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Putting People First

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May 2011
27 May 2011

The future of the TV experience

BLINK
The second global edition of BLINK, a quarterly media industry magazine published by media agency MediaCom, looks into the future of TV.

The 48 page magazine contains insights from experts from around the globe on how TV is changing in the digital age. What does the future hold for channels such as Video on Demand? How do consumer behaviours differ in Asia and how can the Western world learn from them?

Some highlights from the magazine:

The evolution of moving pictures
By Daniel Bischoff, Dennis Grzenia and Sven Wollner, MediaCom Germany
Moving pictures are ubiquitous in modern media. They are part of our culture, part of the way we communicate and have the power to linger long in our memories. But how have moving images evolved? And what lies ahead in the future?

Trends in TV & Video on Demand
By Jonas Hemmingsen, CEO, MediaCom Nordic
Will Video on Demand really change the way we watch television? or will the internet simply become an alternative way to deliver a classic TV experience?

Marketing across platforms
By Michele Skettino, MediaCom USA
Q&A with Michael Kelly, President/CEO of The Weather Channel Companies

6 new ways of viewing television
By MediaCom Italy powered by GroupM
The availability of video on the internet has transformed the way TV is being watched. But while the majority of people use it to augment their traditional viewing habits, a few have discarded their television sets altogether.

The future of TV in Asia
By Jeff McFarland
The future of TV in Asia belongs to mobile and online and may have little to do with the television set

The future of the TV experience
By Helge Tennø
Multitasking, once predicted as the last nail in the coffin of the TV industry, could now be the thing that reconnects TV with its most important player: the audience.

Media plan of the future
By Oliver Gertz, Managing Director Interaction Europe, Middle East & Africa, MediaCom
By combining online and TV we can reach larger audiences, more effectively. High demand means pre-roll and mid-roll ads are seller’s market so we must consider all formats in order to achieve the best return on investment (ROI).

Asia is digitally different
By Robert Fry, Head of Insights, MediaCom Asia Pacific
Until recently marketers in Asia had struggled to explain to their colleagues in the West how different their region was when it came to digital. While they all could appreciate the larger ‘quantity’ of usage, it was harder to relay the higher ‘quality’ of usage. However, the evidence is now becoming clearer.

One of the contributors, Helge Tennø of the Scandinavian Design Group, delves into the topic of multitasking – which he sees the thing as that reconnects TV with its most important asset: the audience – in a rather confusing excerpt article on 180/360/720 (republished on FutureLab), but I recommend to read his original contribution in the PDF download of the magazine.

Also worth some exploration are:
- Webcast on the future of TV with Gerhard Zeiler (CEO, RTL Group) and Sue Unerman (CSO of MediaCom UK)
- MediaCom whitepaper on the future of TV
- Panel on Future TV at DLD11 with Peter Hirshberg, Thomas Künstner (Partner with Booz & Company’s Communications Media and Technology Practice), Brian Sullivan (CEO, Sky Deutschland), and Ynon Kreiz (Chairman and CEO, Endemol group)

27 May 2011

Book: The Internet of Elsewhere

The Internet of Elsewhere
The Internet of Elsewhere: The Emergent Effects of a Wired World
by Cyrus Farivar
Rutgers University Press
May 2011

Abstract

Through the lens of culture, The Internet of Elsewhere looks at the role of the Internet as a catalyst in transforming communications, politics, and economics. Cyrus Farivar explores the Internet’s history and effects in four distinct and, to some, surprising societies–Iran, Estonia, South Korea, and Senegal. He profiles Web pioneers in these countries and, at the same time, surveys the environments in which they each work. After all, contends Farivar, despite California’s great success in creating the Internet and spawning companies like Apple and Google, in some areas the United States is still years behind other nations.

Skype was invented in Estonia–the same country that developed a digital ID system and e-voting;Iran was the first country in the world to arrest a blogger, in 2003; South Korea is the most wired country on the planet, with faster and less expensive broadband than anywhere in the United States; Senegal may be one of sub-Saharan Africa’s best chances for greater Internet access.

