counter

Putting People First

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

Children


Disabled


Elderly


Gender


Teens


Advertising


Branding


Business


Innovation


Marketing


Mechatronics


Technology


Architecture


Art


Creativity


Culture


Identity


Mobility


Museum


Co-creation


Design


Experience design


Interaction design


Presence


Service design


Ubiquitous computing


Africa


Americas


Asia


Australia


Europe


Italy


Turin


Blogging


Book


Conference


Media


Mobile phone


Play


Virtual world


Ethnography


Foresight


Prototype


Scenarios


Usability


User experience


User research


Education


Financial services


Healthcare


Public services


Research


Tourism


Urban development


Communications


Digital divide


Emerging markets


Participation


Social change


Sustainability


September 2011
17 September 2011

Book: In Studio – Recipes for Systemic Change

Recipes for Systemic Change
In Studio: Recipes for Systemic Change
by Bryan Boyer, Justin W. Cook, Marco Steinberg
Helsinki Design Lab (HDL) / Sitra
2011, 337 pages
> Free download
> Blog post

This book explores the HDL Studio Model, a unique way of bringing together the right people, a carefully framed problem, a supportive place, and an open-ended process to craft an integrated vision and sketch the pathway towards strategic improvement. It’s particularly geared towards problems that have no single owner.

It includes an introduction to Strategic Design, a “how-to” manual for organizing Studios, and three practical examples of what an HDL Studio looks like in action. Geoff Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, has written the foreword and Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra, contributed the afterword.

About The Authors

Bryan Boyer
At Sitra, Bryan is a part of the Strategic Design Unit where he focuses on building the Helsinki Design Lab initia- tive to foster strategic design as a way of working in Finland and abroad. This includes the Studio Model, as well as the HDL Global event and website. In his spare time Bryan searches for innovative uses of walnuts, a fascination that stems from growing up on a walnut farm in California. Previously Bryan has worked as an independent architect, software programmer, and technology entrepreneur. He received his BFA with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Justin W. Cook
As Sitra’s Sustainable Design Lead, Justin is working at the intersection of climate change and the built environment. He led content development for the Low2No competition and is focusing on Low2No as a development model that aims to balance economy, ecology and society through strategic investments and interventions in existing cities. He has previously worked in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Genova, Italy; as a design researcher on the Harvard Stroke Pathways project; and was the principal of a design-build firm in Seattle. Justin received his BA from the University of Washington and his M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Marco Steinberg
Marco directs Sitra’s internal strategic design efforts, charting new forward-oriented opportunities to help Sitra meet its mission of enhancing Finland’s national innovation ability and well being. In addition to Helsinki Design Lab he is responsible for the concept and design-development of Low2No, a transitional strategy to create sustainable urban development models in Finland through the implementation of a large scale development project in downtown Helsinki.
His previously experiences include: Professor at the Harvard Design School (1999-2009); advising governments on SME & design funding strategies; and running his own design & architecture practice. He received his BFA and BArch from Rhode Island School of Design and his MArch with Distinction from the Harvard Design School.

17 September 2011

How tech is changing the museum experience

Smartphone museum
Museums are exploring digital and mobile technologies to enhance visitor experience. Initiatives go beyond technology within exhibits and installations, but also include more pervasive uses of tech to create interactive experiences for visitors throughout a museum, as well as remote experiences for those who cannot get there.

In this article on Mashable, Aliza Sherman highlights what three museums – The Smithsonian (Washington, DC, USA), The Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York, USA) and Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia) – are doing to make the experience interactive, educational and engaging.

Read article

13 September 2011

Dan Lockton on how architecture and urbanism can be used to influence behaviour

Underground
Dan Lockton is continuing publishing extracts from his Brunel University Ph.D thesis ‘Design with Intent: A design pattern toolkit for environmental & social behaviour change’ as blog posts.

While the first post dealt with the importance of behaviourism in design for behavioural change, the second one focuses on how architecture can be used to influence behaviour.

Read thesis extract

13 September 2011

What’s different about customer experience in financial services?

NFC payment
When we talk about customer or user experience in the financial services arena, what do we actually mean? The understanding of banks and banking is not a straightforward concept, and there are different types of banks out there which serve different purposes for different audiences.

To pick apart some of the layers of customer experience that the financial services sector contains (and in some cases really needs to work on), Martin Rosenmejer has written up a few key tips from Webcredible’s experience in retail banking and investment banking clients highlighting major areas to keep in mind when designing or re-designing customer experience in these two distinct sub-categories.

Read article

9 September 2011

What does it mean to design public services?

Prototyping framework
Design thinking and techniques can help create radical innovations needed to meet the challenges facing local communities and services, says Philip Colligan, executive director of Nesta‘s public services lab.

“What we’re now learning is that there are low-cost and low-risk ways to apply design techniques like prototyping to innovation for even the most sensitive of social challenges. We’re also finding it’s possible for public servants to learn those techniques and that has got to be a priority for any organisation trying to find innovative solutions to big social challenges.”

