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Posts in category 'Mark Vanderbeeken'

1 June 2011

Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces conference

DPPI11
DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan at the end of this month, with leading roles for two Experientia partners: Mark Vanderbeeken will act as co-chair of the user-centred design track while Jan-Christoph Zoels will be part of a roundtable discussion.

The conference will take place at the Milan Polytechnic on 22-25th June, with the focus on “How can Design Research serve Industry? – Design visions, tools and knowledge for industry,” thus trying to stimulate the discussion on user driven design within the context of other design approaches and its role for industries.

Mark will co-chair the track on “Innovative ways to explore User Centred Design”, in partnership with Anna Meroni, Assistant Professor in Service and Strategic Design at the Milan Polytechnic, as well as researcher in the DIS (Design and Innovation for Sustainability) research unit of the Polytechnic’s acclaimed INDACO department.

Jan-Christoph will participate in a Thursday evening roundtable discussion together with Federico Ferretti (Continuum), Christian Palino (IDEO), and Jon Kolko (Frog Design).

The DPPI conference originally began through the desire to move away from talking purely about usability, and look at the role of experience in human-product interaction. As products and services in mature markets become increasingly standardised, the DPPI organisers realised there was a space to debate the the end-user’s perception of products, and to explore a more experiential approach to innovation.

The conference will provide a mix of workshops, paper presentations and other activities. It aims to get participants “listening, doing, researching, designing, discussing, learning and having fun.”

Keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Bruce Brown, professor of design at the University of Brighton and co-editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT press)
  • Jon Kolko, founder and director of Austin Center for Design
  • Dr. Donald Norman, co-founder and principle of the Nielsen Norman Group, IDEO fellow, and professor at the Department of Industrial Design, Kaist (South Korea)
  • Dr. Ezio Manzini, coordinator of DESIS International of the INDACO department at the Milan Polytechnic
  • Dr. Roberto Verganti, professor of management of innovation at the Milan Polytechnic, and visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School

As a member of the conference’s scientific committee, Mark has also been responsible for reviewing some of the conference papers.

Registration for the conference is still open.

14 April 2011

Call to participate at the Core77 Design Awards

Core77 Design Awards
As one of the jury captains for the inaugural year of the Core77 Design Awards, I am calling upon all Putting People First readers to spread the news about the award and help us get as many strong entries as possible.

The Core77 Design Awards
An Annual Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise and Intent

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards celebrates the richness of the design profession and its practitioners. Dedicated jury teams around the world will judge 15 categories of design endeavor with the deadline for entries May 3, 2011.

In creating the awards program, Core77 have re-thought a lot of the elements of the design award model, and have come up with a recipe that is more inclusive and celebratory, leverages online scale, and decreases plane fuel. Five key ingredients to the program are:

1. Video Testimonials – Participants get to share their “real stories” with the judges personally and directly via short video submissions. Intended to be easy to make – videos can be low-tech, look-into-the-webcam recordings – these testimonials provide a unique opportunity to get across the intent and notable aspects of a design in a way that text and jpegs can’t.

2. Global-Local Judging – Bringing together the field’s brightest design minds, Core77 has selected 15 Jury Captains to lead 15 juries distributed around the world in cities such as Tokyo, Turin, San Francisco and Sydney. This unique judging process balances a broad global perspective with local expertise.

3. Live Web Broadcasts – Winners will be announced by jury teams in 15 different locations around the world – live – so the world can watch events unfold as they happen and hear from the jurors themselves the rationale behind their choices.

4. New Categories – Reflecting newer contemporary fields of practice with innovative categories such as “DIY” and “Never Seen the Light of Day,” this competition truly reflects what is happening in the wider industry and offers more opportunities to ennoble design enterprise in all forms.

5. A Trophy That Celebrates Teamwork – Breaking the mold for typical awards, Rich, Brilliant, Willing are approaching the design of the trophy with generosity in mind. Winners can flex their creative muscles by casting their own award in a material of their choice and can share the accolades by creating multiples for their team and contributors.

The top professional and student entries will win the inaugural trophy, and the Winners, Runners Up, and Notable entries will be published in the Awards Gallery and across the Core77 online network. Please take a moment to visit the site and learn about the unique features of the award program and share it with your friends and colleagues. http://awards.core77.com/

And here is the inaugural line-up of categories and Jury Captains:

Products: Julie Lasky, Editor of Change Observer, New York, USA
Jury team

Soft Goods / Apparel: Peter Kallen, Design Director of NAU, Portland, Oregon, USA

Furniture / Lighting: Max Fraser, Editor & Publisher of London Design Guide, London, United Kingdom

Graphics / Branding / Identity: Steven Heller, author/commentator, and Co-Chair of the MFA Designer as Author at the School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
Jury team

Packaging: Mark Christou, Creative Director of Pearlfisher, New York, USA
Jury team

Interiors / Exhibition: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa), Tokyo, Japan

Interactive / Web / Mobile: Jon Kolko,Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv and Founder & Director of Austin Center for Design, Austin, Texas, USA

