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Posts in category 'UXnet'

10 November 2009

Book: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media

Hanging out
Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out
Kids Living and Learning with New Media
(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)
An examination of young people’s everyday new media practices—including video-game playing, text-messaging, digital media production, and social media use.

Authors: Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martinez, C. J. Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims and Lisa Tripp
MIT Press, November 2009, 432 pages
Table of contents and sample chaptersAmazon link

Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth’s social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. By focusing on media practices in the everyday contexts of family and peer interaction, the book views the relationship of youth and new media not simply in terms of technology trends but situated within the broader structural conditions of childhood and the negotiations with adults that frame the experience of youth in the United States.

Integrating twenty-three different case studies—which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music-sharing, and online romantic breakups—in a unique collaborative authorship style, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out is distinctive for its combination of in-depth description of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis.

This book was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

The project was spearheaded by Mimi Ito, a Research Scientist at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

(via danah boyd)

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

9 November 2009

Designing mobile money services for emerging markets

Sente
Nokia user researcher Jan Chipchase has posted an in-depth presentation and paper on designing mobile money services for emerging markets:

“Hang around a telecoms industry conference long enough and you start to get big-number fatigue – as one stack of seemingly impressive statistic blurs into the next. The numbers that have stuck with me over the years came from our research into the lives of the working illiterate: people who have jobs and want to keep them – spending time with people who work 16 hours days, 7 days a week with just a few days off per year is not uncommon. Who benefits more from the introduction of mobile money management services – a white-collar worker in New York City or a migrant manual labourer living out of a dormitory in Xi’an? For many access to mobile money services is a game-changer.

For practitioners working in this space (hei) the most useful section is likely to be on mobile phone practices and behaviours: covering mediated use from the perspective of customers; agents and the service providers themselves; charging; and multiple-SIM card practices.”

Read full story

5 November 2009

Social isolation and new technology

Social Isolation
The Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community survey finds that Americans are not as isolated as has been previously reported. People’s use of the mobile phone and the internet is associated with larger and more diverse discussion networks. And, when we examine people’s full personal network – their strong and weak ties – internet use in general and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular are associated with more diverse social networks.

Read media reports:
Tech tools may help pull people together (Silicon Valley Mercury News)
Web, cellphone users are not isolated from reality (USA Today)
Study finds social media is actually social (ReadWriteWeb)

4 November 2009

The new fast ways of keeping in touch are driving us further apart

 
Email, texting and Facebook let us hide behind our computer screens instead of talking to each other. Elizabeth Day asks in The Observer if we have the tyranny of technology to blame or ourselves?

According to John Freeman, who is the new editor of Granta magazine and a former president of the National Book Critics Circle in the US, the modern tools of communication that are meant to connect us are actually driving us further apart. Instead of bringing us into closer contact with the global community, email, instant messaging, texting and social networking sites all enforce the notion of what the French philosopher Guy Debord termed “the lonely crowd”.

Read full story

4 November 2009

Nokia Life Tools tailored to the needs of Indonesians

Farmer
Nokia Life Tools was designed to help improve the livelihood and lives of farmers, students and many people in more remote and rural areas in emerging market countries.

It does this by offering easily accessible and up-to-date crop prices, education tools and entertainment packages, delivering this valuable information on a simple SMS backbone.

Nokia Life Tools has now been announced for Indonesia, where it has been tailored towards its people’s needs.

Read full story

4 November 2009

The future of interface design

Handwriting
David Leggett provides on his UX Booth blog an overview of what the future of interface design has to offer.

He covers various upcoming interface technologies such as heads up displays, gesture-based interfaces, spatial motion interfaces, augmented reality, other sensory-based interfaces, and smart surfaces.

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

3 November 2009

Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels speaks at Visualizar, Madrid

intheair
On Friday 13 (!) November, Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels will be one of the speakers at Visualizar’09, an international seminar on public data visualisation, organised by Medialab-Prado in Madrid, Spain.

The conference and workshop will be led by Ben Cerveny of Stamen, San Francisco.

Jan-Christoph’s talk, entitled “Imagining behavioral change – Smart meters and data visualizations of energy consumption” draws from Experientia’s successful competition entry at Low2No in Helsinki, Finland.

The presentation will introduce conceptual frameworks, insights and visual prototypes from a recent, collaborative project of Arup, Sauerbruch Hutton and Experientia for a Low2No carbon emissions competition for Helsinki Harbor. Sitra, the Finnish innovation agency, selected the winning team out of 74 initial entries, for their C_life – City as living factory of ecology project. The aim is to construct an urban zone with low or no carbon emissions in Helsinki, Finland, by 2012.

