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Putting People First

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November 2010
21 November 2010

The reference user experience: four essays

Library Journal
The essays featured here stem from talks given at the Focusing on the User Experience session of this year’s Reference Renaissance conference, a biennial gathering of reference and user services librarians put on by the BCR consortium in Colorado. The following four essays address the idea of responsiveness as it relates to reference services.

Fish Market 101: Why not a reference user experience?
By Steven Bell
People come to the desk to ask a question. They get an answer or referral. They go away. It sounds rather mundane and routine, which is why it’s called a reference transaction. What if it were considered a reference user experience? Is such a thing even possible?

Imagination, sympathy and the user experience
By Wayne Bivens-Tatum
I discovered that there are some excellent principles in the user experience (UX) literature. I’m going to tell you why you can ignore them.

Why I don’t use libraries for reference anymore
By Jean Costello
I’ve come to accept that the libraries available to me are good sources for popular entertainment material and pleasant conversation with staff. Anything else is more than the system can provide.

The visibility and invisibility of librarians
By James LaRue
In a time when we are grappling more deeply with the nature of securing support for libraries, we need to think more carefully about the continuum of librarian visibility.

21 November 2010

Interactions Magazine – last issue of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is the last issue of editors Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, who reflect on the results achieved.

Also Don Norman reflects in his column, and raises some pointed criticism of Interactions Magazine publisher ACM, that I endorse completely:

“I recently became a columnist for Core77, an open, free Internet magazine for industrial designers, and my first post received more responses, blogging comments, and consideration than the total of the responses during my five years of columns in interactions.

It is time for ACM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the free dissemination of knowledge, to stop hiding behind paid subscription walls and get its stuff out in the open for everyone to share. ACM – and many scientific societies – have lost track of the knowledge-sharing role of science and instead have been governed more by old-fashioned media rules than the modern world of freely accessible media.

interactions fails to impact the larger world of research outside of ACM’s CHI because of its failure to be open and accessible. At the same time, it fails to impact the academic research world because it is neither peer-reviewed nor the repository of the weighty, carefully experimental, rigorous knowledge required by promotion committees in universities. So what is interactions? Neither a serious scientific publication nor an influential popular one.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

MCC’s Human Interface Laboratory – The promise and perils of long-term research
by Bill Curtis
In this column, Bill discusses his involvement with the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation. This research enterprise, largely forgotten today, was highly influential in the 1980s, hiring and providing visibility to HCI researchers, many of whom remain active.

Looking back, looking forward
by Don Norman
Over the past five years, Don Norman has written approximately three dozen columns. What has been learned? What will come? Obviously, it is time for reflection.

Angst, and how to overcome it
by Gary Marsden
Does it make sense to separate developing world research from that conducted in more developed economies? At the end of the day, people are people and technology is technology, the world over. Are we doing the developing world a disservice by somehow treating it differently from the developed?

The hard work lies ahead (if you want it)
by Steve Portigal
Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” from 1943 is a well-known psychological framework that has been applied (directly, or through derivative versions) to thousands of diverse problems. It’s high time to leverage this style of hierarchy to challenge the types of user experiences we’re enabling with the stuff we’re making.

Learning from John Rheinfrank: reflections on acquiring a design language
by Jon Freach
For three years in the mid-1990s, I had the fortune of learning a new language of design from John Rheinfrank, the co-founder and first co-editor of this magazine, through a user-centered baptism of sorts.

From static to adaptive
by Hugh Dubberly, Justin Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson
When John Rheinfrank [who passed away in 2004] learned he was sick, he began working on a book on the relationship between design and systems. Sadly, he never finished, but some of his core ideas were preserved in a presentation on moving from static to adaptive worlds. John saw adaptive worlds as a new way to frame interaction design. Working from John’s presentation slides and a tape of his talk, we have summarized his ideas.

On experiences, people and technology
by Jon Kolko
In reflecting on the 200,000 words we’ve published in the past three years, I see a common theme that describes interaction design as a discipline focused on culture and behavior.

21 November 2010

Singapore needs to place anthropology before technology

Design Singapore
“We need to place anthropology before technology,” said Richard Seymour, Co-founder, Seymourpowell, at the sixth annual meeting of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of the DesignSingapore Council, that came together to recommended ways to use design to boost productivity in Singapore.

