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Daily insights on user experience, experience
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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.

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 […]

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 […]

16 December 2014
World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more accurate understanding of human behavior can make it easier to tackle such difficult development challenges as increasing productivity, breaking the cycle […]

8 November 2014
Society’s sandbox

Steve Daniels, director at Makeshift magazine, explains why informal economies are the world’s biggest — and most overlooked — design research opportunity. “Informal economies are society’s sandbox, where early experimentation can take place freely. In the same way that thoughtless acts inspire us to rethink products and services, the way people conduct everyday business outside traditional legal frameworks forces […]

1 November 2014
The challenge of connecting the unconnected

Every time we return to or sign up for an Internet service (e.g. Facebook, Google, Gmail, YouTube, etc.), writes Hassan Baig on TechCrunch, we rely on what UX experts call a “mental model” for navigating through the choices. “A mental model is essentially a person’s intuition of how something works based on past knowledge, similar […]

30 September 2014
Using HCD to make mobile money relevant

Earlier in 2014, two consecutive Mondato Insights examined the role of Human Centered Design (HCD) in enhancing the user experience and closing the gap between registered and active users of Mobile Money. In the six months since then, reports Mondato, the value of the HCD approach in creating MFS (Mobile Financial Services) products that meet […]

22 July 2014
Call to bring refugee-led innovation into humanitarian work

The humanitarian sector must lift barriers to user-led innovation by refugee communities if it is to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, says a new report, Humanitarian Innovation: The State of the Art, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and presented at the Humanitarian Innovation Conference at the […]

18 July 2014
Financial consumer protection: 5 lessons from behavioral research

In its new Focus Note, Applying Behavioral Insights in Consumer Protection Policy, CGAP (a unit affiliated with the Worldbank) presents a summary of the growing evidence from consumer and behavioral research for consumer protection policy on four topics—disclosure and transparency; complaints handling and recourse; debt stress; and fair treatment. These new research methods provide deeper […]

30 March 2014
Behavioral approaches to product innovation at the Base of the Pyramid

Alexandra Fiorillo, Principal of GRID Impact, writes that if we want to achieve full financial inclusion, we cannot simply offer more financial products and services to more people and hope they need, want, like, and use them. Instead, she writes, we should spend the necessary resources to ensure our products and services work for clients […]

24 March 2014
Crowdfunding for design: ITC-ILO campaign for training and facilitation card set

Are you a trainer? Do you facilitate meetings? The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO, a specialised, not-for-profit UN agency and an Experientia client) is currently experimenting with crowdfunding to finance a set of 60 cards featuring participatory knowledge sharing methods. The cards are a handy tool to help workshop facilitators and […]

15 January 2014
[Paper] Designing customer-centric branchless banking offerings

Designing Customer-Centric Branchless Banking Offerings Claudia McKay, Yanina Seltzer The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) 20 December 2013 pdf, iBook, Kindle Branchless banking services have taken on a significant challenge: developing new channels through which to provide financial services to customers who have mostly used only cash before. Understanding the customer experience is […]

23 December 2013
Ethnographic research: Facebook is basically dead and buried with UK teenagers

As part of a European Union-funded study on social media (make sure to check also the UCL site and blog on the same project), the Department of Anthropology at University College London is running nine simultaneous 15-month ethnographic studies in seven countries (small towns in Brazil, China (2), India, Italy, Trinidad, Turkey and the UK). […]

27 November 2013
Melinda Gates on the power of human-centered design

Interesting quote from a Wired interview with Melinda Gates and Paul Farmer: WIRED: What innovation do you think is changing the most lives in the developing world? MELINDA GATES: Human-centered design. Meeting people where they are and really taking their needs and feedback into account. When you let people participate in the design process, you […]

9 November 2013
Ubiquitous across globe, cellphones have become tool for doing good

With 96 percent of the world connected, organizations are using mobile phones to deliver, via texts, water, energy, financial services, health care, even education. “The number of such initiatives seems likely to increase. “The development community is eager to learn more about how to use mobiles effectively,” said Nick Martin, a founder of Tech Change, […]

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 […]

18 October 2013
What behavioral economics is not

Essay: The Nature of the BEast: What Behavioral Economics Is Not 10/16/13 Matthew Darling, Saugato Datta, and Sendhil Mullainathan People are complex; they defy easy summary. Like Walt Whitman, we all contain multitudes. As a discipline, economics has been successful in part because it has ignored this complexity. Instead it has focused on explaining the […]

5 September 2013
Experientia designs mobile site for UN affiliate to promote mobile learning

This week, the ITC-ILO, a United Nations affiliate, officially launched an Experientia-designed mobile site to promote mobile learning tools within the organisation. The mobile site is an internal communications tool to showcase best practice mobile learning use within ITC-ILO, and it has been designed to be optimally viewed from a smartphone or tablet. The ITC-ILO […]

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 […]

23 August 2013
Empowering women with Mobile Money. Enough research to support further investments.

Hannes Van Rensburg, founder and CEO of Fundamo, a VISA company based in South Africa, writes that there is enough research on empowering women with Mobile Money to support further investments. The industry have made big gains getting to understand the need and the benefits to women through the work of the GSMA mWomen Programme […]

20 August 2013
Exploring customer centricity in financial inclusion

CGAP (a World Bank affiliated but independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor) has partnered with Janalakshmi Financial Services, one of India’s largest urban microfinance institutions to implement customer centricity in providing financial services to the urban poor. As a first step, the team commissioned Innovation Labs (consulting […]

4 June 2013
Understanding people core strategic goal of World Bank financial inclusion group

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is an independent policy and research center, affiliated with the World Bank, dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor. Their next five-year strategic direction lays out five priority themes, desired outcomes, and activities against each priority. The first one is “Understanding demand to effectively deliver […]

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 […]

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