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Posts in category 'Experience design'

5 March 2014

Experientia’s mini-doc for the UN’s International Labour Organization

 

The first destination: The path to decent work in rural economies
Experientia’s short documentary for the UN’s International Labour Organization

It’s always a pleasure to work on a project that is out of the ordinary. Experientia’s short documentary for the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) was not only a rare opportunity for our communications team to take centre stage on a project, it was also a chance to collaborate with a non-profit organisation with a global mission to do good that we solidly support.

The ILO promotes rights at work, encourages decent employment opportunities, enhances social protection and strengthens dialogue on work-related issues. It does this all over the world, combatting forced labour, child labour and unfair conditions, and ensuring that people have the opportunities and skills to rise beyond poverty, through decent work.

Experientia has worked on numerous occasions with the International Training Centre arm of the ILO (the ITC-ILO). In late 2013, an internal ILO group that focuses particularly on building work skills and decent work in rural areas commissioned us to create a short video, showcasing the work the ILO was doing in rural Vietnam.

So in November 2013, two Experientia collaborators travelled to Vietnam, to visit rural villages in Quang Nam province where the local farmers had been developing the skills to run community-based tourism programs, and rattan and cloth weaving cooperatives. The programs put skills development and work creation into the hands of the local people, so that they can improve their income sustainably and autonomously. This desire to ensure people are actively engaged in ILO programs is captured perfectly by Huyen Thi Nguyen, the ILO In-land Tourism National Project Coordinator, at the end of the video: “We always say that people are the first destination in tourism.”

The video’s narrative was developed by Erin O’Loughlin, part of Experientia’s communications team. Yohan Erent and SeungJun Jeong, from Experientia’s design team, developed infographics and motion graphics, to illustrate some of the more theoretical concepts of the ILO’s work.

The video itself is beautifully shot in HD cinema-quality film by Experientia collaborators Marco Mion and Andry Verga, and features interviews with the local villagers against a backdrop of rice fields, temples, and farmland, the ever-present water a reminder of the hardships for subsistence farmers in this lush yet challenging landscape.

The full 8 minute version of the film is now on Experientia’s YouTube and Vimeo channels. A 5 minute version is planned for the near future.

26 February 2014

What the tech business hasn’t yet grasped about human nature

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Genevieve Bell, Intel’s in-house anthropologist, sees constants in our behavior that could mean big bucks for businesses that find a way to capitalize on them. C|Net reports on her talk at the Mobile World Congress yesterday.

“In this digital world, the story we’re telling about the future is a story driven by what the technology wants and not what we as humans need,” Bell said at the WIPjam developer event during the massive Mobile World Congress show here. “We want mystery, we want boredom, a lot of us in this room want to be dangerous and bad and be forgiven about it later. We want to be human, not digital.”

12 February 2014

The Museum of Future Government Services

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The Museum of Future Government Services, which in Dubai on the 10th of February at the UAE Government Summit, is an interactive design futures exhibition.

The Museum explores the future of travel, healthcare, education and urban services. It brings together over 80 designers, technologists and futurists from nearly 20 countries to imagine how these services could be changed for the better in the coming years.

“The first of its kind, the Museum goes far beyond written reports or special effects. It highlights real prototypes of prospective services that could be developed by the governments of tomorrow.

This approach allows visitors to interact with, experience, and enjoy future trends in a way never before possible.

The Museum of Future Government Services paints a bold and hopeful vision of what the future could be. It shows how businesses, governments, and citizenry could work together to create a world-class experience of government services. It is just one possibility among many, illustrating the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The future is uncertain, but the work of the Museum suggests that bold vision, creative experiments and committed partnerships can build a better world.

Project partners
– Client: The Prime Minister’s Office of the United Arab Emirates
– Lead Exhibition Designer: Tellart, Providence, Rhode Island
– Lead Content Designer: Fabrica, Treviso, Italy
– Lead Creative Consultants: Superflux Studio, London, and Near Future Laboratory, Geneva
– Lead Researcher: The Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, California
– Special Advisor: Dr. Noah Raford

9 February 2014

Move over product design, UX is the future

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Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, says experience innovation is the next design imperative. Here are five things you can do this year to make that happen.