The panel, chaired by Mr. Edmund Cheng, is comprised of renowned international design-related and business leaders from the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia.

The Panel identified key imperatives that foster a stronger link between design and outcomes. The fundamental concept revolves around the need to broaden the definition of productivity to consider behavioural economics such as the value of culture, community and diverse experiences that are unique to Singapore.

“We need to place anthropology before technology. We need to understand how people are and make sure that the products and services are compelling to the end-user. To do so, we need to expose decision-makers to creative processes outside of their usual environments, injecting a broader bandwidth of knowledge and creativity,” said Richard Seymour, Co-founder, Seymourpowell. “Mediocre ideas become commoditised rapidly. This exposure will create an environment that could bring the brilliant idea back.”

Interesting also the recommendations at the end, with the IAP proposing a national innovation programme with the overall goal of championing new value creation through design.

Read article

20 November 2010

Two Experientia presentations in Busan, South Korea

Design Week 2010 Busan
Last week, Experientia was in Busan, South Korea, at the invitation of the Busan Design Center.

As part of its first Design Week, the Center organised two international conferences: one – the Busan International Design Congress – had “Digital Energy” as its main theme and was strongly inspired by the user experience discourse; the other one dealt more specifically with marine design (Busan hosts the world’s fifth largest port and is in the process of turning its seaside into an important lifestyle asset).

Discussions were moderated – in both cases – by Ken Nah, professor in Design Management at Hongik University‘s International Design School for Advanced Studies (IDAS), and Director-General of Seoul World Design Capital 2010.

Mark Vanderbeeken, a senior partner of Experientia and editor of its Putting People First blog, was a speaker at both conferences: a keynote speaker at the first one, and a special speaker at the other.

Both of Mark’s presentations sought to connect with the Korean context and aspirations, so you might find some of its content very Korea-specific. But they are also, we think, meaningful for a wider international audience. When viewing the presentations on SlideShare we encourage the readers to select the Speaker Notes tab next to Comments, so you can read the text that was used to accompany the slides.

Digital design for behavioral change – Engaging people in reducing energy consumption

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the human race in our era. We cannot continue in our reliance on depleting and non-renewable fossil fuels to power our world. We all know we need to change our behaviours – yet very little seems to happen. Why? Research shows that people are confused about what actions will really have the most impact on reducing energy, and do not have all the necessary information, right tools, and appropriate feedback on the impact of their actions. To be effective, campaigns and technologies to encourage behavioural change must make an impact on our physical environment, and our personal, social and cultural beliefs and norms. But do they? Smart meters, one of the tools hailed as the digital answer to energy reduction, have come under a barrage of criticism for being badly designed, counter-intuitive, and failing to offer enough encouragement, feedback and motivation for real change.

Experientia is currently part of an international team, building a low-to-no carbon emissions block in Helsinki. We are working with the people of Helsinki to design people-centred smart metres, to envisage sustainable services, and to build a realistic, effective framework for behavioural change. Sustainability requires a different lifestyle, but we believe that it is not a lifestyle that requires sacrifices for people – instead it can actually increase human satisfaction, sense of community and neighbourly collaboration and trust. We believe that changing behaviours to achieve a more sustainable future, also implies changing our world to a more enjoyable quality of life.

User experience in yachting design

The yachting market is, on the whole, still product oriented, rather than customer oriented. The focus of the way the industry presents itself centres on the product, rather than on the experience. As the yachting industry has seen its double-digit growth of the past decades diminish in the wake of the economic crisis, it now needs to look inwards, to renew and refresh its own design approach and methodology, and outward, to explore new markets, and to concentrate on how to enter them successfully. This requires a people-centred approach, which considers yachts not as mere physical products, but as facilitators of an experience.

User-experience design is built upon an understanding of and dialogue with the potential consumer, in order to create a more “user-centred” product and thereby drastically enhance the ‘total’ experience of the brand. Yachts are luxury products; their major selling point goes beyond their form or function, but also covers the use of the boat, its rarity and what it expresses about the owner. This fits well with the idea of an experience-driven product: experience is invisible, permeating and memorable. It does not contrast with the production volume. Its very uniqueness and individuality means that it can be offered to many, without reducing the perception of rarity.

