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Putting People First

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Posts in category 'Participation'

18 December 2009

The future of collaboration begins with visualising human capital

Venessa Miemis
Venessa Miemis, a Master’s degree candidate in Media Studies at the New School in New York City, contributed a user idea to Nokia’s Ideas Project website, anticipating a system whereby collaboration facilitated by social networks will supplant competition as the mode by which society is able to realize its true potential.

The Nokia people liked it. In a subsequent video interview on the site she affirms her belief that we are at the beginning of a time during which we will learn how to leverage the power of social dynamics to find a new potential in human capital. Our ability to assemble in real-time on the Web allows us to exchange information and act on ideas in ways that were previously impossible.

“I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet of understanding how to leverage the power of these social dynamics, but I think a key to unlocking the potential is going to be through developing better tools to visualize our human capital, which would be a combination of our strengths, our skills, and our social connections.”

Watch interview

17 December 2009

The challenge of co-production

The challenge of co-production
A new discussion paper by NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, argues that the key to reforming public services is to encourage users to design and deliver services in equal partnership with professionals.

Co-production as a new way of thinking about public services has the potential to deliver a major shift in the way we provide health, education, policing and other services, in ways that make them much more effective, more efficient, and so more sustainable.

This paper provides the basis for both a better understanding and a stronger evidence base for co-production.

Given the current diversity of uses of the term, this paper also explains what coproduction isn’t and demonstrates why co-production looks set to create the most important revolution in public services since the Beveridge Report in 1942.

The paper also diagnoses why public service reform is stalled, and why a radically new approach – sharing the design and delivery of services with users – can break this logjam and make services more effective for the public, more cost-effective for policymakers, and more sustainable for all of us.

Download paper

3 December 2009

Here comes the citizen co-producer

Open Economy
The austere public budgets that will come out of the financial crisis offer, as a silver lining, a renaissance in cooperative citizen engagement in the supply of welfare services, argues Victor Pestoff on Open Economy.

“The concept of co-production brings together studies of third sector provision of public services and citizen participation in the production process. So, research on co-production becomes increasingly intertwined with public management research, as witnessed by various publications on these topics in the relevant journals and book series.”

Read full story

1 December 2009

IDEA 2009: Social and experience design

IDEA 2009
The IDEA Conference took place in Toronto on September 15-16, with a focus on social experience design. Boxes and Arrows, in collaboration with the IA Institute, brings recordings of most conference talks.

Day one
- The impact of social models – Luke Wroblewski
- Social spaces online: lessons from radical architects – Christina Wodtke
- Making virtual worlds: games and the human for a digital age – Thomas Malaby
- User experience as a crucial driver of social business design – Jeff Dachis
- Bare naked design: reflections on designing with an open source community – Leisa Reichelt
- Does designing a social experience affect how we party? Of course it does! – Maya Kalman
- The information superhighway: urban renewal or neighborhood destruction? – Mary Newsom

Day two
- Innovation parkour – Matthew Milan
- The art and science of seductive interactions – Stephen Anderson
- Social design patterns mini-workshop – Christian Crumlish & Erin Malone
- If you build it (using social media), they will come – Mari Luangrath
- The bawn of perfect products – Tim Queenan

30 November 2009

Social media ‘could transform public services’

Eyewire
Social media could transform the UK National Health Service and other public services in the same way that file-sharing changed the music industry, a conference has heard.

“Growing use of tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, offered an opportunity to reinvent services, delegates heard.

The MyPublicServices event debated ways to harness these conversations, many of which are critical, to make services better and more inclusive.

If this was not done, many services would be undermined, speakers said. “

Make sure to check the related links on the right for some innovative examples of people-driven public services.

Read full story

19 November 2009

Various articles on the power of the mobile phone in emerging markets

mPesa transaction
A number of articles illustrate the power of the mobile phone in emerging markets:

What next after the Mobile revolution in Kenya?
by John Karanja
MPESA will be on its own a major driver of the economic expansion of the Kenyan economy and best of all it will take a bottom up approach because it will empower the mama mboga (woman grocer) by allowing her to manage her finances efficiently.
[Now] MPESA needs to move from a payment system to a payment gateway: Safaricom should develop MPESA into a platform where other software developers can build applications on top of the platform an thereby increase utility and reach of this technology.
(Make sure to check the embedded videos)

