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Putting People First

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January 2007
23 January 2007

Innovation and the prosperity of nations [Core77]

Competitiveness Summit '06
“At the recent Competitiveness Summit, the connections between business and innovation were made starkly clear,” writes Nico Macdonald in a Core77 article.

In November 2005 the UK Treasury published the Cox Review of Creativity in Business, addressing “a question that is vital to the UK’s long-term economic success—namely, how to exploit the nation’s creative skills more fully” where the “emphasis is on the use made of creative skills by smaller businesses, with particular concern for manufacturing.”

This December the UK Design Council, of which report author Sir George Cox is Chairman, convened the Competitiveness Summit ’06 in London to brief people on progress with implementation of the report’s recommendations and ‘build momentum’ around it. Specifically the Summit was intended to showcase the role of creativity and design in UK competitiveness, discuss how they may be further embedded, and examine future trends; consider threats and opportunities from abroad; and examine the role of education and its relationship to industry.

The Competitiveness Summit was probably the most serious and eminent design event in the UK in the last five years, though the balance of the audience was from the design and consultancy industries, government policy and funding, and education, rather than the ‘client side’ of the equation.

Some conference participants:

  • Sir Terence Conran
  • Rt. Hon Alistair Darling MP, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
  • Professor David Gann, Principal of Imperial College London’s Tanaka Business School
  • David Godber, Director of Nissan Design Europe
  • Graham Hitchen, Project Director of the Cox-proposed International Centre for Design and Innovation
  • David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council
  • Geoff Kirk, Rolls-Royce Chief Design Engineer for Civil Aerospace
  • Professor Stuart MacDonald, Head of the Aberdeen-based Gray’s School of Art
  • Bill Moggridge, co-founder of IDEO
  • Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director of Innovation RCA at the Royal College of Art
  • Bill Sermon, Vice President, Design at Nokia Multimedia
  • John Thackara, Director of Doors of Perception
  • Malcolm Wicks MP, UK Minister of State for Science and Innovation

Macdonald ends with serious critical reflections on the event that are worth a read and a thought.

Read full story [Mirrored in Business Week]

23 January 2007

Catching the Bus: Studying People and Practices at Intel

Ken Anderson
In a talk given at the UCI Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction on Friday 19 January, the anthropologist Ken Anderson (bio – manager of People and Practices Research at Intel) discusses Intel’s work at understanding mobility and spatiality in urban and transnational settings, which is being carried out in support of ongoing interests in mobile and ubiquitous computing.

People and Practices Research (PaPR) is a group within Intel Research that engages the techniques of social science and design in order to develop a deep understanding of how people live and work. PaPR undertakes a wide range of projects in collaboration with universities, Intel business groups and other parts of Intel Research.

The presentation can be seen in video which can be downloaded from the UCI website, but be warned: it is huge (387.4 mb) and you need to download the entire file before you can view anything. The audio and video quality unfortunately leave to be desired.

(via Fabien Girardin‘s blog 7.5th Floor)

23 January 2007

User experience design resources [Dey Alexander Consulting]

Dey Alexander Consulting
“The User experience design resources from Dey Alexander Consulting is one of the most extensive resources on everything regarding User-Centred Design I have come across,” writes David Geerts, project leader of the Centre for Usability Research (CUO), on the CUO blog “For Users Only“.

(CUO is a research department of the faculty of Social Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, where I have actually studied as well).

“From designing for children to ROI, from accessibility to heuristic evaluation and from conference proceedings to software tools, nearly everything you need to know is right at hand. This [the user experience design resources from Dey Alexander Consulting] is an essential bookmark for everyone involved in UCD!”

Greet Jans, a researcher who also writes for “For Users Only” points to another interesting lead, that I wrote about earlier, but is worth a reminder: Steve Mulder, the author of the book “The User is Always Right: A practical guide to creating and using personas for the Web” has got also a weblog dedicated to personas.