Many of the yachting industry’s customers now come from emerging markets, and from a younger demographic base. These new customers often bring with them totally new paradigms, needs and desires. Creating yachts for these markets requires not just product design, graphic design, computer science and engineering skills, but also ethnography, cognitive psychology and sociology, as well as an understanding of interaction design, interface design and service design. Tools and techniques that offer insights into these consumers and how they differ from traditional yacht markets will be vital if the yacht industry is going to go beyond the self-referential designs created for the Western luxury market, and new design disciplines will allow the industry to create experiences that endure across individual, social and cultural contexts. To do so, it will have to address considerations such as the democratization of luxury, the desire for bespoke goods, two-way engagement with consumers, differentiation through service, responsible and sustainable luxury and the integration of web and other developing technologies.

Experientia wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the President and the staff of the Busan Design Center, who have been exceptional, generous and warm hosts and have succeeded in launching a meticulously well organised Design Week, to Prof. Ken Nah for the great hospitality and commitment shown during Mark’s two-day visit to Seoul, and to the staff and students of Inje University where Mark presented some of Experientia’s project and methodology.

Check also Core77 where Mark posted a broader reflection on Korean design.

Finally, the Korean audience might be interested in this short two minute Experientia presentation video with Korean language subtitles.

20 November 2010

How college students evaluate and use information in the digital age

PIL
Project Information Literacy (PIL) is ongoing research project, based in the University of Washington’s Information School, that collects data from early adults enrolled in US colleges and universities, to understand how they conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and “everyday life” use and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age.

A new progress report entitled “Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age,” explores the current state of the project.

Abstract
A report about college students and their information-seeking strategies and research difficulties, including findings from 8,353 survey respondents from college students on 25 campuses distributed across the U.S. in spring of 2010, as part of Project Information Literacy. Respondents reported taking little at face value and were frequent evaluators of Web and library sources used for course work, and to a lesser extent, of Web content for personal use. Most respondents turned to friends and family when asking for help with evaluating information for personal use and instructors when evaluating information for course research. Respondents reported using a repertoire of research techniques—mostly for writing papers—for completing one research assignment to the next, though few respondents reported using Web 2.0 applications for collaborating on assignments. Even though most respondents considered themselves adept at finding and evaluating information, especially when it was retrieved from the Web, students reported difficulties getting started with research assignments and determining the nature and scope of what was required of them. Overall, the findings suggest students use an information-seeking and research strategy driven by efficiency and predictability for managing and controlling all of the information available to them on college campuses, though conducting comprehensive research and learning something new is important to most, along with passing the course and the grade received. Recommendations are included for how campus-wide stakeholders—faculty, librarians, and higher education administrators—can work together to help inform pedagogies for a new century.

Download report

20 November 2010

Harvard Forum essays on ICT4D

ITID
ITID (Information Technologies & International Development) has come out with a special issue devoted to papers emerging from the second Harvard Forum on ICTs, Human Development, Growth and Poverty Reduction (audio cast).

The two-day Harvard Forum II was sponsored by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in September 2009.

ITID is a peer-reviewed, international, multidisciplinary quarterly that focuses on the intersection of information and communication technologies (ICT) with economic and social development. It is designed for researchers and practitioners from the engineering and social sciences, technologists, policy makers, and development specialists.

Some highlights:
The mobile and the world – Amartya Sen
Some thoughts on ICT and growth – Michael Spence (Nobel in Economics, 2001)
Capital, power, and the next step in decentralization – Yochai Benkler
Decentralizing the mobile phone: a second ICT4D revolution – Ethan Zuckerman

20 November 2010

The attention-span myth

Attention-span myth
Can technology erode something that doesn’t exist? That’s the question that journalist Virginia Heffernan raises in an article for the New York TImes Magazine.

“Whether the Web is making us smarter or dumber, isn’t there something just unconvincing about the idea that an occult “span” in the brain makes certain cultural objects more compelling than others? So a kid loves the drums but can hardly get through a chapter of “The Sun Also Rises”; and another aces algebra tests but can’t even understand how Call of Duty is played. The actions of these children may dismay or please adults, but anyone who has ever been bored by one practice and absorbed by another can explain the kids’ choices more persuasively than does the dominant model, which ignores the content of activities in favor of a wonky span thought vaguely to be in the brain.

So how did we find ourselves with this unhappy attention-span conceit, and with the companion idea that a big attention span is humankind’s best moral and aesthetic asset?”