Transportation: Lars Holme Larsen, Co-Founder of KiBiSi and Founder of Kilo Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

Service Design: Fran Samalionis, Innovation Coach of BT Financial Group, Sydney, Australia
Jury team

Design for Social Impact: Ashoke Chatterjee, development volunteer and Former Director, National Institute of Design (India), Ahmedabad, India
Jury team

Strategy / Research: Mark Vanderbeeken, Senior Partner, Strategic Communications at Experientia, Turin, Italy
Jury team

Design Education Initiative: Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, Associate Professor in Design Anthropology and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at Swinburne University,Melbourne, Australia

DIY / Hack / Mod: Christy Canida, Community & Marketing Director of Instructables, and Eric J. Wilhelm, CEO of Instructables and Co-Founding Partner of Squid Labs, San Francisco, CA
Jury team

Speculative Objects / Concepts: Branko Lukic, Founding Partner of Nonobject, Palo Alto, California, USA
Jury team

Never Saw the Light of Day: Aric Chen, design journalist and Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China

10 March 2011

Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces – conference in Milan

DPPI11
DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan, Italy this year and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken is part of the scientific committee.

The DPPI conference originally began through the desire to move away from talking purely about usability, and look at the role of experience in human-product interaction. As products and services in mature markets become increasingly standardised, the DPPI organisers realised there was a space to debate the the end-user’s perception of products, and to explore a more experiential approach to innovation.

This year the conference, which will take place from the 22-25th June, at Milan Polytechnic, will have the general theme: “How can Design Research serve Industry? – Design visions, tools and knowledge for industry,” thus trying to stimulate the discussion on user driven design within the context of other design approaches and its role for industries.

The conference will provide a mix of workshops, paper presentations and other activities. It aims to get participants “listening, doing, researching, designing, discussing, learning and having fun.”

Keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Bruce Brown, professor of design at the University of Brighton and co-editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT press)
  • Jon Kolko, founder and director of Austin Center for Design
  • Dr. Donald Norman, co-founder and principle of the Nielsen Norman Group, IDEO fellow, and professor at the Department of Industrial Design, Kaist (South Korea)
  • Dr. Ezio Manzini, coordinator of DESIS International of the INDACO department at the Milan Polytechnic
  • Dr. Roberto Verganti, professor of management of innovation at the Milan Polytechnic, and visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School

As member of the DPPI 11 scientific committee, Mark Vanderbeeken is responsible for reviewing some of the conference papers.

Organisers have been pleased to note that this year the committee received an unprecedented number of responses to their call, giving them a deep pool from which to select the highest quality content for the conference.

25 February 2011

Reflections on the LIFT conference on Core77

Lift
A few weeks ago, I went to the LIFT conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

It took me a some time to write up all my (personal) thoughts on the presentations, but now the writing is done and the result is online on Core77.

Thank you Laurent, Nicolas and others in the LIFT team, for once again hosting a highly stimulating conference, and thank you LinYee (managing editor at Core77) for the edit, the addition of videos and photos, and the encouragement.

I can’t wait to read some comments.

7 February 2011

SEE conference looks at Europe’s design future

SEE Conference
Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken will be heading to his home country of Belgium in March 2011, to chair the SEE conference on integrating design into regional and national policies.

The SEE project has been running since 2008, and has involved a series of workshops with policy-makers on themes such as design in innovation policy, design for sustainability, evaluating the return on design investment and bringing innovative ideas to market through design.

The SEE conference is the project’s final event, and will provide delegates with an overview of design’s role in innovation, recent design policy developments in Europe and examples of successful design policies and promotion programmes. It also aims to review the next steps to be undertaken at European level in relation to design and innovation.

The conference, which will take place at the Flemish Parliament in Brussels on 29 March, will be opened by Polish MEP, Jan Olbrycht (wikipedia), with reflections on design as part of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Bryan Boyer, from the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, will also be among the speakers, talking about Design as a Government capability. Sitra is the funding body for the Low2No project in Helsinki, Finland. Together with engineering firm Arup, and architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton, Experientia is working on building a city commercial and residential block with low to no carbon emissions, where people will be able to live enjoyable, sustainable lifestyles. The project aims to prototype some of the technologies and even behaviours that will need to be integrated with legislation and government policy in the future, to create effective sustainable building design by the European Union’s 2020 deadline.

Other highlights from the conference include:

Design as part of innovation policy in a global context
Gavin Cawood / Operations Director, Design Wales, UK

Making design policy happen in Denmark: the journey since 1997
Anders Byriel / CEO of Kvadrat, Chairman, Danish Design Council, Denmark

Innovate and integrate: Design support for companies in New Zealand
Judith Thompson / Director, Better by Design, New Zealand

Service Design Toolkit : a design strategy for public services
Caroline Van Cauwelaert, Yellow Window, Belgium
Kristel Van Ael, Namahn, Belgium

Design policy in practice: innovative strategies for local authorities in Flanders
Patrick Janssens (wikipedia) / Mayor of Antwerp, Belgium
Jan Van Alsenoy / Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, Belgium

EU Design and Innovation Initiative: What’s next for design in Europe?
Christine Simon / European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry, EU

The achievements of the SEE project over the last three years will also be presented at the conference, along with 11 short films about design policy developments in the SEE partner countries. Delegates will also receive a ‘Service Design Toolkit’.