23 January 2007

Interview with Adam Greenfield on the user experience of ubiquitous computing

Adam Greenfield
Régine Debatty (of we-make-money-not-art) and Nicolas Nova (co-organiser of the upcoming LIFT conference) have together interviewed Adam Greenfield in which he focuses on the user experience of ubiquitous computing.

Greenfield is the principal of design consultancy Studies and Observations, and author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. According to Wikipedia, Greenfield is generally considered to be a thought leader in the information architecture and user experience professions.

Here is Régine Debatty’s introduction:

“His latest book, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing tells about what we can read in all the tech mags: computing without computers, everywhere, all the time and whithout us noticing it. For the first time however, someone who has observed the “ubicomp’d” life on several continents has put into a social, spatial, design and human context the consequences of this recent technology. I should also add that the book translates the working, meanings and implications of ubicomp into a very accessible language.

I still had a series of questions for Adam though. To be sure that i wouldn’t leave too many stones unturned, i asked Nicolas Nova to come to my rescue. Well… that’s the best excuse i could find to convince the guy who writes the only blog i would bring to a desert island to come and use wmmna space. Nicolas and i have both published the interview yet you’ll have to read the both of them to get the full picture: i posted some of his questions but not all of them and god knows what he’s done with mine ;-)”

I personally liked reading his answer to why designers should be involved with ubiquitous computing:

“If ubiquitous systems, products, and services are developed in the absence of careful, sensitive interaction design they fail. And they fail in a way that poses particular challenges and risks to the user’s sense of calm and equanimity, because by and large the interaction landscape of everyday life is very robust, very well-assimilated. We simply don’t expect the constituents of everyday experience to crash, lock up, or perform perversely or incoherently the way digital information technologies manifestly do. [...]

Someone with a commitment to the human being at the focus of these technologies, who’s been trained to weigh that person’s prerogatives heavily in the design of transactions, who has the experience to recognize and account for not merely this single system but the entire context in which it’s operating – that’s the person you want to include on your team if you expect your intervention to succeed. I can’t imagine why anybody serious about satisfying their users and customers would want it any other way.”

- Read interview on Régine’s site
Read interview section on Nicolas’ site

23 January 2007

Futurist John Seely Brown: To fix education, think Web 2.0

John Seely Brown
Universities and employers concerned with the state of engineering education should steal a page from popular Internet culture, visionary John Seely Brown said at a conference Friday, writes Martin LaMonica on CNET News.com.

A consultant and former chief scientist at Palo Alto Research Center, Seely Brown spoke at a conference on technology and education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The conference was organized to mark the end next year of an eight-year partnership between Microsoft and MIT [article] to explore the use of technology in learning.

Seely Brown argued that education is going through a large-scale transformation toward a more participatory form of learning.

Rather than treat pedagogy as the transfer of knowledge from teachers who are experts to students who are receptacles, educators should consider more hands-on and informal types of learning. These methods are closer to an apprenticeship, a farther-reaching, more multilayered approach than traditional formal education, he said.

In particular, he praised situations where students who are passionate about specific topics study in groups and participate in online communities.

“We are learning in and through our interactions with others while doing real things,” Seely Brown said. “I’m not saying that knowledge is socially constructed, but our understanding of that knowledge is socially constructed.” [...]

The evolution of the Internet can facilitate this approach, he said. Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis and blogs, make information sharing and content creation easier. [...]

The Internet is also helping drive a transformation from a mass media model–where information is delivered from experts to consumers–to a situation that allows people to create content online, often by using existing content, he said.

Read full story

23 January 2007

Ahtisaari talk on the future of mobility

Marko Ahtisaari
Marko Ahtisaari (see these posts) is the former director of design strategy at Nokia and now director of brand and design at the advertising-supported phone company Blyk.

In this ten minute talk at Le Web 3, which you can see on video, Ahtisaari first discusses the history and the scale of the development of mobile devices over the last ten, fifteen years, with a particular focus on the changing social role of the phone.