The Internet of Elsewhere brings forth a new complex and modern understanding of how the Internet spreads globally, with both good and bad effects.

Review by Curt Hopkins in ReadWriteWeb

“Instead of focusing on the capital of the Web, Silicon Valley, or even on one of the Silicon Valleys outside of the original, like Bangalore, India, Farivar has taken a look at our wired world through the lenses of South Korea, Senegal, Estonia and Iran.

There is a tendency to think of the Internet as being a priori and sui generis. This is a new world so powerful and so game-changing that it effects history and culture, no matter where one stands. Farivar’s argument, and it is a well-made one, is that like any other element of the human experience, the Internet is effected by history and culture. If we ignore that fact, if we let ourselves believe that the Internet, not history, is more of a determining factor in our future, we are liable to be surprised by it to an excessive degree.

Each of the places he covers are important to our understanding of the Internet because their histories and cultures have influenced how they have embraced it. In a way, the countries he has chosen to profile are reflections of each other, Senegal of South Korea and Estonia of Iran.”

Read review

26 May 2011

Usability testing with children: a lesson from Piaget

Children on the iPad
In this post, Sabina Idler, information designer at Usabilla (The Netherlands), introduces Piaget’s theory of cognitive growth and explains how it can be useful for usability testing with children.

“Children are becoming an increasingly important target group on the web. Good usability and high user experience are crucial aspects for a successful website. Early and repetitive user testing is the way to go. If we address children on our website, we need to focus on what they want. We need to include children as a target group in our user testing. In this post I’d like to take a look at usability testing with different age groups.”

Read article

(via InfoDesign)

26 May 2011

Gestural interfaces: a step backwards in usability

Swipe
Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman group argue that today’s gestural user interfaces are a usability nightmare
and that we need to come back to some basic HCI realities in the design of gestural user interfaces.

“In a recent column for Interactions Norman pointed out that the rush to develop gestural interfaces – “natural” they are sometimes called – well-tested and understood standards of interaction design were being overthrown, ignored, and violated.

Recently, Raluca Budui and Hoa Loranger from the Nielsen Norman group performed usability tests on Apple’s iPad, reaching much the same conclusion. The new applications for gestural control in smart cellphones (notably the iPhone and the Android) and the coming arrival of larger screen devices built upon gestural operating systems (starting with Apple’s iPad) promise even more opportunities for well-intended developers to screw things up. [...]

There are several important fundamental principles of interaction design that are completely independent of technology:
· Visibility (also called perceived affordances or signifiers)
· Feedback
· Consistency (also known as standards)
· Non-destructive operations (hence the importance of undo)
· Discoverability: All operations can be discovered by systematic exploration of menus
· Scalability. The operation should work on all screen sizes, small and large.
· Reliability. Operations should work. Period. And events should not happen randomly.

All these are rapidly disappearing from the toolkit of designers, aided, we must emphasize, by the weird design guidelines issued by Apple, Google, and Microsoft.”

Read article

26 May 2011

City as a platform

PSFK
Two talks from the 2011 PSFK conference caught my attention:

City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.

Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.

> Check also the video and PSFK report on the Microsoft Home of the Future.

26 May 2011

Why can’t Google win at social?

Google
The number of times that Google has failed at delivering a successful ‘social’ product is in danger of rising to an embarrassing degree. Google Wave is no longer actively developed for use; Buzz has experienced low usage, and seems to most to yield little value; Latitude never gained traction like Foursquare has; Orkut (Google’s Facebook like social network) is perhaps its most successful project but can claim little popularity outside of Brazil and India. Recently the latest attempt to make headlines is ‘+1’, but this is yet to prove itself and opinion is divided on whether it is following a pathway to success.

So why can’t Google win at social, asks columnist Joseph C Lawrence on Memeburn. His answer:

“It is all about users’ expectations and habits. Most people who work in the web understand the principles of user centred design, but this is usually limited to interface design and information architecture. The principles go far deeper than this, and can help to explain why Google is having no joy in the social sphere.”

