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Posts in category 'Experience design'

24 November 2013

[Book] Public and Collaborative

PC_Book_Cover-248x321

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”.)

4 November 2013

Experientia presents “BancoSmart”, the innovative ATM interface designed for UniCredit Bank

 

The user-centred approach is moving into finance, as banks increasingly connect to their customers’ needs and wants. As part of this trend, global banking and financial services company UniCredit Bank collaborated with user experience consultancy Experientia to create a user-friendly, people-centred ATM – the BancoSmart.

A customer trials the new BancoSmart interface, with personalised home page.
Click on image to view slideshow

The user-centred approach is moving into finance, as banks increasingly connect to their customers’ needs and wants. As part of this trend, global banking and financial services company UniCredit Bank collaborated with user experience consultancy Experientia to create a user-friendly, people-centred ATM – the BancoSmart.

Experientia has reinvented the ATM interface for UniCredit – making it easier to use, faster, and with more services, all offered through full touchscreen interaction. The new ATM is already in use in selected locations, and will finish its roll out across Italy in 2014.

The first reactions to the BancoSmart interface have been extremely positive, with people commenting on the increased speed, legibility, appealing graphics, and the improvement in features and functions. The highly intuitive ATM interaction allows clients to easily navigate, locate and use functions, from simple features like cash withdrawals to more complicated functions like deposits, information retrieval, bill payments and mobile phone top-ups. The interface is visually attractive and easy to read, with large fonts and clear banking function categories.

Experientia carried out in-depth user experience research as a foundation for the information architecture and service design of the ATM.  Multiple cycles of design, prototyping and user acceptance testing ensured that the final interface is strongly based on people’s banking behaviours and exceeds their expectations and needs for ATM use.

Experientia’s design is a responsive solution that runs on various ATMs including legacy terminals of different providers with various screen sizes and tech specifications. Usability and technical tests were performed across this device range.

BancoSmart offers a full touchscreen interaction, thanks to the extended network of touchscreen ATMs available in Italy (over 6,000 UniCredit touch ATMs, equal to 85% of machines).

The ATM offers several original features, conceived especially for UniCredit Bank, based on the research findings. These include:

  • Speedy withdrawal, with 3 predefined options on the Home Page based on the most frequent behaviours of the user, which the system learns over time. This cuts the time for common task completion by 30%.
  • Georeferenced payment service, which organises bill payment options and filters them based on what is available in the user’s location.
  • Adaptive interface, with a home page that offers personalised content based on the user’s banking profile.
  • Tone of voice, with the creation of a coherent language in all situations, which is more friendly and direct, and provides the correct support during operations.
  • Contextual support and feedback Contextual messages and continuous feedback keep people informed during interaction, particularly in case of data entry errors or other problems, using a clear language and coherent visual support.

UniCredit SpA is an Italian global banking and financial services company. It has approximately 40 million customers and operates in 22 countries.

Experientia® is a global experience design consultancy that practices user research-based and people-centred design. They help companies and organisations conceive and innovate products, services and processes, through a qualitative understanding of people, their mental models and their behaviours.

Experientia won the 2011 Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services, for a low carbon service platform to be implemented in an eco-friendly residential area under construction in Helsinki, “using innovative methodologies devised in Italy.” They have conducted research and design projects in every continent, for industries ranging from mobile telecommunications to sustainability, from automotive to architecture, and much more. Their portfolio includes a range of financial products, aimed at bank and customer use, developed for some of the biggest banks in Italy and Europe.

Experientia’s client roster features Italian and international clients, such as Alcatel Lucent, ASUS, Banca Fideuram, Banca Carige, Condé Nast, CVS Pharmacy, Expedia, Fidelity International, Haier, Intel, Max Mara, Microsoft, Motorola, Mozilla Corporation, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sky,  Trenitalia, Toncelli, UniCredit Bank, United Nations and Vodafone.

 

Contact

Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687,
[mark dot vanderbeeken at experientia dot com]

4 November 2013

Experientia rivoluziona la user experience degli ATM con “BancoSmart”, l’innovativa interfaccia degli ATM UniCredit

 

Le banche stanno cercando sempre più di entrare in sintonia con le esigenze ed i desideri dei propri clienti, innovando i propri prodotti e servizi secondo una approccio centrato sull’utente. Per dare concretezza a questo principio, UniCredit ha deciso di collaborare con Experientia con l’obiettivo di rinnovare a fondo la user experience del proprio canale ATM.

