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Putting People First

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27 November 2014

Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

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Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower
Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano
Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00

Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, and presents opportunities for establishing long-lasting cooperation between academics and practitioners.

The symposium will feature three world-known speakers in the field of applied anthropology.

The first one is Antonio Luigi Palmisano, Professor of Social and Economic Anthropology at the University of Salento (Italy). His research has addressed, among other, the relation between customary and state law, the relationship between welfare and the state, and integration processes. He has conducted research in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and worked as an advisor on over fifty international agencies’ and states’ missions.

His presentation will be followed by a talk given by Rikke Ulk, the CEO and founder of Antropologerne, a project-based consultancy firm in Copenhagen (Denmark). Pioneering the approach of combining anthropology and design methods with co-creation, Rikke continuously strives to ensure that insight and change lead to innovation that is valuable for people, society, and the planet.

The final speech will be delivered by Michele Visciòla, President of a Turin-based user experience design company Experientia (Italy). Michele is an international expert on usability engineering, human computer interaction and user-centred innovation. He has specific interests in new interfaces, notification systems, scenario design, and the usability-aesthetics relationship.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Dan Podjed, Coordinator of EASA Applied Anthropology Network. Guests of the discussion will be the three speakers and two other anthropologists – Desirée Pangerc, applied anthropologist and Professor at CIELS University Campus (Italy), and Peter Simonič, initiator of political change and Assistant Professor at University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

The event is organised by Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), CIELS University Campus, University of Ljubljana, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, VU University Amsterdam, and KULA Slovenian Ethnological and Anthropological Association. The symposium is supported by Slovenian Research Agency.

Download flyer

For additional information please contact Meta Gorup (EASA Applied Anthropology Network).

27 November 2014

Deep dive into drinking occasions

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Five years into his role as head of strategic insights at Heineken UK, Mick Doran believes that the brewing industry is learning valuable lessons from other FMCG sectors in becoming more consumer inspired and brand led.

“Since he joined the brewer, Doran has established a shopper segmentation framework, which he says has helped his department to have more fruitful discussions with consumers, as well as internally. The ultimate aim of this segmentation is for Heineken to deliver products that meet changing consumer wants or needs – by looking at the ‘what, who, when, where, why’ – and the ‘why not’ – of shopping decisions.”

27 November 2014

Are we viewing consumers as humans?

 

Underneath all the shopping, online searching, and purchasing is a human being who takes a particular action for very personal reasons, writes Jure Klepic in The Huffington Post.

Those reasons maybe based on a response to advertising or a referral from a trusted influencer, but it is just as likely that there is something that is engrained in their consciousness as a member of a particular cultural group. Marketing success comes from uncovering cultural differences and comprehending how those differences impact a brand or product.

Many companies have started moving away from the numbers and statistics by utilising anthropological and ethnographic research for their marketing and management teams. These professionals provide a new method of gaining insights of consumers’ culture, allowing them to look at consumers wholistically rather than just numerically (as human beings, instead of just numbers).

Klepic concludes: “Companies which take the time to study cultures and subcultures, look for patterns and themes, and truly look at their consumers as human beings instead of just marketing statistics will increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and improve their overall consumer experience.”

27 November 2014

Intel, Tony Salvador, and design anthropology

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Why would Intel need to conduct a tremendous amount of ethnographic research if all they are manufacturing are microchips?

This short essay by Ioanis Hristodoulou eexamines Intel’s role in design anthropology on a worldwide context, exploring the work of Tony Salvador, who directs research in Intel’s Experience Insights Lab.

Tony’s official role is to “identify new, strategic opportunities for technology caused on an understanding of fluctuating, global socio-cultural values” (Intel, n.d.). Through its use and support of design anthropological practices, Intel has continued to remain relevant in an extremely competitive market.

“Salvador explains that because a CPU’s development cycle lasts multiple years, “it becomes incumbent on us to think of consumers needs ahead of time” (Yoshida, 2011). Through design anthropology praxis, Intel challenges the traditional notions of consumers and transforms them into “social beings, people with desires, wishes, needs, wants – some articulated, some unrecognized” (Salvador et al, 1999).”