The conference, which is organised by Design Flanders with support from Design Wales (lead partner of the SEE project), is a free event, but delegates are required to register.

5 July 2009

The future of money

Stowe Boyd
Stowe Boyd, an internationally recognised authority on social applications and their impact on business, media, and society, launched a new interview series examining the future of money.

The series is sponsored in part by Neo.org, a non-profit he is working with. Because of Neo’s efforts toward defining and implementing a new digital currency, Boyd hopes that a series on the future of money might line up well, and draw some attention to Neo’s efforts.

Each interview comes with a video and a bulleted set of highlights.

Christian Nold and The Bijlmer Euro
In this interview Christian Nold, an artist, designer and educator working to develop new participatory models for communal representation, discusses his project in the Bijlmer area in South East Amsterdam, where he aimed to develop a prototype system for an alternative local currency that could support local development and work in conjunction with the Euro.

Bruce Sterling
“When you are interested in magic, you might want to talk to a witch doctor, so when I started to think about the future of money, I thought I should talk to a science fiction author. Who better? As it so happens, I know one,” writes Boyd.
Bruce was kind enough to mention me [i.e. Mark Vanderbeeken], our company and the recent KashKlash project we did with Heather Moore and the Vodafone UE Group.

Alternative currencies: Is small the new big?
This third piece reflects on the value of alternative currencies, starting with the following two questions:
1. Does an alternative currency have to be in large scale use? Is it possible for it to be a ‘success’ at small scale?
2. Do alternative currencies have to stand for something? Do they have to represent a strong position on some issue or social cause?

Intangible Money + Cell Network Banks = Secure Money
Olga Morawczynski is a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, posting some of her work on mobile banking in Africa at the CGAP (Consultive Group to Assist the Poor) website. She noted that the normal flow of fund transfers in Kenya — from the cities to rural relatives — reversed during recent violence there.

Richard Smith and the Dollar ReDe$ign Project
Richard’s deep motivation was to help restart the economy, and the means? Redesigning our money, and rebranding it, to shift our thinking and to help the little bits of paper in our pockets act as a sort of social catalyst for change. He set up the project in the form of a contest, and received dozens of truly wonderful designs.

And there is more to come still…

2 July 2009

July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out

Interactions
The July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out and more and more content is publicly available online (thank goodness):

Editorial: Interactions: Time, Culture, and Behavior
Jon Kolko
Over the past 10 issues, interactions has, with a great deal of conscious repetition, investigated themes of global influence, sustainability, temporal aesthetics, behavior change, and the design for culture. These issues are at the heart of the human condition – whether exploring, solving, or celebrating the relationships between people and society. These themes continually combine to offer a glimpse into designing for interaction – the ability to forge connections and bridge gaps between experiences, people, and technology.
This issue of interactions is no different, but it exemplifies a new and subtle duality: impending doom and slight optimism.

Cover story: The Waste Manifesto
Victor Margolin is professor emeritus of design history at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is a founding editor and now co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues. From this position, Margolin offers us an informed and historically grounded manifesto on the nature of garbage. Deemed The Waste Manifesto, Margolin describes the economics of waste, and offers a call to arms. As he writes, “At stake in attempting to create a sustainable waste economy is the issue of whether or not we can avoid social obesity, something that can paralyze us logistically, physically, and economically.”

“At The End of the World, Plant a Tree”: Six questions for Adam Greenfield
Adam Greenfield is Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user-interface design, as well as the author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing and the upcoming The City Is Here for You to Use. He is also a compelling speaker and articulate blogger, and has become an authority in thinking about the impact of future ubiquitous technologies on people and society. In a lengthy interview with Tish Shute recently published on UgoTrade.com, Greenfield covered numerous topics including augmented reality, Usman Haque’s Pachube project, the networked book, the networked city, and what to do at the end of the world. The interview is dense and rich, with many of the questions raised relevant to our audience. We asked Greenfield to expand on some of his answers for interactions.

–> Although not publicly available on the Interactions site, this article (which I facilitated and has clearly inspired Jon Kolko’s thinking, as becomes clear in the above editorial), can be found on Adam Greenfield’s personal site. Make of his introduction what you want.

Column: Designing the Infrastructure
Don Norman
“It is time to work on our infrastructure, which threatens to dominate our lives with ugliness, frustration, and work. We need to spend more time on infrastructure design. We need to make it more attractive, more accessible, and easier to maintain. Infrastructure is intended to be hidden, to provide the foundation for everyday life. If we do not respond, it will dominate our lives, preventing us from attending to our priority concerns and interests. Instead, we’ll just be keeping ahead of maintenance demands.”

–> Unfortunately the online version of the article comes without the figures that Norman refers to in his text.