“Today’s enlightened leaders are achieving success by crafting the entire customer experience–shaping, innovating, branding, and measuring it. They are mastering a new discipline we refer to as “experience innovation” by going beyond the discrete product or service to reimagine the customer journey. The result yields new, unexpected, signature moments that delight customers and create significant opportunities for new growth.

We believe that experience innovation will be a crucial component for companies seeking to remain relevant and retain customer loyalty in 2014. But the process of designing a truly innovative experience cannot simply rest on the process excellence of classic customer experience-improvement efforts or the creative brilliance of the marketing team. Drawing on our recent work, here are a few key principles for success.”

9 February 2014

There is no UX, there is only UX

 

Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at the Government Digital Service [GDS] in the UK Cabinet Office, argues that UX belongs everywhere and nowhere. That there is no UX team, but that everyone is the UX team.

“At GDS we don’t have a ‘UX team’ and no one person has a job title that includes the term ‘UX’. We have designers and researchers who work as part of multidisciplinary, agile teams and who practice user centred design (UCD).

On the surface that may all sound pretty trite. The truth is that, for many of our projects, the truly challenging user experience issues come not from designing the interface*, but from the constraints of the product that must be designed. Those constraints and challenges tend to come from our friends in policy or standards, or procurement or other parts of the organisation. Try as you might, you can’t interface away inappropriate policy.

It is really important that no one in the team can point to someone over in the corner and put all the burden of user experience on that guy. No one person, no small group of people can be made responsible for the user experience of a service. It is down to the entire team to achieve this, and we need to drag people into the team who make decisions way before we get on the scene.”

19 January 2014

New XD Magazine to be launched

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XD is a quarterly print magazine, to be launched from Australia in April 2014, which showcases the work of experience design practitioners and researchers from a wide range of human service industries and fields.

Each issue of XD will feature a series of projects, interviews, visuals, reviews and creative inspiration – all of which help everyone understand why experience design is important, who does it and where, how experience design is done in practice and how experience design research can enhance practice.

XD aims to attract a wide readership across many fields and industries internationally. Its style is informal, conversational and designed to stimulate creative discussion around the concept and practice of experience design.

If you are interested in submitting material, please email the Editor Faye Miller, faye@xdmagazine.net with a short draft article (approx 800-1000 words) or drop her a line to chat about your ideas.

More info:
Magazine website
Editorial site (on WordPress)
Twitter / Facebook / Pozible

17 January 2014

Why wearable tech is unwearable

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Belindar Parmar, CEO of Lady Geek and founder of Little Miss Geek thinks that current wearable devices are “emblematic of a lack of empathy that pervades the technology industries.

“Empathy is the ability to see the world from somebody else’s perspective. In order to develop products that customers want to buy the vendors must first attempt to relate to their audience and understand the desires and motivations of their customers.

Unfortunately most technology companies see empathy as a ‘soft’ and overtly feminine skill that’s downgraded compared to the ‘hard’ skills of engineers. The tech industry traditionally favours individuals who are systemisers — these are people who are able to work with hierarchies, processes and complex inanimate systems.

These are great skills to have and many of the world’s best companies have discovered how to extract the best from this kind of person.

Unfortunately companies dominated by systemisers tend to ignore the human aspect. The end-user does not figure within its circuit schematics and design goals. I’ve met people for whom the user is an unfortunate and pesky interface problem — best avoided or left to the marketing types.”

15 January 2014

[Paper] Designing customer-centric branchless banking offerings

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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 critical, but focus groups and surveys may not be well-suited to understand customer needs in an environment with so many new and unknown dimensions. Intrigued by the success of design research in other industries, CGAP set out to explore how human-centered design (HCD) could be applied to branchless banking and its unique challenges.

