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Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation,
by international UX consultancy Experientia.
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kolko

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.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

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.

14 August 2015
Jon Kolko: Design thinking comes of age

How should companies think about design centricity? For Jon Kolko, vice president of design at Blackboard, an education software company, design thinking can define the way an organization functions at the most basic levels—how it relates to users, how it prototypes products, how it assesses risk. In “Design Thinking Comes of Age,” Kolko says that […]

20 November 2011
Out with the old, in with the new: a conversation with Don Norman & Jon Kolko

Richard Anderson has interviewed many people on stage, but, he says, the best of these, for multiple reasons (some very personal), might have been the most recent: a “conversation” with Don Norman and Jon Kolko, which took place at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco the evening of September 30, 2011. The […]

5 February 2011
Core77 book review: Exposing the Magic of Design, by Jon Kolko

Robert Blinn reviewed Jon Kolko’s new book Exposing the Magic of Design (amazon) for Core77: “Kolko’s book is subtitled “A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis,” and this reviewer joked that it sounded like an undergraduate film or semiotics course. Kolko himself states that “the ability to ‘be playful’ is critical to […]

21 November 2010
Interactions Magazine – last issue of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson

The current issue of Interactions Magazine is the last issue of editors Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, who reflect on the results achieved. Also Don Norman reflects in his column, and raises some pointed criticism of Interactions Magazine publisher ACM, that I endorse completely: “I recently became a columnist for Core77, an open, free Internet […]

17 June 2010
Jon Kolko on design that changes human behavior

As part of its “Future By Design” series, Forbes Magazine interviewed Jon Kolko, associate creative director at Frog Design and founder of the Austin Center for Design, on how a “well-crafted product can make the world a better place.” Forbes: What do you think constitutes good design? Good design is design that changes behavior for […]

14 February 2014
anthropology + design: nicolas nova

Rachel Carmen Ceasar (@rceasara) is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Medical Anthropology Program at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco (California, USA). She writes about the subjective and scientific stakes in exhuming mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship in Spain today. She is now running a short series on Savage Minds […]

25 April 2013
Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

Interactions Magazine is no longer the influential voice in the interaction design community that it used to be a few years ago. Lots of the reason why has to do with the fact that the bulk of the articles are behind a membership paywall, while the content remains as relevant as ever. Here are the […]

4 September 2012
Qualitative research, UX strategy and wicked problems

These are the topics of the latest update on UX Matters: Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative and Qualitative Research By Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain Both qualitative and quantitative methods of user research play important roles in product development. Data from quantitative research—such as market size, demographics, and user preferences—provides important information for business decisions. […]

2 June 2012
Interactions Magazine is (nearly) fully online, archives included

Somehow I hadn’t noticed but Interactions Magazine is now (nearly) fully online. As far as I could discover (nothing is explained, sic), only some of the current year’s articles are fully available. Yet all the previous issues (up to 15 years ago) are fully available. The only way to find out what is fully available […]

22 April 2012
How to create products hand in hand with your customer

In his book “Wicked problems: Problems worth solving“, author John Kolko (founder and director of Austin Center for Design) argues that involving end users in the entire design process ensures a humane design solution. He now summarises his argument in this article for FastCo.Design. “Cultural probes literally probe a given culture, poking at society and […]

2 March 2012
Book: Wicked Problems – Problems Worth Solving

Austin Center for Design today published a new book focused on the role of design in social entrepreneurship. Titled Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, the book is presented as a handbook for teaching, learning, and doing meaningful disruptive design work. The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities […]

10 November 2011
Craftmanship

  John Kolko reflects on design education and the importance of craftmanship in an article for Interactions Magazine. “Based on my experience reviewing portfolios from recent business school graduates, I would argue that one of the most fundamental failings of “design thinking” education is the _lack of craftsmanship_. Students don’t appear to learn a honed, […]

1 June 2011
Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces conference

DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan at the end of this month, with leading roles for two Experientia partners: Mark Vanderbeeken will act as co-chair of the user-centred design track while Jan-Christoph Zoels will be part of a roundtable discussion. The conference will take place […]

14 April 2011
Call to participate at the Core77 Design Awards

As one of the jury captains for the inaugural year of the Core77 Design Awards, I am calling upon all Putting People First readers to spread the news about the award and help us get as many strong entries as possible. The Core77 Design Awards An Annual Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise and Intent Recognizing excellence […]

10 March 2011
Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces – conference in Milan

DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan, Italy this year and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken is part of the scientific committee. The DPPI conference originally began through the desire to move away from talking purely about usability, and look at the role of experience in human-product […]

5 February 2011
Core77 book review: Living with Complexity, by Donald Norman

The same Robert Blinn who reviewed Jon Kolko’s new book (see previous post), also wrote a review on Core77 on the latest book by Donald Norman: Living with Complexity (also reviewed on Putting People First in December 2010). “While his book doesn’t exactly provide hard and fast rules for taming complexity, it does a very […]

2 November 2010
Exposing the magic of design

Jon Kolko has published on UXMatters a sample chapter of his forthcoming book, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis. Read chapter

2 September 2010
Interactions magazine on human nuances

The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on the nuances of what makes us human, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko, and more in particular “about authenticity, complexity, and design-and the political, social, and human qualities of our work”. Here are the articles that are currently available for free: interactions: authenticity, complexity, and design by Jon […]

8 July 2010
Sensemaking

Jon Kolko was one of the speakers yesterday at the Design Research Society conference in Montreal, Canada. His presentation addressed Sensemaking – the manner in which we make meaning during the design process, and arrive at insights and new design ideas. – Sensemaking and framing: a theoretical reflection on perspective in design synthesis (paper) – […]

30 June 2010
Interactions magazine on subtlety and change

The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on subtlety and change, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko: “There are some strange changes under way in our world. We constantly hear the refrain of the massive chaos around us, yet the allure of such a large, looming flux may distract us from something more important: the countless […]

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