He then points out “a few challenges that are opportunities for finding new growth,” where again he focus on the social role. They are in short “reach, sometimes off, hackability, social primitives and freedom.”

To understand more of what this mean, I suggest you watch his talk, although I can point out a few lines: “We are not doing a good job of designing the experienced of tuning out of communication. [...] We can do better at designing the tuning out experience, so that we can be present physically and then again in the flow of communication.”

(All other conference presentations can also be viewed on vpod.tv.)

22 January 2007

Students’ new best friend: ‘MoSoSo’ [Christian Science Monitor]

MoSoSo
“Mobile Social Networking Software – the next wave of virtual community – is already appearing on cellphones, beginning with college campuses,” writes Gloria Goodale, staff writer of the Christian Science Monitor.

“Walk on a college campus these days and you’ll see cellphones everywhere, but only some being used for conversations. Baruch College sophomore Yelena Slatkina in New York City recently rustled up an emergency sub at work by typing a plea to her entire work group on her cellphone. University of South Florida sophomore Nate Fuller routinely uses his cellphone equipped with Global Positioning Software (GPS) to find recruits for his intramural football team and locate friends in Tampa, Fla. Texas 21-year-old Brittany Bohnet uses photos she and 20 of her networked buddies snap on their phones to locate one another, using visual landmarks they spot in the pictures they send.

These under-25s (the target market for early adoption of hot new gadgets) are using what many observers call the next big consumer technology shift: Mobile Social Networking Software, or Mososo. The sophisticated reach of cyber-social networks such as MySpace or Facebook, combined with the military precision of GPS, is putting enough power in these students’ pockets to run a small country.

But while many young users are enthralled with the extraordinary conveniences of what amounts to a personal-life remote control, others who have been tracking technology for more than a few semesters say that as the benefits of the multipurpose mobile phone expand, so do its risks. Not only do they point to possible security issues with GPS running on a cellphone, but cultural observers worry about the growing preference of young users to stay plugged into a virtual network, often oblivious to the real world around them.”

The long article also deals with security concerns and security benefits, and how the combination of mobile social networks with GPS has the potential to reinvigorate moribund civic areas, as demonstrated in Newark, NJ. On campuses MoSoSo has the additional benefit to get students out of their rooms where they were stuck using the Internet on their computers, back out onto the campus to connect with other students.

Read full story

22 January 2007

Developing user-centered tools for strategic business planning

Wells Fargo
User experience management consultant Richard Anderson provides some good examples of how user experience professionals are moving their work and impact “upstream” to play an earlier and more strategic role in their workplaces’ business.

“I’ve addressed aspects of this in previous blog entries, as have other bloggers. Among the others are Jess McMullin, whose design maturity continuum describes design activity as evolving in companies from the role of styling to making things work better, to problem solving, and ultimately to problem framing to shape strategy. Another is Luke Wroblewski, who recommends that designers use their design skills “for business visualization“. [...]

One business that has gone and is going even further with such work is Wells Fargo, as partly described by Robin Beers and Pamela Whitney in a September 2006 EPIC conference paper entitled, “From Ethnographic Insight to User-centered Design Tools.” At Wells Fargo, ethnographic and related research findings are summarized in experience models, mental models, and user task models, with the latter representing the details and complexities of everyday financial life. User profiles, also developed from research findings, are then connected to the task model via “scenario starter” worksheets that enable all sorts of Wells Fargo personnel, including business strategists, to walk through the experience of different users in different situations in order to develop an extensive understanding of where, when, how, and why the user experience breaks down.

By extending the task model with metrics derived from surveys and other sources, Wells Fargo has developed an impressive user-centered strategic toolkit that guides project identification, project prioritization, business case definition, and much more.”

Read full story

22 January 2007

How to create a great use experience, as opposed to a great user experience?

Jon Udell
User experience is an overloaded term,” says Microsoft ‘Evangelist’ Jon Udell (who is the successor to Robert Scoble).