Read article

26 May 2011

Ford Motor Co moving into mobile healthcare

Health well
With the help of medical technology companies WellDoc, Medtronic and SDI, the motor giant last Wednesday set out to prove that it’s concerned not only with the number of drivers it boasts, but with the health of those drivers, as well (announcement).

In a follow-up phone interview with FierceMobileHealthcare, WellDoc President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anand Iyer, whose company showed off its DiabetesManager service–which would work in correlation with the automaker’s voice-activated in-care connectivity system SYNC via the cloud–said he believes that the demonstration is the beginning of a new trend.

Read interview

26 May 2011

Study: people with access to power meter data reduce energy use

Energy use
The simplest way to cut down on energy use isn’t to build millions of brand-new LEED-certified buildings; it’s to convince people to make changes themselves. And sometimes, having access to energy consumption data–and a friendly nudge to compete with neighbors–is enough to get people to do just that.

According to the Behavior and Energy Savings study by the Environmental Defense Fund and energy-management software company OPower, Americans who get better power meter data (from both regular and smart meters) cut energy consumption by an average of 1.8% in the first year.

Read article

24 May 2011

Low2No Camp

Low2No
Low2No Camp is a strategic design workshop curated by think tank Demos Helsinki. In Low2No Camp thirty carefully chosen urbanists come together to create groundbreaking projects. The key players of Helsinki’s people-driven urban culture are here to take our thinking on what good life in cities can be to a new level and document it on this blog.

Urban culture – doing things together, trying out and evaluating later, joining in – is key to building those better places to live. Low2No is Finland´s flagship project on low-carbon happiness. Through designing differently and doing things together we show how the future can be brighter and smarter. Low2No is an initiative of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and Experientia is actively working there on the behavioural change for sustainability strategy.

Low2No Camp happens in two parts. The first part takes place in DMY Berlin International Design Festival (1-5 June 2011), where the group is an exhibitor in the Maker Lab-section. On the way to Berlin and back to Helsinki they workshop and take their ideas to the next level. In the second part that happens in Helsinki we will make the ideas in to reality.

24 May 2011

Designing Connectivity notebook available

Designing Connectivity
On 15 March 2011 the DeST Research Unit of the INDACO Department of the Milan Politechnic together with the British Consulate General organised Designing Connectivity (pdf), a seminar on building and activating collaborative networks towards sustainability.

The seminar discussed projects that work with a variety of social and economical actors, including companies, territories and individuals, and the facilitating role that service design can play in this context.

“Connectivity is a key element in the current behavioural change approach, that started through the development of ICT technologies, and is nowadays branching out to underpin new ways to work, produce, socialise, be creative and live. Behavioural change for sustainability is the output of novel social mechanisms that are interesting to be looked at on many levels: people, companies, organisations, institutions. They are all coming together to exchange knowledge, to share experiences, to find solutions, to discuss and confront. Collaboration and connectivity are keywords that feed visions and scenarios of sustainable and collaborative futures.This theme has been explored during the seminar in relation to Creative Industries and Sustainability in order to learn by discussing, by debating, by sharing experiences and insights, and by identifying hot-spots and synergies.”

Two of Experientia’s key staff members – Irene Cassarino and Camilla Massala – presented and discussed our experience in creating a behavioural change for sustainability strategy at the Low2No project in Helsinki, Finland.

Other participants included Alessandro Belgiojoso (Project Leader, 100 cascine); Clare Brass (Director, SEED Foundation); Emily Campbell (Director of Design, RSA); Alberto Cottica (Project Leader, Kublai): Jeremy Davenport (Co-founder and Deputy Director of the Creative Industries KTN); Rosie Farrer (Development Manager, Public Services Lab, NESTA); Cristina Favini (Strategist & Manager of Design, Logotel; Project & Content Manager, Weconomy); Mark Leaver (Global Markets Advisor, Creative Industries KTN); Katie Mills (Knowledge Transfer Consultant at the University of the Arts London); Alison Prendiville (Deputy Director of C4D (Centre for Competitive Creative Design) and Course Director MDes Innovation and Creativity in Industry at London College of Communication, University of the Arts); Ben Reason (Director and Founder, Live|Work); Roberto Santolamazza (Director, Treviso Tecnologia); Adam Thorpe (Reader, Design Against Crime Research Centre (DAC), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design); in addition to the INDACO Department team (Venanzio Arquilla, Stefano Maffei, Anna Meroni, Marzia Mortati, Giuliano Simonelli, and Beatrice Villari).

