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Putting People First

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Posts in category 'Experience design'

4 July 2013

UX and The Museum: Converging perspectives on experience design

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Museums visitors are no longer as satisfied with rows of objects on display. They want the objects to tell a story. They want to understand the main message of the exhibit without reading a single block of text.

Mary Oakland, User Experience Designer at The Nerdery, and Shana West, Exhibit Developer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, provide more insight.

4 July 2013

Intel on wearable tech: we need to focus on how we use it

Running in the early-morning sunshine

Intel and its team of futurologists and anthropologists have a vision of a world where the technology is not an adjunct (as the mobile phone or the tablet is now) but embedded in our lives, generating and mining data in a way that’s functional and useful to us.

“Viewed through Intel’s crystal ball, in the future we’ll have devices that second-guess us, or make intelligent connections on our behalf.

At the moment, the benefit from the data we create every day flows largely in favour of the companies who use it to serve us adverts based on the demographic profile we give them. But Steve Brown, Intel’s futurist, says it’s “the individual [who] should benefit – it’s your data”.

24 June 2013

Talking Design with Dan Hill

 

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We are pleased to invite you to the second in the “Talking Design” lecture series with Dan Hill, CEO of Fabrica.

On Thursday July 4th, designer and urbanist Dan Hill will speak about smart citizens, in his talk “The not-so-smart city”.

Talking Design lecture series
The “Talking Design” guest speaker evenings are part of our drive to bring the design world to Turin, by hosting a series of talks from global experts in the industry, to share their experience and knowledge with our friends in Turin. Initiated by Experientia, the initiative is now supported by four forward-looking Turin entities who together select the speakers, organize the logistics, and promote the event to our network: Cluster, Deltatre, Experientia and GranStudio.

Following the success of the first lecture, with Todd Harple, anthropologist and experience engineer at Intel, we have planned this July lecture, and one for the beginning of September. All lectures are in English. They will be video recorded and posted online (where possible).

Dan Hill, CEO of Fabrica
Dan Hill is CEO of Fabrica, a communications research center and transdisciplinary studio based in Treviso, Italy. A designer and urbanist, he was previously strategic design lead for Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, exploring how design might enable positive systemic change throughout society. Prior to Sitra, Dan was Arup‘s Foresight and Innovation leader for the Australasian region, as well as their lead on urban informatics and urban strategy. Before that, he had leadership positions at Monocle and the BBC. Dan writes the well-known blog “City of Sound“, and contributes regularly to “Domus” Magazine, where he is also Strategic Design Advisor.

We hope you’ll join us in this exciting new initiative to bring the design world to Turin. We are looking forward to seeing you.
The Talking Design Team

Date: Thursday, July 4, 2013
Time: 6pm
Location: Cluster, Via della Basilica 13, 10122 Torino
RSVP: Silvana Rosso, +39 011 812 9687

24 June 2013

Thirteen tenets of user experience

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Robert Hoekman Jr. provides his list of 13 beliefs on the value of user experience strategy, design, and designers, “one for every year [he has] been in the web industry”.

19 June 2013

Book: Trust is a Choice

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Trust is a Choice – Prolegomena of Anthropology of Trust(s)
by Stephanie A. Krawinkler
189 pages, 2013
Carl-Auer Verlag (Publisher)
[Amazon link]
[Extract]

Trust is a universal but culture-bound phenomenon and a critical success factor in corporate life. The author provides a compilation of anthropological theoretical threads on trust. She conducted a long-time ethnography of a company and describes what trust is, how it is established and maintained in this particular organization, and addresses the question whether it can be regained when lost. This elaborated case proves that the anthropological methods can be helpful in researching this abstract topic. An additional chapter outlines and further discusses the used research methods.

This book is for students, scholars, and for managers of companies that are interested in trust theory and research as well as business anthropology.

Dr. Stephanie A. Krawinkler, is a social and cultural anthropologist, author, and lecturer at the University of Vienna. She has been conducting business anthropological research since 2006. Other fields of research include cross-cultural communication, methodology, trust, awareness, and South East Asia.

19 June 2013

Service design in the physical space and why it makes sense to design for a minority

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The physical environment in which a service plays out has a significant influence on the experience of a service. So it’s not uncommon for service design projects to take the physical environment into account.

In a recent project focused on the physical environment of the train station, the Dutch service design consultancy 31 Volts, specifically looked at the “extreme users“; that small group of people which cause a rather big impact on the experience of the larger group of “normal users”.

So instead of analyzing and optimizing the existing customer journey they took the lateral approach and explored the weird and quirky behavior, because extreme users bring an environment to life that would otherwise be sterile.

(via InfoDesign)

12 June 2013

Online, we’re all celebrities now. So what next?