Column: The Golden Age of Newsprint Collides With the Gilt Age of Digital Information Distribution
Elizabeth Churchill
Churchill is “screaming for a better news-reading experience on my desktop and mobile devices.”
“Certainly I love having access to so much information, but the reading experience is just not the same as the structured, well-designed experience of newspapers. News websites are like buckets of Internet storm-drain runoff, all laid out in some distorted version of their print counterparts.”

Column: Ships in the Night (Part II): Research Without Design?
Steve Portigal
In Part I Portigal looked at some different approaches to design that do or do not succeed by omitting research. Here, he examines some of the limitations of doing research without design. His conclusion: “Rather than treat research and design as separate activities (sometimes performed by siloed departments or vendors), I would encourage all the stakeholders in the product development process to advocate for an integrated approach in which design activities and research activities are tightly coordinated and aligned.”

Column: On Hopelessness and Hope
Jon Kolko
“A number of individuals -a group that is small in number but significant in its contributions- have managed to deliver on projects broad and deep. They do act as renaissance individuals, and they do manage to tackle problems that are complex and whose solutions result in important contributions.” In working with and observing these types of people, Kolko sees several commonalities.

3 March 2009

March-April issue of Interactions Magazine devoted to trust

Interactions March-April 2009
More and more content of Interactions Magazine is becoming available online. The latest March-April issue is devoted to trust and “explores the idea of assurance and the feelings of ease or unease related to relationships of confidence or skepticism”.

Here are some of the treasures:

The Counterfeit You
Hunter Whitney
If safeguarding our strings of numerical identifiers is important, what is the value of managing our online identities-the information, stories, and images that portray us, on the Web?

On trusting your socks to find each other
Elizabeth Churchill
As I think about whether I would or would not trust my semi-sentient socks, I realize that, for me, the cloud on the horizon of this dream world of sentient (or at least semi-sentient) objects is trust in all its forms.

Identity theft and the challenges of caring for your virtual self
Jennifer Whitson
The full text of this article isn’t yet available online, but will be soon.

Interacting with advertising
Steve Portigal
As we are supposedly increasingly enlightened and empowered as consumers, where do we draw the line with what advertisers are allowed to do?

The magazine also contains a number of feature stories – by such writers as Ben Fullerton; Kraig Finstad, Wei Xu, Shibani Kapoor, Sri Canakapalli and John Gladding; Molly Steenson; Colleen Murphy; Brad S. Minnery, Michael S. Fine; and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken — but they are not yet available online.

Luckily there is the Donald Norman column “Memory Is more important than actuality“, which is fully online and deals with the psychological reasons that makes us want to repeat and recommend experiences, even though they were not all good, and what that implies for design.

27 January 2009

Two Experientia/Vodafone workshops at the upcoming LIFT conference

LIFT 2009
Experientia, in collaboration with the Vodafone User Experience team, is running two workshops on 25 February at the upcoming LIFT conference to present the results of two recent projects and explore their impact.

KashKlash: exchanging the future

Join us for a workshop to explore alternative methods of exchange. The focus is on a possible future ecosystem – in a new world where today’s ageing, less useful and even dangerous financial systems are replaced by (or mixed with) more disruptive innovations and exchanges. Imagine yourself deprived of all of today’s financial resources. Maybe you’re a refugee or stateless. Yet you still have your handset and laptop and Internet and a broadband cellphone connection….

This is one of the provocations posed on KashKlash , an open forum and web project focusing on alternative economies in a post-money future. What will such a world look like? How will the concept of value be measured? What concepts will shape the formal and informal economies? Bright thinkers from around the world came together to discuss, debate and ideate in this innovative and exciting project.

KashKlash is a collaborative project between Heather Moore of Vodafone, Irene Cassarino, Mark Vanderbeeken and Michele Visciola of Experientia and a group of independent visionaries. The project started with four bright and innovative provocateurs, Nicolas Nova, Joshua Klein, Bruce Sterling, and Régine Debatty, and as the debate gathered steam, contributions, comments, flickr photos and twitter streams rolled in from more than 50 additional participants to shape and envision possible futures.

Intrigued? We are looking forward to exchanging ideas with you. See you at the workshop!

Lifestream – Visualizing my data
Explorations of large quantity information visualization

Current technologies allow people to capture, warehouse and retrieve vast amounts of data; more information than we can comprehend as individuals – more than we will ever need. As we move through our days, generating text messages, phone calls, photos, documents, and their inherent metadata, we are not conscious of the cloud of information that we create and carry with us.

In a world where we are constantly bombarded by more information than we can process, it is tempting to entrust this information to computers to store and organise for us. It is tempting to think that the more we store, the safer our memories and important ideas are. We let paradigms that are logical for computers govern the way our personal data is organised and accessed, at the expense of more human forms of interaction.

This workshop explores new paradigms to overcome the defects of current visualization methods. How can interfaces support traditional ways of coping with large amounts of information? How best can we facilitate such cognitive processes such as forgetting and constructing memories? Can our data be presented to us in such a way that it accrues layers of meaning, enhances nostalgia about our past, keeps us in contact with the present, while aiding us in thinking ahead? How can we design information patterns to make visible the connections, patterns and coincidences in our lives, remind us of favourite memories and moments, and allow all that is no longer relevant to fall away like dust.

