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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.

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.

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 […]

15 April 2013
Book: Interviewing Users (by Steve Portigal)

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal Rosenfeld Media To be published: early May 2013 Interviewing is a foundational user research tool that people assume they already possess. Everyone can ask questions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Interviewing Users provides invaluable interviewing techniques and tools that enable you to conduct informative […]

27 November 2005
Steve Portigal’s reflections on recent UX conferences

  Steve Portigal pointed out to me that he just wrote up his own impressions on four user experience related conferences he attended this autumn: – Creative CanUX in Banff in September – About, With, and For (AWF) in Chicago in October – Designing for User eXperience (DUX) in San Francisco in November – Ethnographic […]

24 July 2014
Persona Power

Article by Shlomo Goltz on “integrating the hero’s journey as part of the user-centered design process”: “There are many prominent and outspoken members of the design community, such as Steve Portigal and Jason Fried, who feel that personas are unnecessary. They make compelling arguments, but they also rule out the use of personas entirely, which […]

10 May 2013
How do you interview an interview specialist?

Ethnography Matters took on a difficult challenge with this interview of Steve Portigal about his new book “Interviewing Users“. EM: In your 18 years in this business, what has been some of the biggest shifts that you have witnessed in the field? SP: When I entered the field, it was barely a field. There was […]

8 May 2013
Interviewing Users book – Special offers for Putting People First readers

A few weeks ago, I announced Interviewing Users, the new book by Steve Portigal published by Rosenfeld Media. It is now available for purchase, both in print and in digital version. Steve and his publisher provide Putting People First readers with two special offers: Giveaway: the first three people leaving a reply on this post […]

22 December 2011
Julian Bleecker: creating wily subversions

Steven Portigal interviews Julian Bleecker about the near future, design fiction and storytelling. Julian Bleecker is a designer, technologist and researcher in the Advanced Projects studio at Nokia Design in Los Angeles and the Near Future Laboratory where he investigates emerging social practices around new networked interaction rituals. His focus is on hands-on design and […]

10 March 2011
Repost: Reflections on the LIFT conference 2011

Two weeks ago, Core77 published my review of the LIFT conference in Geneva, Switzerland. In the interest of completeness, I also publish it here: All images by Ivo Näpflin, courtesy of LIFT Conference – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic A few weeks ago I was, together with about 1000 other people, in Geneva, Switzerland, 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 […]

14 July 2010
Ethnography in industry

PARC, the legendary California-based research centre owned by the Xerox Corporation, is hosting a series of talks on ethnography in industry. The three talks that took place are already available online in video. More talks are scheduled tomorrow and next week. Feral Technologies: An ethnographic account of the future [ video | alternate link ] […]

11 April 2010
Interactions Magazine – March/April 2010 issue

The latest issue of Interactions Magazine is about a new intellectualism of design, write co-editors Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko: one that embraces discourse, dialogue, systems thinking, and the larger role of designers in shaping culture. Here are the articles available for free online: interactions: exploring aspects of design thinking Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko Popular […]

4 March 2010
The analogue human and the digital machine

Steve Portigal, Julie Norvaisas and Dan Soltzberg of Portigal Consulting were invited by Core77 to discuss what makes their clocks tick: the analogue human and the digital machine. Steve Portigal: “I feel like there’s this tension that goes on in business and especially in marketing, this conceit that we can take humans—you know, messy, irrational, […]

10 December 2009
Latest Donald Norman essay started a big debate

Donald Norman ‘s recent essay Technology First, Needs Last, in which he argues that “design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories but essentially useless when it comes to new, innovative breakthroughs,” has started a big discussion. Steve Portigal started the debate with a piece which intends to “to reframe rather […]

30 October 2009
Nov-Dec 2009 edition of Interactions magazine online

The November-December edition of Interactions Magazine is online and some articles are available without subscription. Unfortunately, the main menu page doesn’t say which articles are publicly available (although without images) and which aren’t (what about ‘affordances’ in web design?), so I have selected the six that are: interactions: social, authentic, and interdisciplinary Jon Kolko Catalyzing […]

2 July 2009
July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out

The July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out and more and more content is publicly available online (thank goodness): Editorial: Interactions: Time, Culture, and Behavior Jon Kolko Over the past 10 issues, interactions has, with a great deal of conscious repetition, investigated themes of global influence, sustainability, temporal aesthetics, behavior change, and the design for […]

3 March 2009
March-April issue of Interactions Magazine devoted to trust

More and more content of Interactions Magazine is becoming available online. The latest March-April issue is devoted to trust and “explores the idea of assurance and the feelings of ease or unease related to relationships of confidence or skepticism”. Here are some of the treasures: The Counterfeit You Hunter Whitney If safeguarding our strings of […]

3 January 2009
Focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can

John Maeda, the new president of RISD, wrote some smart words in Esquire (where he was profiled as one of 75 most influential people): “Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of “I can” than “I should,” and never more so than today. Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. […]

11 November 2008
Two UX magazines for subscribers only

Two user experience magazines landed on my desk this week. They are available only to subscribers, both in print and online. But subscriptions are relatively cheap. User Experience is the quarterly magazine of the Usability Professionals’ Association (membership is a modest 100 USD) and its latest issue is devoted to usability in transportation. Here are […]

12 May 2008
May/June edition of Interactions Magazine

The May/June issue of Interactions Magazine just came out and some of the content is available online (and more will follow soon). The issue is all about “colliding worlds” with “interactions disciplines” becoming “more appropriately integrated into other creative disciplines (e.g. architecture and music), into business, and into the new business models that will shape […]

14 January 2008
Persona non grata

Steve Portigal is going after the hypocritical use of personas (“the Big Lie”) in the article he wrote for Interactions Magazine: “Personas are misused to maintain a “safe” distance from the people we design for, manifesting contempt over understanding, and creating the facade of user-centeredness while merely reinforcing who we want to be designing for […]

6 January 2008
Interactions Magazine relaunched

A few weeks ago, I announced the new direction taken by Interactions Magazine under its new editors-in-chief Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, and now the first issue is out. The content looks very exciting indeed and the editors-in-chief have done a great job at getting some of the best people in the field to contribute. […]

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