Un cliente prova la nuova interfaccia di BancoSmart e la home page personalizzata.
Click on image to view slideshow

Le banche stanno cercando sempre più di entrare in sintonia con le esigenze ed i desideri dei propri clienti, innovando i propri prodotti e servizi secondo una approccio centrato sull’utente. Per dare concretezza a questo principio, UniCredit ha deciso di collaborare con Experientia con l’obiettivo di rinnovare a fondo la user experience del proprio canale ATM.

Experientia ha di fatto reinventato l’interfaccia degli ATM UniCredit, rendendola più facile da utilizzare, più veloce e più ricca di servizi, il tutto attraverso un’interazione full touch.

Il nuovo ATM (denominato “BancoSmart”) è già attivo in agenzie selezionate e terminerà il roll out sul territorio italiano nel 2014.

Le prime reazioni al lancio della nuova interfaccia sono state molto positive, in modo particolar riferite alla maggiore velocità, alla grafica più moderna e di facile lettura, al fatto di far emergere con più chiarezza la ricchezza dei servizi offerti. L’interazione intuitiva del nuovo ATM consente ai clienti di navigare, individuare e utilizzare agevolmente tutte le funzioni, da quelle più semplici come il prelievo di contanti a quelle più complesse come il versamento di assegni.

Experientia, prima di procedere con la progettazione, ha condotto una ricerca dettagliata sulla user experience, i cui risultati sono stati alla base dell’architettura dell’informazione e del service design di BancoSmart. Molteplici cicli di design, prototipazione e test con utenti, hanno permesso all’interfaccia di rispondere ai bisogni espressi dalle persone.

BancoSmart funziona su sportelli di fornitori diversi, con schermi di varie dimensioni e specifiche tecniche dissimili fra loro. I test tecnici e i test di usabilità sono stati condotti sull’intera gamma di dispositivi in modo da mantenere inalterata la user experience.

BancoSmart offre un’interazione full touchscreen grazie alla più estesa rete di ATM touch presente in Italia (oltre 6.000 ATM touch UniCredit pari all’85% dell’intero parco posseduto) e presenta funzionalità, alcune del tutto inedite, concepite appositamente per UniCredit e ispirate ai finding emersi dalla ricerca. Tra le principali novità citiamo:

  • Prelievo veloce, con 3 importi immediatamente disponibili sin dalla home page e definiti sulla base dei comportamenti d’uso del cliente, riducendo del 30% il tempo impiegato per il prelievo.
  • Servizi di pagamento georeferenziati, con le opzioni di pagamento organizzate e filtrate per aree geografiche.
  • Interfaccia adattiva, con una home page che offre contenuti personalizzati, adattandosi al profilo dell’utente.
  • Tone of voice unico, con la creazione di un linguaggio coerente in tutte le situazioni, più amichevole, diretto e in grado di fornire il corretto supporto durante le operazioni.
  • Supporto e feedback contestuali fornendo all’utente un aiuto costante durante l’interazione, con messaggi e feedback contestuali, anche in caso di errori o problemi, utilizzando un linguaggio chiaro ed elementi grafici a supporto.

UniCredit S.p.A. è tra i primi gruppi di credito europei e mondiali. Conta oltre 40 milioni di clienti e opera in 22 paesi.

Experientia® è una società internazionale di experience design, il cui obiettivo è supportare società ed organizzazioni a concepire e innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi, grazie a una comprensione qualitativa delle persone, dei loro modelli cognitivi e dei loro comportamenti.

Experientia ha vinto il Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei servizi, nel 2011, per un progetto di change behaviour destinato a ridurre le emissioni di carbonio da parte della comunità di residenti di un nuovo complesso residenziale eco sostenibile in costruzione nella città di Helsinki,”utilizzando metodologie innovative concepite in Italia”. Experientia ha condotto ricerca e progetti di design in ogni continente, per settori che spaziano dalle telecomunicazioni mobili alla sostenibilità, dall’automotive all’architettura dall’healthcare all’entertainment e molti altri.

In ambito Finance & Banking Experientia vanta numerose collaborazioni su tutti i principali temi di innovazione, con progetti di ricerca e design sviluppati per alcune fra le maggiori banche italiane ed europee.