The seminar notebook is now available. A seminar blog provides even more inspiration.

24 May 2011

Book: New Media Technologies and User Empowerment

New Media Technologies and User Empowerment
New Media Technologies and User Empowerment
Jo Pierson, Enid Mante-Meijer and Eugène Loos (eds.)
Peter Lang – International Academic Publishers
May 2011
317 pages
ISBN 978-3-631-60031-3

Synopsis

Recent developments in new media devices and applications have led to the rise of what have become known as ‘social media’, ‘Web 2.0’, ‘social computing’ or ‘participative web’. This shift in ICT, from unidirectional to conversational media of mass self-communication has lowered the technological thresholds for everyday users to cooperate for their own benefit, to participate in online environments and social network sites, to co-create business value and to become ‘produsers’ or ‘pro-ams’. At the same time, we see an evolution towards people-centred design and user-driven innovation in the design of new media technologies. This has created new opportunities and heightened expectations regarding user empowerment in different societal arenas.

However, the question remains to what extent users and communities interacting in an all-IP new media ecosystem are empowered (and not disempowered) to express their creativity and concerns in their social and cultural environment and to obtain a prominent role in the process of new media design and innovation. The book attempts to answer this question through a collection of chapters that scrutinise this issue. The different chapters focus on the way that social and economic opportunities and threats enable and/or constrain user empowerment.

This work consists of four major sections, each of which examines the (potential) empowerment/disempowerment of users in relation to new media technologies from a different angle. The chapters in the first section describe different theoretical perspectives on user roles and user involvement in the new media ecosystem, referring to interpretative, positivist and critical schools of thought. Based on these overall guiding frameworks, we then explore the leverage users have, both on content level and on technological level. This refers respectively to the second and third section of the book. In the fourth section different case studies are presented, each of which highlight how user empowerment manifests itself in different new media sectors and environments (such as publishing, the music industry and social networking sites).

The book is based on interdisciplinary research. It offers innovative insights based on state-of-the-art academic and industry-driven ICT user research in various European countries. This work will appeal to post-graduate students and researchers in the field of media and communication studies, social studies of technology, digital media marketing and other domains that investigate the mutual relationship between new media technologies and society.

Contents

  • Yves Punie: Introduction: New Media Technologies and User Empowerment. Is there a Happy Ending?
  • Enid Mante-Meijer/Eugène Loos: Innovation and the Role of Push and Pull
  • Valerie Frissen/Mijke Slot: The Return of the Bricoleur: Redefining Media Business
  • Serge Proulx/Lorna Heaton: Forms of User Contribution in Online Communities: Mechanisms of Mutual Recognition between Contributors
  • Aphra Kerr/Stefano De Paoli/Cristiano Storni: Rethinking the Role of Users in ICT Design: Reflections for the Internet
  • James Stewart/Laurence Claeys: Problems and Opportunities of Interdisciplinary Work Involving Users in Speculative Research for Innovation of Novel ICT Applications
  • Marinka Vangenck/Jo Pierson/Wendy Van den Broeck/Bram Lievens: User-Driven Innovation in the Case of Three-Dimensional Urban Environments
  • Mijke Slot: Web Roles Re-examined: Exploring User Roles in the Media Environment
  • Philip Ely/David Frohlich/Nicola Green: Uncertainty, Upheavals and Upgrades: Digital-DIY during Life-change
  • Eva K. Törnquist: In Search of Elks and Birds: Two Case Studies on the Creative Use of ICT in Sweden
  • Levente Szekely/Agnes Urban: Over the Innovators and Early Adopters: Incentives and Obstacles of Internet Usage
  • James Stewart/Richard Coyne/Penny Travlou/Mark Wright/Henrik Ekeus: The Memory Space and the Conference: Exploring Future Uses of Web2.0 and Mobile Internet through Design Interventions
  • Sanna Martilla/Kati Hyyppä/Kari-Hans Kommonen: Co-Design of a Software Toolkit for Media Practices: P2P-Fusion Case Study
  • Ike Picone: Mapping Users’ Motivations and Thresholds for Casually «Produsing» News
  • Stijn Bannier: The Musical Network 2.0 & 3.0
  • Enid Mante-Meijer/Jo Pierson/Eugène Loos: Conclusion: Substantiating User Empowerment

