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Ethnography
Daily insights on user experience, experience
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Ethnography
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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

27 November 2014
Deep dive into drinking occasions

Five years into his role as head of strategic insights at Heineken UK, Mick Doran believes that the brewing industry is learning valuable lessons from other FMCG sectors in becoming more consumer inspired and brand led. “Since he joined the brewer, Doran has established a shopper segmentation framework, which he says has helped his department […]

27 November 2014
Are we viewing consumers as humans?

Underneath all the shopping, online searching, and purchasing is a human being who takes a particular action for very personal reasons, writes Jure Klepic in The Huffington Post. Those reasons maybe based on a response to advertising or a referral from a trusted influencer, but it is just as likely that there is something that […]

27 November 2014
Intel, Tony Salvador, and design anthropology

Why would Intel need to conduct a tremendous amount of ethnographic research if all they are manufacturing are microchips? This short essay by Ioanis Hristodoulou eexamines Intel’s role in design anthropology on a worldwide context, exploring the work of Tony Salvador, who directs research in Intel’s Experience Insights Lab. Tony’s official role is to “identify […]

21 November 2014
Everyday rituals and digital tech in the families of mobile workers

Quotidian Ritual and Work-Life Balance: An Ethnography of Not Being There Jo-Anne Richard and Paulina Yurman (Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art) David Kirk and David Chatting (Culture Lab, Newcastle University) Paper presented at the EPIC Conference, New York, September 2014 This paper reports on current interdisciplinary design research that explores values […]

19 November 2014
A profile of Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google

As part of an on-going series profiling people, institutions and programs in the EPIC People community, Katharina Rochjadi of Swinburne University of Technology has now profiled Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google. “Conducting ethnographic work is not an end in itself. Elizabeth believes that by being a design ethnographer we are in […]

6 November 2014
What do you learn when you observe 100 days of iPhone use?

Barry Brown, Moira McGregor and Donald McMillan of the Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University audio-video recorded over 100 days of device use from 15 users and just published their results, which they presented in September at the MobileHCI conference in Toronto, Canada. Internet connected mobile devices are an increasingly ubiquitous part of our everyday […]

30 October 2014
Global Social Media Impact Study

The Global Social Media Impact Study based at the UCL Department of Anthropology (London, UK) is dedicated to understanding the implications of social networking sites for global humankind and society, and explaining their significance for the future of the social sciences. Nine simultaneous ethnographies take place in eight different countries around the world – Brazil, […]

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 […]

27 October 2014
Five things marketers can learn from designers

Why are highly successfully companies putting top-notch designers in key leadership roles, ask David Weber and Lisa Leslie Henderson. What are designers bringing to the table that marketers and other c-level players are not? “In today’s business landscape, where customer experience is the primary source of competitive advantage, designers have much to offer organisations. Although […]

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 […]

10 October 2014
Peter Morville on creating a cultural fit

Interesting reflection by acclaimed information architect Peter Morville: “As a consultant for two decades, I’ve been a tourist in all sorts of cultures. I’ve worked with startups, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, Ivy League colleges, and Federal Government agencies in multiple countries. My clients have included folks from marketing, support, human resources, engineering, and design. Being […]

29 September 2014
Reflecting on EPIC 2014

Simon Roberts – now of Stripe Partners – was the organizer of last year’s EPIC (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference) in London. He did a truly excellent job. This year he was at EPIC in New York, not as an organiser any longer, but as an engaged participant. Here are his thoughts on how it […]

29 September 2014
The anthropology of self-tracking devices (video)

Cultural anthropologist Natasha Schüll bridged the gap between human interaction and machine workings in her research on gambling. Her current research focuses on the design and use of self-tracking devices — such as when individuals use digital software to record and graphically visualize personal data — and examines what these behaviors say about society’s changing […]

20 September 2014
An ethnographic introduction

A Simple Introduction to the Practice of Ethnography and Guide to Ethnographic Fieldnotes By Brian A. Hoey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, Marshall University Marshall University Digital Scholar (June 2014): 1-10 Abstract In this article, I will provide a simple introduction to the practice of ethnographic fieldwork and practical advice for writing fieldnotes. Ethnographic approaches, […]

8 September 2014
Experientia @ Epic 2014: focusing on relationships and values

It’s that time of year again, when ethnography professionals come together to exchange knowledge, discuss ideas, and share experiences about the practice of ethnography in the business world. EPIC 2014 kicked off yesterday (Sept 7th) in New York, with a focus on relationships, and particular on how positive relations create new values in the things, […]

5 September 2014
Draft proceedings of EPIC 2014 conference online

The 2014 edition of EPIC, the premier international gathering on the current and future practice of ethnography in the business world, will take place in New York next week. The draft proceedings have just been posted. Here is the table of contents: Papers 1: Ethnographic Cases | Dawn Nafus, Curator A Perfect Storm? Reimagining Work […]

3 September 2014
[Book] Ethnographic Fieldwork and Digital Culture – A Beginner’s Guide

Ethnographic Fieldwork and Digital Culture – A Beginner’s Guide By Piia Varis Routledge February 2015 Abstract Ethnography, as a holistic approach to societies and cultures, can make a substantial contribution to the study of present-day online environments and our digital culture(s). However, the process of doing ethnography online is far from straight-forward. This book aims […]

3 September 2014
[Book] An Ethnography of Wikipedia

Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia By Dariusz Jemielniak Stanford University Press 2014, 312 pages Abstract With an emphasis on peer–produced content and collaboration, Wikipedia exemplifies a departure from traditional management and organizational models. This iconic “project” has been variously characterized as a hive mind and an information revolution, attracting millions of new users even […]

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