La lista di clienti di Experientia annovera aziende e multinazionali italiane e straniere quali:

Alcatel Lucent, ASUS, Banca Fideuram, Banca Carige, Condé Nast, CVS Pharmacy, Expedia, Fidelity International, Haier, Intel, Max Mara, Microsoft, Motorola, Mozilla Corporation, le Nazioni Unite, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sky,  Trenitalia, Toncelli, UniCredit Bank e Vodafone.

 

Contatto

Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687,
[mark dot vanderbeeken at experientia dot com]

24 October 2013

Is UX design the next big thing?

ux-venn-diagram

UX design explained for advertisers:

“Here is where the world of communication and the world of computing starts to merge in intent. Systems are to be used. Products are to be experienced. Users and consumers are the rulers. Technology, if it has to gain acceptance and become successful, needs to provide a great user experience. No longer is it sufficient to be effective, it must be proved first as a delightful, worthwhile experience that will turn users into proponents. Remember how Mac users praise their possession as if they hold stock in the company! Lovemarks that the Saatchi’s often speak of cannot be created solely by the proclamation of the advertiser’s intent, but gets translated into experiences at the user/consumer level. User Experience (UX) goes much beyond creating aesthetically pleasing User Interfaces (UI). To give an advertising parallel, UI is the layout of the ad or the edit of the commercial, whereas UX Design is the intent, the greater scheme of things, the advertising strategy that ensures desired response.”

(via InfoDesign)

3 October 2013

Interaction-Ivrea, Arduino and Intel’s Galileo

 

Interaction_Ivrea_arduino

Intel’s Arduino-compatible open-source Galileo development board was launched today in Italy at Rome’s Maker Faire. Rightfully so, as the initiative has such deep Italian roots.

In 2004, a group of programmers, students and teachers at the highly regarded Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Italy) developed the Arduino platform in order to create a small and inexpensive tool that would help students “prototype interactions.” The Arduino project, which was led by Massimo Banzi, was actually based on an earlier board, called the Programma 2003 (named after the world’s first desktop computer the Programma 101, designed by Piergiorgio Perotto and launched by Olivetti in 1964).

Interaction-Ivrea strongly supported the project and backed Massimo Banzi in keeping the Arduino open source at the end of Interaction-Ivrea in 2005. This enabled Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi and his team to expand the initiative, grow the Arduino community internationally, and in the end allowed Intel to create the Galileo, as a fully Arduino-compatible board.

One of the people involved in Interaction-Ivrea then, Experientia’s Jan-Christoph Zoels (who is now my business partner), dug up a visual – designed by Giorgio Olivero – that was the very first presentation of Arduino. (Click on the image above for the full pdf). It shows the history of the project, and lists the group of people involved at Interaction-Ivrea.

(Disclosure: I also worked at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, and Experientia’s CEO, Pierpaolo Perotto is the son of the Programma 101 creator).

Congratulations, Massimo.

28 September 2013

Book: People-Centered Innovation

OliveiraCoverWeb

People-Centered Innovation: Becoming a Practitioner in Innovative Research
by Pedro Oliveira
Biblio Publishing, 2013
194 pages
[Amazon]

Written with a general audience in mind, People-Centered Innovation focuses on innovation research in corporate settings. Starting with a biographical standpoint, it describes the author’s transition from the fields of psychology and anthropology into the fields of business anthropology and innovation. Through a rich description of case-studies of corporate work, the author takes us into a fascinating journey across different ways of observing relations between consumers and corporations and generating new ideas based on that observation.

Pedro Oliveira is an anthropologist and an ethnographic research consultant.

Some other papers by Pedro Oliveira:

25 September 2013

Mobile mastery

MM-brain

Lauren Pope of Nokia writes that there are three things to think about if you want your devices and your brain to sing in unison: mindfulness, attention and metacognition.

The video is cute and well-done, but doesn’t match the three things in the text, as the three things are: mindful, purposeful, and playful.

The thing comes with a free ebook.

23 September 2013

Does digital age overcomplicate design?

articleInline

Alice Rawsthorn, design critic of the New York Times, argues that too many products use complexity to mask their flaws.