“I propose that we unpack it into (at least) two separate concepts. One is the basis of the “aha” moment. For now I’ll call it the use experience. [...]

I’ll reserve the term user experience for something else: the tax we pay in order to enjoy the use experience. This tax is not the basis of an “aha” moment. It’s expressed in terms of the devices, cables, batteries, applications, menus, dialog boxes, and — last but not least — the concepts we must grapple with in order to reliably reproduce the use experience. A great user experience makes all this crap relatively less awkward, confusing, and annoying. A lousy user experience makes it relatively more so. But the point is that it’s all crap! It’s the tax we pay to enjoy the use experience, and we want to pay as little of it as we can get away with.

How do you engineer a great use experience, as opposed to a great user experience? Part of the answer is deep personalization.”

Read full post

22 January 2007

Ethnography.com relaunched

Ethnography.com
Anthropologist Mark Dawson (no bio) has relaunched his ethnography.com blog as a resource to the broader community.

Besides the somewhat long winding blog itself, the site now also contains:

  • A community calendar that anyone is welcome to add an event to;
  • A wiki to add personal biographies, photographs, information about companies or business, topics of research and methods, or just about anything;
  • An anthropology and ethnography news page, that consists of dynamic 24/7 feeds from MSN and Google news;
  • User forums and discussion groups, to put job postings, favorite books, discussions about research methods, or even resumes; and
  • Other resources with a set of links
21 January 2007

‘T-shaped’ thought key to innovation [The Korea Times]

LG Economic Research Institute
Why have Korean companies failed to create such iconic devices as Apple Computer’s iPod or Motorola’s RAZR despite their technological prowess, asks staff reporter Kim Tae-gyu in The Korea Times.

“The answer by the LG Economic Research Institute to this crucial question is that Korean companies lack “T-shaped people,” or those who have skills and knowledge that are both deep and broad.

The LG institute yesterday made the point while stressing that one of the most important tasks for domestic companies to create mega hit products like iPod or RAZR.

“To innovate … a product and business opportunity, we have to secure insights into both by having an observant and empathetic view of the world,” said Lee Jeong-bae, a senior consultant at the institute.

“Only T-shaped people, who have well rounded personalities and broad interests, can obtain such viewpoints. Sophisticated engineers who do not understand the market and customers will never produce products, which have a shot at becoming a grand slam,” he said.

Read full story

21 January 2007

Goodbye Gutenberg: a Harvard special on newspaper and journalism in the digital age

Goodbye Gutenberg
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University has published Goodbye Gutenberg, an issue of Nieman Reports devoted to newspapers and journalism in the digital age.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sensing the Change

Pushing Forward

Building Community

Finding Our Footing

Expanding Our Reach

Converging on the Web

Exploring New Connections

Taking Words

(via Jack Shofield on Guardian Unlimited’s Technology Blog)

21 January 2007

IBM launches MySpace-like tools for companies [International Herald Tribune]

IBM
“IBM is planning to introduce a set of social software tools Monday that will bring the kind of blogging, idea-sharing and war-story-swapping typically associated with sites like MySpace to the corporate world,” writes Laurie J. Flynn in the International Herald Tribune.

“Called Lotus Connections, the new software, which should be available to companies this year, will let employees set up virtual worlds in which they can meet like-minded colleagues within the company and exchange ideas with them, all in the name of improving productivity.”

“The idea, said the IBM vice president for social software, Jeff Schick, is to ‘unlock the latent expertise in an organization’.” [...]

“Lotus Connections has five components — activities, communities, dogear, profiles and blogs — aimed at helping experts within a company connect and build new relationships based on their individual needs.

The profiles component, for example, lets users search for people by name, expertise or keyword. The program then not only provides contact information and reporting structure details, but also lists blogs, communities, activities and bookmarks associated with the person.

Inside IBM, employees have been using a prototype of the profiles feature for the past few years, and 450,000 profiles of IBM employees are stored there.

