counter

Putting People First

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

Children


Disabled


Elderly


Gender


Teens


Advertising


Branding


Business


Innovation


Marketing


Mechatronics


Technology


Architecture


Art


Creativity


Culture


Identity


Mobility


Museum


Co-creation


Design


Experience design


Interaction design


Presence


Service design


Ubiquitous computing


Africa


Americas


Asia


Australia


Europe


Italy


Turin


Blogging


Book


Conference


Media


Mobile phone


Play


Virtual world


Ethnography


Foresight


Prototype


Scenarios


Usability


User experience


User research


Education


Financial services


Healthcare


Public services


Research


Tourism


Urban development


Communications


Digital divide


Emerging markets


Participation


Social change


Sustainability


February 2009
23 February 2009

Why enterprise software is so shockingly bad

Michael Nygard
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 that argues that there are exactly four reasons that internal corporate systems are so unloved and unlovable, and I write them down here with the more catchy rewording of Matt Asay on CNet News:

  1. “They serve their corporate overlords, not their users.” This is one of the problems I have with IBM software: it seems to be written for the CIO, not the people that actually work at the CIO’s company. In other words, powerful central administration with end-user ease of use is forgotten. (Not that IBM is alone in this–it’s just that I’m having flashbacks right now to when I was forced to use Lotus Notes.)
     
  2. “They only do gray-suited, stolidly conservative things.” Simply put, enterprises too often get stuck in the mind-set that they employ a bunch of drones whose work consists of filling out expense reports. The real work is the creative interaction between employees, but it’s the consumer Internet that has been tackling this problem, even though enterprise IT could most benefit from it.
     
  3. “They have captive audiences.” Nygard doesn’t offer much explanation here, but I take it to mean that enterprise software developers can get away with foisting lame software on the world because the competitive bar is so low. “Our piece-of-junk ERP system is not quite as junky as our competition’s” seems to be the winning argument.
     
  4. “They lack ‘give-a-shitness’ .” Nygard identifies this as the most important characteristic: the love a developer has for her software and its application, and thus the time she spends making it sing. This hearkens back to the previous principles, however, in that it captures the apathy enterprise software developers may have for their products because they’re writing for CIOs and cash, not users and public plaudits.

Read full story

(via CNet News)

23 February 2009

Ethnographic research: a key to strategy

Ken_anderson
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 now informs functions such as strategy and long-range planning. […]

By understanding how people live, researchers discover otherwise elusive trends that inform the company’s future strategies. With smartphones, for example, we can contrast the technology perspectives of teenagers, who have used cell phones since they were in elementary school, with those of older generations, who came to them only after becoming proficient with PCs. Our job as anthropologists is to understand the perspective of one tribe, consumers, and communicate it to another, the people at Intel.”

Read full story

23 February 2009

Open source and mobile banking

cgap
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 by people who know how poor people want to use their phones. Although lower-income, non-Western users make up 80% of the world’s new mobile consumers, the guys in Finland, Sweden and South Korea still decide how people’s phones look and feel. But for how long? I’m interested, because I expect usability to be one key in how fast poor people are willing to adopt mobile-based financial services (which CGAP believes can blow open the frontier for access to finance for the poor).”

Read full story

23 February 2009

The three layers of handhelds user experience

Christian Lindholm
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 or rationale) This is where the efficiency is created, where one gets stuff done, one navigates into applications, within applications and between applications. It is where services should be integrated. It is much more than functionality, more than an application. The lowest level of a user experience is the Utility level. In this level one experiences such thing as application installation, network control, power management. It is where latency is managed. This level of user experience is almost totally provided by engineering, except when operating at world class level, when UE designers and Engineers co-operate deeply.”

Read full story

22 February 2009

Nokia Siemens Network going for “putting people first”

Unite
The Nokia Siemens Network website and its forum site “Unite” contain a wealth of valuable articles and background papers:

22 February 2009

The Internet of Things in 2020

IOT 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 and incorporates the views and opinions of many experts who were consulted over the six months that followed the workshop.

I was only made aware of the report last week when one of the editors – Alessandro Bassi of Hitachi Europe – presented its insights during a European Commission Info Day on Internet of Things research that I attended [and that Experientia is keen on participating in]. Now having read it, I can highly recommend this short, well-written document as quite a good introduction to the current state of affairs (even though it is meanwhile five months old).