The workshop by Willem Boijens, Vodafone, and Jan-Christoph Zoels, Experientia will introduce insights and examples of information visualizations, engage the participants in interactive exercises and team discussions.

I might want to add that the original concepts on both projects stem from Willem Boijens (Vodafone) as well, who was also the driving force in making sure that these projects would be presented at the LIFT conference.

A third workshop might be added still. More soon.

4 January 2009

People-centred design in times of frugality

community
What are the profound socio-cultural changes currently taking place and are people-centred designers well equipped to help companies and institutions address this new context?

The current economic recession is turning out to be very severe (The Guardian evokes the spectre of a 1930s-style depression), with rich countries being the biggest losers, and this slowly unfolding reality will drastically transform our societies and our lifestyles, our values and our choices.

In a recent article on the cultural shift currently taking place in the US, Paul Harris paints a dire picture. But he also starts defining the values that define our new world: a rejection of luxury and excess replaced by a new sense of frugalism (which doesn’t necessarily mean quality), a renewed attention on the lives of ordinary people, a greater focus on community and an end to individualism as the dominant cultural, social and economic idea.

“America,” he says, “now is more frugal, less consumerist and more community-minded. But it is also poorer, angry and afraid.”

Reflecting on this from a European perspective, where communities are traditionally stronger, as is the role of government and the public sphere, I can see the following seven clusters of values taking shape:

  • A shift in the price/value balance when buying products or services. An entirely different logic comes into play now. When people are tight with money, they want their basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) to be addressed in the cheapest possible way, whereas other higher level acquisitions are only done when the vendor can guarantee security, durability and long-term value. This applies also to corporate purchases. The throw-away culture is grinding to a halt;
     
  • A shift in needs: what seemed liked needs just half a year ago, are no longer perceived as such. There is a back to basics and a no frills culture, but it is not yet clear what that might imply on a larger scale, as things are evolving quicly and little research exists;
     
  • A renewed focus on people’s physical community: your neighbourhood, town, core friends and family – the people who are always there and can help you out if needed. You look for company when you are in trouble;
     
  • When people are spending more times in their physical communities, their demands for good infrastructure, housing, city planning, transit and energy are bound to increase, and these will need to be met by various Public Works-like public programmes;
     
  • But it’s not just the hardware that matters. There will also be an increased demand on public institutions to deliver good services. The excesses of politicians and public servants are no longer tolerated during times of scarcity. People will demand effective policy making, good public administration, and little waste of their tax money. Many politicians, too steeped in their world of political games, have not yet understood this. Friction is bound to occur. Social and service design are bound to increase (read this article by Alice Rawsthorn);
     
  • Increased demand on companies: companies will have to listen more and help people achieve their goals. Modesty and long term commitment are more important than ever (which is surprisingly similar to the discourse one can hear in emerging markets);
     
  • A fundamental questioning of the growth paradigm: the paradigm of everlasting growth in a limited ecosystem has proven to be a fallacy. Most people – who see their real incomes decline and an environment in increasing disrepair – are not hard to convince of this. What this will imply, remains to be determined and invented, but changes are bound to be dramatic. The Slow Food movement provides one possible way of looking at the future, but also they will need to become less elitist and more down-to-earth.

Understanding this new context, these new (or old) values and needs, and helping companies and institutions to create products and services that address them, is the job of people who do people-centred design.

Each of the seven clusters above provide opportunities for down to earth companies who care about the people that buy what they create, and to public institutions that have a serious commitment to their constituents.

We, people-centred designers, will need to reinvent our trade. We will have to create a sharp vision, a fresh methodology, a bare bones consultancy model, and a clear value proposition within this new context.

We often pride ourselves on understanding the needs and contexts of people and helping companies to design products and services around them. This approach is now more needed that ever, but needs and contexts have changed tremendously. Can we deliver on this new challenge?

Probably not all of us, but our basic paradigm is strong and more relevant than ever.

More predictions:
- Michael Bierut
- Rachel Hinman
- Brandon Schauer
- Lee Shupp
- Bruce Sterling

4 January 2009

Where to post?

question mark
Lately posting has become a lot more complicated.

Putting People First (PPF) started out some years ago as a dumping ground for all kinds of articles and readings that I found interesting and worthwhile sharing. It gradually became a much more precise resource, focused on user-centred design and experience design and has found a loyal following of over 6,500 readers per day since. Articles are often reposted automatically, including on uxnet.org.

Core77 was added later on: it became the place for me to post everything that didn’t fit on PPF and was design related. The only negative: Core77 doesn’t provide me with a feed of just my articles.

But now there is also Facebook and Twitter, and I am a bit lost.

I am using Facebook primarily for non-private purposes, and post articles and links there that are of interest but would not necessarily post on PPF or Core77. Posting is also incredibly easy, and I have set up feeds from PPF and Twitter so that everything I write – except for Core77 – automatically gets reposted there. You can even see my profile updates without “friending” me, even though that is a bit of a problem with Facebook: it is a reciprocal platform and encourages you to read whatever everyone else updates. Quite often I don’t have the time.

