putting people first
by experientia
Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
29 September 2013
The problem with big data correlations

“The people using big data don’t presume to peer deeply into people’s souls,” argues David Brooks in the New York Times (in an April 2013 column). “They don’t try to explain why people are doing things. They just want to observe what they are doing.” “The theory of big data is to have no theory, […]

putting people first
by experientia

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

29 September 2013
The problem with big data correlations

“The people using big data don’t presume to peer deeply into people’s souls,” argues David Brooks in the New York Times (in an April 2013 column). “They don’t try to explain why people are doing things. They just want to observe what they are doing.” “The theory of big data is to have no theory, […]

29 September 2013
The Qualified Self

Looking at yet another tweet and another post about the Quantified Self, I started reflecting this morning on the Silicon Valley-driven fascination with the quantification of one’s own activities, body and habits. The Quantified Self movement is portrayed as the nec-plus-ultra of objectivity that will help us live a better life. But something big is […]

29 September 2013
The science behind using online communities to change behavior

Sean Young, a behavioral psychologist, a family medicine professor and director of innovation at the center for behavioral and addiction medicine at UCLA, addresses the challenge of technology entrepreneurs on how to engage people and change behaviors. Fortunately, he says, “there is a science behind how to change behavior, and the answer to engagement and […]

28 September 2013
Ethnography and speculative fiction

Two new articles on Ethnography Matters: Ethnographies from the Future: What can ethnographers learn from science fiction and speculative design? Laura Forlano (@laura4lano) is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology and she was a Visiting Scholar in the Comparative Media Studies program at Massachusetts Institute […]

28 September 2013
Book: People-Centered Innovation

People-Centered Innovation: Becoming a Practitioner in Innovative Research by Pedro Oliveira Biblio Publishing, 2013 194 pages [Amazon] Written with a general audience in mind, People-Centered Innovation focuses on innovation research in corporate settings. Starting with a biographical standpoint, it describes the author’s transition from the fields of psychology and anthropology into the fields of business […]

27 September 2013
An ethnography of interaction design practice (PhD dissertation)

Delivering Design: Performance and Materiality in Professional Interaction Design is the title of the PhD dissertation Elizabeth Sarah Goodman defended last year to obtain the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Management and Systems at UC Berkeley. It is now available online. Abstract Interaction design is the definition of digital behavior, from desktop software […]

25 September 2013
Mobile mastery

Lauren Pope of Nokia writes that there are three things to think about if you want your devices and your brain to sing in unison: mindfulness, attention and metacognition. The video is cute and well-done, but doesn’t match the three things in the text, as the three things are: mindful, purposeful, and playful. The thing […]

25 September 2013
Simon Roberts (EPIC chair) reflects on Big Data, business and ethnography

Simon Roberts, the highly engaging, smart and easily approachable chair of the EPIC conference last week, was so absorbed with all the logistics that he didn’t find the concentration to speak his mind during the conference. Now that the conference is over (and well organised it was!), it took him less than a week to […]

24 September 2013
When does quantity become quality? How to navigate big data

While “Big Data” is causing excitement in the IT and business sector, the practice and concept of data analysis is not unfamiliar to those coming from a UX research background, writes Michael Lai in UX Magazine. The intersection of business intelligence and user-centric design therefore creates both demand and opportunity for UX professionals with specialist […]

24 September 2013
Can Smarter Cities improve our quality of life?

Can information and technology improve the quality of life in cities? That seems a pretty fundamental question for the Smarter Cities movement to address. There is little point in us expending time and money on the application of technology to city systems unless we can answer it positively. Rick Robinson, Executive Architect at IBM specialising […]

23 September 2013
Does digital age overcomplicate design?

Alice Rawsthorn, design critic of the New York Times, argues that too many products use complexity to mask their flaws. “Designing self-explanatory products is even more important — and more challenging — in the digital era, when devices like phones and computers are becoming ever smaller and more powerful as the public faces of unimaginably […]

21 September 2013
Online time can hobble brain’s important work

While you are browsing online, you could be squandering memories — or losing important information, according to Swedish research. Contrary to common wisdom, an idle brain is in fact doing important work — and in the age of constant information overload, it’s a good idea to go offline on a regular basis, says a researcher […]

21 September 2013
Financial Times on EPIC conference

This week, business anthropologists from all over the world descended on the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference at London’s Royal Institution, the historic site where Michael Faraday first demonstrated the power of electricity, reports Emma Jacobs in the Financial Times. Over three days, practitioners discussed applications of anthropology in the business world, covering such issues […]

19 September 2013
How Public Design? A conference at Mindlab

MindLab, a cross-ministerial innovation unit in Denmark, hosted the seminar titled ‘How Public Design?’ for the second time on 2 and 3 September. This event gathered a distinguished group of decision-makers, researchers, experts and consultants of social change. As the previous event, the theme itself was subject to continuous reflection: what was ‘how public design’ […]

19 September 2013
Is design still about making things?

The future of design is a broad and slippery subject, one examined number of designers and critics at the recent Alvar Aalto Design Seminar in Jyväskylä, Finland. “With a distinct focus on product and furniture design – as befitting to the festival’s namesake, Finnish architect, Artek-founder and furniture designer Aalto – it’s interesting to see […]

19 September 2013
How robots can trick you into loving them

The secret to robots with better social skills? Exploiting human nature. Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor of BoingBoing.net, explores “how [designers can make] robots trick you in loving them” for the New York Times Magazine. “In the future, more robots will occupy that strange gray zone: doing not only jobs that humans can do but also […]

19 September 2013
EthnographyMatters on the relationships between ethnography, fiction and design

This month’s theme of EthnographyMatters, edited by Nicolas Nova, is about the relationships between ethnography, speculative fiction and design. “In design circles, the current interest in “design fiction” is geared towards exploring how prototyping and storytelling can benefit from each other. Design fiction use standard objects and media conventions as a way to express ideas […]

19 September 2013
Two recent reports by Pew Internet

Both studies are about the USA market. Location-based services (Released on September 12, 2013) The role of location in digital life is changing as growing numbers of internet users are adding a new layer of location information to their posts, and a majority of smartphone owners use their phones’ location-based services. A new survey by […]

19 September 2013
A Manifesto for Smart Citizens

We, citizens of all cities, take the fate of the places we live in into our own hands. We care about the familiar buildings and the parks, the shops, the schools, the roads and the trees, but far more about the quality of the life we live in them. About the casual interactions, uncalled for […]

19 September 2013
Book: Design Anthropology

Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice Editor(s): Wendy Gunn, Ton Otto, Rachel Charlotte Smith Bloomsbury Academic, 2013 304 pages Design is a key site of cultural production and change in contemporary society. Anthropologists have been involved in design projects for several decades but only recently a new field of inquiry has emerged which aims to integrate […]

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