Authors

  • Jo Pierson is Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Department of Communication Studies / SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication)
  • Enid Mante-Meijer is emeritus Professor at Utrecht University – Utrecht School of Governance
  • Eugène Loos is Professor at the University of Amsterdam – Department of Communication Science / ASCoR (Amsterdam School of Communication Research).
23 May 2011

Growing Fredericia

FredericiaC
Arup, Effekt and Experientia win second price in parallel urban renewal competition in Fredericia, Denmark

The FredriciaC jury announced the results of an ambitious urban renewal project in Fredericia, Denmark, as the city seeks to transform itself from an industrialised port town into a high-quality urban environment.

Experientia was part of Team Arup, which took second place in the proceedings, having been short-listed from many entrants to be in the final four. First prize was awarded to Team KCAP, for their innovative canal structure and focus on urbanism.

In awarding second place, the jury highlighted “Team Arup’s urban strategy and process-oriented recommendations for how to form the Fredericia of the future through active participation and co-ownership [through] specific action-oriented means … such as local food production and sustainable energy solutions”.

The team was composed of Arup Engineering, London/Milan, Effekt architects, Copenhagen and experience design consultancy Experientia, Turin, as well as various local consultants.
 

Experientia’s contribution

Experientia’s contribution concentrated on creating sustainable life and activities in the new centre, within five public “living rooms” or gravity points.

The jury stated that “the analyses of the future residents and users form strong elements of the proposal … successively increase[ing] value and attractiveness”. The process-oriented proposal was praised for being “extremely involving” and “inspiring”, and for strongly reflecting “the vision that urban life quality and development potential go hand in hand”.

Experientia focused on stakeholder engagement, participatory design processes, temporary events and sustainable quality of life initiatives. We are therefore very proud with the jury announcement stating:

“The jury finds the team’s proposal extremely involving, not only in the traditional urban development debates, but with respect to the involvement of relevant stakeholders and interest groups, which are deeply integrated into the entire described process: in its activities, organisation and financial structures. This way of thinking, where participation and co-ownership create identity in and close connection with the new town-district, provokes the thought how it can be turned into a lifestyle for selected communities of interest to live in FredericiaC. The process descriptions explain how citizens and businesses can act out and realise their views and values.”

 

Preparing temporary activities

Previewing the process, the area of the former Shipyard is being prepared to host temporary activities by the end of Summer 2011, with a participatory approach that Experientia is currently already supporting with the Fredericia City Government.
 

An innovative competition process

The extremely innovative parallel competition project leaves Fredericia with the possibility and the right to compose, between now and early 2012, the final development plan – as well as the final team of consultants – with input and inspirations from each of the four short-listed competition proposals.

The development of the new urban area will most likely cover a 25-year horizon, within which the site will be progressively occupied and become home to temporary to permanent urban development solutions.

Experientia has enjoyed being part of the innovative competition process. We are looking forward to contributing to the development of the sustainable future of Fredericia, and hope that many more opportunities for collaboration arise, as Fredericia realises its dream to become a vibrant, sustainable city of the future.

22 May 2011

New service design resource in France

designdeservices.org
Matthew Marino and his team of User Studio, a French user innovation and design company, have launched designdeservices.org, a great online resource for the francophone service design community – available in French of course.