IBM Research, the company’s laboratory arm, has long had an interest in social networking, with several projects under way within Second Life, for example, the virtual world that allows people to communicate in a three-dimensional universe.”

- Read full story
Somewhat longer article in Reuters

UPDATE:
IBM itself seems to have already changed the name of this new tool. The press release calls it Lotus Quickr rather than Lotus Connections.

21 January 2007

The user experience practitioner as change agent [UX Matters]

Paul J. Sherman
Paul J. Sherman, director of user-centered design at Sage Software in Atlanta, Georgia, has written a long and thoughtful feature story for UX matters on how to deal with organisations that aren’t very experienced in user-centred design (UCD) or usability engineering, and how to circumvent the “barriers to integrating UCD techniques earlier in the product development lifecycle”, which are “cultural in nature”.

According to Sherman “it suggests that gulfs exist between the cultures of product management and engineering and between both of them and user experience.”

His experience working within various organisational cultures has taught him “that there are two effective ways of bridging this gulf between us and them”: “becoming liaisons between these disciplines—that is, across cultures” and “considering ourselves change agents whose primary approaches are those relating to user experience”. In other words, Sherman is convinced that “UX professionals are really change agents who happen to use a particular set of tools, methods, and techniques”.

“No matter the size of our organizations or the domains we work within, our most valuable contributions are not our design or user research efforts. Rather, our most valuable contributions occur when we function as change agents.” [...]

“Whether you’re an interaction designer, usability practitioner, information architect, or all of the above, your role is to prevent your organization from practicing business as usual. Our UX training and experience have given us the methods we employ to acquire the data, recognize the applicable design principles or patterns, and so on. But the soft skills we use to span the divides between disciplines and ensure that product teams consider users’ needs are part and parcel of the change agent role.” [...]

“This reconceptualization should help us stay focused on the long game—the never-ending effort to maintain and improve our organizations’ focus on the user, as well as to help our neighboring disciplines develop a clear, accurate picture of the users’ goals, needs, motivations, and struggles.”

Paul K. Sherman, who is also the vice-president of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), recently edited the book “Usability Success Stories: How Organizations Improve By Making Easier-To-Use Software and Websites“.

Read full post

21 January 2007

Interaction Design Institute for rent

Interaction Ivrea
For rent in Ivrea, Italy: former seat of internationally renowned Interaction Design Institute, fully equipped with top-of-the-line conference room, gallery, offices, student spaces, seminar rooms, catering kitchen and spacious terraces. Inquire by calling the number on the photo (click to enlarge / add Italian country code, 39, if needed).

Some pictures are better than a thousand words: “Affittasi” is Italian for “For Rent”. Interaction Design Institute Ivrea is gone, and this photo illustrates it better than anything that has been written so far.

Many of the alumni and former staff have meanwhile joined prestigious companies (IDEO, Microsoft and Hitachi, to name just a few), or started their own companies (e.g. my very own Experientia), so it is of some comfort to know that the Institute’s impact will remain to be felt for a long while still.

19 January 2007

We need macrodesigners, says Uday Dandavate

Uday Dandavate
Uday Dandavate, principal of the participatory design agency Sonic Rim, and faculty member of the Danish 180º Academy, just wrote a thought-provoking post on the Anthrodesign Yahoo! Group arguing that it is important for designers to incorporate MacroDesign concepts and top-down thinking in their approach.

Many organisations, he says, would benefit from professionals specialising in using design and innovation as a macro level thinking process.

To open up the discussion on his ideas, I re-publish his post (which is already starting a debate) here:

If I follow the evolution of the field of design, I do believe that we have borrowed concepts and inspiration from a variety of fields including architecture, psychology, sociology and anthropology. In continuation of my earlier post on scaling design, I have been wandering around (intellectually) to search for new inspiration and concepts that would help me develop my ideas about taking design at a more strategic and mass scale. I think I have found some direction and want to share it with you, so that together, we can help define new directions, ideas, tools and language for what I now propose to call “MacroDesign”.