“Designing self-explanatory products is even more important — and more challenging — in the digital era, when devices like phones and computers are becoming ever smaller and more powerful as the public faces of unimaginably complex networks of cloud clusters, supercomputers, data centers and cell towers. Accident-prone though Apple has become, it has continued to design objects that look — and feel — uncomplicated, despite their extreme complexity. Nokia has done the same in the admirably lucid operating software of its cell phones. Yet too many companies continue to produce unjustifiably complicated designs with opaque instructions that render them more perplexing, rather than less so.”

19 September 2013

Two recent reports by Pew Internet

 

Both studies are about the USA market.

Location-based services
(Released on September 12, 2013)

The role of location in digital life is changing as growing numbers of internet users are adding a new layer of location information to their posts, and a majority of smartphone owners use their phones’ location-based services.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project sheds light on three major aspects of how location figures in digital life:

  • Many people use their smartphones to navigate the world: 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.
  • There is notable growth in the number of social media users who are now setting their accounts to include location in their posts: Among adult social media users ages 18 and older, 30% say that at least one of their accounts is currently set up to include their location in their posts, up from 14% who said they had ever done this in 2011.
  • There is a modest drop in the number of smartphone owners who use “check in” location services: Some 12% of adult smartphone owners say they use a geosocial service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends, down from 18% in early 2012. Among these geosocial service users, 39% say they check into places on Facebook, 18% say they use Foursquare, and 14% say they use Google Plus, among other services.

Interestingly, “Among adult cell phone users ages 18 and older who have downloaded apps to their cell phone, 35% have turned off the location tracking feature on their phone at some point because they were worried about other people or companies being able to access that information. This works out to 19% of adult cell phone owners overall as of April 2012. [...] Almost half of teen cell or tablet app users have turned off the location-tracking feature on their cell phone or in an app.”

Cell Internet Use 2013
(Released on September 19, 2013)

63% of adult cell owners now use their phones to go online, a figure that has doubled since we first started tracking internet usage on cell phones in 2009. In addition, 34% of these cell internet users say that they mostly go online using their cell phone. That means that 21% of all adult cell owners now do most of their online browsing using their mobile phone—and not some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.

“A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information,” said Aaron Smith, a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. “For many, such as younger adults or lower-income Americans, cell phones are often a primary device for accessing online content—a development that has particular relevance to companies and organizations seeking to reach these groups.”

12 September 2013

Experientia workshop on strategic UX design for Taiwanese businesses

taipei

Taiwan meets Italy this week, in a series of workshops and company visits hosted by Experientia for Taiwanese business people.

The 15 participants are from a diverse range of roles, from secretary to CEO, and a wide range of industries, including IT, appliances, car accessories, B2B suppliers (sugar, saw blades, electronic components), a dental clinic and a law office. Their visit is a part of a China Productivity Centre (CPC) initiative to introduce Taiwan to the Italian business world, from a user experience perspective.

Experientia, in collaboration with Taiwan-based partner ScenarioLab, has prepared and organised a programme of workshops and company visits that will conclude on Friday 13th, focused on User Experience (UX) design for high-end lifestyles and for sustainability. Experientia has created the majority of the workshops and activities, which are designed to offer the participants both theoretical and practical knowledge of UX design.

In their time in Italy this week, the participants have attended workshops on the main principles and practices of strategic UX design, with successful case study examples. Hands-on sessions have focused on learning, applying and implementing UX methodologies. Other sessions focused on measuring the business impact of UX design, and differentiating company offerings.

The visit to Italy has also focused on introducing and promoting Italian businesses, thanks to meet and greet opportunities provided by the Piemonte Agency for Investments, Export and Tourism. The visitors have had the opportunity to visit some of Piemonte’s most successful businesses, with tours of Gessi, Officine Arduino, Italdesign Giugiaro, Eataly, Maserati, and BasicNet.

On Friday, the visit will conclude with a lecture on “Sustainability as a Strategic Vision” at the Polytechnic of Milan, and a final opportunity for the participants to share their insights and experiences from the week with the group.

Experientia looks forward to continuing its collaboration with ScenarioLab, CPC and the Taiwanese companies that are participating in this trip, and supports the City of Taipei in its ambitions to become World Design Capital in 2016.

12 September 2013

What are users up to when they have an experience?

what-are-users-up-to-small

Understanding the experience of using an object depends on understanding the context of use, argues Jeff Doemland in UX Magazine.