21 November 2014

Everyday rituals and digital tech in the families of mobile workers

 

Quotidian Ritual and Work-Life Balance: An Ethnography of Not Being There
Jo-Anne Richard and Paulina Yurman (Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art)
David Kirk and David Chatting (Culture Lab, Newcastle University)
Paper presented at the EPIC Conference, New York, September 2014

This paper reports on current interdisciplinary design research that explores values held by individuals in their performance of everyday or ‘quotidian’ rituals in family life. The work is focused on mobile workers who may be away from home and family for extended and/or regular periods of time. During the course of the research, a key hurdle that has arisen has revolved around gaining access to families for the purpose of conducting traditional ethnographic studies. For many mobile workers who are separated from the family on a regular basis, the idea of having an ethnographic researcher present during what becomes very limited and therefore sacrosanct family time has proved difficult to negotiate. Therefore the design researchers have had to develop more designerly means of engagement with ‘the field site’ through a series of design interventions that effectively provide forms of ethnographic data when both the researcher and the researched are away from the field site, namely the family home.

21 November 2014

Health tech and the digital revolution

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The London Design Museum has launched Health Tech and You – a search for the best new health tech ideas, inventions and devices.

Director Deyan Sudjic reflects on how the digital revolution is breaking down doors in the health industry – and showcases three recent life-changing innovations.

“Healthcare is perhaps among the most private and sensitive of worlds to join the digital jamboree. A sense of threat in the proliferation of personal health apps, devices and wearable technologies that gather our personal data can only be offset by a belief that we really can use this data to manage serious long term conditions and track signs and symptoms of disease.

If we do believe it, we’re about to witness a transformation of the global healthcare industry, led by an independent, consumer-led (and unregulated) health tech market. This radical change is breaking on to a community of medical practitioners whose purpose is about to be dramatically enhanced, or challenged, by the growth of patient-led healthcare.”

20 November 2014

The Banks of the Future: An Experience Design Perspective

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Banks should shift their role from payment processors to trusted consumer advisors by focusing on the customer experience, argues Rob Girling in an Op-Ed piece for PSFL.

“My advice to banks is to start by looking from the outside of your organization in, in order to truly empathize with your customers. This customer-focused, experience-centric innovation can then be utilized with an innovation methodology called design thinking, a human-centered approach to design that considers the desirability, viability and feasibility of a project in order to create a preferable result. Design thinking done well is an investment that results in major improvements to core customer experience metrics.

In the age of the customer, banks can no longer afford to rely on their traditional services and approaches to consumers. They need to build strong customer relationships through experiences that make consumers think of their banks not as a utility, but as trusted advisors.”

Rob Girling is the co-founder and principal of Artefact.

20 November 2014

[Book] Design for Policy

designforpolicy

Design for Policy
Edited by Christian Bason, Chief Executive, Danish Design Centre
Series: Design for Social Responsibility
Hardcover: 250 pages
Publisher: Gower Pub Co; December 28, 2014

Design for Policy is the first publication to chart the emergence of collaborative design approaches to innovation in public policy. Drawing on contributions from a range of the world’s leading academics, design practitioners and public managers, it provides a rich, detailed analysis of design as a tool for addressing public problems and capturing opportunities for achieving better and more efficient societal outcomes.

In his introduction, Christian Bason suggests that design may offer a fundamental reinvention of the art and craft of policy making for the twenty-first century. From challenging current problem spaces to driving the creative quest for new solutions and shaping the physical and virtual artefacts of policy implementation, design holds a significant yet largely unexplored potential.

The book is structured in three main sections, covering the global context of the rise of design for policy, in-depth case studies of the application of design to policy making, and a guide to concrete design tools for policy intent, insight, ideation and implementation. The summary chapter lays out a future agenda for design in government, suggesting how to position design more firmly on the public policy stage.

Design for Policy is intended as a resource for leaders and scholars in government departments, public service organizations and institutions, schools of design and public management, think tanks and consultancies that wish to understand and use design as a tool for public sector reform and innovation.