I am now going to borrow concepts from the field of economics. As you all know, the field of economics is broken down into two distinct areas of study: microeconomics and macroeconomics. The branch of economics that analyzes the market behavior of individual consumers and firms in an attempt to understand the decision-making process of firms and households is termed as Microeconomics. It is concerned with the interaction between individual buyers and sellers and the factors that influence the choices made by buyers and sellers. In particular, microeconomics focuses on patterns of supply and demand and the determination of price and output in individual markets (e.g. coffee industry). I propose that what we as designers have been engaged in for a long time is Microdesign. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, looks at the big picture (hence “macro”). It focuses on the national economy as a whole and provides a basic knowledge of how things work in the business world. For example, people who study this branch of economics would be able to interpret the latest Gross Domestic Product figures or explain why a 6% rate of unemployment is not necessarily a bad thing. Thus, for an overall perspective of how the entire economy works, you need to have an understanding of economics at both the micro and macro levels. “macroeconomics,” and saw it was a matter of scope and scale. Macroeconomics examines whole economic systems and how different sectors interact. This perspective considers issues of income, output and growth, inflation, and unemployment. National economic policies and complexities of industrial production come into play. (Investopedia 2006)

The bottom line is that microeconomics takes a bottoms-up approach to analyzing the economy while macroeconomics takes a top-down approach. Regardless, both micro- and macroeconomics provide fundamental tools for any finance professional and should be studied together in order to fully understand how companies operate and earn revenues and thus, how an entire economy is managed and sustained. (Investopedia 2006)

There is some learning for us and a great opportunity to take Design to a strategic level, if we study the evolution of these two types of economics. Design Education, in my view should incorporate MacroDesign concepts, especially at graduate level. I do believe that organizations that operate at higher levels such as governments (local and national), International development agencies (such as UNDP, WHO, UNESCO), international consortiums of global corporations and many such macro level organizations would benefit from professionals specializing in using design and innovation as a macro level thinking process. I am beginning to think that the body of knowledge within the design field is limited by our focus on bottoms up approach (which is critical), and has not been balanced by people dedicated to top-down thinking as well. It is time design students have the opportunity to pursue careers in MacroDesign and become evangelists for MicroDesigners.

19 January 2007

Experience designers work in the retail industry, says Fast Company

American Girl
Experience designers are top of the list in Fast Company’s overview of the “10 Hot Jobs for 2007″. We are also positioned as people who work in the retail industry.

The list, which has been compiled with trend forecasters, “takes a look at 10 of the most sought-after positions in some of the fastest growing U.S. industries”.

Experience designer: These talented individuals work in the retail industry, creating the essence and aura of a store. Experience designers go beyond the look of a place, creating a unique experience in which shoppers can immerse themselves. From cellular boutiques to the American Girl doll store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, the shops created by an experience designer are often considered works of art; mini universes unto themselves. Experience designers are involved in every aspect of creation — from choosing accent colors on walls to slanting the windows in the right direction. The next time you go into a boutique and you feel as if you’ve just had an “experience” — you have, and someone went to a lot of trouble to make you feel at home.”

For further reading on our profession, consult this article.

Read full story

19 January 2007

Nokia Research on Uganda’s Village Phone initiative

Nokia Village Phone research in Uganda
Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan of Nokia Research are on a roll.

Following a July 2006 field study in Uganda, and previous presentations on shared phone practices and street charging services, they now explored the Village Phone initiative between the Grameen Foundation, Nokia and local micro-finance organisations in Uganda, that is available as a downloadable photo essay.

The Village Phone extends regular base station cellular coverage from around 15 kilometers to around 30 kilometers through the use of a village phone kit – an antenna and ten meter cable (shown above) and a coupler (shown below) connected to a regular Nokia 1100 mobile phone plus of course, a micro-finance loan. The net result? In a number of cases it provides the first convenient, reliable and affordable connectivity to the outside world for many rural communities as well as providing a stable income for the local entrepreneur that takes out the loan.