The content is still being created and people are invited to contribute and add definitions, case studies, tools and methods (in french) specific to the field of service design.

They hope the project may help create awareness about the principles of service design for private and public sector organisations, as well as design students in countries and provinces such as France, Belgium, Switzerland and Québec.

Here is the short French blurb about the site:

“DesignDeServices.org a pour vocation de rassembler de manière collaborative les cas d’études, outils et méthodes propres à la discipline avec le soucis du pluralisme et de la mise-à-jour permanente. Créée à l’initiative de User Studio, cette ressource invite les praticiens et penseurs du domaine à collaborer à l’élaboration des définitions, à l’identification des exemples concrets susceptibles d’incarner la démarche, mais aussi à partager leur veille, leur expérience et leur méthodologie.

Destinée à favoriser la diffusion des démarches propres à une discipline souvent méconnue dans les écoles de design, cette ressource doit également remplir le rôle d’outil de sensibilisation auprès des institutions et entreprises susceptibles de faire appel aux designers de services.”

Congratulations, guys. We wish you all the best!

21 May 2011

Create Your Own 2011

CYO2011
Create Your Own 2011 (CYO2011) is a highly recommended event taking place in Berlin on 30-31 May where participants can explore the reality and future behind individualisation, co-creation, and personalisation — mega trends that are shaping the European consumption landscape. The event is co-organized by a consortium of European companies and research institutes in the field of mass customisation (MC).

UX designer Nadia El-Iman, who is CYO2011′s creative director and project manager, will also be running the MC For Makers 1-day Incubator workshop during the conference.

She has posted a few highly interesting background interviews:

  • Why mass customisation, why now?
    An interview with Prof. Frank Piller (blog), founding faculty member of MIT’s Smart Customisation Lab, and the “go to authority on Mass Customisation”
     
  • Customising China
    An interview wit Oliver Hickfang, partner of Taiwan-based 3digital on his experiences doing mass customisation in China

Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels is planning to attend the conference and workshop.

21 May 2011

Are our lives vanishing into the cloud?

Cloud
“[Soon] we will no longer possess, in a formal sense, our own stuff,” writes Adam Silver, design strategist at frog. “Not even on our hard drives. Instead, it will have gone fully virtual, kind of like Tron but without the neon suits. Slowly but surely, our belongings are vanishing into the cloud.”

“When it comes to identity, users have historically been locked in a dance with the devil—our data in return for some subsidized service (search, email, whatever). Frankly, in the past it’s been a raw deal, because the data has typically been working for advertisers, rather than for us. But smart designers are now turning this equation on its head, creating a raft of sexy, bespoke services that use our data to better reflect our identities in their products, and (if we so choose) share that data with the wider world. They are designing these services to be transparent, intuitive, and delightful. And they are pointing the way towards a future where sharing data is actually worth doing.”

Read article

21 May 2011

Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience

Google
The Google User Experience team aims to create designs that are useful, fast, simple, engaging, innovative, universal, profitable, beautiful, trustworthy, and personable. Achieving a harmonious balance of these ten principles is a constant challenge. A product that gets the balance right is “Googley” – and will satisfy and delight people all over the world.

Read more

20 May 2011

Publicity and the culture of celebritization

Kiki Kannibal
Danah Boyd, researcher at Microsoft Research New England and Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, wrote a long post on the social factors involved in celebritization.

“As information swirls all around us, we have begun to build an attention economy where the value of a piece of content is driven by how much attention it can attract and sustain. It’s all about eyeballs, especially when advertising is involved. Countless social media consultants are swarming around Web2.0, trying to help organizations increase their status and profitability in the attention economy. But the attention economy doesn’t just affect the monetization of web properties; it’s increasingly shaping how people interact with one another.

Teens’ desire for attention is not new. Teens have always looked for attention and validation from others – parents, peers, and high-status individuals. And just as many in business argue that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, there are plenty of teens who believe that there’s no such thing as bad attention. The notion of an “attention whore” predates the internet. Likewise, the notion that a child might “act out” is recognized as being a call for attention. And it’s important to highlight that the gendered aspects of these tropes are reinforced online.