Starting off with an overview of the technological issues themselves, the report immediately points out the barriers (absence of governance, privacy and security) before even highlighting its possible applications. The final chapters are again devoted to societal issues, with an emphasis on policy, people and environmental aspects.

Executive summary (excerpt)

There will be no limit to the actions and operations these smart “things” will be able to perform: for instance, devices will be able to direct their transport, adapt to their respective environments, self-configure, self-maintain, self-repair, and eventually even play an active role in their own disposal.

To reach such a level of ambient intelligence, however, major technological innovations and developments will need to take place. Governance, standardisation and interoperability are absolute necessities on the path towards the vision of things able to communicate with each other. In this respect, new power efficient, security centred and fully global communication protocols and sustainable standards must be developed, allowing vast amount of information to be shared amongst things and people. The ability of the smart devices to withstand any kind of harsh environment and harvest energy from their surroundings becomes crucial. Furthermore, a major research issue will be to enable device adaptation, autonomous behaviour, intelligence, robustness, and reliability. The general organisational architecture of intelligent “things” will be of fundamental importance: whether it should be centralised or totally distributed.

Another central issue of the Internet of Things will be related to trust, privacy and security, not only for what concerns the technological aspects, but also for the education of the people at large. The growing data demand and higher data transfer rates will require stronger security models employing context related security, which in return will help the citizens to build trust and confidence in these novel technologies rather than increasing fears of total surveillance scenarios. The dissemination of the benefits that these technologies can bring to the general public will also be essential for the success of this technology on the market. The real advantages of the IoT have to be shown convincingly, all citizens’ concerns must be addressed and taken into account when developing innovative solutions and proposals.

Download report

20 February 2009

How to keep innovating

Bill Buxton
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 achieved competence in order to make room for a new passion at which you are—yet again—bad.
  • Life is too short to waste on bad teachers and inefficient learning.
  • Remember: You can learn from anyone.

Read full story

20 February 2009

Book: Innovating for and by users

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 of broadband technologies and services in Europe? In what way do technological innovations become part of everyday life of people? What are the best methods and approaches to identify the creativity and optimal experience of ICT users from a bottom-up perspective? These are just some of the issues being addressed in this book.

The book looks at socio-technological transitions and shifting roles of users in the design and innovation of broadband technologies and digital media. The different chapters aim to shed more light on the ‘black box’ of design and use of ICTs. In this way we hope to contribute to the empowerment of people in their relationship(s) with new media and – through this – to increase the quality of their social life. The title ‘Innovating for and by users’ refers to insights on how to innovate by involving users more intensely in the design of technological innovations, which can lead to innovations that create more benefits for these users.

The authors deliver a timely reality check on the current broadband society in Europe from a users’ perspective, in a general (theoretical) sense as well as in specific domains (digital television, e-publishing, care sector…). This is done in an interdisciplinary way by integrating social science views and engineering approaches. It gives innovative insights based on state-of-the-art academic and industry-driven digital media research in various European countries.

The book will appeal to industry and academic researchers in media and communication studies, social studies of technology, digital media marketing and other domains that investigate the mutual relationship between media technologies and society.

Table of Contents

  1. Everyday life: Domesticating the invisible – Maren Hartmann
  2. Confronting video-on-demand with television viewing practices – Wendy Van den Broeck, Jo Pierson and Bram Lievens
  3. Mobile television: A hype or a real consumer need? – Agnes Urban
  4. Cluster analysis of internet users: A longitudinal examination – Karianne Vermaas and Lidwien van de Wijngaert
  5. Risk takers and choice makers: Their (non) use of new media – Age and risk perception during a choice process – Enid Mante-Meijer and Eugène Loos
  6. The users’ shaping of networked communication – Gustavo Cardoso and Rita Espanha
  7. The challenge of user- & QoE-centric research and product development in today’s ICT environment – Katrien De Moor and Lieven De Marez
  8. Social learning and intermediaries: Charting the mediators between developers and users of new ICT – James Stewart and Sampsa Hyysalo
  9. Archetypical users as starting point for exploring wireless city applications: Linking the domestication and diffusion approach – Jo Pierson, An Jacobs and Lieven De Marez
  10. Social innovation among ICT users: Technology as catalyst in promoting social change – Serge Proulx
  11. From ‘simple customer’ to ‘warm user’: Or, who cares about connections in community in community innovations? – Stefan Verhaegh
  12. Conceptualising online news use – Ike Picone
  13. The evolution of services with ICTs: Remote assistance device for elderly people – Anne-France de Saint Laurent-Kogan
  14. A systemic evaluation of obstacles preventing the wider public benefiting from and participating in the broadband society – Yiannis Laouris, Marios Michaelides and Bartolomeo Sapio
  15. Broadband development: The importance of enablers and constraints for a consistent strategic policy making – Peter Trkman, Borka Jerman Blažič and Tomaž Turk
  16. Users in the information society: Shaping a ‘golden age’? – Mijke Slot and Valerie Frissen

