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Daily insights on user experience, experience
design and people-centred innovation Audience
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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.

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 […]

8 December 2014
Understanding human behaviour to improve mobile research design

Shirley Eadie, founding member and CEO of Pondering Panda, explored some of the idiosyncrasies of the human condition at last month’s MRMW Africa conference [Market Research in the Mobile World], in order to help attendees understand the impact of those idiosyncrasies on research design, to lead to quick wins for better, more accurate mobile research. […]

22 October 2013
How teachers in Africa are failed by mobile learning

Only projects that work with existing education systems will improve learning and cut poverty, says Niall Winters of the London Knowledge Lab at the University of London, and he argues for a user-centred approach (rather than a technology-centric one) that is focused on understanding teachers’ practice, co-designing interventions with them and providing them with training […]

29 August 2013
User-centred mobile app development in Kenya

The success of a mobile app – its high adoption rate and actual use – largely depends on the degree of involvement of the end user during the development stage. Mark Kamau, Kenyan web solution expert at the iHub UX Lab in Nairobi, believes a user-centric approach to mobile app development is critical to building […]

27 May 2013
Social networks of mobile money in Kenya

Social networks of mobile money in Kenya Sibel Kusimba, Harpieth Chaggar, Elizabeth Gross, & Gabriel Kunyu Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion University of California, Irvine With mobile money technologies, people use mobile phones to send money to friends and relatives, connect to bank accounts, and make payments. This research examines the role of […]

6 May 2013
Tweeting Minarets: joining quantitative and qualitative research methodologies

In the last post of the EthnographyMatters Ethnomining edition (edited by Nicolas Nova), David Ayman Shamma @ayman gives a personal perspective on mixed methods. Based on the example of data produced by people of Egypt who stood up against then Egyptian president and his party in 2011, he advocates for a comprehensive approach for data […]

1 May 2013
Write-up on Michele Visciola’s talk at iHub, Kenya

Michele Visciola, President and Founding Partner of Experientia, gave a talk at iHub in Nairobi, Kenya, last week (see also this earlier post). The aim of the talk was to demonstrate with actual examples how user experience principles are applicable for large and small projects in tech and other spheres, and to show how insights […]

16 April 2013
iHub Nairobi welcomes Michele Visciola

Michele Visciola, Experientia’s president and user research director, will speak at Kenya’s iHub this week, on Friday 19th April. Michele is currently in Nairobi preparing research, and has been invited to be a guest speaker at iHub, Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community. Michele will talk about “User-centred innovation: fostering culture evolution and behavioural […]

14 December 2012
McKinsey’s iConsumer Global Research Initiative

Recent reports from McKinsey’s iConsumer Global Research Initiative: Moving from “mobile first” to “touch first” December 2012 (published on the EconomistGroup site) Already, more than a third of the time people spend web browsing, using social networking sites, and using e-mail/messaging software is on mobile devices. In a couple of years, we expect it to […]

25 October 2012
How the Kenyan Base of the Pyramid uses their mobile phone

In order to understand mobile phone usage at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) in Kenya, iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa conducted a 6-month study, funded by infoDev (World Bank). A total of 796 face-to-face interviews were conducted along with 178 diaries, 9 interviews with Kenyan developers, 12 focus group discussions (FGDs), and 10 […]

16 October 2012
Creating behaviour change in people using mobile technology

Rajeev Suri posted a short interview with Gustav Praekelt of Praekelt Consulting and the Praekelt Foundation, who focuses on creating behaviour change in people – particularly in emerging markets – using mobile technology. In the interview he explains the notions of Computational Social Science, Influence and Susceptibility of an individual in a network, building on […]

6 October 2012
Making mobile phones work for the poor

In this BBC article, David Edelstein, a leader in the mobile for development space, argues that human networks are the essential ingredient for mobile phones to improve the lives of the poorest. “Focusing on the technology betrays a truth that must be understood if we are to get beyond this hype and harness the true […]

4 September 2012
Africa embracing m-commerce

In a new report from its ConsumerLab, Ericsson maps out the potential of transformation within m-commerce across the region of sub-Saharan Africa. Based on in-depth, extensive interviews with mobile phone users in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania, the report has four key findings: that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal […]

1 June 2012
Ethnographic research in a world of big data

Reacting to the Wired Magazine article that suggests that “the data deluge makes the scientific method obsolete,” Jenna Burrell, sociologist and assistant professor in the School of Information at UC-Berkeley, lists some questions that she (and maybe other ‘small data’ people) have about the big data / data analytics trend: What do researchers consider the […]

9 April 2012
From banker to service designer

Olga Morawczysnki, project Manager of Grameen Foundation’s AppLab Money Incubator (a CGAP-sponsored new initiative that develops mobile financial products for the poor) and Jan Chipchase, executive creative director of global insights at frog, argue that large scale adoption of (mobile) financial services by the poor will only happen if providers in this sector approach the […]

17 March 2012
An update on the use of e-readers in Africa

What does it take to introduce e-books and e-readers into communities in low income countries — and is this a good idea, asks Michael Trucano on EduTech, a World Bank blog on ICT in education. “Judging by the increasing number of inquiries we receive here at the World Bank on this topic, we are not […]

17 March 2012
Exploring mobile-only Internet use (South Africa)

Exploring mobile-only Internet use: results of a training study in urban South Africa Using an ethnographic action research approach, the study by Jonathan Donner (Microsoft Research India) and Shikoh Gitau and Gary Marsden (University of Cape Town) explores the challenges, practices, and emergent framings of mobile-only Internet use in a resource-constrained setting. “We trained eight […]

14 March 2012
UNDP Mobile Technologies and Empowerment report

A report, recently published by UNDP, on mobile technologies and human development, “Mobile Technologies and Empowerment: Enhancing Human Development through Participation and Innovation”, does a good job of summarizing the many ways in which mobile technologies are being used successfully as tools for stimulating development. It’s intended to provide information and ideas for development practitioners […]

10 March 2012
Striving and Surviving: exploring the lives of women at the Base of the Pyramid

On International Women’s Day, the GSMA mWomen Programme released a study called “Striving and Surviving – Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid,” reports MobileActive.org. Drawn from 2,500 interviews with women (aged 16-64 in both rural and urban areas) living on less that $2 a day in Egypt, India, Papua New […]

3 March 2012
Do m-health tools really work? Testing the impact of mobile technology on maternal and child healthcare

MobileActive has posted an in-depth new case study that focuses on evaluating mobile health interventions. Written by Kate Otto, the case study looks at testing the efficacy of using mobile phones in health care in Ethiopia. A team of researchers from The World Bank and Addis Ababa University developed a mobile tool that enables rural […]

11 August 2011
Mobile Learning Toolkit published

The mobile phone is now a ubiquitous item even among the world’s poorest, and in fact over 70% of the mobile phones on the planet are in developing countries. With this in mind, a new Mobile Learning Toolkit has been launched to empower trainers in developing contexts to integrate mobile learning into their teaching. The […]

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