To what extent do villagers need access to mobile phone? Who is in more need of personal, convenient synchronous and asynchronous communication – someone in London who works 9 to 5, 5 days a week or someone in rural Uganda working 5 to 9, 7 days a week? IMHO the impact on quality of life is far greater in the rural context and the some of the innovations this enables are touched on in this longish essay on Shared Phone Use. One example of the benefits of connectivity? Sente – the transfer of money via mobile phone that essentially also extends regular banking services such as the remittance of cash to these communities.

- Read abstract
Download presentation (Powerpoint or PDF – 2 mb)

19 January 2007

Nokia presents video scenarios of the future

Nokia video scenarios
Nokia has released a number of short videos on its own website and on YouTube that explore how mobile phone design may change in the next three or four years.

There is a video for each of the four categories, or put more simply different lifestyles, that Nokia focuses on.

The videos are not showing prototypes of actual phones or devices that Nokia is currently working on or plans to launch. They are exploring futuristic concepts and potential new ideas that may or may not be produced in years to come. They are designed to inspire and stimulate discussion around how the mobile device of the future might look and function in our lives.

It looks like these are the same videos that Alistair Curtis, Nokia’s head of design, presented at the end of November at the Nokia World conference in Amsterdam.

Nokia – Achieve: Achieving Together | (on YouTube) (1:50)
Members of an architectural firm work feverishly together to win a competitive new project. Virtual teamwork is made effortless through smart wireless conferencing and remote presentations. Bluetooth audio ensures strong and clear communication. When mobile technology ascends to this level, we will achieve great things together.

Nokia – Connect: Connecting Simply | (on YouTube) (1:41)
We visit a grandmother who is virtually surrounded by her family as she prepares the evening meal. Simple interfaces scale up to wall mounted touch screens for ease of use. A spoken phrase is quickly translated into a large, readable text message to send. To connect simply is to honor what we value most as humans: staying close to those that matter.

Nokia – Live: Inspiring Senses | (on YouTube) (1:45)
What do our devices say about us? We seek new forms of personalization which are fluid and spontaneous, such as using captured images to transform our devices instantly. We exchange electronic business cards with the ease of passing a note. Reinventing personalization will inspire new ways to tell the stories which are uniquely our own.

Nokia – Explore: Sharing Discoveries | (on YouTube) (1:36)
People connect through their passions. An obsession with astronomy has led one man to scale a tall building, rapidly capturing and sorting images along the way. He is alone – and not alone. He is sharing his discoveries with a vast community of kindred observers from all over the world. Explore extends the reach of minds inclined to wander.

(via ExperienceCurve)

18 January 2007

Governments should focus on connectivity, content and copyright to support user-generated content

Prof. Michael Geist
Canadian internet law professor Michael Geist describes in a BBC guest column how governments can help their citizens make the most of the web.

“Time Magazine’s choice late last month of “You” (by which it meant all the users generating content on the web) as the person of the year was mocked by critics as a poor choice that by-passed several notable political leaders.

Yet the choice may ultimately be viewed as the tipping point when the remarkable outbreak of internet participation that encompasses millions of bloggers, music remixers, amateur video creators, citizen journalists, wikipedians and Flickr photographers broke into the mainstream.

The choice may also cause government leaders and policy makers to contemplate how they fit into the world of a participatory internet and user-generated content. [...]

In the mid-1990s, the emergence of the internet and e-commerce elicited an engaged approach from many governments, who sought to balance the need for a private sector-led, self-regulatory model with e-commerce and privacy legislation that built consumer and business confidence in the new medium.

A decade later, the role of government will be to support the enormous economic and cultural potential of user-generated content, while avoiding steps that might impede its growth. It can do so by focusing on the three “C’s” – connectivity, [free access to] content, and copyright [relaxation].”

Read full story