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“In reality, we’re all kind of on ‘Big Brother’ — on a reality show,” says Syracuse University’s Anthony Rotolo, a professor who runs the Starship NEXIS lab, focusing on social networking and new technologies. “Whenever I give a talk, whenever you give a talk, there’s going to be someone live-tweeting it. There’s going to be somebody posting a picture on Facebook. We are redefining celebrity in this age, and anybody at any time could be speaking publicly without realizing it.”

There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle once it’s started sharing memes on Facebook. If you must be a Web celebrity, at least do so with self-awareness, experts say.

6 June 2013

Technology puts power in the hands of the Millennial Generation

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This week the Financial Times has run two reports on the Millennial Generation.

Part Two (pdf) came out today, whereas Part One is from June 3.

Part Two’s leading article is definitely worth exploring, particularly in how it connects technology and mobile devices with empowerment of a new generation:

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

This generation sees technology as levelling the playing field. In the FT-Telefónica Global Millennials Survey of 18 to 30-year olds almost 70 per cent of respondents said “technology creates more opportunities for all” as opposed to “a select few”.

This belief has brought tremendous confidence to the world’s first generation of digital natives, despite facing the worst economic outlook since the great depression.”

More background also in this article.

6 June 2013

The future of human-centered design

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“Throughout my career, and especially as a designer at IDEO,” writes Nathan Waterhouse, “I’ve been a passionate believer of the value of placing people first, of designing from an end–user perspective. [...] Perhaps it was the abundance of rhetoric about human needs [at the recent Skoll World Forum] that made me ask the question ‘But what about the rights of nature, other creatures, or of the planet itself?’”

“We are taught to think about the world in three lenses as designers: desirability – what people want, feasibility – the capabilities of a firm, and viability – its financial health. We are taught that we should start from the perspective of people’s needs first: desirability. This way of thinking, however, is selfish. It focuses on the needs of humans, but in doing so, ignores the needs of the rest of the 8.7M species that share planet Earth. What would be desirable, feasible, or viable if we took the perspective of planet Earth and ran it through the same venn diagram?” [...]

“Although we don’t believe earth is the centre of the universe, we still behave as if humans are the most important species alive today.”

In the end, he says, “we need a new approach to design that takes into consideration what is important for the natural systems we depend upon and take for granted. Perhaps we should call it Holistic Design: designing with a frame that includes the natural and human systems in combination to ensure we consider the bigger picture.”

(Disclosure: Nathan Waterhouse studied at the renowned Interaction Design Institute Ivrea where he was a thesis student of Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels).

4 June 2013

The case for preserving the pleasure of deep reading

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The deep reading of books and the information-driven reading we do on the web are very different, both in the experience they produce and in the capacities they develop, writes Annie Murphy Paul on MindShift. Recent research has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words.

“Recent research in cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words. Although deep reading does not, strictly speaking, require a conventional book, the built-in limits of the printed page are uniquely conducive to the deep reading experience. A book’s lack of hyperlinks, for example, frees the reader from making decisions—Should I click on this link or not?—allowing her to remain fully immersed in the narrative.

That immersion is supported by the way the brain handles language rich in detail, allusion and metaphor: by creating a mental representation that draws on the same brain regions that would be active if the scene were unfolding in real life. The emotional situations and moral dilemmas that are the stuff of literature are also vigorous exercise for the brain, propelling us inside the heads of fictional characters and even, studies suggest, increasing our real-life capacity for empathy.”

3 June 2013

Crafting UX – designing the user experience beyond the interface

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In large technologically-driven organizations with a broad and complex product range, establishing a user-centric approach to product design can be very challenging. The shift towards designing products and services for compelling experiences for users requires (among other things) changes in planning, resources and processes.

This article – by Didier Chincholle, Sylvie Lachize, Marcus Nyberg, Cecilia Eriksson, Claes Bäckström and Fredrik Magnusson and just published in the Ericsson Review – presents how the recognition of UX as an important part of Ericsson’s business and strategy has manifested itself in a (evolving) framework including roles, responsibilities and guidelines to better understand and meet users’ needs.

2 June 2013

Interaction14 website live

 

interaction14home

Next year Interaction14, the top interaction design conference will be in Amsterdam, the second time it is in Europe (after Dublin in 2012).

Now the website is live. And it is responsive (works great on a smartphone).

Participate and be a speaker or workshop chair. Register (starts 10 June). Or simply be inspired, as he theme this year is “Languages of Interaction Design”. Writes Alok Nandi (the conference chair):

“We see language in several contexts. There is spoken language, body language and written language. There is an interface language between user and system. Other languages include the jargon we use to discuss our work and the tools that we use to do our work.

By enhancing the “Languages of Interaction Design” we create new ways to view interactions between people and things. Of particular interest is extending the context from urban to mobile screens and from immersive to sensor based environments.”