Read article

20 November 2010

Peter Merholz on advertising and marketing agencies delivering UX design

Peter Merholz
Peter Merholz, president of Adaptive Path, has written a long and eloquent rant against advertising and marketing agencies proclaiming to do user experience design.

These agencies, he says, do not come at user experience from an honest place. “Ad agencies, in particular, are soulless holes, the precepts of whose business runs wholly contrary to good user experience practice.”

Read article (and make sure to also read the more than 70 comments so far)

17 November 2010

Michele Visciola on online healthcare information

Michele Visciola
Michele Visciola, Experientia partner, gave a talk this week on online healthcare information at the 16th IFHRO (International Federation of Health Records Organizations) Congress in Milan, Italy.

The International Federation of Health Records Organizations (IFHRO) serves as a forum for the exchange of information relating to health records, education of medical record personnel, and information technology.

The talk, entitled “Online healthcare information: where is the divide between a trustable and an untrustable information and communication system?”, highlighted how a user-centred approach can be used to provide healthcare information that meets user needs.

Here is the executive summary of his talk:

How and what kind of information is provided by online healthcare services is critical to designing a user-centred system that meets user needs, and does not put individuals’ health at risk. The move of healthcare information to the online world has raised some serious concerns in terms of content and the ways in which the information is used. The paradigm shift from personal consultation with a trusted family doctor to inquiries made to an anonymous or general online source has created a context of self-diagnosis from online information, leading to potential health disasters. The open access to information that was previously the privilege of medical practitioners has created a situation in which the patient’s desire for immediate information conflicts with the need for professional advice.

This research project benchmarked 41 websites, within Italy and internationally, to understand how a user-centred approach can be used to provide healthcare information that meets user needs. The project focused in particular on the needs of patients, and their family and friends.

The healthcare information needs of patients can be grouped into Knowledge, Action and Sharing. “Knowledge” is the inherent information the patient needs about her/his health, such as details on the illness, prevention, care, the health structure, ethics and rights, and well-being. This can be either “cold” information (top-down) or “warm” (bottom-up or horizontal). “Action” includes the reactive and proactive behaviors that the patient can take, while “Sharing” is the exchange of information, experience and emotions with people in similar situations.

The 41 websites explored were selected as best practice in the field, and the ways in which they supported the above classification of user needs was considered. For each of the three areas described above, we identified the ways in which patients’ information requirements were met (or not) by the sites.

When comparing Italian sites to the international sites, we found that the international sites were more developed in terms of interactive and personalization solutions. Within Italy, the least developed areas are Action and Sharing, which are the most complex categories and play a fundamental role in the patient’s world. The “cold” top-down information was the most complete and organized, while there was little space dedicated to horizontal communication. The Italian sites tended to present one-way, pre-packaged communication that focused on “useful” information, but ignored “emotional” aspects. Regardless of the local cultural dimensions that are not considered in this study, we recommend that online healthcare information should focus on improving the following at the 3 identified levels: “Knowledge”: provide real possibilities for knowledge through presentations and memos. “Action”: Give people the chance to participate in assessing what they need to do. “Sharing”: Provide instruments for sharing and discussion.

16 November 2010

How data use and data visualisations can improve our lives

Data life
Data use and smart human-centric data visualisations are becoming the “next big thing” in UX design. A number of posts this week delve into the matter:

Data for a better planet
Now that more people have location-aware smartphones and the Web has made data easy to share, personal data is poised to become an important tool to understand how we live, and how we all might live better.

Citytracking presents data on cities for map, visualisations
Citytracking, created by design and technology studio Stamen, presents digital data about cities that journalists and the public can easily grasp and use, and provides a series of tools to map and visualize data that lets people distribute their own conclusions.

Mobile data will be crucial to economies
In a short video interview on IdeasProject, Ushahidi co-founder Erik Hersman says once the data processing capabilities on mobile devices improve that it will be a huge growth area with huge social implications to economies all over the world.

16 November 2010

The newest web users are changing the culture of the internet

Cybercafe in Brazil
The newest billion people to venture online are doing so in developing countries rather than North America or Europe, writes Erik German in Globalpost, and they are changing the culture of the internet itself.

“Researchers say the web as it was originally, if idealistically, conceived — a largely free, monolingual space where a shared digital culture prevailed — may soon be a distant memory. And it’s happening remarkably fast.”