Contents

Preface
This book: an overview
Introduction: the design for policy nexus, Christian Bason

Section 1 Design in Context:

  • Design in policy: challenges and sources of hope for policymakers, Tom Bentley
  • Public design in global perspective: empirical trends, Christian Bason and Andrea Schneider
  • Innovating public policy: allowing for social complexity and uncertainty in the design of public outcomes, Jesper Christiansen and Laura Bunt
  • Towards policymaking as designing: policymaking beyond problem-solving and decision-making, Sabine Junginger
  • Innovating large-scale transformations, Banny Banerjee
  • Strategic design and the art of public sector innovation, Marco Steinberg

Section 2 Policy in Practice:

  • Design and policies for collaborative services, Ezio Manzini
  • Synthesizing policy and practice: the case of co-designing better outcomes for vulnerable families, Sarah Forrester and John Body
  • Using an urban design process to inform policy, Christopher T. Boyko and Rachel Cooper
  • Designing legitimacy: the case of a government innovation lab, Kit Lykketoft
  • The Branchekode.dk project: designing with purpose and across emergent organizational culture, Mariana Amatullo
  • Reflections on designing for social innovation in the public sector: a case study in New York City, Eduardo Staszowski, Scott Brown and Benjamin Winter
  • Friendly hacking into the public sector: (re)designing public policies within regional governments, François Jégou, Romain Thévenet and Stéphane Vincent

Section 3 Design Tools for Policy:

  • Tools for intent: strategic direction by design, John Body and Nina Terrey
  • Tools for insight: design research for policymaking, Andrea Siodmok
  • Tools for ideation: evocative visualization and playful modelling as drivers of the policy process, Joachim Halse
  • Tools for implementation, Simona Maschi and Jennie Winhall

The frontiers of design for policy, Christian Bason
Index

About the Editor

Christian Bason is Chief Executive of the Danish Design Centre (DDC), which works to strengthen the value of all forms of design in society. Before joining DDC, Christian headed MindLab, a cross-governmental innovation lab, and the public organization practice of Ramboll Management, a consultancy. Christian is also a university lecturer, and has presented to and advised governments around the world. He is a regular columnist and the author of four books on leadership, innovation and design, most recently Leading Public Sector Innovation: Co-creating for a Better Society. Christian holds an M.Sc. in political science from Aarhus University, executive education from Harvard Business School and the Wharton School, and is a doctoral fellow at Copenhagen Business School.

19 November 2014

Fundamental principles of great UX design

 

In this edition of Ask UXmatters (a series curated by Janet M. Six), an eight-person expert panel looks at the importance of considering the fundamental principles of great design — not just UX design principles, but design principles in general. The panel also discusses how great UX design takes place within organizations, looking at this topic on many different levels:

  • How can you create great designs when working with a variety of designers with different backgrounds and while working within the constraints of project-defined goals?
  • How can the presence of User Experience at the C-level and, in general, garnering support from the C-level affect our ability to implement great designs?
  • How can we produce great designs in a repeatable manner? Keep reading for the answers to all of these important questions?

The following eight experts have contributed answers to this edition of Ask UXmatters:

  • Leo Frishberg, Product Design Manager at Intel Corporation
  • Pabini Gabriel-Petit, Principal Consultant at Strategic UX; Publisher and Editor in Chief, UXmatters; Founding Director of Interaction Design Association (IxDA); UXmatters columnist
  • Peter Hornsby, Web Design and UX Manager at Royal London; UXmatters columnist
  • Jordan Julien, Independent Experience Strategy Consultant
  • Jim Nieters, Global Head, User Experience, of HP’s Consumer Travel Division; UXmatters columnist
  • Eryk Pastwa, Vice President of Design at Creatix
  • Daniel Szuc, Principal and Cofounder of Apogee Usability Asia Ltd.
  • Jo Wong, Principal and Cofounder of Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
19 November 2014

A profile of Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google

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As part of an on-going series profiling people, institutions and programs in the EPIC People community, Katharina Rochjadi of Swinburne University of Technology has now profiled Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google.

“Conducting ethnographic work is not an end in itself. Elizabeth believes that by being a design ethnographer we are in the ‘business of translation’. We are making observations that can be interpreted to development teams or business partners. She also thinks that there might be a scenario in which we have to accept being wrong about our assumptions.”

19 November 2014

Why wearables should be free

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Companies shouldn’t just give out wearables for free; they should pay users for data, argues Hans Neubert, frog’s chief creative officer.

“Owners of wearable technology, like the upcoming Apple Watch or Microsoft Band, are the most vital part of the product ecosystem because they generate valuable information each time they wear their devices. Yet they also pay for the privilege. Brands should rethink their value proposition, make wearable devices free, and monetize the data, or risk losing out on the possibility of mass-market adoption. […]

Convincing consumers to wear a product that lacks an emotional connection, and tells them something they already know (or can easily guess), requires a nuanced strategy: incentivize the regular usage of the device and monetize the data in a way that is transparent and rewarding for everyone involved.”