The official PDF will soon be available from the EU Bookshop. Meanwhile you can find more information and leave your contact details here.

20 February 2009

Does UX still matter in tough economic times

Steven Bell
“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 hours or implement other retrenchment measures, enhancing the user experience seems a logical and not too risky or costly way to stay connected to the user community.”

Read full story

18 February 2009

In defense of readers

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 thought to be finding, searching, skimming, looking. We measure how frequently they click but not how long they stay on the page. We concern ourselves with their travel and participation—how they move from page to page, who they talk to when they get there—but forget the needs of those whose purpose is to be still. Readers flourish when they have space—some distance from the hubbub of the crowds—and as web designers, there is yet much we can do to help them carve out that space.

Read full story

18 February 2009

Whitepaper: Public Media 2.0

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, and policies. Public media 2.0 may look and function differently, but it will share the same goals as the projects that preceded it: educating, informing, and mobilizing its users.

Multiplatform, participatory, and digital, public media 2.0 will be an essential feature of truly democratic public life from here on in. And it’ll be media both for and by the public. The grassroots mobilization around the 2008 electoral campaign is just one signal of how digital tools for making and sharing media open up new opportunities for civic engagement.

But public media 2.0 won’t happen by accident, or for free. The same bottom-line logic that runs media today will run tomorrow’s media as well. If we’re going to have media for vibrant democratic culture, we have to plan for it, try it out, show people that it matters, and build new constituencies to invest in it.

The first and crucial step is to embrace the participatory—the feature that has also been most disruptive of current media models. We also need standards and metrics to define truly meaningful participation in media for public life. And we need policies, initiatives, and sustainable financial models that can turn today’s assets and experiments into tomorrow’s tried-and-true public media.

Public media stakeholders, especially such trusted institutions as public broadcasting, need to take leadership in creating a true public investment in public media 2.0.

Read paper: html | pdf

17 February 2009

From the WIMP to the map interface

I am here
“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 ancient as humanity itself. That metaphor is the map. […]

As this metaphor takes over, it will change the way we behave, the way we think and the way we find our way around new neighborhoods. As researchers and businesses learn how to use all the information about a user’s location that phones can provide, new privacy issues will emerge. You may use your phone to find friends and restaurants, but somebody else may be using your phone to find you and find out about you.”

Read full story

17 February 2009

Rethinking banking for the twenty-first century

Center for Future Banking
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 their financial lives. We seek to invent new ways to anticipate the needs and desires of customers down to the level of the individual, to put every customer in total control of his or her own financial futures, to rethink the experience of customer-bank interaction as virtual and physical reality become increasingly intertwined, and finally to leverage the unique position of a bank to make people’s lives simpler and more fulfilling.

The Center brings together disciplines ranging from behavioral economics, to computer science, to urban design in order to take a truly holistic approach to imagining and realizing new possibilities in banking. Its research will span a wide range of physical and social scales, from one-on-one interactions with customers, to new modes of global transactions.

AT&T Associate Professor Deb Roy, chair of MIT’s academic program in Media Arts and Sciences and a pioneer in cognitive modeling, communication theory, and human-machine interaction, serves as the Center’s founding director and principal investigator. He is joined by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and students with a passion for invention—a team that is not only developing new ideas for the banking industry, but also building and testing working prototypes.”

Make sure to also check out the somewhat hidden Macro Trends section.

