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Putting People First

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Posts in category 'Experience design'

6 August 2013

User experience is more than design – it’s strategy

 

t’s time that we expand the role of User Experience beyond execution, beyond output, and yes, even beyond design, writes Christopher Grant Ward, Director of Product Strategy and User Experience at SUBTXT.

“The most important thing I’ve learned in my career is that User Experience is not simply about designing for customers, but thinking strategically about customer behaviors, passions, and desires. User Experience provides an intellectual entry point, a framework that can give corporate leaders another perspective for making decisions and solving problems for customers. The UX skillset encompasses more than just design skills. It provides the foundation of a company’s customer strategy. [...]

User Experience is not just about design. It is about the strategic understanding of users and their behavior. If we are to contribute strategically, UX professionals must be willing and able to take responsibility for their final decisions and accept the corporate accountability that comes with making critical decisions about customers. We must be willing to go outside our design skillset and embrace all corporate functions, including finance, technology, marketing, and sales.”

5 August 2013

Smart cities workshop with the Design Center Busan

EXP_DCB_Workshop

A few days ago Experientia’s latest collaboration with Korea’s Design Center Busan wrapped up, as 21 South Korean students completed a summer study program in Turin.

Experientia ran a creative workshop for the students, titled “Barely legal, but very nice! Smart interventions in public spaces, offices and services“. The diverse curricula of the program included architecture, industrial design, visual design, fine arts and more, and was selected by the Design Center Busan (DCB), in collaboration with Gwangju Design Center (GDC) and the Daegu Gyeongbuk Design Center (DGDC). Experientia’s faculty were Design Director Jan-Christoph Zoels, and interaction designers Renzo Giusti and Seungjun Jeong.

Experientia’s workshop tackled contemporary issues in the design discourse about Smart Cities and smart citizenship, raising awareness of public interventions, grassroots initiatives, and the formal and informal best practices that cities around the world are rolling out to meet the challenges of civic development.

The workshop explored the use of participatory design techniques aimed at urban scale issues. The students were exposed to a diverse palette of solutions for issues of civic consent creation and management, creative problem solving, citizen engagement and public sphere re-appropriation.

Students were also challenged to come up with creative solutions to address real issues they identified, from their fresh perspective, during their stay in Turin. To face the challenge of designing in an unknown territory, they were invited to take a bold yet borderline stance. To conceive design intervention capable of bringing citizens together, students could design light and pop-up solutions that would achieve the goals expected, even eschewing full compliance with official regulations.

The workshop ended on Tuesday July 30th with a final exhibition of a set of posters showcasing the design interventions conceived by the 4 groups of young Korean designers. A final keynote speech by world-famous futurist and science fiction author Bruce Sterling officially concluded the proceedings.

The workshop benefitted from the contributions of many practitioners in Turin and Milan. Experientia wants to thank: Matteo Robiglio (Tra), Simone Carena and Marco Bruno (Motoelastico), Paolo Maldotti (Archilandstudio), Isabella Steffan (studiosteffan), Carlotta Bonvicini and Francesco Cerroni (MiC, mobility in chain), Stefano Recalcati (ARUP), Giovanna Castiglioni (Fondazione Achille Castiglioni), and Luca Troisi (Enhancers).

Finally, special thanks go to SeungJun Jeong (Experientia) for managing the workshop preparation and facilitating the relationship with Design Centre Busan, and to Federico De Giuli for hosting us at the wonderful Cluster Learning Communities space.

25 July 2013

Evgeny Morozov, solutionism and the politics of usability

toSaveEveryThing

Luke Fernandez, Manager of Program and Technology Development at Weber State University, has published a review of Evgeny Morozov’s To Save Everything Click Here that explores the intersection between UX and political theory.

“As a political theorist and software developer I particularly appreciate Morozov’s attempt to battle solutionism by injecting politics back into tool building. However, I’m also cognizant of its limitations. Pace Morozov and and others who hold up the civic republican tradition, I’m less inclined to think of politics and morality as concerns that confer the deepest meaning on human life. And since I work in the company of other developers I know that they display similar dispositions. Call me a philistine, but most of the time I’d rather be doing something else than being a political being. Morozov, in his erudition, summons media theorist Michael Schudson to describe this sensibility as the plight of the “political backpacker.” Backpackers like to go into the wilderness and spend some time cooking and camping for themselves. But soon enough most backpackers emerge from the wildernesss and are happy to relegate cooking and sheltering to other entities than themselves. Political backpackers feel analogous sentiments. Occasional forays into politics make us feel good because they help us to grow as political beings. But most of us would consider it a curse to spend all or even the majority of our lives in that realm. (Even Steve Jobs, who obviously got a jag from his very public Apple presentations reported that he was happiest when he wandered into Jonathan Ive’s private workshop and spent time handling Apple product prototypes.)

