putting people first
by experientia
Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
24 August 2008
Digital designers rediscover their hands

The New York Times reports on how software designers get hands-on with real world objects to learn to think more creatively and intuitively, featuring examples from Adobe and Mike Kuniavsky’s Sketching in Hardware gatherings. Using computers to model the physical world has become increasingly common; products as diverse as cars and planes, pharmaceuticals and cellphones […]

putting people first
by experientia

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

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, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

24 August 2008
Digital designers rediscover their hands

The New York Times reports on how software designers get hands-on with real world objects to learn to think more creatively and intuitively, featuring examples from Adobe and Mike Kuniavsky’s Sketching in Hardware gatherings. Using computers to model the physical world has become increasingly common; products as diverse as cars and planes, pharmaceuticals and cellphones […]

24 August 2008
How cell phones hurt communities

Benjamin Dangl of AlterNet reflects on how cell phone use has crept into every aspect of daily life, ironically weakening the basic human communication that is the fabric of any community. As Slate commented in his Adbusters essay, “It seems the more ‘connected’ we are, the more detached we become.” Back on the hiking trail […]

24 August 2008
Data as design material

Jonathan Follett writes on how as UX designers or researchers — we’ll be on the forefront of the movement to handle the coming flood of data — and make it not only available, but easy for people to use and understand. One of our jobs as UX professionals is to provide context for all this […]

23 August 2008
Italian virtual cemetery judged too cold

More Italian news on how communications technologies are penetrating people’s daily lives, and sometimes create frictions: The Italian newspaper La Stampa reports on plans for a virtual cemetery in Turin to commemorate those cremated, apparently developed without public consultation (my condensed translation): The project is not yet implemented, but is already subject of debate. The […]

23 August 2008
Italian drug dealers as early adapters of innovative communications technology

It has been pointed out before [The Economist – San Francisco Chronicle] that immigrant workers are often the most advanced users of communications technology. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica today provided an unusual example of this phenomenon: drug dealers (which in Italy tend to be of immigrant origin). Here is my condensed translation: Drugs now […]

13 August 2008
Dell’s Digital Nomads

Coinciding with the introduction of Dell’s new laptops, the company launched a new community site called Digital Nomads (with not much Dell branding to be seen). According to a Dell press release, the site “is designed for individuals who are not defined by the four walls in their office or home, but by a desire […]

13 August 2008
Alan Cooper on the wisdom of experience

Alan Cooper was asked by the leadership of the Agile 2008 Conference to give the closing keynote address at their annual conference in Toronto. Since the audience at Agile08 consisted of about 1500 programmers, engineers, product managers, and others involved in the creation and deployment of software primarily using Agile methods, Cooper saw it as […]

13 August 2008
AP’s ethnography of news consumption

A few months ago I wrote on an ethnographic research project undertaken by AP (Associated Press) and how it is influencing their reporting style. Now Ethan Zuckerman, a researcher on the impact of information technology in developing nations, has written a long reflection on the topic for his blog My Heart’s in Accra, republished by […]

13 August 2008
Putting our hot heads together

Carolyn Wood contemplates in another article on A List Apart how we can transform discussion sections on major sites and online magazines from shooting ranges into arenas of collaboration. “The real challenge is to move beyond basics to something much more fruitful, communal and, at times, visionary. The best brainstorms require a sense of being […]

13 August 2008
Deafness and the user experience

Because of limited awareness around Deafness and accessibility in the web community, it seems plausible to many of us that good captioning will fix it all. Lisa Herrod argues on A List Apart that it won’t. “How many times have you been asked this question: if you had to choose, which would you prefer to […]

11 August 2008
Africans get upwardly mobile in cell phone boom

CNN reports on the cell phone boom in Africa: “In less than a decade, cellphones, once the preserve of the very rich, are now ubiquitous in Africa and parts of Asia. A device that’s sometimes used as a fashion accessory in the West has become a lifeline for millions of people in the developing world.” […]

10 August 2008
The importance of the user experience in sustainable product design

A 25-year veteran of the design and technology industries, Terry Swack hopped on the Internet bus a little earlier that most of us. As founder, in 1994, of web strategy firm TSDesign, and later Green Building Blocks and BlueEgg, she has witnessed firsthand consumers’ enthusiasm for (and resistance to) adopting new green products and technologies. […]

10 August 2008
Goodbye, passwords. You aren’t a good defense.

Randal Stross of the New York Times explains why many experts propose dropping website passwords entirely for a security system based on cryptography. The best password is a long, nonsensical string of letters and numbers and punctuation marks, a combination never put together before. Some admirable people actually do memorize random strings of characters for […]

9 August 2008
Experience design is the active pursuit of customer-inspired products/services

A view on experience design by Idris Mootee, a business and innovation strategist: The word “Experience Design” is often taken over by advertising and CRM people as design of touch points. They see experience design focus is around moments of engagement between people and brands, and the memories these moments create. They seem to use […]

9 August 2008
Social networking’s next frontier: the mobile phone

Because today’s social networking rarely function or perform well on a mobile device, Oz Communications CEO Jim Knapik argues that carriers must find a simple way to bring the best social networking communities to the mobile masses. A complete mobile social networking experience is composed of three specific elements: Sharing and storing personal information and […]

9 August 2008
HP Labs ponders grabbing attention in the age of social computing

According to the Register, HP Labs is hard at work figuring how to harvest the collective intelligence of groups arising from “web 2.0″ and turn it into a profit. In a short article, the Register reports on an update that Bernardo Huberman, a senior fellow and director of the Social Computing Lab at HP Labs, […]

9 August 2008
Patricia Mechael: Millennium Villages, women and mobile health

As part of its coverage on the Bellagio conference on mobile health, MobileActive interviewed Patricia Mechael who is coordinating the mobile strategy for the Millennium Village Project. She talks about mobile adoption, user-centric design, women and mobiles, how Millennium Villages is using mobiles to improve health outcomes, and what she sees as the next big […]

5 August 2008
A tiny communication problem in Beijing

So what is the weather forecast in Beijing for the next few days? At what time is the opening ceremony going to take place? And what is the competition schedule like when viewing the Olympics from Europe? Don’t expect to find answers to these “strange” questions on the Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic […]

5 August 2008
A choice for language as a key to understanding cultural context

Today we made a little survey of the languages spoken at our office and we came to a quite remarkable seventeen: Arabic, Armenian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kashmiri, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. This is not just a trivial statistic about our office. It is a choice. When we […]

5 August 2008
User centric design session at b.TWEEN conference

The various sessions of the June 2008 b.TWEEN conference, “a unique cross media gathering where interactive ideas are seeded, shared and sold”, are now online. One of them dealt with user centric design: Products designed without clear insight into end-user behaviour often end in failure. The marketplace has changed. Buyers will no longer be told […]

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