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Daily insights on user experience, experience
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putting people first
by experientia

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

23 April 2013
Plant Wars player patterns: visualization as scaffolding for ethnographic insight

The latest contribution to Ethnomining, the April 2013 Ethnographymatters edition on combining qualitative and quantitative data, edited by Nicolas Nova, is by Rachel Shadoan and Alicia Dudek who present an interesting case study, based on visualizations, involving an on-line role-playing game. “We embarked on a study to understand both how the Plant Wars players played […]

9 July 2012
In a Fisher-Price lab, apps become child’s play

At a Fisher-Price lab, researchers watch children at play to come up with ideas for new products, including toys that incorporate apps on iPads and iPhones. At Fisher-Price, “we bring babies in with their moms and watch them at play with different types of apps, different types of products,” said Deborah Weber, senior manager of […]

12 June 2012
Augmented sensing through smartphones

So how are we doing to augment our senses through digital technologies? Here are some of the products currently on the market that allow people to augment their sensing (and sense-making) through external sensors, with result summaries visualised on smartphones and the web: – Health and healthy living: AsthmaSense, DigiFit, FitBit, Up – Sleep: Lark […]

1 May 2012
Gamification and UX: where users win or lose

In this long article, Peter Steen Høgenhaug explores how and when to use gamification to improve the user experience of websites and apps, and also when not to use it. Using game theories in areas not otherwise associated with games is often referred to as gamification. This term, however, has gotten a rather negative air […]

3 November 2011
Digital product strategy, gamification, and the evolution of UX

Greg Laugero writes about two trends that have recently entered the realm of digital product development. First is the incorporation of gaming concepts into products that seemingly have nothing to do with gaming. Second, the importance of designing products that are not only easy to use but a pleasure to use. Read article

27 June 2011
Book: Ethnographies of the Videogame

Ethnographies of the Videogame: Gender, Narrative and Praxis by Helen Thornham, City University London, UK Ethnographies of the Videogame Ashgate, July 2011, 218 pages [Amazon UK link] Ethnographies of the Videogame uses the medium of the videogame to explore wider significant sociological issues around new media, interaction, identity, performance, memory and mediation. Addressing questions of […]

7 May 2011
Serious play: the business of social currency

Social currency is shared information that encourages further social encounters. It’s not a new concept, but the social web increases its prevalence. In the web-based collaboration software platform called Rypple, a simple act of thanking someone on a team and using a badge as a way to show your gratitude is a form of social […]

10 April 2011
Book: A new culture of learning

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown Publisher: CreateSpace – January, 2011) Paperback, 140 pages (Amazon link) The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding […]

2 September 2010
Interactions magazine on human nuances

The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on the nuances of what makes us human, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko, and more in particular “about authenticity, complexity, and design-and the political, social, and human qualities of our work”. Here are the articles that are currently available for free: interactions: authenticity, complexity, and design by Jon […]

21 August 2010
Creating immersive experiences with diegetic interfaces

Imon Deshmukh of Cooper thinks that interfaces can be more closely integrated with the environment in which they operate. In an article on the Cooper blog, he shares some of what he heas learned from the universe of video games and how it might be applicable to other kinds of designed experiences. “A key area […]

23 June 2010
IKEA’s Playreport

Playreport is a global research project on children, families and play, initiated by IKEA. The company conducted 11,000 interviews in 25 countries, and spoke to 8,000 parents and 3,000 children aged 7-12. It is therefore, according to IKEA, the largest global research project ever conducted on parenting, children and the state of play around the […]

17 May 2010
User experiences for children, for seniors and for play

UX Matters is another one of these great resources for the user experience community. Here three recent articles: Designing user experiences for children By Heather Nam (Mediabarn) Creating a great experience for Web site users should always take the users’ perspectives into consideration. While a user’s age can be a contributing factor in a design’s […]

23 March 2010
Eleven gambits for influencing user behaviour

In his blog, Dan Lockton, a Ph.D. researcher at Brunel University (UK), describes eleven behavioural change patterns “drawn from games or modelled on more playful forms of influencing behaviour.” “My main interest here is to extract the design techniques as very simple design patterns or ‘gambits’* that can be applied in other design situations outside […]

24 August 2009
The iPhone is not easy to use: a new direction for UX Design

Fred Beecher argues on Johnny Holland that “the iPhone is surprisingly difficult to use, but it sure is fun! And that is why it’s a game-changer.” “As a user experience designer, I thought my job was to make things not suck. Until recently. As technology has evolved, human behavior has evolved along with it. Since […]

3 August 2009
Learning from games: a language for designing emotion

Joe Lamantia, an Amsterdam based experience architect, discussed the role of emotion in game design. In his article, Lamantia draws heavily on the work by Nicole Lazzaro, a leading games researcher and design consultant. “Emotion is one of the most powerful elements of an experience, and also the most difficult to design. Yet games regularly […]

28 July 2009
Stanford seminars on people, computers and design

“CS547. Human-Computer Interaction Seminar (Seminar on People, Computers, and Design)” is a course of the Stanford HCI Group, coordinated by Terry Winograd, on topics related to human-computer interaction design. Below is a run-down of the 2008-2009 speakers (all videos are available online): September 26, 2008 – Tristan Harris , Apture New models for browsing (video) […]

23 July 2009
How the digital world is changing the rules of modern courtship

As part of a feature series on Facebook (see below), Newsweek explores how the digital world is changing the rules of modern courtship: “It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of a college romance playing out online—for better or for worse—would have been deemed weird, nerdy, or just plain pathetic. As the thinking went, […]

14 July 2009
Playful innovation and simplicity by Philips

In an exploration into how games can add value to the innovation process, Philips Design has created ‘Spark’, a board game that stimulates creativity and innovative thinking. To play Spark, the players move counters representing different characters around the board, with each space along the way describing a certain situation. By considering the potential outcomes […]

7 July 2009
The future of innovation is … together

  David Simoes-Brown alerts us on UK’s Nesta Connect about an excellent new collaborative book about The Future of Innovation where hundred of authors give their views. Over 350 leading thinkers from business, government, consulting and academia from around the globe share their thoughts, experiences, dreams, visions, hopes, concerns, and passions around The Future of […]

29 May 2009
Glued to the machine and going for broke

Natasha Schull, assistant professor in the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society, says Vegas gambling machines designed to get people to ‘play to extinction’. “After more than a decade of research that included lengthy observations and interviews focused on gambling machines, Schull is publishing her conclusions on how closely guarded, proprietary mathematical algorithms and […]

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