Most financial service providers do not launch branchless banking services based on well-defined insights about low-income clients. Instead, they go to market with a one-size-fits-all mobile wallet that customers sometimes struggle to understand and use. Several customer-centric research and product development methodologies have been used in financial inclusion work for some time with mixed success. Because of its track record in other industries, CGAP has been exploring how HCD may help branchless banking providers understand their customers more deeply and develop offerings better suited to their customers’ needs. The HCD process is centered on learning directly from customers and delivering solutions that work in specific contexts. Through careful listening and observation of customers in their own environment, designers understand the needs of the people they are designing for. Rapid prototyping and real-world tests with customers are then used to quickly validate (or invalidate) early designs and iteratively improve the final solution.

This Brief describes initial experiences using HCD to help five branchless banking providers understand their customers better and design offerings to meet their needs. Partners include large banks in Brazil, Mexico, and Pakistan; mobile network operators (MNOs) in Ghana and Uganda; and several leading design firms. Three lessons from early experiences include the following:

  1. In each project, the process uncovered critical aspects of the customer experience beyond the product that needed to function correctly for customers to trust and use the product. HCD was a useful tool to understand and improve the entire customer experience.
  2. Although the HCD process helped develop innovative product concepts arising directly from customer needs, it did not solve implementation challenges, which can be just as difficult if not more so than concept generation.
  3. The HCD process helped bridge the gap between senior managers and customers. Many senior managers engaged deeply and directly with customers for the first time and are adjusting organizational processes to ensure customers continue to have a greater voice in the organization.
12 January 2014

[Essay] Empathy on the edge

 

Empathy on the Edge
Scaling and sustaining a human-centered approach in the evolving practice of design
Katja Battarbee, Jane Fulton Suri, and Suzanne Gibbs Howard
IDEO
January 9, 2014

Remarkable things can happen when empathy for others plays a key role in problem-solving. In today’s global marketplace, companies are being asked to design for increasingly diverse users, cultures, and environments. These design challenges can be so systemic and wickedly complex, the task of aligning all of a project’s stakeholders can seem impossible. But it’s not.

Design empathy is an approach that draws upon people’s real-world experiences to address modern challenges. When companies allow a deep emotional understanding of people’s needs to inspire them—and transform their work, their teams, and even their organization at large—they unlock the creative capacity for innovation.

In this essay, we’ll explore how design empathy works, its value to businesses, and some ways in which it can be used to effect positive change. We’ll discuss the need for scaling and sustaining design empathy, so that its benefits can reach more people and have long-term positive impact throughout organizations. And we’ll offer stories from the edges of our own empathic design practice. Our goal is to inspire other designers and innovators to share their practices and to expand the conversation about empathy to include the business community-at-large.

12 January 2014

Discover the world’s best mobile UX

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To help you build better mobile experiences, UX Archive finds and presents mobile’s most interesting user flows so you can “compare them, build your point of view, and be inspired.”

“Documenting user flows is probably something many UX designers already do to some degree. Now a great collection is in one place, and wired to grow as new discoveries are added to the archive. Even more useful, the site is set up so you can easily filter user flows based on specific tasks, such as onboarding, purchasing and sharing, and compare just those.”

A side project of Feedly co-founder and designer [and former Experientia collaborator] Arthur Bodolec, and developers Chris Polk and Nathan Barraille, UX Archive is a lean, clean site that just does one thing and does it really well, writes Penina Finger.

2 January 2014

Using ethnography to build internet freedom tools for real people

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In our new dystopian world of pervasive surveillance, most people are at a loss what to do. The tools that allows us to maintain a semblance of privacy are really, really hard to use. Most of us won’t even try and just accept our fate, with resignation and some bitterness.

Michael Brennan is one of these people trying to change that.

He gave a talk a few days ago at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC] on how we can use ethnography and human-centered design to build more effective tools that can be used by individuals from all around the world to circumvent censorship and surveillance and communicate safely and anonymously.

Few hackers will disagree that users are not given enough consideration when building Internet Freedom Tools designed to circumvent censorship and surveillance. But how do we do it? This talk outlines a framework for a user-focused approach to the Development and Impact of Internet Freedom Tools through using ethnography, human-centered design, and the practice of research-based product definition. This talk is intended for developers, researchers, and journalists who seek to understand how better tools can be developed to protect anonymity and provide unfettered access to the Internet.