16 February 2009

Jeffrey Sachs on the transformational power of mobile devices in Africa

Jeffrey Sachs
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. We’re seeing small businesses develop by virtue of people having phones, being able to find clients, make purchases, get supplies. There’s e-banking or mobile banking, which has been pioneered in a few places, like Kenya, but I think it’s just going to spread dramatically now. And more and more we’re seeing new services added to the cell phones, and especially as we move from 2G to 3G [second- to third-generation] mobile standards I think we’re going to see an incredible burst of new uses of the phones.”

Read interview

16 February 2009

Yochai Benkler on ‘social production’

Yochai Benkler
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 emergence of a network economy and society. He has also talked about the organization of infrastructures, such as wireless communications. His most recent book is The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Sharealike license. He is also the recipient of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2007.

Listen to interview (audio)
Read interview transcript

Related info
Yochai Benkler speaking at TED 2005
User ideas submitted on the Ideas Project site

15 February 2009

Forthcoming Rosenfeld Media books

Touch
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 priorities. What we produce, how we serve customers and other stakeholders, and even how we understand how the world works is all affected by the design of models and solutions. Designers have an unprecedented opportunity to use their skills to make meaningful, sustainable change in the world—if they know how to focus their skills, time, and agendas. In Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable, Nathan Shedroff examines how the endemic culture of design often creates unsustainable solutions, and shows how designers can bake sustainability into their design processes in order to produce more sustainable solutions.

Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories
by Donna Spencer
Card sorting is a technique that is used to gather user input to design the information architecture of a site. The technique is easy to prepare and run, and great fun. But sometimes the results can be hard to interpret and it is not always clear how to use them to design the IA. This short, practical, and accessible book will provide the basics that designers need to conduct a card sort in a project. More importantly, it will explain how to understand the outcomes and apply them to the design of a site.

Search Analytics: Conversations with your Customers
by Louis Rosenfeld & Marko Hurst
Any organization that has a searchable web site or intranet is sitting on top of hugely valuable and usually under-exploited data: logs that capture what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved. Search queries are gold: they are real data that show us exactly what users are searching for in their own words. This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs.

Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide to Prototyping
by Todd Zaki Warfel
Prototyping is a great way to clearly communicate the intent of a design. Prototypes help you quickly and easily flesh out design ideas, test assumptions, and gather real-time feedback from users. Like other Rosenfeld Media books, A Practitioner’s Guide to Prototyping will take a hands-on approach, enabling you to develop prototypes with minimal muss and fuss. The book will discuss how prototypes are more than just a design tool by demonstrating how they can help you market a product, gain internal buy-in, and test feasibility with your development team.

Storytelling for User Experience Design
by Kevin Brooks & Whitney Quesenbery
We all tell stories. It’s one of the most natural ways to share information, as old as the human race. This book is not about a new technique, but how to use something we already know in a new way. Stories help us gather and communicate user research, put a human face on analytic data, communicate design ideas, encourage collaboration and innovation, and create a sense of shared history and purpose. This book looks across the full spectrum of user experience design to discover when and how to use stories to improve our products. Whether you are a researcher, designer, analyst or manager, you will find ideas and techniques you can put to use in your practice.

See What I Mean: How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas
by Kevin Cheng
Comics are a unique way to communicate, using both image and text to effectively demonstrate time, function, and emotion. Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products. Comics can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports. In See What I Mean, Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel founder/cartoonist and founder of Off Panel Productions, will teach you how you can use comics as a powerful communication tool without trained illustrators.

Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research
by Nate Bolt & Tony Tulathimutte
Remote user research describes any research method that allows you to observe, interview, or get feedback from users while they’re at a distance, in their “native environment” (at their desk, in their home or office) doing their own tasks. Remote studies allow you to recruit quickly, cheaply, and immediately, and give you the opportunity to observe users as they behave naturally in their own environment, on their own time. Our book will teach you how to design and conduct remote research studies, top-to-bottom, with little more than a phone and a laptop.

13 February 2009

Playful augmented objects

Touch
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 team involved in social and cultural enquiry, interaction/industrial design, rapid prototyping, software, testing and exhibitions, runs until 2009 and is based in the Interaction Design department of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Norway. It is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Last week Interaction Design students at the Oslo School of Architecture & Design participated in a Touch workshop where the brief was to design a playful, exploratory or characterful RFID interface. The emphasis of this workshop was on exploring the relationship between digital interaction through RFID and the material properties of physical objects.