8 November 2014

Society’s sandbox

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Steve Daniels, director at Makeshift magazine, explains why informal economies are the world’s biggest — and most overlooked — design research opportunity.

“Informal economies are society’s sandbox, where early experimentation can take place freely. In the same way that thoughtless acts inspire us to rethink products and services, the way people conduct everyday business outside traditional legal frameworks forces us to rethink entire societies. Free from political and institutional constraints, informal entrepreneurs can respond to needs on the ground and challenge the status quo. Their patterns of innovation are particularly hard to replicate in formal organizations because they also tend to innovate out of necessity.

This is why informal economies are the world’s biggest opportunity for design research, and yet we walk right by them every day.”

7 November 2014

Technology-enabled navigation and mobility for people with sight loss

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Getting around cities is a nerve-wracking experience for too many people, especially those living with sight loss. Too often it feels like public spaces and services – from parks to transport systems – are designed with insufficient consideration for the people they serve.

Cities Unlocked was created to help fix this. Guide Dogs, a UK Charity for the visually impaired, and Microsoft joined forces in 2011 to improve mobility and navigation for people with sight loss, and Future Cities Catapult, a global urban innovation centre, followed in 2013. Over the last year, the team has been working towards realising one ambition: to make cities more accessible for people with sight loss.

They have taken a holistic approach to identifying the challenges that urban environments pose for the visually impaired, and developed a demonstrator device in response. The result is a new headset (video) that allows a smartphone app to provide the wearer with 3D-soundscapes, augmenting reality to provide a richer understanding of their surroundings.

Testing demonstrated that the technology helps people feel more comfortable in their surroundings and better placed to navigate their environment. But this is just the start: the team believe that this research provides a new way of thinking about people, places and the information that flows between the two. By opening the flow of data within cities, we can help everyone move around their city with confidence.

More information:
> Blog post/essay by Dan Hill, executive director of Futures and Best Practice, Future Cities Catapult
> Articles and videos: BBC | Daily Telegraph | Dezeen | CityMetric | The Guardian

6 November 2014

What do you learn when you observe 100 days of iPhone use?

mobilelife

Barry Brown, Moira McGregor and Donald McMillan of the Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University audio-video recorded over 100 days of device use from 15 users and just published their results, which they presented in September at the MobileHCI conference in Toronto, Canada.

Internet connected mobile devices are an increasingly ubiquitous part of our everyday lives and we present here the results from unobtrusive audio-video recordings of iPhone use – over 100 days of device use collected from 15 users. The data reveals for analysis the everyday, moment-by-moment use of contemporary mobile phones. Through video analysis of usage we observed how messages, social media and internet use are integrated and threaded into daily life, interaction with others, and everyday events such as transport, delays, establishment choice and entertainment. We document various aspects of end-user mobile device usage, starting with understanding how it is occasioned by context. We then characterise the temporal and sequential nature of use. Lastly, we discuss the social nature of mobile phone usage. Beyond this analysis, we reflect on how to draw these points into ideas for design.

The results and their discussion are particularly insightful.

6 November 2014

Rethinking segmentation for the new digital consumer

Rethinking-Segmentation

Apple’s launch this week of Apple Pay, its m-commerce product, could help finally move millions of mainstream consumers toward the promise of mobile payments, according to media reports. Given that Apple Pay will expose user preferences for payments and sharing data, this is a good time for companies to re-think how they segment their digital consumers, writes Mobiquity president Scott Snyder in this opinion piece.

“At their core, digital users are individuals who bring a unique digital profile and set of behaviors to every situation. This new digital world of “Bring Your Own Persona” (BYOP) requires a fundamentally different way of thinking about customers. It used to be assumed that people exhibited predictable behaviors in their public and private lives based on their socio-demographics, allowing firms to use classic segmentation for targeted interactions. Those models are no longer sufficient. Almost all demographics have access to mobile, social and wearables. What distinguishes different digital user segments is their savvy in knowing how to use these tools and their comfort levels with the data they are willing to share in various scenarios.

New digital personas can be characterized along two important dimensions: digital capability and trust. […]”

Using trust and capability as the core drivers of digital behavior, we have mapped out six digital user segments (shown below) to capture the new interaction models we expect to see and estimated the distribution across the general consumer population. “

6 November 2014

Little Data, Big Data and UX design at LinkedIn

LinkedIn-InBug-2CRev

Julie Marie Norvaisas and Jonathan “Yoni” Karpfen of LinkedIn’s User Experience Design (UED) Research Team share how their team discovers and uses “little data” to inform and inspire, in the context of a company driven by “big data”.