While other team members devised the architectural and financial strategies for the project, Experientia’s responsibility was to address the delicate theme of how to initiate behavioral change to support a sustainable style of living in this completely renewed urban district. Starting with the concept that people, their contexts, social networks, habits and beliefs are crucial tools for creating sustainable change in behaviour, Experientia explored ways to offer people control over their consumption and to see the effects of their actions on the environment.

Using their expertise in designing valuable user experiences, Experientia’s strategies to empower people’s change include: developing engagement and awareness programs, through services aimed at creating social actions based on green values; using technology to assist people in making decisions, such as energy metres and dynamic pricing systems; producing positive reinforcement loops (with incentives and benefits) for people who live, work and visit Jätkäsaari; and using the community as a knowledge network to share best practices.

The competition highlighted the need of stakeholder participation and replicability of the selected ideas. The presentation will focus on showcasing initial research insights and smart meter prototypes to support behavioral change. The speaker will show initial smart meters from the competition entry, their data visualizations and the challenges to get them realized.

Medialab-Prado provides live video streaming of the event.

2 November 2009

Augmented Reality is overblown

AR
Chris Dannen writes in Fast Company that Augmented Reality is overblown, and doesn’t expect apps like Layar to drastically change the way we live our everyday lives.

“Talk to the people doing AR research, and they seem to think that the awkwardness of using AR — holding your phone up in front of you; holding your Esquire in front of your computer — will work itself out. But they may be underestimating the power of human habit. We have been ingesting information the old fashioned way for hundreds of years: by looking at a static image and using our brains, not our smartphone cameras, to meld it with reality. Maps, newspapers, books, computers — they’re very different “technologies,” but they all work essentially the same way: our brains provide the milieu. AR wants to derail that relationship. That’s going to be a tough sell.”

Read full story

2 November 2009

As products become more interactive, the focus shifts to the psychological

Hierarchy
“As products become more interactive, the focus shifts to the psychological,” argues Gentry Underwood, who focuses on social media and collaborative software at IDEO, in a guest article for Core77.

“And with the networking of devices together, we see yet another shift—this time towards the sociological and anthropological. Now the designer must understand not only anthropometrics and cognitive science, but also ethnography and sociology, for an effective design must ‘work’ at all of these levels at once.”

Here is another quote:

“Human-centered approaches to industrial and interaction design have long focused on studying human behavior to create informed and appropriate designs. A social interaction designer must consider not only people, environment, and existing tools, but also the unseen elements of the system such as social relationships, power dynamics, and cultural rules.”

Read full article

31 October 2009

Implementing digital TV in Italy: the other side of the digital revolution

Decoder
Italy is in the process of switching to digital TV, and the implementation is pretty much a disaster, as far as I can tell from the reactions in the region where I live (Piedmont). Many of the problems are technological, but not all. A volunteer force of ‘angels’ is doing what it can:

Here is quick translation of an article from today’s Repubblica newspaper:

“TRENTO – You can take everything away from them, but not the television. Put yourself in the shoes of Mrs. Livia, 78 years old, who lives in the middle of the mountains of the splendid Trentino region, doesn’t come out of the house from November to April, and has her television on all day long. When she was no longer able to watch the TV programs, she picked up the phone and called the ‘decoder angels’. “Help, my television doesn’t work anymore”. She soon became one of 6,000 elderly in the Trentino region who received personal assistance in setting up a digital TV decoder at their home. These are people who cannot (or do not want to) count on the help of children or other family and are already getting into trouble with wiring or the new remote control, let alone the now required channel tuning, which they sometimes have to do several times due to the various repetitor stations in the Trentino valleys.

This is the other side of the digital revolution – the one that after Sardinia and the Aosta Valley has now reached Piedmont and Trentino Alto Adige, with a slew of problems, complaints, doubts, protests, and threats not to pay the television tax any longer. Even when everything is fine on a technical level, the work inside the homes is just starting. The elderly are the most vulnerable, as shown by a research done by the Department of Sociology of the University of Trento. The study is based on the work done by the ‘decoder angels’, young people who have been installing decoders for free at the homes of those over 75, on a program subsidised by the local government.

Anxiety, anger, impatience: that’s what you get when you take away the television of an elderly person who is used to have that voice always in the background. It is a trauma for them. And then there are the technical problems: unable to adjust themselves to the double remote control, some elderly get confused, use the tv remote control to change the decoder settings, and vice versa, and then complain because the channel doesn’t change or the volume doesn’t go up. Elderly men, who tend to be more proud than women, try to make do. But it is not easy to connect a television set from the 70’s (yes, the angels also found those) to a decoder from 2009. And that’s if the antenna on the roof is fine and there is a free electrical outlet behind the television.

