the device should have different usage modes for enabling/disabling functions or their sensibility
  • the device should understand what to recognize, notify and save based on the user’s contextual needs
  • the device should develop different device’s editions for sport, online navigation, free-time etc

The groups presentations video (in Italian).

All of us understood that creating an unobtrusive UI that could anticipate or simply support the users contextual needs in a few hours is almost impossible. We tried to design different interaction patterns, but none of us found a concrete solution. We enjoyed this “design mission impossible”. As IDF Milan we are proud of our collaboration with Horus Technology and we thank them for the opportunity to contribute to the projects that will improve the Antonino’s life.

Special thanks to our host WCAP Milan that gave us a great room and the connectivity.

Follow IDF Milan on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for the next event.

“Design beyond visual boundaries” pictures.

“You and Interaction Design” meeting report

Milan 20/04/2014
Hi all,
following the (late) Meeting Report of our first IDF Milan event “You and Interaction Design”. First of all I want to thank you all because it was amazing. You were so interested and positive.

Our discussion was focused on:

  1. the group’s activities
  2. building a shared UXD vocabulary

You and Interaction Design flyer

– Group’s activities
Our objectives are learningnetworking and gaining visibility thanks to the IDF promotion.
All of us agreed that a practical approach is the best way to reach these objectives.
Here a list of the proposed activities:
  • personal works comparisons
  • IDF Milan members workshops (we hope to host some IDF worldwide member too)
  • project analysis (analyze a site/app and post on the web the results)
  • Startup UX mentorship (help Startups to improve their user experience)
  • participate to competitions
  • closed beta tests
– Shared vocabulary
Some of the participants asked to the group to define some important terms like UX, UI, ID etc. These definitions will be useful to create a common vocabulary, so I created a Google Form where we can write our thoughts. When we’ll complete the form, we’ll prepare an infographic that will be a sort of IDF MIlan Manifesto or simply the starting point of our Knowledge Base.
– Next steps
For the next event we already received a great proposal by Marco Buonvino. He asked us to organize a UX discussion on his startup FlytheGap ( I think that working on a real project talking directly to the project’s creators, could be really useful. He will describe us his the meeting idea soon.
For promoting IDF Milan and searching for a location sponsor, I’ll write a sort of press release. I’ll appreciate your help for sharing the document.
For the same reason I decided to open a “” site where we’ll post all our works. I opened a site because I think that it is the most professional and sharableplatform for our contents. Please, help me in writing contents and setupping the design. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time, so I’ll appreciate all your help 🙂
In the near future I need to be more active on Twitter ( and sharing an official ashtag for all our events/activities. For the internal group’s communication we can continue using the Facebook group. It is faster and easier than the LinkedIn one.
Feel free to contact me for feedbacks, comments and  more. I hope that you understood that I want to build something really useful for all of us.
Keep in touch and thank you.