Their task was to gather the mobile minds from across the continent and the world and ask them to vision out what they saw happening in the mobile space in Africa in the year 2020.
The result was published yesterday.
Their task was to gather the mobile minds from across the continent and the world and ask them to vision out what they saw happening in the mobile space in Africa in the year 2020.
The result was published yesterday.
In a complex world, products that are easy to use win favor with consumers. This is the first book on the topic of simplicity aimed specifically at interaction designers. It shows how to drill down and simplify user experiences when designing digital tools and applications. It begins by explaining why simplicity is attractive, explores the laws of simplicity, and presents proven strategies for achieving simplicity. Remove, hide, organize and displace become guidelines for designers, who learn simplicity by seeing before and after examples and case studies where the results speak for themselves.
A report produced by the New Local Government Network argues that using citizen’s to design services using so-called nudge techniques can save councils money and the report sets out tools for councils to better understand what motivates their citizens.
The Changing Behaviours report also emphasises the need for a radical change to [UK] central government thinking in order for the reco/ammendations to achieve maximum effect.
The thinktank urges [local and regional] councils to allocate more resources towards improved engagement and communications methods with its citizens in order to understand their needs.
The participants – who came from universities and corporations such as Logitech, Nokia, Philips and Sap – represented different perspectives to user experience from holistic to modeling approach, from real-time psycho-physiological research to investigating user experience after a long period of time, and from standardization and research to consultancy work.
By ‘demarcating’ user experience, the organizers wanted to make the relation clearer to the neighboring concepts of usability, interaction design, consumer experience, etc. The term created a lively discussion on whether this field needs demarcation: many researchers do not want their research field to be limited, while some industry people need a sound judgment on what user experience work includes. Despite the different needs, the participants seemed to agree on the need for bringing clarity to the vague concept of user experience. The participants also identified the need for further work on clarifying the different theoretical perspectives behind the different interpretations of user experience, and their impact on user experience work both in industry and academia.
The main result of the seminar was a white paper, which aims to clarify some core concepts of user experience. As can be seen from the abstracts in this collection, it has been challenging to come up with a white paper that would serve all needs and do justice to all the different perspectives. This work was on conceptual level, so the paper does not provide direct practical guidance for UX work. Nevertheless, thanks to the wide variety of perspectives to user experience represented, the seminar was an eye-opening experience for the participants.
“Ethnographic studies (such as contextual inquiry) and user personas are well suited to embolden innovative design. By watching users interact with interfaces in the context of their own home or workplace we learn a tremendous amount about them. These ethnographic techniques also help us to understand process flows comprehensively. By understanding these flows at a high level, user experience practitioners can identify opportunities to break down and rebuild a new process flow that forsakes the vestigial practices that have compounded over time, and brings in those missing elements that users find ways to incorporate on their own.”
“I view social interaction design as a field that seeks user-centric descriptions of experiences and behaviors on social media, with an eye on emergent social practices. I see user interactions as occurring between users, mediated by social tools — not as interactions with the tools only. Social practices, in the view of social theory, involve users who know what they’re doing, what’s going on, and how to participate. Not on the basis of what’s on the screen, at the level of the interface and its design, but in terms of the social activity in which they are involved. [...]
I view social interaction design as a paradigm shift in design thinking for two reasons. First, because descriptions and explanations of user activities focus on user experiences, not on design. Second, because the model involves two or more users interacting with each other, not one user interacting with a software application.”
Based on the deep research and collective experience of PARC and other practitioners, both books draw on extensive case studies or field experience to make the areas they cover more accessible for broader audiences. The books highlight how innovations and business applications in these areas have and can give companies a real competitive edge, especially in today’s environment, where products are always at risk of being commoditized, the services sector increasingly dominates economic activity, and global competition is intensifying.
In Making Work Visible: Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies of Work Practice (Cambridge University Press, April 2011), Peggy Szymanski and co-editor Jack Whalen share how “ethnography” engagements are conducted, and how findings from these studies can lead to business impact. By applying naturalistic observation in different contexts to understand what people actually do – as opposed to only what they say they do – ethnography makes the unknown known, makes the tacit explicit, and reveals insights that would not otherwise be revealed. The embedding of social scientists in technology companies (often referred to as corporate ethnography) was pioneered at PARC in the 1970s, and has evolved here and elsewhere since. Drawing on contributions from PARC, Xerox, and other researchers throughout the world, this book demonstrates how ethnography can improve technology design and help develop better ways of working. The book focuses on case studies in production, office, home, and retail settings – including the critical “customer front.”
