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Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
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December 2011
7 December 2011

Why service design is the next big thing in cultural innovation

Blackboard
Rohan Gunatillake, the lead producer of festivalslab (the Edinburgh Festival Innovations Lab) gives four reasons why new thinking and tools can produce better experiences.

“Here at the Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab, we explore how to best use new thinking and new tools to make the experience of the twelve major Edinburgh festivals even better – for audiences, performers and the festivals organisations themselves. As part of this ongoing work, this week saw the launch of Festivals Design DNA, a project which began life as a simple question: what happens if we approached innovation through the eyes of a designer, and in particular a service designer?

Working together with Glasgow-based service design agency Snook, we have created a set of practical tools to help cultural organisations use the principles and approaches of service design to improve the experiences they produce – supporting the innovation process all the way from ideation to delivery.”

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2 December 2011

Welcome to the post-digital world

Post-digital world
Simon Jenkins writes in The Guardian that the “smart money is moving from online towards ‘live experience’.”

“The new magnetism of congregation seems universal. Every online service or forum promotes an event, an invitation, a club night, something for which subscribers will pay, much as online dating points towards a meeting. Demonstrators are never content with online but want to “seize back the streets”. Religious sites plead for church attendance. Courses plead for students to go to colleges. Never have coffee bars been more popular, with Starbucks this week announcing another 300 with 5,000 staff to be employed. Anything for a bit of buzz.” [...]

“As consumer spending evolves from “needs to wants”, from goods to experiences, the post-digital age focuses on personal contact. Post-digital is not pre-techno but exploits technology for a civilising purpose, human congregation and intercourse. The money is at the gate.”

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1 December 2011

Another Life Is Possible – Homage to Catalonia II

Homage to Catalonia II
“Homage to Catalonia II” is a documentary, a research project, a story of stories about the construction of a sustainable, solidary and decentralized economy.

The video, which is a project of Joana Conill, Manuel Castells and Àlex Ruiz of IN 3, the High School Institute of Research of the University Open to Catalonia, investigates new economic cultures, new forms of living and of understanding the economy. For the .

In particular, it studies the social impact of the economics|economies that do not follow the patterns of the market, where profits are the priority, and that have the satisfaction of the needs and the desires for the persons as a goal.

The video is a tool for research, not a finished or closed work, and is available for free under a Creative Commons license. This is the English version, there are also versions in Catalan and Spanish.

Watch video (Youtube)
Watch video (blip.tv)

1 December 2011

The anatomy of an experience map

RailEurope
Chris Risdon expands on what constitutes a good experience map in a long and highly commendable article on the Adaptive Path blog.

“The experience map highlighted [on the left - click to enlarge] was part of an overall initiative for Rail Europe, Inc., a US distributor that offers North American travelers a single place to book rail tickets and passes throughout Europe, instead of going to numerous websites. They already had a good website and an award-winning contact center, but they wanted to get a better handle on their customers’ journeys across all touchpoints, which would allow them to more fully understand where they should focus their budget, design and technology resources. Derived from this overall “diagnostic” evaluation, of which the map was just one part, were a number of recommendations for focused initiatives. The experience map helped create a shared empathic understanding of the customers’ interactions with the Rail Europe touchpoints over time and space.”

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1 December 2011

End-user development

Chapter 10
Chapter ten of the interaction-design.org resource is now available in preview and deals with end-user development.

Computer users have rapidly increased in both number and diversity. They include managers, accountants, engineers, home makers, teachers, scientists, health care workers, insurance adjusters, salesmen, and administrative assistants. Many of these people work on tasks that rapidly vary on a yearly, monthly, or even daily basis. Consequently, their software needs are diverse, complex, and frequently changing. Professional software developers cannot directly meet all of these needs because of their limited domain knowledge and because their development processes are too slow.

End-user development (EUD) helps to solve this problem. EUD is “a set of methods, techniques and tools that allow users of software systems, who are acting as non-professional software developers, at some point to create, modify, or extend a software artifact” . In particular, EUD enables end users to design or customize the user interface and functionality of software. This is valuable because end users know their own context and needs better than anybody else, and they often have real-time awareness of shifts in their respective domains. Through EUD, end users can tune software to fit their requirements more closely than would be possible without EUD. Moreover, because end users outnumber professional software developers by a factor of 30-to-1 , EUD “scales out” software development activities by enabling a much larger pool of people to participate.

The chapter was written by Margaret Burnett, professor of computer science at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University, and Christopher Scaffidi, assistant professor of computer science in the School of EECS at Oregon State University, and includes also a video conversation with them.

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