Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
Audience Business Culture Design Locations Media Methods Services Social Issues






















Experience design

Interaction design


Service design

Ubiquitous computing












Mobile phone


Virtual world






User experience

User research


Financial services


Public services



Urban development


Digital divide

Emerging markets


Social change


September 2005
30 September 2005

Régine Debatty launches new blog

Régine Debatty who runs the very successful cult blog we make money not art just launched no garlic please, a new blog on what’s beautiful or interesting in Europe, starting this week with a special on 100%design London. The blog has big images and short texts. A blogroll and other features will come.
30 September 2005

Don’t believe the hype [CPH127]

User driven innovation is said to be the answer to all our prayers regarding the future of business and wealth in Denmark and Scandinavia in light of the global competition that we see these days. The media, top managers and institutions compete on ”hyping” user driven innovation – all too often, it seems, without knowing what user driven innovation really is.

Read full story

29 September 2005

Driverless bus straight to your door [The Times]

London dwellers will be able to summon driverless buses to their front doors and be taken direct to their destinations under a plan unveiled yesterday.

With the sytem, called Personalised Public Transport (PPT), each driverless bus would accommodate a maximum of 24 people but for an extra fee could also be ordered for exclusive use. The vehicles would cruise the streets like cabs but would be summoned by a mobile phone message.

The buses would follow magnetic markers in the road and would avoid other vehicles and pedestrians by using obstacle detection and collision avoidance systems. The electrically propelled vehicles would operate at a maximum of 25mph on residential streets but accelerate to 45mph on special lanes along major roads.

Read full story

(via we make money not art)

29 September 2005

Bill Buxton on designing for experience

During the recent Interact 2005 conference in Rome, Italy, Bill Buxton spoke about designing for experience, a topic that he discusses in more detail in his upcoming book.

It is not the physical entity or what is in the box (the “material” product) that is the true outcome of the design process, he argued. Rather, it is the behavioural, experiential and emotional responses that come about as a result of its existence and use in the “wild”.

Read report in Usability News and presentation abstract (alternative link)

29 September 2005

What’s cool online? Teenagers render verdict [The New York Times]

As part of Advertising Week 2005, interactive advertising agencies tried to answer the question last Tuesday of what teenagers want.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau gathered 10 teenagers onstage at the Millennium Broadway Hotel to informally evaluate the creativity and effectiveness of three teenager-oriented interactive marketing campaigns, all before an audience of hundreds of industry executives.

Read full story

29 September 2005

The 10 faces of innovation [Fast company]

Fast company published a long excerpt from the new book The Ten Faces of Innovation, written by (IDEO’s) Tom Kelley with Jonathan Littman and to be published October 18 by Currency Books, a division of Random House Inc.

“At Ideo, we’ve developed 10 people-centric tools, talents, or personas for innovation. Although the list does not presume to be comprehensive, it does aspire to expand your repertoire. We’ve found that adopting one or more of these roles can help teams express a different point of view and create a broader range of innovative solutions.”

“And by adopting some of these innovation personas, you’ll have a chance to put the devil’s advocate in his place. So when someone says, “Let me play devil’s advocate for a minute” and starts to smother a fragile new idea, someone else in the room may be emboldened to speak up and say, “Let me be an anthropologist for a moment, because I personally have watched our customers suffering silently with this issue for months, and this new idea just might help them.”

Read full excerpt

28 September 2005

Video of discussion with Nokia’s Chris Heathcote

Chris Heathcote from Nokia’s Corporate Strategy describes how mobile phone users around the world are personalising the look and the function of their phones, and how device manufacturers react by introducing mass-customisable products.

According to Chris, the internet changed personalization by allowing people to share images and sell their craftwork online. Now, new technologies of personal fabrication are taking crafting to the next level. “There has been a fashion for mass consumption over the last 30 years, and we’re finally breaking out of that,” he sums.

Watch video


28 September 2005

Simona Maschi on scenarios and service design

CPH127 has just posted a video interview with my former colleague Simona Maschi, associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and a specialist in service design.

