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Putting People First

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Posts in category 'Co-creation'

25 August 2009

Alice Rawsthorn about “design democracy,” “co-design” and “customisation”

Lemon squeezer
Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic of the International Herald Tribune/New York Times, approached the topic of co-design last week:

“We can now “co-design” real objects thanks to digital technology, which enables us to communicate directly with manufacturers to personalize aspects of their products. Fancy customizing the style and fit of Nike trainers? Choosing the colors of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses? Specifying the interior of a Fiat 500 car? Rapid manufacturing processes, like the one used by Digital Forming, will soon allow anyone to adjust the shape of objects — and not just to indulge stylistic whims but to make, say, a pen, easier to grip by someone with arthritic hands. There could be environmental benefits, too, as bespoke manufacturing erases the need for stock.”

Read full story

4 August 2009

From chasm to convergence

Consumer-led
Johnathan Bonnell and Jason Theodor explain in a two part series on Experience Matters how technology is increasingly closing the gap between manufacturers and consumers.

“The chasm between consumer feedback and product offerings has virtually been erased, and this convergence has created a new opportunity in co-creation: companies and consumers working together to co-create products, services, or improve upon an experience.

We’ve found and believe that this co-creation can be consumer-led (where the consumer is deeply involved in almost the entire product creation process, a de-facto member of the product & marketing team) or brand-led (the direct involvement of the consumer ends with providing a new idea or suggesting an improvement).”

Read full story: Part 1 | Part 2

29 July 2009

An interview with Eric von Hippel

Eric von Hippel
Scott Wilson interviewed Prof. Eric von Hippel of MIT’s Sloan School of Management for the Deloitte Review.

“Open source technology and lead user innovation: two subjects very much in evidence across a diverse number of business sectors today. But how can they help companies grow, and what can we learn from the likes of open innovators ranging from small communities of windsurfers to digital giant Google?

Professor Eric von Hippel of MIT’s Sloan School of Management is known for pioneering research that has prompted a major rethinking of how the innovation process works. He is the originator of lead user theory and a leading voice on open methods of innovation development. Here he expounds on the benefits of open source technology, why users are at the center of the innovation process and how they can trigger major changes in both company business models and in government policymaking.”

Von Hippel is the T Wilson Professor of Innovation at Sloan and also a professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. His academic research examines the sources and economics of innovation. He has founded and participated in start-up firms and is a founder of the entrepreneurship program at MIT. His most recent book is Democratizing Innovation (MIT Press). In the spirit of openness, copies of this and of his earlier book Sources of Innovation (Oxford University Press) can be downloaded free of charge from his MIT web site.

Read interview

(via Praveen Singh)

27 July 2009

What is the interest created by conversational currency?

Interest rate
As the world moves to accommodate “everyone’s interest” could we be headed towards a global economy based on “free interest”, asks Jay Deragon on AlwaysOn. And what is the interest created by conversational currency?

Social media is about depositing conversational currency for use and gaining “interest” from it. A conversation can and does create a currency exchange of value. Sharing pertinent information with people whom can use said information to create more value for themselves and others creates an “interest”.

Conversations propagate based on the rate of interest. Rate of interest in your conversation is reflected by the rate of change. The more your conversation “changes” from one to one to a million the higher the interest rate becomes.

Read full story

19 July 2009

The crowd is wise (when it’s focused)

Unboxed
According to the New York Times, evidence suggests that crowdsourcing succeeds when it’s designed for specific tasks — and when the incentives attract the most effective collaborators.

“A look at recent cases and new research suggests that open-innovation models succeed only when carefully designed for a particular task and when the incentives are tailored to attract the most effective collaborators” [...]

“Open-innovation models are adopted to overcome the constraints of corporate hierarchies. But successful projects are typically hybrids of ideas flowing from a decentralized crowd and a hierarchy winnowing and making decisions.”

Read full story

7 July 2009

The future of innovation is … together

 
David Simoes-Brown alerts us on UK’s Nesta Connect about an excellent new collaborative book about The Future of Innovation where hundred of authors give their views.

Over 350 leading thinkers from business, government, consulting and academia from around the globe share their thoughts, experiences, dreams, visions, hopes, concerns, and passions around The Future of Innovation, providing you with insights into tomorrow’s innovation agenda so that you can start acting on it now.