“LinkedIn’s User Experience Design (UED) Research team is relatively small. The data we gather is even more drastically outnumbered. LinkedIn’s design and product development process is steeped in behavioral data, real-time metrics, and predictive models. Working alongside teams generating and focused on big numbers, our group of qualitative researchers helps decision makers understand how our products fit into members’ lives, envision future experiences, and take a peek behind the numbers.”

Julie Norvaisas is the Manager of User Experience Research at LinkedIn. while Jonathan (Yoni) Karpfen is a Senior User Experience Researcher at LinkedIn.

5 November 2014

Creating government tech systems with excellent UX and ‘good enough’ security

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Gov.uk, the website of the UK Government’s Digital Service that merges the websites of all UK Government Departments and many other agencies and public bodies, has posted a draft guidance document on risk management of cyber security in technology projects.

Based on user interviews and over ninety user stories, they found it to be essential to allow important members of the IT project (such as senior capability owners and technical practitioners) to create a culture and environment in which their risk management activities could flourish.

Below are Gov.uk’s eight fundamental principles of effective approaches to risk management:
– Accept there will always be uncertainty
– Make everyone part of your delivery team
– Ensure the business understands the risks it is taking
– Trust competent people to make decisions
– Security is part of every technology decision
– User experience should be fantastic – security should be good enough
– Demonstrate why you made the decisions – and no more
– Understand that decisions affect each other

2 November 2014

A constructionist approach to behaviour change and the Internet of Things

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Dan Lockton just posted an essay on how to enable social and environmental behaviour change by using IoT-type technologies for practical co-creation and constructionist public engagement. It got him immediately some Sunday morning Twitter commentary from Bruce Sterling and John Thackara – to which he reacted – which no doubt will massively increase the readership of his piece.

“IoT technology and the ecosystems around it could enable behaviour change for social and environmental sustainability in a wide range of areas, from energy use to civic engagement and empowerment. But the systems need to be intelligible, for people to be engaged and make the most of the opportunities and possibilities for innovation and progress.

They need to be designed with people at the heart of the process, and that means designing with people themselves: practical co-creation, and constructionist public engagement where people can explore these systems and learn how they work in the context of everyday life rather than solely in the abstract visions of city planners and technology companies.”

See also: Internet of Things will transform life, but experts fear for privacy and personal data (by Steve Johnson in the Mercury News)

1 November 2014

Biennale Interieur investigates homemaking in the digital age

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Anna Bergren Miller provides a short write-up in Shareable on how Joseph Grima and Space Caviar explored changing notions of domesticity at the 2014 Biennale Interieur.

“At this year’s Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk, Belgium, British architect Joseph Grima turned the opportunity to curate the show’s cultural program on its head, creating a kind of anti-program revolving around a negative definition. Titled “SQM: The home does not exist,” the series argues that domesticity as we knew it is—or should be—dead, and asks what will emerge to fill the void. Through film, text, two architectural installations, and a choreographed performance by domestic robots, Grima and his Italian design and research collaborative Space Caviar interrogate twentieth-century cultural assumptions within the context of today’s economic and technological realities.”

See also: Joseph Grima explores changing ideas of domesticity for Biennale Interieur exhibition (Dezeen)

1 November 2014

The challenge of connecting the unconnected

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Every time we return to or sign up for an Internet service (e.g. Facebook, Google, Gmail, YouTube, etc.), writes Hassan Baig on TechCrunch, we rely on what UX experts call a “mental model” for navigating through the choices.

“A mental model is essentially a person’s intuition of how something works based on past knowledge, similar experiences and common sense. So even when something is new, mental models help to make sense of it, utilizing the human brain’s ability to transcode knowledge and recognize patterns.

For instance, most of our grandparents can hit the ground running with changing the channel or increasing the volume when handed the remote control for the latest television available in the market today, squarely because of a well-developed mental model for TV remote control units.

But our grandparents may not have the same level of success when using Internet services, smartphones or tablets. Under-developed mental models in these domains are their primary obstacles. In fact, according to Pew Research, 41 percent of American senior citizens do not use the Internet at all.

So can teaching them how to use basic Internet services create the right mental models and alleviate the problem? It’s a step in the right direction, but there are other barriers at play.”