Read article

11 November 2010

Continuum Advanced Systems at the intersection of technology, systems and human-centered design

Continuum Advanced Systems
Continuum launched of a new division within its organization, known as Continuum Advanced Systems.

Focused on the intersection of technology, systems and human-centered design, Continuum Advanced Systems works with companies and entrepreneurs in the health, medical, government, industrial and consumer categories to rapidly turn existing and emerging technologies into holistic solutions that are valued by the people who use them.

“We’re developing intensely technical products like insulin pumps, diagnostic devices for AIDS, or integrated systems for military vehicles, while remaining intently focused on how every person will emotionally and functionally connect to what we design; be they patients, caregivers, soldiers, or consumers.”

Read article (Dexigner)
Read article (FastCo Design)

11 November 2010

How the cell phone is changing the world

Mobile in Tanzania
In a very general overview article published in Newsweek, Ravi Somaiya reports on how the impact of the ubiquitous device extends from politics to business, medicine, and war.

“More than 4 billion of the 6 billion people on earth now have a cell phone, with a quarter of those owners getting one in just the last two years. And many are using them, in a giant global experiment, to change the way life is lived, from Manhattan to Ouagadougou.

The phones now allow Masai tribesmen in Kenya to bank the proceeds from selling cattle; Iranian protesters to organize in secret; North Koreans to communicate with the outside world; Afghan villagers to alert Coalition soldiers to Taliban forces; insurgents to blow up roadside bombs in Iraq; and charities to see, in real time, when HIV drugs run out in the middle of Malawi.”

Read article

11 November 2010

Privacy and the user experience

Privacy
In a long blog post, designer and developer Alexander Dawson discusses some important privacy-related concerns — in particular, how asking for too much information can degrade the overall user experience.

“A user’s experience of a business and its services will only be as pleasant as the business is trustworthy. Treat visitors with respect and remove barriers to access (such as multiple data requests and spam), and you’ll improve usability — and empower your audience in the process.”

Read article

11 November 2010

Ethnography in industry: methods overview

James Glasnapp
James Glasnapp, who manages PARC‘s Workscapes and Organization team, has written his second article in a series on ethnography (you can read the first one here), where he provides an overview of data collection methods (and methodologies) that ethnographers use to understand a particular population or situation of interest.

“Note the emphasis on data “collection” as opposed to data ANALYSIS. The latter is an important (though far less visible) other half of the equation, and is often where an ethnographer’s true expertise shines.”

Read article

8 November 2010

Magitti: The future of location apps from PARC?

Magitti
Bo Begole, principal scientist and manager of PARC‘s (formerly Xerox PARC) Ubiquitous Computing Area, showed Richard MacManus of ReadWriteWeb an app that brings the concept of ‘ubicomp’ to a commercial reality.

“Magitti is a next generation location-based mobile app, currently in commercial trials in Japan. It goes further than popular apps like Foursquare and Gowalla. As well as using GPS data to figure out where you are, Magitti computes a user’s preferences and context. It then makes recommendations of near-by places to go, based on that personal data. […]

[It is] a mobile recommender service that recommends outdoor leisure activities to you based on your current time and location. More than that, it accounts for the user’s “digital situation as identified by messages they’ve been exchanging or documents they’ve been looking at.”

Begole explained that the app infers the user’s likely leisure activity and then helps partition the types of information they’d be interested in.”

Read article

Further background
Blogpost by Begole where he discusses PARC’s work on contextual intelligence
Case study on the role of ethnography in the Magitti development

7 November 2010

The enabling city

The enabling city
Italian social researcher Chiara Camponeschi has written a fascinating Creative-Commons licensed publication, The Enabling City: Place-Based Creative Problem-Solving and the Power of the Everyday (pdf), an innovative toolkit – also featured on a website – that showcases pioneering initiatives in urban sustainability and open governance.

“I am a firm believer in the power of communities to solve their own needs and contribute to larger processes of change”, says Camponeschi in an article published in The Mobile City.

“The recent graduate of York University based The Enabling City on international research she conducted as part of her Master in Environmental Studies in Toronto, Canada.

“I believe that there are vast amounts of untapped knowledge and creativity out there that we need to unleash to make our cities more open and sustainable”, she continues. The Enabling City exists to document and celebrate the power of inter-actor collaboration and of our everyday experiences in enhancing problem-solving and social innovation worldwide.