The content is currently only available online and is growing day by day, but eventually a book will be published by Gower in November 2009

A quick scan brought up the following articles (but there is much more):
– Christiane Drews (Virgin Atlantic Airways): The future of innovation … using design thinking interdisciplinary
– Tomás Garcia (Buenaidea): The future of innovation … the innovation university
– Josephine Green (Philips Design): Innovation – for what and by whom?
– Juha Kaario (Nokia Research Center): The future of innovation is serious fun
– Mehmood Khan (Unilever): The future of innovation is about collaboration and co-creation
– Jeremy Myerson (Royal College Of Art)The future of innovation will be people-centred
– Elke den Ouden (Philips Applied Technologies): The future of innovation: created by connected individuals
– Lekshmy Parameswaran (Fuelfor): The future of innovation begins with a story
– B. Joseph Pine II (Strategic Horizons): The future of innovation resides in experiences
– Jaideep Prabhu (University Of Cambridge: The future of innovation in emerging markets
– Marko Torkkeli (Lappeenranta University Of Technology): The future of innovation in emerging markets

26 June 2009

Service Design, a short essay by Jennifer Bove

Jennifer Bove
Service design, while often talked about in academia, is getting more and more attention from design companies and service providers, as the impact of experience design has been proven to increase customer satisfaction and brand perception, argues Jennifer Bove in Creativity Online.

In the article, she discussed a service design talk she gave as part of the Dot Dot Dot series put on by the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts, and more in particular lays out five issues — immediacy, co-creation, voice, expertise and customisation — to keep in mind when thinking about the services we design.

Jennifer Bove is a founder and principal at Kicker Studio in San Francisco and on the faculty of the School of Visual Art’s Interaction Design MFA department in New York. She is also a former student of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy.

Read full story

24 June 2009

How people power can transform Britain

Reboot Britain
The Independent is publishing a collection of essays to launch NESTA’s ‘Reboot Britain’ programme.

Reboot Britain will explore the role new technologies and online networks can play in driving economic growth and radically changing public services. The programme will begin with a one day event on 6th July which will look at the challenges faced as a country and how the combination of a new digital technologies and networked ‘Digital Britons’ can produce innovative solutions to tackle them.

Diane Coyle (leading economist and author) on the Reboot Britain essays
The essays in this collection were commissioned as ‘provocations’. They have lived up to that challenge. The areas covered include education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, climate change, democracy – in fact the whole terrain of politics and public policy.

Lee Bryant (Headshift) on How people power can reboot Britain
Placing people at the centre of a more innovative and more agile public sector is Lee Bryant’s priority, to enable ‘smart’ government – ‘big’ in its inclusiveness, ‘small’ in its bureaucracy. Fewer initiatives, more open data, and more feedback from users are required to deliver this.

Andy Hobsbawm (Green Thing/Agency.com) – All Together Now: social media to social good
Andy reminds us that socially motivated activity is an intrinsic part of life and celebrates how this is already being organised and aggregated online in powerful ways. New ways of contributing together with the highly visible ways in which the impact of that participation can be seen hold the potential for an unprecedented level of global action and global understanding.

Paul Miller (School of Everything) – Weary giants and new technology
Paul hopes that an ecology of private start-ups, social entrepreneurs and government investment can be created to deliver services that are better and more effectively targetted. The digital world is not about content, but about organisation, he argues; cyberspace is not a world apart but rather a tool for re-imagining and re-creating the real world. READ IT!!

Micah Sifry with his Lessons from America
Micah takes from President Obama’s campaigning and early months in government the lesson that open and collaborative government with many, many citizens involved is feasible and powerful. And notes that this embrace of online power is ‘inherently disruptive’: “What happens when those numbers climb into the millions, and people who have been invited to have a voice now expect to be listened to?”

Tom Steinberg (mySociety) talks about how Open House in Westminster
Tom assesses where the culture of transparency enabled by the internet can powerfully be applied to parliamentary processes in a way that is truly transformative. This is much more of a challenge than simply becoming competent in the latest tools and technologies, but instead requires a deep level of understanding of the capabilities of the internet together with an appetite for radical openness.

Paul Hodgkin (Patient Opinion) on How the new economics of voice will change the NHS
Paul wisely puts the promise of technology in its social context and argues that managers in healthcare must build productive technology-mediated relationships with patients. If they do, they will learn much from the empowered and passionate citizenry.