Internet Freedom Tools (IFTs) are developed to solve the technical challenges of anonymity, privacy, security and information access. Focus on these technical challenges rather than the user of an IFT can lead to overlooking the motivations, needs and usability issues faced by user communities. Further, IFTs may solve a technical challenge for users, and yet fall short when it comes to user experience. There is a disconnect that must be remedied for IFTs and the people who use them to realize their full potential.

This talk seeks to provide new insights to developers and users in need of knowledge on how they can better address relevant problems, create appropriate solutions and help users with IFTs. This talk explains to the audience what tools are available for user-focused design. It also walks through a framework to guide the development of IFTs that is grounded in ethnographic methods and human-centered design, and how this framework is being used to conduct an IFT user community.

This work is currently being conducted by SecondMuse and Radio Free Asia through the Open Technology Fund.

ADDENDUM: But, what is “Ethnography”? What are “User Communities”?

  • Ethnography is defined as the study of culture and human motivation through qualitative research. Ethnographic practices complement usability studies by tapping into needs and motivations of people and users to give the “why” behind certain actions observed solely through conducting usability research. This method includes interviews, observing specific behaviors and understanding the material culture and surrounds of a target group.
  • A community is defined as a group of users that can be defined by geography, culture, shared experiences, or shared challenges. User is defined as someone who is currently utilizing a particular IFTs such as Tor, RedPhone, CryptoCat, and/or other privacy, security, anonymity and access enhancing technologies and methodologies created by developers or users themselves. A user may also be defined as a potential user of such technologies and tools.
2 January 2014

[Book] Hooked

hooked

Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit-Forming Technology
By Nir Eyal
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Released: December 2013
Pages: 154
[Amazon link]

Why do some products capture our attention, while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of habit? Is there be a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

This book introduces readers to the “Hook Model,” a four steps process companies use to build customer habits. Through consecutive hook cycles, successful products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back repeatedly — without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

Hooked is a guide to building products people can’t put down. Written for product managers, designers, marketers, startup founders, and people eager to learn more about the things that control our behaviors, this book gives readers:
– Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
– Actionable steps for building products people love.
– Behavioral techniques used by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other habit-forming products.

Nir Eyal distilled years of research, consulting and practical experience to write a manual for creating habit-forming products. Nir has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His writing on technology, psychology and business appears in the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Three presentations by Nir Eyal presenting the main points of his book:
– Detroit Mobile City, February 2013: videointerview
– GSmummit, San Francisco, April 2013: videoslides
– Grow Conference, Vancouver, August 2013: videoslides

1 January 2014

[Book] Experience Design

9781118609637_cover.indd

Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value
Patrick Newbery, Kevin Farnham
240 pages
October 2013
Wiley
[Amazon link]

Description
Businesses thrive when they can engage customers. And, while many companies understand that design is a powerful tool for engagement, they do not have the vocabulary, tools, and processes that are required to enable design to make a difference. Experience Design bridges the gap between business and design, explaining how the quality of customer experience is the key to unlocking greater engagement and higher customer lifetime value. The book teaches businesses how to think about design as a process, and how this process can be used to create a better quality of experience across the entire customer journey.

Experience Design also serves as a reference tool for both designers and business leaders to help teams collaborate more effectively and to help keep focus on the quality of the experiences that are put in front of customers.

Authors
Patrick Newbery and Kevin Farnham are the Chief Strategy Officer and CEO of Method respectively, an experience design company that solves business challenges through design to create integrated brand, product, and service experiences.

> Review in Dexigner
> Review by Carolynn Duncan

31 December 2013

The anthropology of Big Data

 

The anthropology of an equation. Sieves, spam filters, agentive algorithms, and ontologies of transformation
Paul Kockelman

This article undertakes the anthropology of an equation that constitutes the essence of an algorithm that underlies a variety of computational technologies — most notably spam filters, but also data-mining tools, diagnostic tests, predictive parsers, risk assessment techniques, and Bayesian reasoning more generally.

The article foregrounds the ways ontologies are both embodied in and transformed by such algorithms. And it shows the stakes such ontological transformations have for one particularly widespread and powerful metaphor and device — the sieve.

