putting people first
by experientia
Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
23 February 2009
Why enterprise software is so shockingly bad

Programmer Michael Nygard thinks that the quality about some software that inspires love in their users, is totally devoid in enterprise software. “The best you can ever say about enterprise software is when it doesn’t get in the way of the business. At it’s worst, enterprise software creates more work than it automates.” He argues […]

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 […]

23 February 2009
Why enterprise software is so shockingly bad

Programmer Michael Nygard thinks that the quality about some software that inspires love in their users, is totally devoid in enterprise software. “The best you can ever say about enterprise software is when it doesn’t get in the way of the business. At it’s worst, enterprise software creates more work than it automates.” He argues […]

23 February 2009
Ethnographic research: a key to strategy

Ken Anderson, a senior researcher and anthropologist at Intel, wrote a short article for the Harvard Business Review on the importance of corporate ethnography: “Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself. The ethnographic work at my company, Intel, and other firms […]

23 February 2009
Open source and mobile banking

After coming home from the Mobile World Congress, Mark Pickens, a microfinance analyst with CGAP’s Technology Program, asks why, when he can load any software he want onto his PC, he can’t do the same with his phone. Better yet, why can’t poor people? “I’d love to see a boom of cheap m-banking software, designed […]

23 February 2009
The three layers of handhelds user experience

Christian Lindholm, a partner and director at Fjord, argues that there are three layers in handhelds user experience: “The highest level I call Bling (this is because, it caters to the visual senses) it contains the visuals, colours, content density and partly motion. The next level below it is Control (This caters to the mind […]

22 February 2009
Nokia Siemens Network going for “putting people first”

The Nokia Siemens Network website and its forum site “Unite” contain a wealth of valuable articles and background papers: A huge amount of articles and whitepapers on basic internet access for the ‘next billion’ customers (see also here). An entire section on enriching the customer experience (see also here), including a whitepaper on end-user insights. […]

22 February 2009
The Internet of Things in 2020

In February 2008, the European Commission and an European industry working group (EPoSS) held a workshop on the Internet of Things, involving more than 80 experts from universities, research centres and private companies such as France Telecom, Hitachi, Lufthansa, Philips Research, and Telenor. A report, published in September 2008, draws the conclusions of the workshop […]

20 February 2009
How to keep innovating

Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton outlines some counter-propositions to the idea of achieving mastery and the dogged pursuit of excellence: Always be bad at something that you are passionate about. You can be everything in your life—just not all at once. When you get good at one skill, drop another in which you have […]

20 February 2009
Book: Innovating for and by users

Innovating for and by users Edited by Jo Pierson, Enid Mante-Meijer, Eugène Loos and Bartolomeo Sapio A publication of COST – European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research Abstract What is the role of people in the development of digital media? What are the enablers and constraints for the appropriation and diffusion […]

20 February 2009
Does UX still matter in tough economic times

“Does UX still matter in tough economic times,” asks Temple University librarian Steven Bell on the blog “Designing Better Libraries”. “Promoting the user experience is still a good strategy – even in recessionary times. And for libraries that will be forced to trim book collections, eliminate an expensive database or two, possibly reduce staff or […]

18 February 2009
In defense of readers

Mandy Brown, creative director at W. W. Norton & Company, wrote a nice story on A List Apart about understanding the needs of readers in web design. Despite the ubiquity of reading on the web, readers remain a neglected audience. Much of our talk about web design revolves around a sense of movement: users are […]

18 February 2009
Whitepaper: Public Media 2.0

The Center for Social Media of the American University in Washington has published a new whitepaper entitled: “Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics“. This white paper lays out an expanded vision for “public media 2.0” that places engaged publics at its core, showcasing innovative experiments from its “first two minutes,” and revealing related trends, stakeholders, […]

17 February 2009
From the WIMP to the map interface

“Cellphones have changed how we communicate with others, and now they are changing how we think about information,” argues John Markoff of the New York Times. “With the dominance of the cellphone, a new metaphor is emerging for how we organize, find and use information. New in one sense, that is. It is also as […]

17 February 2009
Rethinking banking for the twenty-first century

MIT Media Lab has set up a Center for Future Banking. I guess they have some work to do. “Researchers at the Center for Future Banking, in collaboration with Bank of America, will explore how emerging technologies and insights into human behavior can transform the customers’ experience and elevate the role of the bank in […]

16 February 2009
Jeffrey Sachs on the transformational power of mobile devices in Africa

Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, was interviewed on allAfrica on how mobile devices could potentially revolutionize how development assistance works. “It doesn’t take more than a few phones to make a transformative difference in an area. […]

16 February 2009
Yochai Benkler on ‘social production’

Yochai Benkler, who is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, was interviewed on Ideas Project, the Nokia site that explores “where technology and communications may be taking us”. Yochai Benchler has written for a long time about the internet and the […]

15 February 2009
Forthcoming Rosenfeld Media books

Rosenfeld Media, which is run by Lou Rosenfeld, publishes short, practical, and useful books and webinars on user experience design. Here are their forthcoming titles: Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable by Nathan Shedroff Design makes a tremendous impact on the produced world in terms of usability, resources, understanding, and […]

13 February 2009
Playful augmented objects

Touch is a research project, led by Timo Arnall, that investigates Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology that enables connections between mobile phones and physical things. The project aims to develop applications and services that enable people to interact with everyday objects and situations through their mobile devices. The project, which brings together an inter-disciplinary […]

13 February 2009
Kazys Varnelis’ new book on network culture

Kazys Varnelis [CV | blog], the author of Networked Publics and the Director of the Network Architecture Lab at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, is writing a new book and posting drafts online. “My current research project—already well underway—is a book that sets out to synthesize a historical understanding of […]

13 February 2009
Dubberly Design articles

Hugh Dubberly is a forum editor at Interactions Magazine, which means that he writes, co-writes or edits articles for the magazine. The website of his company, Dubberly Design Office, contains all of these excellently written and very thoughtful articles. Here is a short and personal selection: What is interaction? Are there different types? Written for […]

13 February 2009
Interview with Jeff Howard of Design for Service

Jeff Howard writes the blog Design for Service and is also the curator of the most comprehensive and well organised service design reference library on the internet. Over the past few days he has been discussing service designing, service design education and service design blogging with Nick Marsh: “I try to stay away from the […]

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