Jon Watts (MTM London) on Getting the balance right
Jon notes the opportunities the digital world offers new businesses but sounds a warning about the limits, too, for British companies lacking the scale needed to compete effectively in increasingly crowded media markets. He offers some proposals that focus on the needs of emerging UK innovators and, most importantly, on what he describes as: “The collective, collaborative efforts of the people we used to refer to as the audience.”

Julie Meyer (Ariadne Capital) looks at A day in Entrepreneur Country
Julie would also like to see less of the wrong kind of government. She argues that despite a significant cultural shift, Britain is a long way from reaching the destination of ‘Entrepreneur Country’, and amongst her many recommendations is simply less cash being taken out of new businesses in taxes.

Daniel Heaf (4iP) on Next please – placing your bets in the digital economy
Dan wants to ensure Britain controls its own digital destiny by properly directed investment, using public value as a guiding light for private businesses as well as public organisations – and all the more so as taxpayer money is supporting so much new technology investment.

24 June 2009

Charles Leadbeater essay: The Art of With

The Art of With
Charles Leadbeater explores what the advent of the web, collaborative practice and open source ways of working mean for the arts and art organisations in this excellent 20-page essay commissioned by Cornerhouse.

“The 20 century avant garde was built on the principle: separate and shock. The avant garde of the century to come will have as its principle: combine and connect. The web will encourage a culture in which art creates relationships and promotes interaction, encourages people to be a part of the work, if only in a small way.

This “participatory” avant-garde will not emerged from thin air. It will be fed by the way the web gives new energy to participatory approaches to art, a digital version of a folk culture in which authorship is shared and cumulative rather than individualistic. [...]

For the participatory avant-garde a work of art becomes more valuable the more it encourages people to join a conversation around it and to do something creative themselves. Participatory art is based on constant feedback and interaction, people talking, arguing, debating around the art and their views having some impact. “

Highly recommended reading, as its implications go far beyond the arts world.

Download essay

23 June 2009

Towards social business design

Social business design
Social business design is a new concept that could potentially become quite important for businesses and corporations:

In “From Social Media To Social Business Design, David Armano explores what businesses would be like if they were truly social.

“Imagine if a company like GM, was at the core “social”. Not just participating in “social media”—but through every part of their business ecosystem, were connected—plugged into a collective consciousness made up of ALL their constituents, from employees to consumers to dealers, to assembly line works etc. What if big organizations worked the way individuals now do. We’re actively using cloud services, mobile, networks and applications that offer real time dynamic signals vs. inefficient and static e-mail exchanges. In short, imagine if what makes “Web.2.0″ revolutionary was applied to every facet of an organization transforming how we work, collaborate and communicate? We think this is possible. And we’re calling it “social business design“.”

Armano’s company Dachis Corp. is currently working on rolling out a set of offerings to help businesses understand and apply these constructs to achieve leveraged and emergent outcomes that are measurable.

Bruce Nussbaum loves it.

” This is one of the most important attempts to answer the key question of What Comes Next? What comes next after the great recession ends? What will be the New Normal for consumers, for businesses, for all global organizations.

In essence, David argues that it is not sufficient for companies to merely plug into and participate in the social media of its customers. Companies must BECOME social media and be organized as social media.”

Meanwhile Jevon MacDonald of the same corporation is giving the idea a bit more grounding on his own blog and the Fast Forward blog. Read his contributions:

Understanding the role of Enterprise 2.0 and moving towards a Social Business
In the last few years the concept of social software in the enterprise has matured significantly, but we are still grasping for a real understanding of its role, and what to call it. I believe that understanding the separation of social software and social strategies can bring us closer to seeing the complete picture.

Taking the leap: Social Business Design
Social Business Design is the first (as far as I can tell) effort to completely unite both the strategic and implementation components of a new kind of business. Social Businesses are those which are designed from top to bottom as a reflection of the world we all live in online today. A business were everyone is connected and able to contribute but also where the right tools are available to them to do all of this with a business intent from the beginning.

Social Business Design and the Real Time Enterprise
For the first time we are seeing a complete set of ideas emerge which are applicable on both a strategic and implementation level. The four major archetypes of Social Business Design can be integrated to move past simple data interchange and in to a world of work in which end-users are in control and through which they can collaborate in real time. Without this framework it was easy to miss the need to develop strong ecosystems and intelligent metafilters in addition to a dynamic signal.