Nokia Life Tools – a life-changing service?
by James Beechinor-Collins
Recently we saw the release of a bunch of new entry level devices and alongside their launch in Indonesia, was the introduction of Nokia Life Tools for Indonesia. This follows an already successful launch in India and Africa and forms part of a rollout across select Asian and African countries. So does it make a difference? It would seem so, as our selection of videos below suggest. With over 50 per cent of the population in Indonesia reliant on agriculture to make a living, Nokia Life Tools brings a new level of control to them.
(Make sure to check the embedded videos)

Mythes et réalités des usages mobiles dans les pays en développement
[Myths and realities of mobile use in developing countries] – an article series in French
by Hubert Guillaud
Part 1Part 2Part 3

Bangladeshis rush to learn English by mobile
By Maija Palmer in London and Amy Kazmin in New Delhi for the Financial Times
More than 300,000 people in Bangladesh, one of Asia’s poorest but fastest-growing economies, have rushed to sign up to learn English over their mobile phones, threatening to swamp the service even before its official launch on Friday.
The project, which costs users less than the price of a cup of tea for each three-minute lesson, is being run by the BBC World Service Trust, the international charity arm of the broadcaster. Part of a UK government initiative to help develop English skills in Bangladesh, it marks the first time that mobile phones have been used as an educational tool on this scale.

12 November 2009

Singapore on design possibilities for tomorrow

Design 2050
The Singapore Design Festival, running November 20-30, now themed “Design 2050: Possibilities for Tomorrow,” , is also continuing its quest to improve people’s surroundings through good design for a better quality of life.

As already written up on this blog nearly three years ago, 10TouchPoints is a project of the Design Singapore Council, that has enlisted people in identifying things in their everyday public space that are irritating because of poor design.

Again, people are invited to identify opportunities for improved design, vote on the top ideas, and then participate in the re-design process.

Read more

12 November 2009

Towards human-centred knowledge management tools

Knowledge Tools of the Future
Institute for the Future just released its latest research report, Knowledge Tools of the Future, written by Alex Pang and Mike Love. The report takes an in-depth look at signals, drivers, and trends shaping how organizations will utilize knowledge management in the future, particularly how humans will drive knowledge creativity and innovation.

Pang writes:

“It’s a truism that we live in a knowledge economy. For the last decade, being competitive in the knowledge economy has required developing systems to manage information—information like consumer data, logistics, organizational practices. But the tools of the next decade will be very different. The growing accessibility of knowledge management (KM) systems has greatly reduced the competitive advantage that companies can draw from adopting them: KM is business as usual. The growing recognition that there are important kinds of knowledge work that aren’t supported by KM systems has further dulled their edge. As a result, for companies that want to become more innovative, tools designed to make information storage and sharing more efficient are less attractive. So what tools will knowledge-intensive organizations use in the next decade?”

Knowledge Tools of the Future argues that companies trying to differentiate themselves around innovation and creativity rather than efficiency and cost will turn to the array of devices, systems, methodologies, and services sometimes called the “intelligent web.” These tools exploit things like semantic Web functions, microformats, and recommendation agents to provide a more productive and intuitive experience for users. These tools are powerful because they aren’t hard to use, are relatively easy to use, and don’t require creative people to change they ways they work. They enable users to be creative and innovative—to do what humans are uniquely good at doing, in other words—while leaving the heavy lifting of brute information processing to computers, which are very good at such tasks. These tools matter because the most powerful creative tools are brains and teams. There’s a social aspect to knowledge, creativity, and innovation that we are just learning to tap. It is this social aspect of knowledge that the next generation knowledge tools, and next generation of users, will seek to magnify and support.

Organizations are in the middle of a paradigm shift from machine-heavy knowledge management tools designed to maximize efficiency and standardize organizational practices to technically lightweight, human-centered instruments that facilitate creativity and collaboration. It is this human creativity that will differentiate businesses in the future.

9 November 2009

The human factor

Doctors
NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, has published a 45-page discussion paper on how transforming healthcare to involve the public, i.e. the creation of people-powered public services, can save money and save lives.

The National Health Service (NHS) needs to save £15 billion to £20 billion over the next few years. This paper argues that these savings could be achieved through radical patient-centred service redesign and more effective approaches to public behaviour change. However, these approaches are difficult to develop within the existing health service.

NESTA’s experience of working with leading companies and developing projects in healthcare demonstrates that radical new ways of innovating that give genuine power to frontline staff, patients and the public are necessary to make these approaches widespread. This would unlock the savings we need and improve the nation’s health.

