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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 […]

11 October 2014
Reflections on Capital One’s acquisition of Adaptive Path

This week Toronto-based UX strategist Rami Tabbah and I discussed Capital One’s acquisition of Adaptive Path. We were both a bit surprised by the lack of real reflection on the pros and cons of this development (with a few exceptions), so Rami, who has worked a lot with banks, wrote one himself. His post is […]

12 February 2014
Data and design in innovative citizen experiences

The past decade has brought enormous and growing benefits to ordinary citizens through applications built on public data. Any release of data offers advantages to experts, such as developers and journalists, but there is a crucial common factor in the most successful open data applications for non-experts: excellent design, writes Cyd Harrell, UX Evangelist at […]

31 May 2013
How Obama used ‘Ethnography Project’ to defeat Mitt Romney in 2012

Ken Walsh reports on how Team Obama made an unprecedented effort to understand the voters and speak their language, slicing and dicing the electorate with a sophistication and savvy that the Republicans couldn’t match and are still scrambling to replicate. “The Obama team’s opinion research was led by Joel Benenson, a tough-minded pollster from New […]

6 April 2013
Videos of breakout sessions at the recent Interaction13 conference in Toronto

The IxDA gathered in Toronto, Canada’s largest center for design, for its 6th annual conference. Here are the video records of the breakout talks that took place (grouped thematically).   AGILE / LEAN Josh Seiden: A designer’s introduction to lean startup [15:04] Josh Seiden introduces you to the key ideas of Lean Startup, talks about […]

6 April 2013
Videos of keynotes and panel discussions at the recent Interaction13 conference in Toronto

The IxDA gathered in Toronto, Canada’s largest center for design, for its 6th annual conference. Here are the video records of the keynotes and panel discussions that took place. KEYNOTES Albert Shum: Connecting – emerging themes for interactions [36:59] This session will share some of the design thinking behind emerging interactions themes and provide ways […]

20 December 2012
How technology has restored the soul of politics

Longtime political operative Joe Trippi advocates a bottom-up, people-centered politics, and cheers the innovations of Obama 2012, saying they restored the primacy of the individual voter. “New technologies can manipulate, empower, or do both. There will be plenty of actors in both politics and business who will use the innovations of the Obama 2012 campaign […]

13 December 2012
The man looking to turn Samsung into a Silicon Valley trendsetter

Samsung is doubling down on technology investments in Apple’s backyard, including two new R&D buildings in Silicon Valley that will house 2,000 staff and a recently announced startup accelerator. Leading this effort is Young Sohn, who started at Samsung in August as president and chief strategy officer. He has spent a long career leading several […]

26 November 2012
Research on Android tablet use in 5th grade classrooms

The series of research projects on tablet use in schools (see here, here and here) now also has an Android study. A small research project by Marie Bjerede and Tzaddi Bondi, equipped a 5th grade class of 27 students in Portland, Oregon (USA) with 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab devices with mobile broadband data to use […]

6 November 2012
How teens do research in the digital world

According to Pew Internet research, the teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies. More in particular, they say that students’ digital literacy skills are weak and that courses or content focusing on digital literacy must be incorporated […]

25 October 2012
Want proof that market fit is everything? Test your app in the slums of Sao Paulo

For the Stanford-educated founders of Emprego Ligado, creating a successful app in Brazil required dismantling every assumption about the target audience. Emprego Ligado, which translates to “connected job,” launched in Sao Paulo this summer with the aim of connecting unskilled laborers to jobs close to home via SMS: Workers text the system when they need […]

5 August 2012
What marketing executives should know about user experience

“What marketing executives should know about user experience” is the title of a short and introductory piece, mainly aimed at marketing people, by Nick Myers, managing director of visual design & branding at Cooper (a design and strategy firm in San Francisco that I had the pleasure of visiting two weeks ago). His central question […]

7 June 2012
Forget B-School, D-School is hot

The Wall Street Journal published the umpteenth article on design thinking education. What I keep on missing in these pieces is some reflection on what understanding people actually means: ethnographic and anthropological observation and fast prototyping, combined with some creativity, will not by themselves create sufficiently sustainable solutions, I believe. When you deal with people, […]

2 June 2012
US Veterans Administration launches iPad patient study on tablet use

The US Veterans Administration has announced it has created an initiative aimed at studying the benefits associated with the use of mhealth apps and tablet devices to improve and coordinate care between physicians, veterans and their families/caregivers. To that end, the VA is handing out 1,000 iPads to veteran’s families in the “Clinic-in-Hand” pilot program. […]

19 May 2012
After ethnography, and other papers by Iota Partners

Iota Partners is a new Chicago-based venture of Rick Robinson and John Cain (with whom Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels once worked at Sapient) that deals with user experience research, sensor-based data, and smart modelling. The papers section on their website is worth exploring in some depth. Here are some of them: After ethnography This paper […]

13 April 2012
Digital differences in the USA

When the Pew Internet Project first began writing about the role of the internet in American life in 2000, there were stark differences between those who were using the internet and those who were not.1 Today, differences in internet access still exist among different demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband […]

12 April 2012
Boston Citizens Connect

With its Citizens Connect app, Boston is showing how to use technology to empower citizens and involve them in the inner workings of the city. Hana Schank reports on FastCo.Exist. “Some cities seem to take an approach to digital that either involves throwing a bunch of stuff against a wall to see what sticks, or […]

17 March 2012
On the relationship between socio-economic factors and cell phone usage

The ubiquitous presence of cell phones in emerging economies has brought about a wide range of cell phone-based services for low-income groups. Often times, the success of such technologies highly depends on its adaptation to the needs and habits of each social group. In an attempt to understand how cell phones are being used by […]

3 February 2012
Ethnography of mobile phone use in remote Mexican village

Tricia Wang of UCSD’s Department of Sociology and Barry Brown of the Mobile Life VINN Excellence Center Stockholm presented the paper “Ethnography of the telephone: Changing uses of communication technology in village life” at MobileHCI 2011. Abstract While mobile HCI has encompassed a range of devices and systems, telephone calls on cellphones remain the most […]

15 December 2011
Highway to health

Incorporating wireless technology into its newest cars, Ford prepared to roll out vehicles capable of monitoring everything from pollen counts to glucose levels. “[Ford] started concentrating on the aging population in 1999, and a focus on health and wellness within the car is at the center of their new approach. Unobtrusive ergonomic changes like lowered […]

20 September 2011
Transform Conference at Mayo Clinic (videos)

A week ago Mayo Clinic — the world’s largest and first integrated nonprofit medical practice — hosted the Transform symposium in Rochester, Minn., USA. The event focused on innovations and designing solutions to transform the experience and delivery of health care. Videos of most of presentations are now online. Speakers are listed here in the […]

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