Twitter on the other hand encourages “following”. Many more people are following me than me following people, and that suits me just fine. Except that I don’t know what I should twitter about, or what would make my twittering different from my Facebook updates, my Core77 posts, and my PPF articles.

How are you confronting this?

Probably to be updated.

29 December 2008

interactions magazine: time for some change

interactions
The January-February 2009 issue of Interactions Magazine has just been launched, which in itself is a celebration of the fantastic transformation of the magazine under the careful stewardship of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, now one year ago.

This transformation is never complete of course. With a wink to a recent political campaign, it’s also “time for some change” at Interactions Magazine. Five new contributing editors join the magazine, and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken is very proud to say that he is one of them. Here are their introductions:

Elaine Ann joins us from Asia. She is the founder of Kaizor Innovation, a strategic innovation consulting company uniquely positioned to help develop appropriate innovation strategies, research, and designs for the emerging Chinese market.

Lauren Serota is a design researcher with Lextant in Columbus, Ohio, where her work incorporates an ever-present passion for cultural diversity and objectivity in the acquisition and analysis of consumer insights for product and service development.

Mark Vanderbeeken is one of four founding partners of the young and dynamic international experience design consultancy Experientia in Italy. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development, and strategic communications, as reflected in his wonderful blog, “Putting People First.”

Molly Wright Steenson, forever the “girlwonder,” is an interaction designer and design researcher with roots in Web, mobile, and service design. Molly was an associate professor of connected communities at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy.

Marc Rettig, former chief experience officer at Hanna Hodge, is cofounder of Fit Associates. Marc’s 20-plus-year career has been guided by an interest in people, systems, communication, and the power of design. Marc served as features editor for interactions during the mid-’90s.

The March-April issue will feature Mark’s first contribution as contributing editor, followed by a number of guest pieces in the issues after that.

Although most content is not freely available, you can subscribe to the magazine for 55 USD (less than 40 euro). A bargain.

Meanwhile check out the excellent cover story, which is fully online: The washing machine that ate my sari – mistakes in cross-cultural design.

7 December 2008

Experimenting with Facebook groups

Facebook
As an experiment, we created two new Facebook groups today:

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
This group is open to all who ever worked, studied, consulted or visited Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and liked what happened there. It complements an existing and popular email list.

Putting People First
This new Facebook platform for Putting People First readers grew out of the need some of you sometimes feel to post things quickly and share it within our professional community. This new Putting People First space is yours. Use it to share, to announce, to post, to plug.

Let me know on Facebook itself if this is something that you find useful.

11 November 2008

Two UX magazines for subscribers only

UX Mags
Two user experience magazines landed on my desk this week. They are available only to subscribers, both in print and online. But subscriptions are relatively cheap.

User Experience is the quarterly magazine of the Usability Professionals’ Association (membership is a modest 100 USD) and its latest issue is devoted to usability in transportation. Here are the titles of the feature articles and you can find the abstracts online:

Taxi: Service Design for New York’s yellow cabs
By Rachel Abrams

Safer Skies: Usability at the Federal Aviation Administration
By Ferne Friedman-Berg, Ph.D, Kenneth Allendoerfer, Carolina Zingale, Ph.D, Todd Truitt, Ph.D.

Listen Up: Do voice recognition systems help drivers focus on the road?
By David G. Kidd, M. A., David M. Cades, M. A., Don J. Horvath, M. A., Stephen M. Jones, M. A., Matthew J. Pitone, M. A., Christopher A. Monk, Ph. D.

Get Your Bearings: User perspective in map design
By Thomase Porathe

Lost in Space: Holistic wayfinding design in public spaces
By Dr. Christopher Kueh

A Really Smart Card: How Hong Kong’s Octopus Card moves people
By Daniel Szuc

Recommendations on Recommendations: Making usability usable
By Rolf Molich, Kasper Hornbæk, Steve Krug, Josephine Scott and Jeff Johnson

Disclosure: my business partner Michele Visciola is on the editorial board of this magazine.

Interactions is the bimonthly publication of ACM. Better designed than User Experience, it has become, under the thoughtful leadership of Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, both profound in its analysis and broad in its interests. At 55 USD for six issues, it is also a bargain.

Here is the latest harvest of articles, some of which you can actually find online:

Designing Games: Why and How
Sus Lundgren

An Evolving Map of Design Practice and Design Research
Liz Sanders

Signifiers, Not Affordances
Don Norman

User Experience Design for Ubiquitous Computing
Mike Kuniavsky

Cultural Theory and Design: Identifying Trends by Looking at the Action in the Periphery
Christine Satchell

Understanding Children’s Interactions: Evaluating Children’s Interactive Products
Janet C. Read, Panos Markopoulos

An Exciting Interface Foray into Early Digital Music: The Kurzweil 250
Richard W. Pew

Some Different Approaches to Making Stuff
Steve Portigal

Design: A Better Path to Innovation
Nathan Shedroff

A Call for Pro-Environmental Conspicuous Consumption in the Online World
Bill Tomlinson

Of Candied Herbs and Happy Babies: Seeking and Searching on Your Own Terms
Elizabeth Churchill

Experiencing the International Children’s Digital Library
Benjamin B. Bederson

Taken For Granted: The Infusion of the Mobile Phone in Society
Rich Ling

How Society was Forever Changed: A Review of The Mobile Connection
Brian Romanko

Audiophoto Narratives for Semi-literate Communities
David Frohlich, Matt Jones

Think Before You Link: Controlling Ubiquitous Availability
Karen Renaud, Judith Ramsay, Mario Hair

Disclosure: As of next year, I will be a contributing editor to the magazine (and I feel honoured to be in such esteemed company).