Download paper

5 November 2009

Strength in science collaboration

Rory Cellan-Jones
Rory Cellan-Jones of BBC News reports on how Google Wave is proving its worth in the scientific community, as one of the new collaboration tools which scientists are using to work together and conduct research.

“The key to these sites is putting scientists in touch with fellow researchers and academics in a way that was only before possible with word of mouth or extensive, time-consuming networking.”

Read full story

4 November 2009

Understanding users of social networks

Piskorski
Harvard Business School professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski has spent years studying users of online social networks (SN) and has developed surprising findings about the needs that they fulfill, how men and women use these services differently, and how Twitter—the newest kid on the block—is sharply different from forerunners such as Facebook and MySpace. He has also applied many of the insights to help companies develop strategies for leveraging these various online entities for profit.

Read full story

27 October 2009

Arianna Huffington and Peter Thiel on the digital revolution

Digital revolution
And still two more video rushes on the site of Digital Revolution.

Arianna Huffington interview – USA
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder of the influential news blog The Huffington Post. Aleks Krotoski and the Digital Revolution programme one team met with Arianna to discuss the rise of blogs and citizen journalism, and the effects the web is having on politics and political activism. She also discusses the development of hierarchies and ‘trusted editors’ for online content.

Peter Thiel interview – USA
Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and co-founder of PayPal. Aleks Krotoski and the Digital Revolution programme one team met with Peter to discuss the development of the web from its early libertarian beginnings, to its current effects upon nations, communications and the future of nation states.

Digital Revolution (working title) is an open source documentary, due for transmission on BBC Two in 2010, that will take stock of 20 years of change brought about by the World Wide Web.

19 October 2009

Technology is giving us the means to co-create the future

Juliette Powell
Author, speaker and technologist Juliette Powell sees the true significance of social media technology in the new kinds of collaborations we are able to forge that offer the potential to create a new kind of future.

In a video on Nokia’s IdeasProject, Powell discusses her belief that the ability to connect with people who previously did not have that opportunity will add tremendous value to government, business, and media undertakings.

View video

Related content
- CIO Live Podcast: The Power of Social Networking
- Media Lab interview with Juliette Powell

6 October 2009

Charles Leadbeater and Tim Berners-Lee on the digital revolution

Digital revolution
Digital Revolution (working title) is an open source documentary, due for transmission on BBC Two in 2010, that will take stock of 20 years of change brought about by the World Wide Web.

The BBC intends to tell the story of the web in four one-hour programmes. Programme one — Power on the web — will illustrate the explosion of user-generated content on the web of the early to mid 2000s. Programme two — The fate of nations — looks at the relation between the web and the nation state. The cost of free is the title of programme three which asks if we are trading our privacy for a ‘free’ web. Finally programme four — The web and us — explores what impact the web is having on who we are.

Over the last few weeks several clips and video rushes of the last programme have been posted online:

Aleks Krotoski on the web rewiring us, our relationships, and our addictions
Presenter Aleks Krotoski and Programme 4 director Molly Milton talk about the themes being explored for the fourth episode of Digital Revolution.

Susan Greenfield – is the web changing our brains?
Baroness Susan Greenfield introduced her main concerns with the web’s effect upon human being’s adaptable brains and behaviour at the Web at 20 event, asking some of the challenging questions that feature in the developing themes of programme four – is the web changing us?

Charles Leadbeater and David Runciman: generation gaps and learning with the web (interview clips)
These clips are very much around the theme of education and learning between the generations.

Charles Leadbeater interview – London (rushes)
Charles Leadbeater is a British author and former government advisor, who has written widely on the impact of the social web. This is one of several general ‘talking head’ interviews that were filmed on September 15th. The interviewer was Series Producer Russell Barnes.

Tim Berners-Lee and Shami Chakrabarti: web privacy and obsession (interview clips)
Rushes from interviews with Tim Berners-Lee and Liberty’s Shami Chakrabarti have come in and we’re able to supply a couple of brief clips straight away to whet your appetites for more content to come.

Tim Berners-Lee interview – London (rushes)
Tim Berners-Lee invented the web, 20 years ago. Since then he’s been at the forefront of efforts to create web standards, that mean we have one web worldwide. He’s also a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, which strives for more widespread use of the web globally. There are two rushes sequences here. The first mainly covers questions about how people think when using the web, and the ‘spirit of the web’. The second mainly covers questions about the impact of the web on nation states, and web censorship.

29 September 2009

Herkko Hietanen: The social future of television

Herkko Hietanen
Herkko Hietanen of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology tells his audience at the Berkman Center that “television is really broken,” reports Ethan Zuckerman.

