putting people first
by experientia
Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
31 January 2014
The Facebook ethnography kerfuffle

At the center of this kerfuffle is an anthropologist, Daniel Miller, his ethnographic research with teenagers in a small town in the UK, and a press report on a blog post about his research that went viral. What’s exciting about this story — leaving aside the business implications for Facebook for a moment — is that we get to […]

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 […]

31 January 2014
The Facebook ethnography kerfuffle

At the center of this kerfuffle is an anthropologist, Daniel Miller, his ethnographic research with teenagers in a small town in the UK, and a press report on a blog post about his research that went viral. What’s exciting about this story — leaving aside the business implications for Facebook for a moment — is that we get to […]

21 January 2014
How should we analyse our lives?

Alex “Sandy” Pentland, a professor of computational social sciences at MIT Media Lab and others like him are now convinced that the great academic divide between “hard” and “soft” sciences is set to disappear, since researchers these days can gather massive volumes of data about human behaviour with precision, writes Gillian Tett in the FT […]

19 January 2014
New XD Magazine to be launched

XD is a quarterly print magazine, to be launched from Australia in April 2014, which showcases the work of experience design practitioners and researchers from a wide range of human service industries and fields. Each issue of XD will feature a series of projects, interviews, visuals, reviews and creative inspiration – all of which help […]

19 January 2014
[Book] Junkyard Planet

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade by Adam Minter Bloomsbury Publishing 2013, 304 pages [Amazon link – video] Abstract When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don’t want […]

19 January 2014
Why the resurgence of user-centred design matters for marketers

Marc Landsberg, CEO of socialdeviant, believes that marketing departments will increasingly invest in social platforms that are committed to users’ needs and interests In his article, Landsberg considers three immutable human truths, and how they connect to what’s happening in the marketplace: 1) People want to be heard The explosion of Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr […]

18 January 2014
[Book] Practical Ethnography

Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector By Sam Ladner Left Coast Press April 2014, 200 pages [Publisher link – Amazon link] > Download free sample: pdf – kindle Abstract – Ethnography is an increasingly important research method in the private sector, yet ethnographic literature continues to focus on an academic […]

18 January 2014
Interview with Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at UK Government Digital Services

Tricia Wang (see also previous post) just published her interview with Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at UK Government Digital Services. Tricia introduced it with a kind reference to me (thank you!): “>We are excited to interview Leisa Reichelt (@leisa) for our January EPIC theme at Ethnography Matters.  I met Leisa at EPIC 2103 in London […]

18 January 2014
Tricia Wang: The Conceit of Oracles (talk notes)

Sociologist and ethnographer Tricia Wang has posted the notes of “The Conceit of Oracles: How we ended up in a world in which quantitative data is more valued than qualitative data,” her inspiring and much appreciated opening keynote at the EPIC Conference in London, which she describes as “a conference for people who care deeply […]

17 January 2014
[Book] Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend W. W. Norton & Company October 2013. 400 pages [Amazon link] Abstract An unflinching look at the aspiring city-builders of our smart, mobile, connected future. We live in a world defined by urbanization and digital ubiquity, where mobile […]

17 January 2014
Why wearable tech is unwearable

Belindar Parmar, CEO of Lady Geek and founder of Little Miss Geek thinks that current wearable devices are “emblematic of a lack of empathy that pervades the technology industries.“ “Empathy is the ability to see the world from somebody else’s perspective. In order to develop products that customers want to buy the vendors must first […]

15 January 2014
[Paper] Designing customer-centric branchless banking offerings

Designing Customer-Centric Branchless Banking Offerings Claudia McKay, Yanina Seltzer The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) 20 December 2013 pdf, iBook, Kindle Branchless banking services have taken on a significant challenge: developing new channels through which to provide financial services to customers who have mostly used only cash before. Understanding the customer experience is […]

12 January 2014
[Book] Design Transitions

Design Transitions – Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How design is changing. By Joyce Yee, Emma Jefferies and Lauren Tan BIS Publishers [Book site – Amazon link – selected pages] Abstract Design Transitions presents 42 unique and insightful stories of how design is changing around the world. Twelve countries are represented from the perspectives of three […]

12 January 2014
The new design: social innovation inspiring business innovation

Cheryl Heller of CommonWise argues that there’s a new design emerging that works from inside a community and at a systems level, impacting human relationships instead of things. It emerges from the new discipline of design for social innovation, in which the discipline is applied to re-imagining and reinvigorating human resources. This new design, applied […]

12 January 2014
Design’s next big frontier? Shaping behavior in real time

Small devices with embedded intelligence can do more than just measure; they’re showing their potential to change the way we act, writes Sean Madden in Fast Company. “For the first time, we have in essence a kit of parts–sensors, software, wireless protocols, an ecosystem of smartphones–that makes it relatively easy to balance unobtrusiveness, access and […]

12 January 2014
Solving the right problem and finding your own solution: an interview with Don Norman

At the LAUX Meetup Group, Media Contour’s Luke Swenson was able to track down Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition and get his thoughts on problem solving, identifying the right problem, and why copying your competitors is unwise in a world where you should be focusing on your […]

12 January 2014
[Book] The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think

The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think by Douglas T. Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicius Basic Books September 2013 [Amazon link] Abstract Why do three out of four professional football players go bankrupt? How can illiterate jungle dwellers pass a test that tricks Harvard philosophers? And why do billionaires work so hard—only […]

12 January 2014
[Essay] Empathy on the edge

Empathy on the Edge Scaling and sustaining a human-centered approach in the evolving practice of design Katja Battarbee, Jane Fulton Suri, and Suzanne Gibbs Howard IDEO January 9, 2014 Remarkable things can happen when empathy for others plays a key role in problem-solving. In today’s global marketplace, companies are being asked to design for increasingly […]

12 January 2014
The UX of commercial drones

In order for commercial drones like Amazon’s or Australian startup Flirtey’s to become a reality, the drone (or any future-world technology, really) can’t merely do its job—meaning, it can’t randomly drop off deliveries and simply fly away as the drone in the Amazon demo video does. There’s a lot more to it than that. To […]

12 January 2014
150,000 job listings in the user experience field in the USA alone

Hiring managers know that design plays, and will continue to play, a critical role in the success of their companies because: What has been seen cannot be unseen., writes Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman of the Unicorn Institute. And what has been seen is companies like Apple, which are investing a lot of resources in design. We […]

12 January 2014
[Book] War, Peace, and Human Nature

War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views Douglas P. Fry Oxford University Press April 2013 [Amazon link] Abstract Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behavior–and what does that tell us about human nature? In War, Peace, and Human Nature, editor Douglas […]

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