23 June 2009

A range of new products will be created from social data

Reid Hoffman
LinkedIn founder and CEO Reid Hoffman says in an interview on Nokia’s Ideas Project that the unprecedented accumulation of social network data provides fertile ground for the cultivation of products and applications that leverage and yield analytics from user identities and relationships.

Watch video

Related is a post by Jenna Wortham who in her New York Times blog from SXSW introduces several web applications that make sense of the social media pile-up.

Ideas Project also contains a new feature story, entitled “Besting the Human Brain“. It explores the fact that the distinction between artificial and human intelligence may soon disappear entirely, and features the thinking of science fiction author and mathematics professor Vernor Vinge, cyberlaw scholar Jonathan Zittrain, neurobiologist and Whyville founder James Bower, communications and digital pioneer Dewayne Hendricks, and tech observer Jerry Michalski.

19 June 2009

A complex vision of citizen media

Center for Future Civic Media
MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media is hosting the annual meeting of Knight News Challenge winners at MIT, and Ethan Zuckerman is there.

Aside from a Q&A session with Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibarguen and sociologist/author Eric Klinenberg about the future of news, Zuckerman posts two longer contributions about citizen media, which I thought were worth highlighting:

Iran, citizen media and media attention

“I’ve written at some length about homophily, the tendency of birds of a feather to flock together. Turns out that reporters flock, too. It’s somewhat amazing to me the extent to which reporters from really good newspapers are all asking the same questions. I’m glad that people are taking a close look at the phenomenon of social media in the Iranian protests – it’s an important, fascinating and worthwhile topic. But there’s a lot of topics out there, and I wonder whether we benefit from a thousand well-researched stories on this phenomenon rather than a hundred, and nine hundred other stories.”

Chris Csikszentmihayli and a complex vision of citizen media

“Chris closes his talk with remarks on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote not just political philosphy but “bodice-ripper novels”. These novels allowed individuals to “live in the skin of others”, experience the empathy that comes from living for a while as a servant or a noble. The daily paper, he believes, can give a sense of community empathy, the ability to live another’s experience through storytelling. That’s something we need to preserve and cultivate as we move into a digital future.”

19 June 2009

Even the BBC believes that we are all hackers now

Tinkerers
My quest of understanding the mainstreaming of hacker culture is now also endorsed by the BBC:

“The maze of electronics on a typical circuit board can be difficult to decipher, but as hackers and tinkerers grow in number, an industry and web community have emerged to provide them with instructions to make their work simpler.”

Read full story

19 June 2009

Could Twitter ever be used to trigger a genocide?

Iran green
Jamais Cascio asks in a Fast Company article if the same technologies that have allowed for a potential democratic revolution in Iran could emerge just as readily in support of something far more sinister.

“In noting the potential power of social networking tools for organizing mass change, I thought out loud for a moment about what kinds of dangers might emerge. It struck me, as I spoke, that there is a terrible analogy that might be applicable: the use of radio as a way of coordinating bloody attacks on rival ethnic communities during the Rwandan genocide in the early 1990s. I asked, out loud, whether Twitter could ever be used to trigger a genocide.”

Read full story

18 June 2009

We are all hackers now (ctd.)

Open source hardware
In my ongoing exploration of the theme “we are all hackers now” (also the title of a talk I will give on 29 June in Brussels), I once again found quite a lot of recently published supporting material.

We build the parts, you build the product
The creator of Zoybar, an open-source hardware platform that lets anyone invent their own instrument, talks about “decentralized innovation.”

Neil Gershenfeld (MIT) on the future of invention
By digitizing not just the communication of ideas but also the fabrication of things, the campus can now effectively come to the student.

Future of Open Source: Collaborative Culture and Hardware Hacking
Douglas Wok talks on the new open source culture, in which anyone with an internet connection can make their creations available to the public, unmediated by the old gatekeepers of mass media, whereas Ryan Paul discusses what the open source movement will generate now that it is extending its reach to the hardware industry.

The Repair Manifesto
The Dutch art collective Platform21 introduces The Repair Manifesto, which “opposes throwaway culture and celebrates repair as the new recycling.”
(via Design Observer)

Now think what all this could mean in emerging markets:

UN and HP bring technology training to youth in Africa and Middle East
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the technology company HP announced today the opening of 20 training centres in Africa and the Middle East to expand youth entrepreneurship and information technology education.