The medium isn’t rising to its full potential, isn’t providing consumers with programs when and where they want them. To set the scheduled for what you want to watch, you need to be at your television. And there are frustrating geographic restrictions on programming – Herkko wonders why it’s hard to watch Finnish TV in the US. Television was created to be consumed – it lacks interactivity with broadcasters and other viewers. It forces consumers to sit through irrelevant commercials.

Read full story

24 September 2009

O2 launches “people powered” network

giffgaff
O2 is launching a new mobile phone network which it has dubbed as the first “people powered” service in the sector, reports mad.co.uk.

“The online SIM-only offer called giffgaff will aim to capitalise on the trend towards online content creation. The company says the more a customer gets involved, the more they will be rewarded with cheaper calls and texts.

For instance, members will be rewarded for referring the service to a friend or relative, creating user-generated marketing, or voting on business decisions.”

Read full story

(via textually.org)

19 September 2009

The dirty little secret about the “Wisdom of the Crowds” – There is no crowd

The Wisdom of Crowds
Sarah Perez criticises on ReadWriteWeb the common view on crowdsourcing:

“Recent research by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professor Vassilis Kostakos pokes a big hole in the prevailing wisdom that the “wisdom of crowds” is a trustworthy force on today’s web. His research focused on studying the voting patterns across several sites featuring user-generated reviews including Amazon, IMDb, and BookCrossing. The findings showed that a small group of users accounted for a large number of ratings. In other words, as many have already begun to suspect, small but powerful groups can easily distort what the “crowd” really thinks, leading online reviews to often end up appearing extremely positive or extremely negative.”

Read full story

6 August 2009

Web Squared: when Web 2.0 meets Internet of Things

Web Squared
Richard MacManus reports on ReadWriteWeb that Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle released a white paper entitled Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On, which focuses on the intersection of social web technologies with the emerging Internet of Things (real world objects connected to the Internet).

The MacManus review goes quite in depth, and is a recommended read:

“The ‘web squared’ moniker is, commercially speaking, a none to subtle attempt to re-brand web 2.0. This had to be done so that the conference series of that name, which O’Reilly and Battelle jointly run along with the company TechWeb, remains relevant. But less cynically, the report also nicely applies Web 2.0 principles onto the emerging Internet of Things.” [...]

“Where the report differs from the traditional view of Internet of Things is that it doesn’t view sensor data as just mechanical data from RFID tags and other non-human sources. The authors argue that humans are producing sensor data of their own, in particular using their mobile phones. They note that today’s smartphones ‘contain microphones, cameras, motion sensors, proximity sensors, and location sensors (GPS, cell-tower triangulation, and even in some cases, a compass).’”

Read full story

4 August 2009

From chasm to convergence

Consumer-led
Johnathan Bonnell and Jason Theodor explain in a two part series on Experience Matters how technology is increasingly closing the gap between manufacturers and consumers.

“The chasm between consumer feedback and product offerings has virtually been erased, and this convergence has created a new opportunity in co-creation: companies and consumers working together to co-create products, services, or improve upon an experience.

We’ve found and believe that this co-creation can be consumer-led (where the consumer is deeply involved in almost the entire product creation process, a de-facto member of the product & marketing team) or brand-led (the direct involvement of the consumer ends with providing a new idea or suggesting an improvement).”

Read full story: Part 1 | Part 2

3 August 2009

Book: The myth of digital democracy

The Myth of Digital Democracy
The Myth of Digital Democracy
by Matthew Hindman
Princeton University Press, 2008
Paperback, 198 pages

Abstract:

Is the Internet democratizing American politics? Do political Web sites and blogs mobilize inactive citizens and make the public sphere more inclusive? The Myth of Digital Democracy reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet has done little to broaden political discourse but in fact empowers a small set of elites–some new, but most familiar. [...]

The Myth of Digital Democracy debunks popular notions about political discourse in the digital age, revealing how the Internet has neither diminished the audience share of corporate media nor given greater voice to ordinary citizens.

more

Review (Times Higher Education):

“Matthew Hindman’s The Myth of Internet [sic] Democracy is one of the first significant efforts to bring data to bear on the relationship between the internet and democracy. He argues against the journalists and pundits who have made sweeping claims about the internet’s transformative potential for democracy, and suggests that the new online bosses are not very different from the old ones. Unlike earlier sceptics, however, he has some data to support his claims.”

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