So what happens when a teen who is predisposed to seeking attention gets access to the tools of the attention economy?”

Read article

20 May 2011

To solve our healthcare crisis, home treatment needs a makeover

Vitality glow caps
Instead of resembling outmoded PCs, home healthcare technology should look and feel like the other devices that surround us, argues Smart Design’s Dave Cronin in Fast Company.

“Nurses, doctors, and other professionals are hugely important to any real improvements to chronic care, but they aren’t always around. Technology can help fill the gaps, possibly in a way that may even help an individual feel more like an empowered person, less like a helpless patient. There’s growing momentum around the idea that the consumer electronics of the future must not only entertain us when we’re on the couch but also help us get off the couch, and not only keep us connected with each other but also with ourselves and our bodies.

There’s a world of opportunity for the connected home to better support people who are managing chronic disease. While there’s a lot of diversity in the conditions that fall under the heading of “chronic,” from cancer to depression, and there are clearly no one-size-fits-all solutions, there are some common things a home-care ecosystem should provide.”

Read article

19 May 2011

Mike Kuniavsky on somatic data perception

Data sensing
Mike Kuniavsky was one of the speakers at this week’s Augmented Reality Event and his presentation Somatic Data Perception – Sensing Information Shadows (pdf) is already online.

His main point is that “augmented reality is the experience of contextually appropriate data in the environment. And that experience not only can, but MUST, use every sense available.”

He expands:

“If AR is the experience of any kind of data by any sense then we have the options to associate secondary data with secondary senses to create hierarchies of information that match our cognitive abilities.

For me, augmented reality is the extension of our senses into the realm of information shadows where physical objects have data representations that can be manipulated digitally as we manipulate objects physically. To me this goes further than putting a layer of information over the world, like a veil. It’s about enhancing the direct experience of the world, not to replace it, and to do it in a way that’s not about being completely in the background, like ambient data weather, or about taking over our attention.

So what I’m advocating for is a change in language away from “augmented reality” to something that’s more representative of the whole experience of data in the environment. I’m calling it “Somatic Data Perception” and I close on a challenge to you. As you’re designing, think about what IS secondary data and what are secondary, and how can the two be brought together?”

Mike Kuniavsky is a writer, designer, researcher and entrepreneur. His focus is the intersection of people and technology. His 2003 book, “Observing the User Experience,” has helped thousands of people understand the relationship between people and products, and it is used as a textbook by top universities around the world. His 2010 book, “Smart Things: ubiquitous computing user experience design” is a guide to the user-centered design of digital consumer electronics, appliances, and environments. He has designed dozens of award-winning product experiences that are used by tens of thousands of people every day. He is a cofounder of ThingM, an electronic hardware design, development and manufacturing company, and was a founding partner of Adaptive Path, an influential San Francisco internet consultancy.

19 May 2011

Design in Life

Design in Life
This Tuesday Dassault Systèmes, a leading company specializing in 3D and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software, organised Design in Life, a conference/event at Strate College in Paris, where designers joined forces with philosophers, sociologists, researchers, politicians, industrials, academics, designers and architects to discuss what it means to shape a better life.

Speakers included

  • Anne Asensio, VP Design Experience at Dassault Systèmes
  • Stéphane Vial, French philosopher, teacher and interactive designer
  • Ayse Birsel, award-winning product designer
  • Alain Renk, architect planner in charge of imaginary chair pattern at Telecom ParisTech
  • Pierre Musso, professor at Telecom Paris Tech and the University of Rennes II, Chair of Research and Training
  • Frédéric Jentgen, designer and director of Jentgen Design
  • Dominique Cardon, sociologist at the Laboratory of uses of France Télécom
  • Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, architect working with digital technologies
  • Martin Tamke, associate professor at the Centre for Information Technology & Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen

Only one of the speakers put his presentation online, but it is worth exploring: Stéphane Vial discusses the theoretical and philosophical concerns in the move from design to digital design.