For the past 10 years, Simona Maschi has designed future scenarios and experiences for people’s everyday life. She is interested in new design solutions that are attractive to people and that motivate companies towards a more sustainable future. Simona is also a Lecturer at the Politecnico University in Milan and she has studied and worked in Europe and USA.

Click here to see the interview. Just select the video by clicking the picture of Simona Maschi.

27 September 2005

Qualitative Yahoo! research on teens and technology

A brand new Yahoo! and OMD focus group and ethnographic study of 13-24 year olds shows interactive and wireless technologies have unleashed the first global generation to demand personalisation, which, they claim,is changing the advertising and marketing equation.

The study looked specifically at multi-tasking and geographical differences on advertising impacts.

Teens, on average, perform about three to four other tasks while surfing the Internet and two to three others tasks while watching television, the study commissioned by Yahoo and the OMD advertising
agency found.

The study also found that teens in developing countries are more receptive to advertising than teens in developed countries. For example, more than half the teens surveyed in Mexico and China and 68 percent in India agree that advertising is a good way to learn about trends and things to buy. Thirty-five percent or less of teens surveyed in France, Germany and the U.S. think so.

In the two-part study, 16 focus groups and 15 in-home ethnographies in six countries were conducted with teens 15 to 18 and young adults aged 20 to 22. For the quantitative online survey, more than 5,300 respondents aged 13 to 24 participated.

Read full story
Download research (pdf, 188 kb, 30 pages)

(via C|Net)

27 September 2005

P&G’s marketing chief about putting the consumer at the centre

CMO, the online resource for marketing executives, has an interview with Jim Stengel, the global marketing officer of Proctor & Gamble, where he discusses P&G’s new mantra “Put the consumer at the centre of all we do”.

Read interview
(from CMO Magazine’s special report on innovation)

(via Emergence Marketing)

27 September 2005

Head of Samsung Design Europe discusses design and innovation

As part of this week’s Index: 2005 events in Copenhagen, Denmark, CPH127 interviewed Joong Yeal Choi, Head of Samsung Design Europe and made it available in video.

Mr. Choi has studied industrial design and design management at Seoul National University and has been working for Samsung Electronics since 94. Mr. Choi shares his views on various subjects, primarily focused on design and innovation.

The CPH127 site also features video interviews with John L. Petersen, a futurist who is the president and founder of The Arlington Institute a Washington, DC, Uffe Elbaek, principal of the The Kaospilots and Alan Webber, founding editor of Fast Company.

Watch J.Y. Choi interview

27 September 2005

World Usability Day on 3 November 2005

The Usability Professional Association (or UPA, of which I am a member) organises on 3 November 2005 its World Usability Day (WUD) with events in 77 cities and 33 countries.

The activities revolve around the common theme – “Making it easy – World Usability Day”, with a focus this year on e-government, while also including e-commerce and other commercial applications.

My Experientia business partner, Michele Visciola, who is the president of the UPA-Italy chapter and also a member of the editorial board of UPA’s User Experience Magazine, has organised the World Usability Day events in Rome, Italy.

The Rome conference/happening, which is also aimed at a non-specialised audience, is sponsored by Experientia and will be hosted by the Italian Ministry of Communications. It focuses on the reality of those who practice usability in major companies, on the usability of interfaces of online public services, on the communication with non-Italians, on the relation between usability and accessibility, and finally on wireless public services.

More up-to-date information and registration details can be found on Experientia’s English WUD blog and on the Italian usability site

27 September 2005

Games meets interaction design [Usability News]

Do games designers need advice from the interaction design community? This was the argument that raged following the formal part of the Interact! Games meets Interaction Design event, an InSync and AIGA Experience Design London collaboration, chaired by Nico Macdonald.

The relationship between the two fields came under scrutiny first from Ben Cerveny, till recently director of experience design at frogdesign, and then from Durrell Bishop, partner in Luckybite and specialist in tangible interfaces.

Read full report

26 September 2005

Microsoft, Intel organise corporate ethnography conference

The first Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC), jointly organised by Microsoft and Intel, will take place on 14 and 15 November 2005 at the Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA, USA.