However, “The prevailing understanding of user and experience–the understanding behind my clients’ preoccupation with the properties of the tools they provide their customers–grows out of Descartes’ thinking, according to which, each of us is a self-sufficient subject (“a thinking thing”) engaged at a purely intellectual level with objects and their properties. So it’s no surprise that we define users as primarily concerned with the appearance and function of the objects they use, and require that experience be explained in terms of these properties.

According to Descartes, as thinking (rational) beings, an object’s properties are all that are truly available to us. The instinctive, intuitive–non-rational, absolutely contextualized–ways we access and use objects for meeting the demands of a specific situation are effectively invisible to this understanding of user experience.”

9 September 2013

From nice view to amazing journey: UNstudio and Experientia transforming the observation wheel experience

 

An architectural rendering of the Giant Observation Wheel, to be built in an undisclosed location in Japan.
Click on image to view slideshow
 

Recently, Fast Company, Dezeen Magazine and Wired have featured articles about UNStudio’s design for the Nippon Moon, a Giant Observation Wheel (GOW) to be located in Japan that could rival the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. To make the Nippon Moon unique, UNStudio teamed up with Experientia to create a journey that takes the customer into the heart of the view, and helps to bring the landscape to life in an immersive, innovative experience.

UNStudio invited Experientia to develop the interactive aspects of the project, while engineers Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are collaborating on the technical specifications. From a distance, UNStudio’s concept may look similar to the well-known observation wheels of London and Singapore. As UNStudio notes, the wheel’s look is governed by structural constraints (defined by Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries — two of the world’s most specialised wheel engineers), as well as by the location and the size of the wheel. But closer up, the concept is highly innovative, creating a complete user experience where the journey is much more enduring than the 40-minute rotation on the wheel itself.

Architecturally speaking, there are several innovations which make the Nippon Moon stand out. Although the size and location are currently undisclosed publically, UNStudio confirms that it will be nearly twice the scale of the London Eye. It also features double-decker capsules – a world first. But it is the focus on user experience aspects that make the wheel concept truly unique.

Experientia researched the various experiences of the customer journey from “Discovery” and “Ride” to “Return”, and designed various touchpoints and applications. The discovery moment starts as people begin to find out information about the wheel and purchase tickets online. With the Nippon Moon app, interactive features allow people to choose the time of their ride and their capsule, each of which has a unique internal theme. The app also builds excitement over the interim, sharing views from the top of the wheel and counting down to when customers start their rides. On the day of the ride, people can use the app to keep track of how long until it is their turn to board, allowing them to move within the facility freely, and avoiding queues.

Once on board, the experience of looking out at a city landscape is transformed by augmented reality techniques, built into the transparent skin of the capsules. Imagine looking out at a city skyscraper, for example, and being able to see how tall it is compared to towers around the world, or compared to Godzilla. The augmented reality offers viewers the option to immerse themselves in the historical and cultural relevance of the landscape they are looking at – or they can choose to simply enjoy the unenhanced view.

Experiences are shared however, and the app also allows riders to interact with each other. The Nippon Moon app lets people communicate the other capsules during the ride, or to send their own photos to the Hall of Fame, where they will see them displayed in a dynamic digital photo installation as they leave the facility. With original concepts and high-tech implementation, a ride on the wheel will become a truly unforgettable experience.

To read more about the wheel, check out the articles in Fast Company, Dezeen and Wired:
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3017693/in-wheel-life-spinning-the-worlds-largest-ferris-wheel
http://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/02/gow-nippon-moon-by-unstudio/
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-09/03/nippon-moon-giant-wheel

 

GOW Nippon Moon, Japan, 2012

Client: UNStudio
Location: Japan
Programme: Giant Observation Wheel
Building surface: Terminal and platform 7.200m2
Building volume: Terminal and platform 90.000m3
Building site: 18.000m2
Capsules: 32, single and double-decked
Platform level: 21m
Wheel type: ‘Ladder rim’, hybrid tension wheel
Pylon: 5-columned pylon
Rotation speed: 40min/rotation
Status: Design

 

Credits

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Frans van Vuure, Filippo Lodi and Harlen Miller, Jan Kokol, Wendy van der Knijff, Todd Ebeltoft, Tina Kortmann, Patrik Noome, Jeroen den Hertog, Iain Jamieson