Read article

Note that Nesta and thinkpublic have recently published a framework for prototyping in public services.

9 September 2011

Design ethnography field guide by Helsinki Design Lab

Fieldguide
An essential part of any design activity is understanding the context one is working in, particularly the social context. Eventually when proposals are made, these too must be measured by their likely impact on the people who will use and live with them.

The Helsinki Design Lab (an entity within Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund) has created a Design Ethnography Field Guide which is a booklet that participants of the HDL Studios use when venturing into the field to see the reality of a system as it is lived and experienced on the ground. It is intended to be the minimal starting point for this kind of activity. They supplement this document with group discussions to prepare participants and adjust the booklet as needed in different situations.

The download page also contains some other resources that may be a useful starting point.

And obviously more resources can be found on this very blog.

9 September 2011

Marko Ahtisaari: Patterns of Human Interaction (the Nokia N9 design video)

Marko Ahtisaari
Marko Ahtisaari is the global head of Nokia’s design unit, and he is responsible for Nokia’s product and user experience design.

During Copenhagen Design Week, Marko shared Nokia’s thoughts on how design will shape and influence the patterns of human interaction in the future at a Nokia event at Bella Sky Hotel.

He then discussed the design of the N9 smartphone, as an initial example of what Nokia is planning in the interaction design/user experience design of its upcoming phones.

Watch video

7 September 2011

Stanford U: Introduction to human-computer interaction design

HCI
Through Stanford University lectures and a project, coordinated by Scott Klemmer, learn the fundamentals of human-computer interaction and design thinking.

The setting for the course is mobile web applications.

43 video sessions in all.

2 September 2011

Ethnographic analysis to better address challenges in developing countries

 
Dr. Kusum Gopal, an anthropologist who has served as a United Nations (UN) Expert and Technical Advisor to government agencies, speaks to The Chronicle on challenges facing developing countries and offers solutions.

Q: You mention Ethnographic analysis – what do you mean by that?
The Ethnographic method is scientific, integrating both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Field work is fundamental to “the doing of ethnography” by anthropologists of all descriptions. Traditionally, anthropologists have identified with peoples amongst whom they reside, and, inevitably, this identification is reflected in ethnographic methods which primarily seek to privilege the world views of people and their life experiences. It involves an in-depth study of human behaviour, the choices and values that guide people’s everyday lives in their natural settings, how they interact within economic, religious, political, geographic worlds that are expressed through their cultural repertoires, in their own words.

Q: How would you describe participant observation?
Participant observation is not so much a method, but an approach to collecting information by means of the presence and the participation of the researcher. There are many degrees of participant observation – the fundamental approach that informed this ethnographic research was the method of immersion. The process of ‘immersion’ in the field by the researchers indicates committed long-term residence and polite engagement with the local communities — forming sets of relationships and activities, which are connected to the wider society. Participation is seen as an apprenticeship, as a learning process through which the researchers and their personal relationships serve as primary vehicles for eliciting findings and thoughts; relationships of intimacy and familiarity, between researcher and subject, are envisioned as a fundamental medium of investigation, rather than as an extraneous by-product, or even as an impediment. Most of the time, it is the people who tell the ethnographer what is to be done, rather than being told what they should do. Thus, one gets to grips with what people really need, whether it is clean water, or seeds for crops and so forth.”

Read interview

1 September 2011

Human plus Machine

The future of human-machine interaction
In the next ten years, smart machines will enter virtually every domain of our lives, including assisting doctors during surgery, fighting on battlefields, building things in factories, and assisting in classrooms, nursing homes, and offices. As machines augment and replace humans in various tasks, their largest impact may be less obvious: their presence among us will change how we see ourselves, forcing us to confront the fundamental question of what we humans are uniquely good at. What is our competitive advantage, and where is our place alongside these machines?

Download essay by Marina Gorbis, Executive Director, Institute for the Future

1 September 2011

New interface design at the New York Times R&D Lab

Magic Mirror
Megan Garber of the Nieman Journalism Lab recently visited the New York Times R&D Lab and updates us on the latest interface developments there.

The New York Times imagines the kitchen table of the future
August 30, 2011
The Times Co.’s R&D Lab is betting breakfast will be less about sharing out newsprint and more about swiping through stories, ambient commerce, and the quantified self.

Mirror, mirror: The New York Times wants to serve you info as you’re brushing your teeth
August 31, 2011
Meet the R&D Lab’s latest: a proof of concept in the form of a “magic mirror.”

Previous articles

The New York Times envisions version 2.0 of the newspaper
May 11, 2009

At the New York Times, preparing for a future across all platforms
May 12, 2009

The New York Times would like to join you in the living room
May 13, 2009

If The N.Y. Times were mounted on your wall, it might look like this
May 14, 2009

In the Times R&D Lab, the future of news is the future of advertising
May 15, 2009