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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.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

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 […]

5 March 2015
Is it time to re-examine human-centered design?

Is it time to re-examine our anthropocentrism in design, asks ASU design professor Prasad Boradkar and to extend design’s locus of action towards biocentrism. “Clearly, the things we design with such diligent research and utmost care for people do not impact only people. The consequences of design activity (human-centered or otherwise) reach far beyond humans. […]

2 March 2015
Ethnographic film and book on people living off the grid

Life Off Grid is a two-year journey exploring the lives of Canadians in every province and territory who have made the choice to disconnect. Life Off Grid is a film and book about people who have chosen to build their lives around renewable energy, with beautiful, inspiring, and often challenging results. It is about different […]

1 March 2015
Towards multi-species ethnography

The well known anthropologist and sociologist Anne Galloway just announced the launch of the More-Than-Human Lab at Victoria University (New Zealand), which extends and augments human-centered design practices to our multi-species ecosystems. “What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking […]

11 February 2015
The Internet of Insecure Things

In a recent study, every connected home security system tested by HP contained significant vulnerabilities, including but not limited to password security, encryption, and authentication issues. HP’s Fortify on Demand security service assessed the top 10 home security devices – such as video cameras and motion detectors – along with their cloud and mobile application […]

19 October 2014
Update on EU research on energy efficient built environments

The European Commission funds research on a lot of important thematic areas, and in recent years the themes of sustainability and participatory approaches have received a lot of attention. This has made way for companies like Experientia to participate in research projects, as part of project consortiums with research and industry bodies from around Europe. […]

3 September 2014
How do consumers use and respond to energy monitors?

Feeding back about eco-feedback: How do consumers use and respond to energy monitors? Kathryn Buchanan (a), Riccardo Russo (a) and Ben Anderson (b) a Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK b Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, UK Energy Policy Volume 73, October 2014, Pages 138–146 Abstract To […]

28 May 2014
Renting isn’t lending: the ‘sharing economy’ fallacy

The sharing economy is a harmful misnomer, writes John Harvey, a researcher at the University of Nottigham. It conflates people who actually share with those who make money through collaborative consumption. “It is true that much of the work within the broad gamut of the sharing economy is important in terms of sustainability and worthy […]

24 April 2014
My digital shadow

The surveillance program PRISM by the US secret service NSA has reminded us that all of our activities online may be monitored without giving us the chance to understand whether we really are targeted or what the purpose of this monitoring is. Information is being collected about us all but we have little understanding about […]

24 April 2014
Smart cities need smart citizens

The idea of the SMARTiP project is to take the experience developed by a wide range of existing user-driven, open innovation initiatives in Europe, particularly those developed through Living Labs, and to apply this experience to the challenge of transforming public services by empowering ‘smart citizens’ who are able to use and co-produce innovative Internet-enabled […]

17 March 2014
Six ways to design humanity and localism into Smart Cities

A long post by Rick Robinson, Executive Architect at IBM specialising in emerging technologies and Smarter Cities, admonishes Smart Cities planners and designers not to overlook the social needs of cities and communities. After all, he says, the full purpose of cities is: to enable a huge number of individual citizens to live not just […]

16 March 2014
Why smart cities need an urgent reality check

Responsive urban technology sounds enticing but citizens must not be disconnected from plans drawn up on their behalf, argues Gary Graham in The Guardian. “It’s not clear at the moment whether future cities are strategic experiments for [large companies such as IBM, Samsung, Cisco and Intel], or if they are genuinely catalysing the regeneration of […]

13 February 2014
A case study on inclusive design: ethnography and energy use

Energy usage and conservation can be a seemingly mundane part of an individual’s daily life on one hand, but a politically, ecologically, and economically critical issue on the other. Despite its importance, there is a startling lack of insight into what guides and influences behaviors surrounding energy. With conventional quantitative analyses of properties and income […]

19 January 2014
[Book] Junkyard Planet

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade by Adam Minter Bloomsbury Publishing 2013, 304 pages [Amazon link – video] Abstract When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don’t want […]

12 January 2014
[Book] Design Transitions

Design Transitions – Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How design is changing. By Joyce Yee, Emma Jefferies and Lauren Tan BIS Publishers [Book site – Amazon link – selected pages] Abstract Design Transitions presents 42 unique and insightful stories of how design is changing around the world. Twelve countries are represented from the perspectives of three […]

19 November 2013
Bringing sharing to Korea

Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, gave the keynote address at the ‘Seoul Youth Hub Conference 2013, Reshaping the Way We Live’, held in Seoul, Korea from 6 to 8 November 2013. The conference was co-hosted with 8 youth-led organizations working for transforming our lives into more sustainable way in various sectors. The […]

11 November 2013
Two new reports by ARUP

Designing with Data The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and ARUP have released Designing with Data: Shaping Our Future Cities, a new report that explores the massive potential role that data could have in the planning and design of our buildings and cities, reports Dexigner. The report identifies the main approaches to working with […]

9 November 2013
All technology is assistive technology

All technology is assistive technology, argues Sara Hendren in a long and very insightful article. “Honestly – what technology are you using that’s not assistive? Your smartphone? Your eyeglasses? Headphones? And those three examples alone are assisting you in multiple registers: They’re enabling or augmenting a sensory experience, say, or providing navigational information. But they’re […]

9 November 2013
How do you build an electricity bill for the 21st century?

The more confusing the bill, the more likely it is to be disputed, the less likely it is to be paid. So, from not only an image perspective, but a practical, financial one as well, Illinois-based electric company ComEd realized their bills needed better design. They decided to give that power to the people–who knows […]

25 October 2013
Sustainable living and behavioral change

Below a selection of pieces from The Guardian’s sustainable living hub: The power of behavioural design: looking beyond nudging Christoph Burmester – 10 September 2013 Beyond nudging lies the world of applied behavioural science or, alternatively, the domain of behavioural design. Combining behavioural science with sustainable design could be a powerful game changer in shifting […]

22 October 2013
Book: Status Update by Alice E. Marwick

Last year, I posted about the very interesting PhD dissertation by Alice E. Marwick (downloadable here). Based on ethnographic research of the San Francisco technology scene, she explains how social media’s technologies are based on status-seeking techniques that encourage people to apply free-market principles to the organization of social life. She has now rewritten the […]

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