Timo Arnall just posted about three recent Touch projects that suggest different senses as metaphors for physical RFID interaction.

13 February 2009

Kazys Varnelis’ new book on network culture

Kazys Varnelis
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 our era, coming to terms with the changed conditions in culture, subjectivity, ideology, and aesthetics that characterize our new, networked age. I explore how the network is not merely a technology with social ramifications but rather unites changes in society, economy, aesthetics, and ideology.

Just as the machine made modern industrialization possible and also acted as a model for a rationalized, compartmentalized modern society while the programmable computer served the same role for the flexible socioeconomic milieu of postmodernism, today the network not only connects the world, it reconfigures our relationship to it. In this book I will argue that many of the key tenets of culture since the Enlightenment: the subject, the novel, the public sphere, are being radically reshaped.”

Read full story

(via Bruce Sterling)

13 February 2009

Dubberly Design articles

Dubberly Design Office
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 Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly, Usman Haque and Paul Pangaro – 1 Jan 2009
When we discuss computer-human interaction and design for interaction, do we agree on the meaning of the term “interaction”? Has the subject been fully explored? Is the definition settled?

An evolving map of design practice and design research
Written for Interactions magazine by Liz Sanders. Edited by Hugh Dubberly – 1 November 2008
Design research is in a state of flux. The design research landscape has been the focus of a tremendous amount of exploration and growth over the past five to 10 years. It is currently a jumble of approaches that, while competing as well as complementary, nonetheless share a common goal: to drive, inspire, and inform the design development process.

Design in the age of biology: shifting from a mechanical-object ethos to an organic-systems ethos
Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly – 1 September 2008
In the early twentieth century, our understanding of physics changed rapidly; now, our understanding of biology is undergoing a similar rapid change. […] Recent breakthroughs in biology are largely about information—understanding how organisms encode it, store, reproduce, transmit, and express it—mapping genomes, editing DNA sequences, mapping cell-signaling pathways. […[ Already we can see the process beginning. Where once we described computers as mechanical minds, increasingly we describe computer networks with more biological terms—bugs, viruses, attacks, communities, social capital, trust, identity.

The experience cycle
Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson – 1 May 2008
In this article, we contrast the “sales cycle” and related models with the “experience cycle” model. The sales cycle model is a traditional tool in business. The sales cycle frames the producer-customer relationship from the producer’s point of view and aims to funnel potential customers to a transaction. The experience cycle is a new tool, synthesizing and giving form to a broader, more holistic approach being taken by growing numbers of designers, brand experts, and marketers. The experience cycle frames the producer-customer relationship from the customer’s point of view and aims to move well beyond a single transaction to establish a relationship between producer and customer and foster an on-going conversation.

The analysis-synthesis bridge model
Written for Interactions magazine by Hugh Dubberly, Shelley Evenson, and Rick Robinson – 1 March 2008
The simplest way to describe the design process is to divide it into two phases: analysis and synthesis. Or preparation and inspiration. But those descriptions miss a crucial element—the connection between the two, the active move from one state to another, the transition or transformation that is at the heart of designing. How do designers move from analysis to synthesis? From problem to solution? From current situation to preferred future? From research to concept? From constituent needs to proposed response? From context to form?

Cybernetics and service-craft: language for behavior-focused design
Written for Kybernetes by Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro – 19 January 2007
Argues [that] design practice has moved from hand-craft to service-craft and that service-craft exemplifies a growing focus on systems within design practice. Proposes cybernetics as a source for practical frameworks that enable understanding of dynamic systems, including specific interactions, larger systems of service, and the activity of design itself. Shows [that] development of first- and second-generation design methods parallels development of first- and second-generation cybernetics, particularly in placing design within the political realm and viewing definition of systems as constructed. Proposes cybernetics as a component of a broad design education.

13 February 2009

Interview with Jeff Howard of Design for Service

CMU
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 term experience, unless I’m talking about the difference between a service and an experience in the Pine and Gilmore sense. Instead, I’ve adopted the term “service encounter,” from the service marketing literature. Encounter makes it clear that there are two sides; the customer and the business. We’re facilitating that interaction. Choreographing it. But the experience is internal.”

Read interview