The toolkit showcases a total of forty innovative initiatives across six categories: place-making; eating and growing; resource-sharing; learning and socializing; steering and organizing; and financing. Through what she refers to as ‘place-based creative problem-solving’, Camponeschi sketches out an approach to participation that leverages the imagination and inventiveness of citizens, experts, and activists in collaborative efforts that make cities more inclusive, innovative, and interactive.

Through their involvement, creative citizens worldwide demonstrate that citizenship is so much more than duties and taxes it’s about outcome ownership, enablement, and the celebration of the myriad connections that make up the collective landscape of the place(s) we call home. The Enabling City, then, is here to invite us to unleash the power of our creative thinking and to rediscover ‘the power of the everyday.’”

Publication abstract

At its simplest, The Enabling City is a new way of thinking about communities and change.

Guided by principles such as collaboration, innovation and participation, the pioneering initiatives featured in The Enabling City attest to the power of community in stimulating the kind of innovative thinking needed to tackle complex issues ranging from participatory citizenship to urban livability.

We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time. We have entered an era where interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and to share knowledge in increasingly dynamic ways. We now see artists working alongside policy makers, policy makers collaborating with citizens, and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately.

What emerges, then, is a community where the local and global are balanced and mediated by the city at large, and where local resources and know-how are given wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools in the quest for urban and cultural sustainability.

Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which citizens can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.

So be surprised by how walks have the power to make neighbourhoods more vibrant, and how art can be used to convert dull city intersections into safe community spaces. Learn how creative interventions can unleash spaces for reflection and participation, and witness how online resources can lead to offline collaboration and resource-sharing. See how the values of Web 2.0 translate into the birth of the open government and open data movement, and what a holistic approach to financing can bring to local communities and cities alike.

This is what place-based creative problem-solving looks like in action. This is the power of the everyday.

Chiara Camponeschi works at the intersection of interdisciplinary research, social innovation and urban sustainability. She is passionate about the ‘creative citizen’ movement, and is committed to strengthening and supporting networks of grassroots social innovation. Originally from Rome, Italy Chiara has been involved with creative communities in Europe and Canada for over six years. Chiara holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Communications Studies, and a Master in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada.

7 November 2010

Do people want location-based social networking?

Tag along
Social networks want to know your location. But it’s not clear if consumers will share that information — or at what price. Joshua Brustein reports in the New York Times.

“Everything is in place for location-based social networking to be the next big thing. Tech companies are building the platforms, venture capitalists are providing the cash and marketers are eager to develop advertising.

All that is missing are the people.”

Read article

5 November 2010

Content Strategy: no longer just the preserve of the web professional

Content strategy
Jeremy Baldwin, company director at Bright Blue Day, a full-service design and marketing agency in Dorset, UK, argues that we should stop talking about content strategy as if it only applies to the web design professional. The impact of content and user experience go far wider and should be at the heart of everyday marketing practice.

“We see that content strategy goes beyond just the preserve of the digital specialist. We need to call on the insight into consumer behaviour brought by the ‘traditional’ planner; the detailed understanding of connection and effect, through data; the appreciation of consumer mental models and demands through search; and the subtleties of the social specialist to build a framework for interaction.”

Read article

5 November 2010

The evolved user experience

UX Magazine
Alexander Negash, analytics and user experience manager at the American Cancer Society, discusses on UX Magazine how to adopt social technologies in user research to get rapid, up-to-date user information and feedback, and to drive UX design and product strategy.

“Today, social technologies have made it less challenging for UX teams to involve users in the full project lifecycle, from initial phase of co-ideation, to ongoing iterations and testing during the design and development phases. In an environment where there is an ongoing relationship with the user that encourages flow of fresh ideas and feelings, changes in user behavior become more predictable compared to an environment where there’s a very limited day-to-day relationship with the user.

Involving users in the product development cycle is of course not a new concept; it has been practiced by user-centered design (UCD) teams for a long time. The difference today is that social technologies enable ongoing user interaction with the product in real time, allowing product designers to vet ideas with users, and learn from users’ concerns and firsthand experiences.

Social technologies offer opportunities for UX teams to lead the way in creating revolutionary concepts for product design and development as well as new and innovative ways of involving users in the product lifecycle.”

Read article