Check also this short promotional video:

and be inspired by Amsterdam:

(Disclosure: I am involved with the event organization)

1 June 2013

Papers about sense-making and ethnotelling

 

From the Journal of Information Architecture:

Sense-making in Cross-channel Design
Jon Fisher (Nomensa), Simon Norris (Nomensa), and Elizabeth Buie (Luminanze Consulting)
Successful cross-channel user experiences rely upon a strong informational layer that creates understanding amongst users of a service. This pervasive information layer helps users form conceptual models about how the overall experience works (irrespective of the channel in which they reside). This paper explores the early development of a practical framework for the creation of meaningful cross-channel information architectures or “architectures of meaning“. We explore the strategic roles that individual channels can play as well as the different factors that can degrade a user‘s understanding within a cross-channel user experience.

Ethnotelling for User-generated Experiences
Raffaele Boiano, Fondazione Enasarco
This paper focuses on storytelling as a research tool for the social sciences, especially for cultural anthropology. After a short review of the main methodological tools traditionally used in ethnography, with particular regard to observation and interview, we focus on collecting and crafting stories (ethnotelling) as suitable tools for conveying the relational nature of fieldwork. Drawing on the works of Orr, Chipchase, Marradi and Adwan/Bar-on, we show how stories — collected, mediated or made up — are valuable tools for representing experiences and identities. As a result, we suggest a different approach to user-experience design, based on the creation of “thick” environments enabling a whole range of possibilities, where users can imagine or live their own user-generated experiences.

31 May 2013

Smart cities and smart citizens

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For future smart cities to thrive, it must be centred around people, not just infrastructure. This was the overwhelming message from a group of influential thinkers speaking at this year’s FutureEverything Summit. sustain’ went along to find out what smart-city planners can learn from bottom-up approaches.

“It seems global corporations and the large-scale technology platforms they offer and promote seem to be at odds with many of the localised, small-scale technology projects showcased at the Summit and, indeed, the interests of citizens themselves. And if there was one stark warning that emerged from the Summit for city leaders thinking about investing in smart-city technology, it was ignore your citizens at your peril. [...]”

The city is what it is because of the people. [...]

In many ways, social media has created a new interface for the city and how its citizens interact with it. Citizens have the opportunity to try something out, such as a pop-up café – and multiply it through social media and feedback via bespoke apps: physical activity and digital activity in harmony. Yet this appears to be contrary to the thinking behind many current smart systems which merely deliver information in order to change attitudes and behaviour. [...]

Citizens are quite obviously embracing new technologies – but it isn’t always for reasons of efficiency: it’s about sociability; it’s about transparency; it’s about culture; and it’s also about fun – gaming and entertainment. Furthermore, a one-size-fits-all approach to smart cities will not easily work in an age where, even at the most basic level, apps designed for specific spaces or cities are prevalent on most mobile phones. Bespoke solutions will be required.”

31 May 2013

The art of staying focused in a distracting world

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James Fallows of The Atlantic interviewed tech-industry veteran Linda Stone, coiner of the term “continuous partial attention,” on how to maintain sanity and focus in an insane, unfocused, always-on, hyperconnected world.

“We all have a capacity for relaxed presence, empathy, and luck. We stress about being distracted, needing to focus, and needing to disconnect. What if, instead, we cultivated our capacity for relaxed presence and actually, really connected, to each moment and to each other?”

31 May 2013

The city as interface: an interview with Manuel Portela

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Hillete Warner of The Enabling City, an initiative started and guided by the very inspiring Chiara Camponeschi, interviewed interaction designer and an event coordinator Manuel Portela about about collective brainstorming, community-building and the power of 10.000 ideas.

One of your projects, 10.000 ideas, is a crowdsourcing platform to re-think urban livability in Latin America. What was the inspiration behind it?
My early design projects led led to an interest in the development of participatory maps and digital interfaces. One day, I came across New York’s ChangeByUs campaign and thought it was very impressive, though I found the conversation to be flowing mostly in one direction: there were ideas for one city directed to and curated by one administration. This inspired me to develop a similar platform, this time open to all of Latin America. In essence, 10.000 ideas is a repository of suggestions and solutions that anyone – whether in the public, private or civil sector – can share and implemenet with others. I hope to see more and more places for this kind of problem-solving ‘offline’ but, in the meantime, we can make the most of what the web has to offer.

I am curious to hear more about the Brazilian SmartCity Index to encourage citizen participation.

> Check other recent posts from Enabling City people.

31 May 2013

How to design for the gut?

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Visceral design is the key to creating experiences people can’t get enough of. Game designers and mobile app developers have done a great job of leveraging visceral design, web designers can and should leverage it too.