22 October 2008

The Interaction-Ivrea legacy

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
In a long post on Core77 today, we researched what the Interaction-Ivrea legacy entails.

Quite a lot actually, with former staff and graduates now working throughout the design spectrum.

Former Ivreans founded no less than 26 new companies (and counting…), including Experientia. They also created new schools and study programs, work for famous design consultancies and with the design and innovation departments of major multinational companies, and are involved in teaching and research.

2 October 2008

Writing for Core77

Core77
Just in case you don’t know, Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken also writes for Core77, the online design magazine. He takes a somewhat different angle there and post items on “Core” that do not really fit with the Putting People First themes.

His latest post is about a new Milan-conceived desktop concept (which actually is also quite relevant for Putting People First). Earlier posts can be accessed from this archive page (which still sports Core77′s old logo).

31 August 2008

The debate on open access to Interactions Magazine

Interactions 5
The September-October issue of Interactions Magazine has been published and is now shipping to all members of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI).

The rest of us can access some limited content online (three articles in the current issue).

Now that Interactions has become a highly valuable UX resource, thanks to the strong leadership by the editors Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, this restriction seems out of date and self-defeating. At least to me.

Elizabeth Churchill and I wrote an article where we make the case for open access to the contents of Interactions Magazine, which has been published in the current magazine (and is also available online):

In their reaction, Richard and Jon leave the argument open and do not yet take a clear position on the matter:

Richard: I admire the thinking underlying both OLPC and agile development, just as I admire the thinking underlying the concept of open access to intellectual content, as discussed by Elizabeth Churchill. But just as OLPC and agile development have their limits, so, too, does open access. Indeed, I don’t see it as appropriate for interactions magazine, at least not yet.

Jon: The first two ideas are nonobvious attempts at solving obvious problems. The third – open access – might be a novel idea to a nonissue. It could be argued that interactions magazine should cost money because the content in it is worth something: The content has value. I suppose it could also be argued that the magazine should be free so that value can be shared by the masses. To which argument do you subscribe?

Richard: Neither. The content in interactions is worth something – it has great value, but that alone doesn’t mean that the magazine should cost money. And though you and I are working to broaden the scope and readership of the magazine, it isn’t intended for the masses, and it can be argued that we can extend the reach of the magazine more effectively if it does cost money. Open access to interactions content might become appropriate. Indeed, we’ve already begun to increase access in a couple of ways. My point is that wicked problems don’t have simple solutions, an argument Don Norman makes in this issue.

What about you? Please join the debate by adding your comments at the end of either one of the articles (yes, commenting is enabled!).

And if you can access the contents, make sure to read the rest of the magazine, which is again a treasure trove.

23 July 2008

In three years…

Experientia
Three years ago we founded Experientia. It has been a very exciting ride since.

In three years we worked with some of the best companies in the field and some of the best people too.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Our clients
Alcatel-Lucent (France, Spain), Area Association (Italy), Arits Consulting (Belgium), AVIS (Italy), Barclays (Italy, UK), Blyk (Finland, UK), Cittadellarte (Italy), City of Genk (Belgium), Condé Nast (Italy), Conifer Research (USA), CSI (Italy), CVS-Pharmacy (USA), Design Flanders (Belgium), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Expedia (UK), Facem (Italy), Fidelity International (UK), Finmeccanica (Italy), Flanders in Shape (Belgium), Haier (China), Hewlett Packard (India), IEDC-Bled School of Management (Slovenia), IKS-Core Consulting (Italy), Istud Foundation (Italy), Kodak (USA), LAit (Italy), Last Minute (UK), Max Mara (Italy), Media & Design Academy (Belgium), Microsoft (USA), Motorola (USA), MPG Ferrero (Italy), Nokia (Denmark, France, Finland), Research in Motion (Canada), Samsung (Italy, Korea, UK), Swisscom (Switzerland), Tandem Seven (USA), Torino World Design Capital (Italy), Voce di Romagna (Italy), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, UK), and Whirlpool (UK).