The conference (see programme) will promote the use of ethnographic investigations and principles in the study of human behavior as they are applied in corporate settings. By understanding people; what they do, how they do it and how these change over time, companies can create better corporate strategies, processes, and products, as well as enhance and simplify people’s lives. Beyond this, the conference aspires to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives, methods and theory into business practices.

The EPIC theme for 2005 is Sociality: the social and collective nature of people’s interactions with products and services, or more broadly, the complex, dense and dynamic set of social relations within which people conduct their lives, and through which material culture comes to have meaning.

(via Ideas Bazaar)

25 September 2005

Kurzweil sees future when humans, tech will converge [The Mercury News]

Ray Kurzweil, one of the USA’s most acclaimed inventors, has some unusual ideas about how we’ll live in 25 years.

Looking ahead 40 years, Kurzweil believes humans will evolve into semi-mechanical beings who can alter their physical appearance at will. We’ll live almost forever, barring accidents or violence, in a world without hunger or poverty. And humanity’s expanded brain power will ultimately reach out to control the universe.

This may sound crazy, but Kurzweil makes a compelling case in a new book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology” (Amazon link), which reached store shelves last week and is officially published Monday.

At the risk of oversimplifying the complex arguments in Kurzweil’s 652-page tome, which includes 105 pages of footnotes, he argues that three converging fields — genetics, nanotechnology and robotics/computing — are entering an exponential phase that will create more changes in the next 40 years than in the past 4,000.

For those who don’t want to plow through the book, extensive excerpts and commentary are available free on the book’s website.

Read full story

Update: read Wall Street Journal review

25 September 2005

Design for the New China Markets conference

The Design for the New China Markets Conference (Beijing, 1-2 December 2005) is an executive forum hosted by the IIT Institute of Design and the State Intellectual Property Office, People’s Republic of China. It is intended for leaders interested in the design and development of products and services for China.

Speakers at the conference will come from both the East and the West, providing a diverse set of perspectives on the issues facing design and innovation in China today.

The programme, which is aimed at all those interested in the design and development of culturally sensitive products and services for China, will cover five broad topics, including one focused on design research.

The conference is sponsored by (among others) Motorola, Microsoft, Marriott, Yahoo!, AIGA and NextD Journal.

23 September 2005

Ars Electronica posts audio of over forty presentations

Ars Electronica has posted over forty mp3 audio files (or “podcasts”) of presentations that took place at its recent festival, 1-6 September 2005.

The most famous speakers are of course Derrick de Kerckhove, Neil Gershenfeld (MIT Media Lab), Marko Ahtisaari (Nokia) and Marco Susani (Motorola), but there are many others less well-known but no less interesting.

The audio overview page just lists people’s names, so if you want to know who they are, download the programme (pdf, 2.7 mb).

23 September 2005

Interview with David Kelley of IDEO

As part of the recent AO2005 Innovation Summit, Morgan McLintic, a vice president and senior partner at Lewis Global Public Relations, interviewed David Kelley, the founder and chairman of product design firm IDEO and a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University.

Kelley argues that in a culture of innovation, an understanding of human values is key.

Part 1: Building a culture of innovation
Part 2: The phases of innovation
Part 3: Chaos and creativity at Stanford’s new Institute of Design
Part 4: Addressing latent needs and improving the human interface

Video of the session

GK VanPatter of NextD also interviewed David Kelley about the Stanford

23 September 2005

P2P banking in the UK

Zopa is a P2P bank in the UK that connects online lenders with borrowers. The system, where individual risk is spread over at least 50 lenders and borrowers, offers end-users a much better deal, by cutting out the traditional banking intermediaries and their high overheads.
21 September 2005

This billboard is talking to you

It is not an example of experience design the way I like to understand it, but it is clearly a designed experience.

Ogilvy Belgium has launched this week a talking billboard in their campaign for Ford. [Alain Caviggia was commissioned by Ogilvy Belgium to produce the campaign]. The interactive poster reacts to their presence of who’s standing in front of it. The voice and facial expressions of the guy in the poster are controlled by an actor hidden in a booth nearby. The ads can be found in the main train stations in Belgium.

View movie with German tourists

(via we-make-money-not-art)