Advisors

Engineer: Arup Tokyo + Melbourne

Interactive design and customer journey: Experientia, Italy:
– Jan-Christoph Zoels | Creative Director
– Takumi Yoshida | Interaction Designer
– Renzi Guisti | Interaction Designer
– John Welch | Interaction + service designer
– Eloisa Fontana | Interaction Designer

Animation: Submarine, Amsterdam

Visualisation: MIR

6 September 2013

Four new papers by anthropologist Brigitte Jordan

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Brigitte Jordan, the legendary corporate anthropologist, once described as one of the “godmothers” of design ethnography, has posted four new papers on her website:

The Double Helix of Learning: Knowledge Transfer in Traditional and Techno-Centric Communities
Draft. Comments appreciated.
In this paper I formulate a new, integrated theory of learning and show how it plays itself out in three distinct learning ecologies: the ethno-obstetric practices of Yucatec Maya village midwives, the operations room of a U.S. airline where ground operations are coordinated, and a set of global industrial factories where silicon wafers are processed into computer chips. I do this in order to argue that since time immemorial, consistently and continuously, two kinds of knowledge and skill acquisition have existed that are exercised to varying degrees in those settings in a constant process of mutual adjustment, suggesting that they have co-existed with different kinds of balance and legitimization throughout history and across societies. I provide evidence that the ancient, experiential, immersion-based kind of learning is massively present in high-tech industrial workplaces, and suggest that it will be increasingly useful and recognized as valuable as the world moves into the digital age.

Dancing with Tools: How Technologies Have Shaped Society and Vice Versa
Anthropology News (March/April): 54:3-4:6-7.
We have been in bed with tools from the beginning. Every societal advance that we can trace or imagine has involved an intimate interplay between tools and social formations in the making. Now, at a time when the world is crying out for tools that help manage the uncertainties of globalization, automation and the digital revolution, we should consider what we can learn from the millions of years our ancestors have been engaged in making (and living with) tools not only for making things, but also for making sense of the world. – See more at: http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2013/02/07/dancing-with-tools-2/#sthash.AzzPsHfU.dpuf

Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities
Walnut Creek, CA. Left Coast Press
In this innovative volume, twelve leading scholars from corporate research labs and independent consultancies tackle the most fundamental and contentious issues in corporate ethnography. Organized in pairs of chapters in which two experts consider different sides of an important topic, these provocative encounters go beyond stale rehearsals of method and theory to explore the entanglements that practitioners wrestle with on a daily basis. The discussions are situated within the broader universe of ethnographic method and theory, as well as grounded in the practical realities of using ethnography to solve problems in the business world. The book represents important advances in the field and is ideal for students and scholars as well as for corporate practitioners and decision makers.
The linked file contains the book’s introduction by Brigitte Jordan, who is also the editor of the book.

Pattern Recognition in Human Evolution and Why It Matters for Ethnography, Anthropology and Society
Chapter 12, Pp. 193-213 in: Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities, Brigitte Jordan, ed. Walnut Creek, CA. Left Coast Press
This final chapter [of the same book referenced above] is concerned with a world that has been irrevocably changed by the arrival of the Internet and the massive amounts of data its affordances have generated. It speaks to issues that are of fundamental concern for all of us who are thinking about where we are coming from and where we are going, given that we find ourselves in a present that experiences unprecedented changes in the material and symbolic environments in which we live, facing an uncertain future, and, significantly, coming from a more or less unexamined past that goes back several million years. What do these versions of the world have to do with each other? Why are we “we” and “here,” and not “something other” or “somewhere else”?
We are concerned then with a number of wide-ranging issues, from the basic existential questions that confront society today to specific questions about the role of anthropology and ethnography in a world of ever-increasing complexity.
This chapter attempts to build a case for the significance of evolution for ethnography as a methodology, for anthropology as a discipline, and, in the end, for the future of our society.

6 September 2013

Experience design is now part of business logic

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Om Malik of GigaOm argues that the cambrian explosion of mobile apps and cloud-based services as well as the exponential growth of data has led him to a very simple understanding: user experience is part of business logic.

“The emergence of the cloud has made a lot of the underlying technologies into commodities. Instead, the focus has shifted to creating smart and emotional experiences that use these ample commodities. The experiences are based on our social connections and are shaped by conclusions we can derive from data, but ultimately we need to make the experience memorable: and that is where design thinking comes into play. It is experience as a part of business logic.”