And finally there is the truly unbeatable video Arduino the Cat, Breadboard the Mouse and Cutter the Elephant, which I posted about a month ago on Core77.

11 June 2009

What Is conversational currency?

Conversational Currency
Jay Deragon argues in a short piece on AlwaysOn that social media and related tools are generating a new currency that is created by the propagation of your conversation and its relevance to your audience, and whose worth increases over time.

“A conversation turns to currency when people discover something meaningful in a “conversational” experience, they are prepared to spread the conversation as if it were their own. [...] Conversational currency is created by the propagation of a conversation by others that incorporate your conversation into their own narratives. The more valuable your conversation is the more likely they are to be propagated by others.”

Read full story

1 June 2009

Thinking about an Ushahidi-for-mBanking platform

m-Pesa
After Patrick Meier, a doctoral research fellow at Harvard University, a PhD candidate at The Fletcher School, and an active contributor at Ushahidi, participated in a high-level mobile banking (mBanking) conference in Nairobi, he reflected on the issue of trust in mobile banking in emerging markets, and presents a crowdsourced solution in a piece on iRevolution.

“One of the issues that keeps cropping up when discussing mBanking (and branchless banking) is the challenge of agent reliability and customer service. How does one ensure the trustworthiness of a growing network of agents and simultaneously handle customer complaints?

A number of speakers at Fletcher’s recent conference highlighted these challenges and warned they would become more pressing with time. So this got me thinking about an Ushahidi-for-mBanking platform.

Since mBanking customers by definition own a mobile phone, a service like M-Pesa or Zap could provide customers with a dedicated short code which they could use to text in concerns or report complaints along with location information. These messages could then be mapped in quasi real-time on an Ushahidi platform. This would provide companies like Safaricom and Zain with a crowdsourced approach to monitoring their growing agent network.”

Read full story

(See also this Reuters story)

1 June 2009

Clay Shirky on social media and the emotional dimension of news

Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky is this week’s guest on Nokia’s IdeasProject site. He talks about social media and the emotional dimension of news.

“Clay Shirky says that the lightning-quick dissemination of news events via social media has heightened the role of emotion. The instantaneous manner with which users of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are inclined to pick up, modify and share messages favors excitement over objectivity.”

Watch video

Related links:
Twitter meets mass hysteria
Free Will: How the internet Is changing us (video)

29 May 2009

Tinkering to the future

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, researcher director at the Institute for the Future, is working on a book on the end of cyberspace – which he thinks will come as the internet moves off desktops and screens and becomes embedded in things, spaces and minds. So what lies beyond cyberspace, he asks in an essay he wrote for Vodafone’s Receiver magazine. We might find out if we tinker hard enough …

“Tinkering is growing in importance as a social movement, as a way of relating to technology and as a source of innovation. Tinkering is about seizing the moment: it is about ad-hoc learning, getting things done, innovation and novelty, all in a highly social, networked environment.

What is interesting is that at its best, tinkering has an almost Zen-like sense of the present: its ‘now’ is timeless. It is neither heedless of the past or future, nor is it in headlong pursuit of immediate gratification. Tinkering offers a way of engaging with today’s needs while also keeping an eye on the future consequences of our choices. And the same technological and social trends that have made tinkering appealing seem poised to make it even more pervasive and powerful in the future. Today we tinker with things; tomorrow, we will tinker with the world.”

Read full story

(In short, we are all hackers now).

13 May 2009

Us Now

Us Now
Watch this excellent 1 hour documentary film about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet.

“In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United’s FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run complex organisations such as football clubs, what else can they do?

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Us Now follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans; Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager; and Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes with strangers.

The founding principles of these projects — transparency, self-selection, open participation — are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and confronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others.”

CONTRIBUTORS: Don Tapscott, Ed Miliband, William Heath, Martin Sticksl, Lee Bryant, Tom Steinberg, Charles Leadbeater, George Osborne, Saul Albert, Mikey Weinkove, Sunny Hundal, Sophia Parker, JP Rangaswami, Paul Miller, Becky Hogge, Matthew Taylor, MT Rainy, Giles Andrews, Clay Shirky, Paul Miller, Sane Kelly, Liam Daish

Us Now project website
Us Now blog
Us Now video (Vimeo)