In Ubiquitous Computing for Business: Find New Markets, Create Better Businesses, and Reach Customers Around the World 24-7-365 (Financial Times Press, March 10, 2011), Bo Begole shares how companies can incorporate this game-changing technology into their products, services, processes, and strategies while mitigating their risks, making better decisions about “build vs. buy,” and sorting hype from real value. Conceived at PARC in the 1990s, the paradigm of ubiquitous computing – pervasive, mobile devices; embedded sensors and data; and seamless integration across physical and digital worlds – has recently exploded in the form of pervasive personalized devices and services. From the Web to the iPod, smart phones to social networks, “Ubicomp” technologies continue to interweave computing more deeply into human life than ever before, enabling massive new industries and destroying companies that can’t adapt. The book describes the general capabilities that Ubicomp technologies create, the limitations they face, and their impact across industry categories. Begole shares proven strategies for leveraging Ubicomp technologies to drive business value, illustrated with a number of real-world innovation case studies.
“It is an honest question: how smart are your users? The answer may surprise you: it doesn’t matter. They can be geniuses or morons, but if you don’t engage their intelligence, you can’t depend on their brain power.
Far more important than their IQ (which is a questionable measure in any case) is their Effective Intelligence: the fraction of their intelligence they can (or are motivated to) apply to a task.
Take, for example, a good driver. They are a worse driver when texting or when drunk. (We don’t want to think about the drunk driver who is texting.) An extreme example you say? Perhaps, but only by degree. A person who wins a game of Scrabble one evening may be late for work because they forgot to set their alarm clock. How could the same person make such a dumb mistake? Call it concentration, or focus, we use more of our brain when engaged and need support when we are distracted.”
Though the sample size is small, the researchers dug deep into participants’ reactions. The results could have a dramatic effect on public transportation planning, and certainly will catch the attention of planners and programmers alike. By encouraging the development of apps that make commuting easier, transit agencies can drastically, and at little cost, improve the ridership experience and make riding mass transit more attractive.
Provokingly, he compares Apple and its skeuomorphic design guidelines to the pre-Bauhaus period, when the built environment had bloated in stimuli, caused by an excess of decor and ‘pastry-work’, whereas the new clean Bauhaus style is exemplified by the Windows Phone’s new design language [and some iPad apps such as Flipboard, Flud and Wired).
What can visual interaction designers learn from the Bauhaus (and where it failed)?
Fast Company profiles Neal Gorenflo who, after quitting his job as strategist for a division of shipping giant DHL, started Shareable, a not-for-profit web hub that provides individuals and groups with a playbook for how to build systems for sharing everything from baby food and housing to skills and solar panels.
“Gorenflo is a leading proselytizer of a global trend to make sharing something far more economically significant than a primitive behavior taught in preschool. Spawned by a confluence of the economic crisis, environmental concerns, and the maturation of the social web, an entirely new generation of businesses is popping up. They enable the sharing of cars, clothes, couches, apartments, tools, meals, and even skills. The basic characteristic of these you-name-it sharing marketplaces is that they extract value out of the stuff we already have. Many of these sites depend on millennials disenchanted by the housing bubble and the banking crisis, or uninterested in traditional icons of success such as house or auto ownership. But the number of people who have quietly begun tapping in is impressive: Already, more than 3 million people from 235 countries have couch-surfed, while 2.2 million bike-sharing trips are taken each month. “
The Working Group’s recommendations:
Read article (ReadWriteWeb)
“Recent studies show consumers now spend more money tweaking and inventing stuff than consumer product firms spend on research and development. It’s more than $3.75 billion a year in Britain, and U.S. studies under way now show similiar patterns. Makers are even morphing into entrepreneurs, with some of the best projects, including Kleinman’s, raising money for commercial development of self-funding Web sites such as Kickstarter, where anyone with a credit card can chip in to back cool ideas.
Major companies such as Ford are, after years of resisting inventor gadflies, inviting makers to submit product tweaks. “This is the democratization of technology,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, a senior engineering executive at Ford.
“Policymakers and economists always assumed that consumers just consumed and that they don’t innovate,” said Eric von Hippel, who studies technological innovation and makers at MIT’s business school. “What’s clearly happening now is that all of a sudden it’s easier for us to make exactly what we want.””
From art history to industrial design history
Jocelyne Le Boeuf, design historian and director of studies at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique
Jocelyne sheds light on her specialty by referring the major thought movements of which hers has become part over history. She also addresses the current multidisciplinary research trends, and delves deeper into the role that design history plays not only in understanding our material environment, but also in designer practices.
Towards a design driven by modesty and sharing
Gilles Rougon, design manager at Électricité de France (EDF)
Based on ten years in design management at the heart of EDF’s Research and Development division, the article elaborates upon design transversality within a company where the primary product is immaterial.
Sociologists and designers are the geologists of social issues and development
Éloi Le Mouël, sociologist within the design department of RATP, the Paris City Transit Authority
Éloi underlines during an interview the similarities and differences between an anthropological approach with regard to “mobility flows” and the design practice from his standpoint as a researcher in the field of social science.