6 September 2013

Selected videos from “The Conference” in Sweden

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Media Evolution The Conference is an international conference organized annually in Malmö, Sweden. The event focuses on factors that are affecting our society, with a media industry angle to it, exploring who sets the agenda, what changes the playing field and how we all can shape society from now on.

The main themes are “Human Behavior”, “New Technology” and “Make it Happen” with sessions that look into topics such as big data, learning, non visual communication, online harassment, responsive web design, boredom, change making and tactility in a digital world.

Here are some selected videos from the August 2013 edition. There are 56 in all online (just from 2013), so I invite you to explore them as well.

Suzannah Lipscomb – Opening keynote [41:19]
Suzannah Lipscomb is Senior Lecturer and Convenor for History at New College of the Humanities. She also holds a post as Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia. Suzannah opened The Conference by looking back and talked about what we can and can not learn from the past.

James Bridle – Naked Lunch [43:07]
The world is shaped by new technologies, but perhaps it is shaped more by how we understand those technologies, how they impact our daily lives, and the mental models we have of them. James Bridle, who coined the term “New Aesthetic”, talks about architectural visualisation, online literatures, contemporary warfare and contemporary labour, in an attempt to articulate new ways of thinking about the world.

An Xiao Mina – The Internetz and Civics [12:54]
An Xiao Mina is an American artist, designer, writer and technologist. She explores the disruptive power of networked, creative communities in civic life. Dubbing memes the “street art of the internet”, she looks at the growing role of meme culture and humor in addressing social and political issues in countries like China, Uganda and the United States.

Golden Krishna – The Best Interface Is No Interface [16:25]
Golden Krishna, Senior Designer at Samsung, speaks about how “The best interface is no interface”.
Many people believe that the future of design is on screens. But what if we can design communication that doesn’t involve screens.

Mike Dewar – Seeing From Above [18:25]
Mike Dewar, Data Scientist at The New York Times R&D Lab, will talk about how we can build tools to let us see behavioral phenomena from a heady new perspective with big data and data science. In an increasingly complex and networked world, tools for recording, filtering and visualising data is powering a new breed of storytelling.

Petra Sundström – Digitals [13:52]
Petra Sundström is a leading researcher within the fields of Human Computer Interaction and Interaction Systems Design. She is Lab Manager for the Crafted Technology and Experiences lab at SICS and Mobile Life.
We all know how paper feels and that we interpret things by touching them But how does digital features feel, and how can we better understand “digital materials” to design augmented digital experiences.

Tricia Wang – The Elastic Self [17:23]
Tricia Wang is a global tech ethnographer who researches how technology makes us human. She advises organizations, corporations, and students on utilizing Digital Age ethnographic research methods to improve strategy, policy, services, and products.

1 September 2013

Googling yourself takes on a whole new meaning

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CLive Thompson used Google Glass for six weeks. He discusses the latest in high-tech eyewear in the New York Times Magazine.

“With Glass, I eventually settled upon a midpoint. I wore it mostly when alone, or when working at my computer, or when hands-free photography would be a boon. But I quickly removed it in social situations — say, before entering a crowded cafe. I’d have to wait until everyone else has one.”

1 September 2013

The web giants pumping us for data

Oil pumps

As society becomes more networked, the information available to the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks of this world will increase exponentially.

“As society becomes more and more networked, and as the so-called “internet-of-things” evolves, the amounts of data available to be “mined” will increase exponentially. And, unlike fossil fuels, these data reserves are infinitely renewable. [...]

The key question about any major technological development is: who benefits? The answer in the case of big data is: huge corporations – the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks of this world, which are the only outfits (outside of the US National Security Agency) with the computational resources to mine, analyse and process the data torrents unleashed by us as we go about our networked lives. The companies don’t talk about it this way, of course. [...]

Which brings us to another aspect of the subject: open data.”

29 August 2013

User-centred mobile app development in Kenya

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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 a sustainable ICT-based solution.

“The failure rate of mobile apps is high and many development man-hours are wasted when user experiences are not taken into account right from the start of the development process. That is why people like Kamau and initiatives such as the UX Lab seek to convince developers to include the users in the earliest possible stage of the design process to better understand their needs and wants, and how, when and where they would use the new mobile app.”