So what exactly is visceral design? Foster, from Mysterious Trousers, articulates it best when he explains visceral design as the satisfying feeling we get when potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. That point where we release energy from a design in a way that creates surprise, delight, or simply a response that satisfies our desire to engage, manipulate, and shape our experience.

Morgan Brown and Chuck Longanecker provide further insight.

27 May 2013

BBC on exploring and enhancing the TV user experience

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The BBC’s R&D department has been working on how to exploit the interactive functionality now available through connected televisions through a number of projects under themes such as companion screens, authentication, Internet of Things, recommendation services, accessibility and so on.

On Saturday 27th April, at the Universite Paris Dauphine, the team co-chaired a day-long workshop called ‘Exploring and Enhancing the User Experience for Television’ (TVUX).

Check out the Workshop Wiki for a treasure throve of position papers.

27 May 2013

A selection from academia.edu

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Academia.edu, the platform for academics to share research papers, contains quite a few documents from fields such as design research, experience design and interaction design.

Below a selection of the last few months, sorted by upload date (most recently uploaded papers come first):

Designer Storytelling
David Parkinson and Erik Bohemia, Northumbria University
This paper aims to explore the approaches that designers take when storytelling. Design artefacts, such as sketches, models, storyboards and multimedia presentations, are often described in terms of stories.

Innovation in the Wild: Ethnography, Rurality and Communities of Participation
Alan Chamberlain and Andy Crabtree, University of Nottingham, UK
This paper presents a series of insights, discussions and methodologies relating to our experiences gained while carrying out research ‘in the wild’ in order to drive IT-based innovation within a rural context.

Ethnographic approach to design knowledge: Dialogue and participation as discovery tools within complex knowledge contexts
Francesca Valsecchi, Paolo Ciuccarelli, INDACO Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
This paper explores two main concepts: a) the ethnography as a thick andqualitative observation method, which refers to an active interpretation of the traditional ethnography by the communication design research mindset; b) the definition of design knowledge space, as extended boundaries for the physical place of design activities.

Interaction design and service design: Expanding a comparison of design disciplines
Stefan Holmlid, Human-Centered Systems, Linköpings Universitet, Sweden
In this paper we seek to identify common ground and differentiation in order to create supportive structures between interaction design and service design.

Prototyping and enacting services: Lessons learned from human-centered methods
Stefan Holmlid, Linköpings universitet, Sweden, and Shelley Evenson, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
In service development, finding new ways to prototype the service experience could potentially contribute to higher quality services, more well-directed service engineering processes, and more. In this paper, we draw on experience from the field of interaction design, which has a rich tradition of practice with the methods over the last two decades.

Connected Communities Of Makers
Marzia Mortati and Beatrice Villari, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
The paper analyses the idea of crowd to understand how design is being influenced by the practices of mass participation both in the idea generation and innovation processes. Focusing on crowdfunding as a specific kind of crowdsourcing, we have analysed the case of Kickstarter using the filter of Communities of Practice. Two main reflections have emerged: the idea of a Temporary Community of Makers (TCoM), and connectivity as one of the elements to be designed in such environments.

Ethnographic Stories for Market Learning
Julien Cayla and Eric Arnould, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Drawing from extensive fieldwork in the world of commercial ethnography, the authors describe how ethnographic stories give corporate executives a unique means of understanding market realities. B

22 May 2013

Death, life and place in great digital cities

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At the heart of the Smarter Cities movement is the belief that the use of engineering and IT technologies, including social media and information marketplaces, can create more efficient and resilient city systems.

In an excellent blog post, Rick Robinson, an Executive Architect at IBM specialising in emerging technologies and Smarter Cities, explains why he believes that “we are opening Pandora’s box.”

“These tremendously powerful technologies could indeed create more efficient, resilient city systems. But unless they are applied with real care, they could exacerbate our challenges. If they act simply to speed up transactions and the consumption of resources in city systems, then they will add to the damage that has already been done to urban environments, and that is one of the causes of the social inequality and differences in life expectancy that cities are seeking to address.”

So, he asks, “as a new generation of technology, digital technology, starts to shape our cities, how can we direct the deployment of that technology to be sympathetic to the needs of people and communities, rather than hostile to them, as too much of our urban transport infrastructure has been?”

“The first step is for us to collectively recognise what is at stake: the safety and resilience of our communities; and the nature of our relationship with the environment. Digital technology is not just supporting our world, it is beginning to transform it. [...]

The second step is for the designers of cities and city services – architects, town planners, transport officers, community groups and social innovators – to take control of the technology agenda in their cities and communities, rather than allow technologists to define it by default. [...]

As well as technologists, three crucial groups of advisers to that process are social scientists, design thinkers and placemakers. They have the creativity and insight to understand how digital technologies can meet the needs of people and communities in a way that contributes to the creation of great places, and great cities – places like the Eastside city park that are full of life.”