In so doing, this inquiry shows some of the complex processes that must be considered if we are to understand some of the key relations linking semiosis and statistics. Reflexively, these processes perturb some core ontological assumptions in anthropology, science and technology studies, and critical theory.

20 December 2013

People powered data

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Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta (the UK innovation charity), writes that in 2014 the growing movement to take back control of personal data will reach a tipping point.

“The next few years will bring a further explosion of data, and data awareness in daily life. We’re some way off the new Magna Carta that will, at some point, need to establish the ground rules of privacy, power and identity in a digital world. But these issues are fast moving from the margins to the mainstream of daily life – and quite a lot of very powerful organisations risk being on the wrong side of history.”

17 December 2013

American-centric UI is leveling tech culture — and design diversity

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An article with a title like this cannot but intrigue me (being a non-American leading a non-USA company) – and even more so after I found out that it was written by an American working in an American company.

In a very frank and thoughtful article, Sean Madden, Executive Managing Director at Ziba, argues that the interactions designed into our devices overwhelmingly reflect a perspective native to modern, affluent, urban America.

“That our smartphones can be customized through the installation of apps assumes we want a device that is unique and personal. That our wearable devices track and analyze physical movement — as opposed to, say, proximity to friends or family — assumes that individual activity is the kind most worth monitoring. That our gaming consoles are designed primarily with a single, networked player in mind assumes we prefer remote interaction to the in-person kind; compare that to what Korean and Chinese gamers do, which is cluster in cafes.

This focus on individuality and personal mobility is deeply American, and it’s being taught to the rest of the world through the medium of American technology. And the age of invisible design, with its focus on experiences (as opposed to just products and interfaces) has made cultural influence the elephant in the room: obvious, ignored, and hugely powerful. Especially because technology platforms favor the culture that spawned them.”

Madden doesn’t stop at analysis, but sets out a vision for what the next challenge will be:

“Just as user-centered design transformed technology in the 1990s and early 2000s, cultural fluency needs to transform it today: user experience (UX) design that’s familiar enough with a user’s cultural background to meet him or her halfway.

Cultural fluency demands abandoning the idea that functionality is a universal language, and that “good UX” is culturally agnostic. [...]

It requires tremendous discipline to overcome the cultural biases of American design and engineering, to avoid teams building their own cultural norms into how the systems facilitate human interactions. Cultural fluency will require another expansion in design, one that incorporates anthropological, psychological, and historical insights in addition to everything that’s come before. And it will require understanding the broader impact on culture and society when devices begin making decisions and transacting on their own, as promised by the Internet of Things.”

8 December 2013

Robert Fabricant on scaling your UX strategy

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Leading businesses like Google are exploring scalable strategies that make UX relevant to engineers and MBAs across their organizations.

Robert Fabricant has posted a quick look at some of the different strategies that they are deploying:
1. Lean UX
2. UX in R&D
3. Baby-Step UX
4. Six Sigma UX
5. Customer-Driven UX

24 November 2013

[Book] Public and Collaborative

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Public and Collaborative
Exploring the intersection of design, social innovation and public policy

Ezio Manzini and Eduardo Staszowski (Editors)
New York, September 2013, 181 pages
Download [Alternative links 1 - 2]

This book edited by Ezio Manzini and Eduardo Staszowski documents and presents some reflections on efforts of DESIS Labs in Europe, Canada, and the United States that are participating in the Public and Collaborative Thematic Cluster. It includes 11 articles that present from a critical perspective the labs’ projects and activities during the 2012-2013 period. The book opens with Christian Bason’s paper, “Discovering Co-production by Design”. In this paper Bason, Director of Denmark’s MindLab, proposes a broad view of how design is entering the public realm and the policymaking processes. His essay offers updated and stimulating context for the entire book.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Ezio Manzini, Eduardo Staszowski

Foreword

Discovering co-production by design
Christian Bason, Director of Mindlab, Denmark
This article explores how design methods, including user research and involvement, ideation, prototyping and experimentation, are experienced and used by public managers.

