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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.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
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 […]

28 February 2015
[Book] Netnography Redefined

Netnography Redefined by Robert V Kozinets (York University, Canada) Sage Publications, 288 pages July 2015 Social media and the internet are rich, fertile sources of data for social researchers, though online data offer both opportunities and challenges. In this updated new edition, Robert V. Kozinets explains how to use ‘Netnography’ to study cultures and communities […]

28 February 2015
[Book] Doing Sensory Ethnography

Doing Sensory Ethnography by Sarah Pink Sage Publications Paperback, 232 pages Second edition, February 2015 Between 2010 – 2014, a team of UK anthropologists, engineers and designers worked towards a deeper understanding of how energy and media consumption fit in to everyday practices and habits in home life. To learn about energy and media use […]

20 February 2015
Understanding people’s financial behaviors

Erin Taylor and Gawain Lynch of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (UCI) lead a research project aimed at understanding people’s financial behaviors. Their project, Consumer Finance Research: Global Approaches and Methods, is investigating how different sectors – development, commercial, academia, and government– are innovating to understand the consumers of financial products. It’s […]

31 January 2015
The anthropology of the Quantified Self

increasing penetration of data into the domain of the “personal” and to the management and care of the self suggest that something is afoot in how the self is understood, experienced, and practiced more broadly, argues cultural anthropologist Jamie Sherman of the Intel Corporation. Understanding this shift becomes important as we design for a world […]

27 January 2015
Big Data and Small: Collaborations between ethnographers and data scientists

In the past three years, Heather Ford — an ethnographer and now a PhD student — has worked on ad hoc collaborative projects around Wikipedia sources with two data scientists from Minnesota, Dave Musicant and Shilad Sen. In this essay, she talks about how the three met, how they worked together, and what they gained […]

24 January 2015
[Book] Beyond Design Ethnography

Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research Edited by Prof. Nicolas Nova along with Lysianne Léchot-Hirt of HEAD–Genève (CH), and Fabienne Kilchör and Sebastien Fasel (Emphase.ch) Head-Genève, January 2015 What do designers mean when they say they’re going to do “ethnography” and “field research”? What are the relationships between observing people and designing products […]

22 January 2015
Ethnographic research of Davos delegates leads to some striking results

Every January, hundreds of politicians, CEOs, scientific experts, and celebrities gather for their annual meeting in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to “improve the state of the world.” Yet, the World Economic Forum’s influence on society and consumption is surprisingly little understood. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research addresses this […]

12 January 2015
How Lego used ethnographic studies to become the Apple of toys

Or said differently: “If you want to understand how animals live, you don’t go to the zoo, you go to the jungle.” Jørgen Vig Knudstorp began turning the company around by making several key moves: improving processes, cutting costs, and managing cash flow. Then came stabilization. “But after that, we knew there’d be a third […]

9 January 2015
Quali-quantitative experiments in a Big Data world

Complementary social science? Quali-quantitative experiments in a Big Data world Anders Blok and Morten Axel Pedersen University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Big Data & Society – August 6, 2014 The rise of Big Data in the social realm poses significant questions at the intersection of science, technology, and society, including in terms of how new […]

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 […]

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