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Gestural Design

Gestural design is the quick and explorative design work done after a product or service has been defined but before it has been fully fleshed out. Typically gestural design considers multiple ways of achieving the same goals, focusing on getting just enough of the interactions and aesthetics in place that nondesigners can get an idea of what the final product could be. This early feedback can provide clear direction, supplying confidence when choosing a direction to pursue. While it may seem high fidelity, gestural design is usually done with the intention that much of the work will be used to solicit stakeholder and user input and then will be integrated or thrown away.

Gestural design might explore only aesthetics, showing how visual design can provide many distinct feels to a single information architecture or interaction model, or it may be explored in conjunction with these deliverables to show multiple ways of solving for the same set of features. The approach depends on the complexity of the system you are designing, the maturity of stakeholders, and the amount of time and budget available for exploration. While not every project needs to consider multiple options with gestural design, most benefit from the exploration.

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Connected Bicycle

CityBike uses gestural design to explore different interaction models and aesthetics specifically for the Connected Bicycle’s app. Each direction is distinct, despite making use of on-brand typography, iconography, and color palette.