Chapter 1: Designing new relationships between people and the State

  • Peer-production in public services: Emerging themes for design research and action
    Andrea Botero, Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
    This article collects a set of emerging themes for design research and action, based on lessons learned from case studies and research projects in Helsinki, Finland that deal with peer production of public services.
  • Service design for intercultural dialogue: Making a step forward towards a multicultural society
    Margherita Pillan, Irina Suteu, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
    How to promote social cohesion in multicultural urban environments? What role can service design play with respect to a full acceptance of social change due to multicultural complexity? How can we contribute to public service innovation so to correspond to multicultural issues?
  • Reflections on designing for social innovation in the public sector: a case study in New York City
    Eduardo Staszowski, Scott Brown, Benjamin Winter, Parsons The New School for Design, New York, USA
    This article examines the “Designing Services for Housing” project as a case study for identifying various challenges designers face in working in collaboration with public partners to effect social change in the public realm.

Chapter 2: Design schools as agents of change

  • Seven reflections on design for social innovation, students & a neighbourhood
    Nik Baerten, Pantopicon, Antwerp, Belgium
    The process to involve students from several schools and neighborhood inhabitants as well as the public sector in design activities aimed at social innovation, presents a series of challenges worth reflecting upon. This article presents seven key learnings, using the “Welcome to Saint-Gilles” project as its main inspiration and case study.
  • Learning together: Students and community groups co-designing for carbon reduction in the London Borough Of Camden
    Adam Thorpe, Lorraine Gamman, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK
    This article reflects on how the University of the Arts London (UAL) DESIS Lab, working in partnership with the London Borough of Camden’s Sustainability Team, supported students from CSM’s BA Product Design and MA Applied Imagination courses to collaborate with local residents to design new ways to change behaviors to reduce carbon emissions.

Chapter 3: Experimental places for social and public innovation

  • Participatory design for social and public innovation: Living Labs as spaces of agonistic experiments and friendly hacking
    Per-Anders Hillgren, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden
    This article will present some learning’s and reflection on what role we as a design school can take when running a DESIS lab where we approach several of the urgent challenges that face society today.
  • From welfare state to partner state: The case of Welcome to Saint-Gilles
    Virginia Tassinari, MAD, Genk, Belgium
    This article shares a series of reflections on the nature of Public Innovation Places (PIP), looking at the process that eventually can lead to establish a PIP and at the role of design schools therein – starting from the concrete experience of the project ‘Welcome to Saint-Gilles’.
  • Innovation without boundaries: Ecology of innovation and municipal service design
    Luigi Ferrara, Institute without Boundaries, Toronto, Canada
    Magdalena Sabat, New York University, New York, USA

    The Institute without Boundaries (IwB)’s emphasis on design thinking and an ecology of innovation approach have enabled creative interventions and design solutions for the public service sector. The article describes the IwB’s collaborations with the cities of Markham and Dublin.

Chapter 4: Collaborative design – methods and tools

  • The Teen Art Park Project: Envisioning spaces for artistic expression and social sustainability
    Mariana Amatullo, Design Matters at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, USA
    This essay presents the Teen Art Park Project as a case study of a collaborative public sector design endeavor that includes planning for a recreational environment that is intended to serve disadvantaged teenagers with structures co-designed to foster safe, artistic expression.
  • Collaborative design strategies: Helping to change the practice of care
    Kristin Hughes, Peter Scupelli, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Using a design-lead approach we help physicians aid conversations around obesity prevention with children. A highly participatory, transparent approach informed the design of a product and service known as Fitwits MD. We describe the design process, dissemination, and evaluation linked to the making and development of this tool.
  • Acupuncture planning by design
    François Jégou, Clara Delétraz, Giovanna Massoni, Jean-Baptiste Roussat, Marie Coirié, Brussels, Belgium / Paris, France
    The article discusses the experiences of design schools engaging in co-creating sustainable living scenarios with the population of Paris-Saclay Campus in France and Liège Saint-Gilles neighbourhood in Belgium, and questions how design schools approaches may renew the ways local urban planning is usually conducted:

The DESIS Network is an international network of design schools and organizations focused on design for sustainability and social innovation, in which research labs based in cities around the word are developing parallel projects at the intersection of public services, social networks, and design.
New YorkMilanMalmöLondonParis

24 November 2013

Bruce Sterling on the value of design fiction (and some example videos)

 

Bruce Sterling’s Wired UK article on the value of design fiction is very much worth a read, as it defines the field so well:

“A formal definition exists: “Design fiction is the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change.”