Download journal (Scribd)
The Core77 Design Awards
An Annual Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise and Intent
Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards celebrates the richness of the design profession and its practitioners. Dedicated jury teams around the world will judge 15 categories of design endeavor with the deadline for entries May 3, 2011.
In creating the awards program, Core77 have re-thought a lot of the elements of the design award model, and have come up with a recipe that is more inclusive and celebratory, leverages online scale, and decreases plane fuel. Five key ingredients to the program are:
1. Video Testimonials – Participants get to share their “real stories” with the judges personally and directly via short video submissions. Intended to be easy to make – videos can be low-tech, look-into-the-webcam recordings – these testimonials provide a unique opportunity to get across the intent and notable aspects of a design in a way that text and jpegs can’t.
2. Global-Local Judging – Bringing together the field’s brightest design minds, Core77 has selected 15 Jury Captains to lead 15 juries distributed around the world in cities such as Tokyo, Turin, San Francisco and Sydney. This unique judging process balances a broad global perspective with local expertise.
3. Live Web Broadcasts – Winners will be announced by jury teams in 15 different locations around the world – live – so the world can watch events unfold as they happen and hear from the jurors themselves the rationale behind their choices.
4. New Categories – Reflecting newer contemporary fields of practice with innovative categories such as “DIY” and “Never Seen the Light of Day,” this competition truly reflects what is happening in the wider industry and offers more opportunities to ennoble design enterprise in all forms.
5. A Trophy That Celebrates Teamwork – Breaking the mold for typical awards, Rich, Brilliant, Willing are approaching the design of the trophy with generosity in mind. Winners can flex their creative muscles by casting their own award in a material of their choice and can share the accolades by creating multiples for their team and contributors.
The top professional and student entries will win the inaugural trophy, and the Winners, Runners Up, and Notable entries will be published in the Awards Gallery and across the Core77 online network. Please take a moment to visit the site and learn about the unique features of the award program and share it with your friends and colleagues. http://awards.core77.com/
And here is the inaugural line-up of categories and Jury Captains:
Products: Julie Lasky, Editor of Change Observer, New York, USA
Soft Goods / Apparel: Peter Kallen, Design Director of NAU, Portland, Oregon, USA
Furniture / Lighting: Max Fraser, Editor & Publisher of London Design Guide, London, United Kingdom
Graphics / Branding / Identity: Steven Heller, author/commentator, and Co-Chair of the MFA Designer as Author at the School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
Packaging: Mark Christou, Creative Director of Pearlfisher, New York, USA
Interiors / Exhibition: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa), Tokyo, Japan
Interactive / Web / Mobile: Jon Kolko,Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv and Founder & Director of Austin Center for Design, Austin, Texas, USA
Transportation: Lars Holme Larsen, Co-Founder of KiBiSi and Founder of Kilo Design, Copenhagen, Denmark
Service Design: Fran Samalionis, Innovation Coach of BT Financial Group, Sydney, Australia
Design for Social Impact: Ashoke Chatterjee, development volunteer and Former Director, National Institute of Design (India), Ahmedabad, India
Design Education Initiative: Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, Associate Professor in Design Anthropology and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at Swinburne University,Melbourne, Australia
DIY / Hack / Mod: Christy Canida, Community & Marketing Director of Instructables, and Eric J. Wilhelm, CEO of Instructables and Co-Founding Partner of Squid Labs, San Francisco, CA
Speculative Objects / Concepts: Branko Lukic, Founding Partner of Nonobject, Palo Alto, California, USA
Never Saw the Light of Day: Aric Chen, design journalist and Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China
Natural user interfaces (NUIs) have been hailed as next evolutionary step in human-computer interaction. As software companies struggle to catch up with one another in terms of developing the next great touch-based interface, designers are charged with the daunting task of keeping up with the advances in NUI technology and this new aspect to user experience design.
Product and interaction designers, developers and managers are already well versed in UI design, but touch-based interfaces have added a new level of complexity. They need quick references and real world examples in order to make informed decisions when designing for these particular interfaces.
Brave NUI World is the first practical book for product and interaction developers and designing touch and gesture interfaces.
Written by the team from Microsoft that developed the multi-touch, multi-user Surface® tabletop product, this book gives you the necessary tools and information to integrate touch and gesture practices into your daily work, presenting scenarios, problem solving, metaphors, and techniques intended to avoid making mistakes.
Daniel Wigdor is UX Architect and Platform Architect at Microsoft and an Assistant Professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. Before joining U of T, he worked at Microsoft in nearly a dozen different roles, among them serving as the User Experience Architect of the Microsoft Surface product, and as a cross company expert in the creation of Natural User Interfaces. Dennis Wixon is currently Discipline Lead for Microsoft US BPD. Prior to this role he was the head of research for Microsoft Surface, and has also managed research teams at Microsoft Game Studies, and MSN/Home Products.Sample chapter
The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding of how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. Their understanding of what constitutes “a new culture of learning” is based on several basic assumptions about the world and how learning occurs:
- The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life
- Understanding play is critical to understanding learning
- The world is getting more connected that ever before – can that be a resource?