We want our technologies to do the same for us as well. For a better and richer life we want–and have a duty– to confront our relationship to our technology and consider how it constructs our relationship with others and the world around us. So our technologies shouldn’t be frictionless all the time. They shouldn’t permanently shield us from politics. But most of the time we just want our technologies to exhibit the same behaviors that Job’s and Ive’s have glowingly attributed to Apple’s products: “it just works!” This then is the design dilemma we face in a nation that wants to be faithful to both its Liberal and Civic Republican traditions: How do we develop technologies that enlarge our capacity to be political beings while at the same time catering to our more pedestrian and commercially oriented selves?”

24 July 2013

User-centred design on Gov.uk

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The Design Manual of Gov.uk, the UK Government services and information portal, has a section on user-centred design, whereas the service manual home page describes in more detail how designers can build a gov.uk service: from discovery, to alpha, beta, live and retirement.

“People come to GOV.UK with specific needs. Anything that gets between our users and meeting those needs should be stripped away. The design of GOV.UK reflects this, existing primarily as a way of delivering the right content and services to our users. Find out here how we approach this challenge.”

23 July 2013

SAP reaching out through user experience and design thinking

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Recent SAP application forays include everything from a My Runway fashion shopping application to wellness applications that involve wearable sensors to Big Data analytic applications for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

According to Sam Yen, global head of design and user experience at SAP, the end goal is to expose as many end users as possible to SAP software in the expectation that it will increase demand for more traditional SAP enterprise application software.

Yen says that SAP will leverage HTML5 and Design Thinking principles to transform every SAP application regardless of whether it runs on premise or in the cloud.

What’s driving all of these efforts is a concerted SAP effort to step out of the back office. As the line between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications continues to blur, the quality of the user experience has become paramount. In addition, the mobile and cloud computing era more business executives are playing a bigger role in deciding which application vendors to go with. Given SAP’s historic challenges with user interfaces, the embracing of Design Thinking principles represents an effort to make SAP software more appealing at all levels.

See also this video interview with Sam Yen and an earlier post on SAP’s new UX strategy.

19 July 2013

The implications of Agile for UX

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Anthropologist Natalie Hanson has written a series of blog posts regarding Agile methods and the implications for user experience work.

Recognizing Agile
List of the top ways to know you’re working in an Agile environment

A brief overview of Agile
Background on what Agile is and the conditions under which it emerged

Principles and practices of Agile
The basics of Agile.

Implications for Researchers
Specific examples about ways that researchers can engage at each of the major stages in the development lifecycle of a software product.

19 July 2013

Human-centered design for new models of wellness and innovation

BIF-Elements-of-Wellness

A year ago, in July 2012, Business Innovation Factory (BIF) began a partnership with Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to find “new models of care”, and better serve five counties of children and their families in North Texas.

In this community, families struggle to make a living, and suffer from many chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. To create transformative, sustainable models of care, Children’s Medical Center needed to move away from “sick care” to a broader focus on “well care”.

By focusing on patient experience through the principles of human-centered design, BIF provided insights shared in their foundational research, “Laying the Foundation”.

You can read more about it here.

11 July 2013

How is ‘experience’ valued in the sharing economy?

 

How do you buy or sell something so abstract as an “experience”? And what is it worth?

That’s not an idle question for companies in the sharing economy. The experience of staying in an Airbnb apartment–with all its quirks, blemishes and unique qualities–is the differentiator from the equivalent traditional hotel.

For most sharing economy companies, they aren’t selling a product. They’re providing a peer-to-peer marketplace for people to rent a product from another person or get a service from a person. Instead of buying something they get the access to that product or service. But how is this experience valued? And how does that compare to an equivalent service or product in a traditional company? How does an Airbnb home get valued and how does it compare to a hotel room?

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

 

INV_Dan Hill_Final3

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

13_500_mini

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

trustisachoice

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?

phone-social-media-story-top

“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

millennial

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

2009 - A safe operating space for humanity FIG 1

“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

deepreading

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

ericssonreview

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)