Our collaborators (interns, consultants and staff)
Sven Adolph, Ana Camila Amorim, Andrea Arosio, An Beckers-Vanderbeeken, Josef ‘Yosi’ Bercovitch, Enrico Bergese, Niti Bhan, Elena Bobbola, Janina Boesch, Giovanni Buono, Donatella Capretti, Manlio Cavallaro, Gaurav Chadha, Dave Chiu, Raffaella Citterio, Sarah Conigliaro, Piermaria Cosina, Marco Costacurta, Laura Cunningham, Regine Debatty, Stefano Dominici, Saulo Dourado, Tal Drori, Dina Mohamed El-Sayed, Marion Froehlich, Giuseppe Gavazza, Valeria Gemello, Michele Giannasi, Young-Eun Han, Vanessa Harden, Yasmina Haryono, Bernd Hitzeroth, Juin-Yi ‘Suno’ Huang, Tom Kahrl, Erez Kikin-Gil, Ruth Kikin-Gil, Helena Kraus, Francesca Labrini, Alberto Lagna, Shadi Lahham, Jörg Liebsch, Cristina Lobnik, Maya Lotan, Ofer Luft, Davide Marazita, Claude Martin, Camilla Masala, Myriel Milicevic, Kim Mingo, Emanuela Miretti, Massimo Morelli, Peter Morville, Muzayun Mukhtar, Giorgio Olivero, Pablo Onnias, Hector Ouilhet, Christian Pallino, Giorgio Partesana, Magda Passarella, Romina Pastorelli, Danilo Penna, Andrea Piccolo, Rachelly Plaut, Laura Polazzi, Laura Puppo, Alain Regnier, Enza Reina, Anna Rink, Michal Rinott, Silvana Rosso, Emanuela Sabena, Vera de Sa-Varanda, Craig Schinnerer, Fabio Sergio, Manuela Serra, Sofia Shores, Massimo Sirelli, Natasha Sopieva, Yaniv Steiner, Riccardo Strobbia, Victor Szilagyi, David Tait, Beverly Tang, Akemi Tazaki, Luca Troisi, Raymond Turner, Haraldur Unnarsson, Ilaria Urbinati, Carlo Valbonesi, Marcello Varaldi, Giorgio Venturi, Anna Vilchis, Dvorit Weinheber, Alexander Wiethoff, Junu Joseph Yang, and Mario Zannone.

Our partners
Amberlight, Design for Lucy, Fecit, Finsa, Flow Interactive, Foviance, Italia 150, Launch Institute, Prospect, Savigny Research, Syzygy, Torino World Design Capital, UPA, URN, Usability Partners International, Usercentric, UserFocus, User Interface Design, and UXnet.

Our friends (insofar not covered by the above)
Nik Baerten, Valerie Bauwens, Toon Berckmoes, Ralf Beuker, Marco Bevolo, Daniella Botta, Stefana Broadbent, Francesco Cara, Jan Chipchase, Allan Chochinov, Elizabeth Churchill, Gillian Crampton-Smith, Regine Debatty, Federico De Giuli, Jesse James Garrett, Adam Greenfield, Hubert Guillaud, Wilfried Grommen, Laurent Haug, Bob Jacobson, Marguerite Kahrl, Anna Kirah, Simona Lodi, Peter Merholz, Bill Moggridge, Donald Norman, Nicolas Nova, Bruce Nussbaum, Laura Orestano, Vittorio Pasteris, Gianluigi Perotto, Carlo Ratti, Hans Robertus, Bruce Sterling, John Thackara, Joannes Vandermeulen, Lowie Vermeersch, Judy Wert, and Younghee Yung.

Thanks to you all!

Pierpaolo Perotto, Mark Vanderbeeken, Michele Visciola and Jan-Christoph Zoels
The Experientia partners

PS. We are constantly looking for great talent! We currently have openings for interaction designers, communication designer, information architect, IT staff, usability consultants, etc.

20 June 2008

Bridging communities via interactions

Elizabeth Churchill and Mark Vanderbeeken
Richard Anderson reports on a discussion session that Elizabeth Churchill and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken participated in, held at the recent CHI conference in Florence, Italy, that dealt with the role of interactions magazine in bridging communities – “something essential for “user experience” to play the role it should be playing in business”.

“Jon Kolko facilitated an important discussion between Elizabeth and special guest Mark Vanderbeeken about the concept of open access to intellectual content and its relevance to interactions magazine. (Sorry that Mark’s head is largely obscured by Elizabeth’s in the nearby photo.) One might argue that open — i.e., free — online access to interactions magazine content would in and of itself help to bridge the communities for which interactions magazine is of relevance. However… (Portions of and extensions to the CHI 2008 discussion will appear in Elizabeth’s column and in “interactions cafe” in the September+October issue; both of those articles will be made available via the interactions website to all, facilitating everyone’s opportunity to respond and share his or her perspective.)”

Read full story (with SlideShare presentation)

26 May 2008

Putting People First is media partner of PICNIC 2008

PICNIC
Experientia/Putting People First has been invited to become a media partner of PICNIC 2008.

Set up as a series of events – a top-class conference, seminars and workshops – PICNIC will be held in Amsterdam from 24 to 26 September this year and will attract thousands of creative minds from all over the world.

Over the next months you will see regular PICNIC related content on this site, all of which you can also find on this special PICNIC page on our blog.

Obviously I will be going to Amsterdam then and I look forward to meeting some of you there.