There’s heavy freight in that sentence, but most can be disposed of promptly. “Deliberate use” means that design fiction is something that people do with a purpose.

“Diegetic” is from film and theatre studies. A movie has a story, but it also has all the commentary, scene-setting, props, sets and gizmos to support that story. Design fiction doesn’t tell stories — instead, it designs prototypes that imply a changed world.

“Suspending disbelief” means that design fiction has an ethics. Design fictions are fakes of a theatrical sort, but they’re not wicked frauds or hoaxes intended to rob or fool people. A design fiction is a creative act that puts the viewer into a different conceptual space — for a while. Then it lets him go. Design fiction has an audience, not victims.

Finally, there’s the part about “change”. Awareness of change is what distinguishes design fictions from jokes about technology, such as over-complex Heath Robinson machines or Japanese chindogu (“weird tool”) objects. Design fiction attacks the status quo and suggests clear ways in which life might become different.”

So what is their value?

“The objects offered to us in a capitalist marketplace have three basic qualities: they are buildable, profitable and desirable. They have to be physically feasible, something that functions and works. They need some business model that allows economic transactions. And they have to provoke someone’s consumer desire.

Outside of these strict requirements is a much larger space of potential objects. And those three basic limits all change with time. Through new technology, new things become buildable. Business models collapse or emerge from disruption. People are very fickle. That’s how it works out — and the supposed distinction between “real” and “not-real” is pretty small.”

On his blog Bruce provides a huge, personally annotated catalogue of examples of design fiction.

They range from sketches to personas, from imaginary future scientific experiments to theatrical events, from apps to start-ups, from exhibitions
to exhibitions, and from physical objects to books, to inspiring videos.

Here are some examples of design fiction videos:


The future that Mirrobe (pronounced MEER-Obe), a design fiction by Samuel Kobe, is imagined to be from isn’t all the different from one we enjoy today. The technology will not be anything majorly advanced, but instead versions of existing technology both refined and more completely integrated into the household. Kobe expects it to be the year 2020 to 2025 when his design fiction would be in production and fully integrated into the households of the modern world.
[Video version without interface]
 


nuna by Guri Venstad is a system of patches that integrate with your skin and provide new sensory experiences.
In a time where visual displays are frequently asking for our attention, nuna offers a more subtle and unobtrusive approach using ambient touch. The system consists of three patches that use patterns in vibration, temperature and contraction to form a new haptic language.
 


Introductory video to Elvira Grob‘s speculative design project “Vitiosae Vigilis“.
 


A Digital Tomorrow” is a design fiction video produced for Curious Rituals, a research project conducted in July-August 2012 by Nicolas Nova (The Near Future Laboratory / HEAD-Genève), Katherine Miyake, Nancy Kwon and Walton Chiu from the media design program.
 


Corner Convenience is a thought experiment, newspaper, and series of three short films that explore the trivial and mundane objects coming soon to a store near you. Created by Julian Bleecker of the Near Future Laboratory with Nick Foster and students at a workshop at Arizona State University’s Emerge event.
> Article in The Atlantic

21 November 2013

The changing nature of service and experience design

The-Changing-Nature-of-Service-Experience-Design

The ubiquitous nature of smart products and smart systems underscores the fact that the definitions of “service design” and “experience design” are becoming moving targets. Many products are becoming services and experiences are becoming products that differentiate brands. What does this mean for design and design managers? What does it mean to “design services?” How do you design services “in the cloud”? How do designers contribute to and lead systems planning strategies? How does design management effectively integrate online and offline experiences? How can designers successfully transition to the intangible opportunities in service design systems? What kinds of new alliances will form? What kinds of tools will be needed?

Great Q&A with Live|Work partner Lavrans Løvlie and Professor Andy Polaine (co-authors of the book “Service Design – from Insight to Implementation”.)