- In this connected world, mentorship takes on new importance and meaning
- Challenges we face are multi-faceted requiring systems thinking & socio-technical sensibilities
- Skills are important but so are mind sets and dispositions
- Innovation is more important than ever – but turns on our ability to cultivate imagination
- A new culture of learning needs to leverage social & technical infrastructures in new ways
- Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation
By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, the authors create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate and participate in the world is governed by the play of the imagination.
Typically, when we think of culture, we think of an existing, stable entity that changes and evolves over long periods of time. In A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown explore a second sense of culture, one that responds to its surroundings organically. It not only adapts, it integrates change into its process as one of its environmental variables.
The book website contains some of the authors’ talks, including one by John Seely Brown on “Tinkering as a Mode of Knowledge Production”.
“While the politicians, insurance companies, and health care providers debate the social and economic problems of health care, ripe opportunities for improvement are going unnoticed. What’s lacking in this process is a strong shot of creativity and a dose of good design.
With this in mind I caught up with Dave Cronin, Smart Design’s new Director of Interaction Design to discuss the possibilities. Dave’s extensive background in designing medical products and services has helped Smart fortify our health care design practice.
Our discussion ranged from ways to improve health care, from the individual viewpoint to home and clinical settings to the health care ecosystem. With subject matter too lengthy for a single post, over the coming weeks we’ll offer several perspectives in a series of articles focused on improving health care through design.”
Our cities are “smart” and getting smarter as information processing capability is embedded throughout more and more of our urban infrastructure. Few of us object to traffic light control systems that respond to the ebbs and flows of city traffic; but we might be taken aback when discount coupons for our favorite espresso drink are beamed to our mobile phones as we walk past a Starbucks. Sentient City explores the experience of living in a city that can remember, correlate, and anticipate. Five teams of architects, artists, and technologists imagine a variety of future interactions that take place as computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the city.
“Too Smart City” employs city furniture as enforcers: a bench ejects a sitter who sits too long, a sign displays the latest legal codes and warns passersby against transgression, and a trashcan throws back the wrong kind of trash. “Amphibious Architecture” uses underwater sensors and lights to create a human-fish-environment feedback loop; “Natural Fuse” uses a network of “electronically assisted” plants to encourage energy conservation; “Trash Track” follows smart-tagged garbage on its journey through the city’s waste-management system; and “Breakout” uses wireless technology and portable infrastructure to make the entire city a collaborative workplace.
These projects are described, documented, and illustrated by 100 images, most in color. Essays by prominent thinkers put the idea of the sentient city in theoretical context.
Case studies by David Benjamin, Soo-in Yang, and Natalie Jeremijenko; Haque Design + Research; SENSEable City Lab; David Jimison and JooYoun Paek; and Anthony Townsend, Antonina Simeti, Dana Spiegel, Laura Forlano, and Tony Bacigalupo
Essays by Martijn de Waal, Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Anne Galloway, Dan Hill, Omar Khan, Saskia Sassen, Trebor Scholz, Hadas Steiner, Kazys Varnelis, and Mimi Zeiger
Mark Shepard is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and an editor of the Situated Technologies pamphlet series, published by the Architecture League of New York.
(via Stowe Boyd)
The conversations are part of a wider event, entitled Designing Innovation: Ideas, works and story tales, that involves workshops, exhibitions, and inspirational conversations with the protagonists of Italian social innovation.
Irene will speak together with Eva Teruzzi, director of business R&D at Fiera Milano. Together they will address how to develop awareness of sustainability and conduct business regarding our future technologies.
“When we plan a new urban environment, we need to think of a 100-year-plus horizon,” says Irene Cassarino. “The main challenge is to create an environment that responds to the needs and ambitions of different communities of inhabitants (different also across time), in terms of long-term sustainability objectives, which are themselves uncertain and constantly evolving. This, in our experience in Helsinki (Low2No) and Denmark (FredericiaC), means ‘planning for sustainable change’. When planning technology applications that are people’s future, how can we work with companies and public administrations to develop sustainable change solutions?”
The Hub Milan is the Italian node in an international network of social, creative and professional entrepreneurs. It provides space and resources for people to be inspired, get innovative, develop networks and identify market opportunities, while building up an arsenal of experiences that will help them to truly change Milan and the world. The Hub Milan focuses exclusively on social and innovation and the people that promote it.
The Hub is located in via Paolo Sarpi 8, Milan. Irene will speak at midday on Friday April 15th and (free) registration is required.