Panic strikes when an interactive menu appears during channel surfing: better then to turn everything off. Probably those in charge of the switch to digital didn’t think of the fact that those in charge of the implementation would often be the immigrant caretakers of the Italian elderly, who are not always able to read manuals in Italian. “It’s easy to say ‘digital’, but the real challenge is to bring the digital into the real lives of people,” explains Pierfrancesco Fedrizzi, who is in charge of communication for the project. The sociologist Carlo Buzzi, who authored the study, is more critical: he speaks about a revolution that is misunderstood, at least by the elderly users: “They are only interested in watching their usual channels. They don’t know nor understand the digital world, let alone anything interactive. “

30 October 2009

Nov-Dec 2009 edition of Interactions magazine online

Interactions
The November-December edition of Interactions Magazine is online and some articles are available without subscription.

Unfortunately, the main menu page doesn’t say which articles are publicly available (although without images) and which aren’t (what about ‘affordances’ in web design?), so I have selected the six that are:

interactions: social, authentic, and interdisciplinary
Jon Kolko

Catalyzing a perfect storm: mobile phone-based HIV-prevention behavioral interventions
Woodrow W. Winchester, III

Implications of user choice: the cultural logic of “MySpace or Facebook?”
danah boyd

On authenticity
Steve Portigal, Stokes Jones

When security gets in the way
Don Norman

The authenticity problem
John Kolko

A seventh one, by my business partner Michele Visciola, can be downloaded in a pre-publication version from this blog.

30 October 2009

Experientia partner Michele Visciola on people-centred innovation as culture evolution

Michele Visciola
Experientia partner Michele Visciola, who is also the president of Experientia, has written an article entitled “People-centered innovation or culture evolution?” that got published in the November-December edition of Interactions magazine.

Here is the abstract:

“The biological theory of evolution and its applications to cultural anthropology (Cavalli Sforza, 2006) create an interesting framework with which to regard user research practices and innovation strategies. Mutation (i.e., a significant abrupt change in a given value system) is a rare event but can occur in any culture. Natural selection is the pressure that operates on a given system of values and beliefs in order to select those behaviours that fit to the environmental conditions of use. Migration is the meshing of behaviours and attitudes that can lead to a change of values. Finally, Drift is the barrier to the entrance of new values in a given cultural system. A deep understanding of these forms of cultural evolution will allow companies to better frame innovation models. Whether it is based on participatory and voluntary shifts in usage conditions (i.e. mutation), or on integrating new services and features into existing products (creating conditions for migration and drift), innovation should favour the natural selection of people’s idea selection so that it can resist and endure.”

The full article is available for subscribers only, but you can download a pre-publication version here.

30 October 2009

Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels speaks at IxD Fall Summit

IxD Fall Summit
On 6 November Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels will be speaking at the IxD Fall Summit 2009 organised by the Umeå Institute of Design.

Other speakers are German Leon (Vodafone User Experience, Germany), David Rose (Vitality, USA), Karsten Schmidt (PostSpectacular, UK), Reto Wettach & André Knörig (Potsdam, Interaction Design Lab and Fritzing, Germany) and Clive Van Heerden (Philips Design, The Netherlands).

30 October 2009

Videos of keynote speeches at Seoul design research conference

IASDR
Last week, the IASDR 2009 conference (International Association of Societies of Design Research) took place in Seoul, South Korea, and all videos of the keynote speeches are already available.

Donald A. Norman: Science and Design
I start with three contradictory views: First, that a science of design is already here; Second, that a science of design is possible, but not yet here; Third, that a science of design is neither possible nor appropriate. How can all three views be true? Because each speaks to a different aspect of the complex set of activities we lump together as design.
Three examples make the point: Engineers design, and for many, there already exists a science of design based upon rigorous methods of optimization, perhaps governed by critical axioms. Practitioners of interaction design, such as the human- or activity-centered approaches that I espouse, are active in the creation of a robust, repeatable science base. And finally, design has its creative and artistic side, developing novel solutions to “wicked” problems while providing aesthetically pleasing structures. Neither this kind of creativity nor its aesthetic sensibilities seem amenable to science, at least not yet.
But as the world grows more complex, more interconnected, with the underlying infrastructure less and less visible, hidden inside electronic and optical mechanisms, conveyed as all-powerful yet invisible information and knowledge, design more than ever needs a body of reliable, verifiable procedures. Science is the systematic method of building a reliable, verifiable, repeatable, and generalizable body of knowledge. Science is not a body of facts: it is a process. Design is the deliberate shaping of the environment in ways that satisfy individual and societal needs. Scientific methods can inform design. Designers can create a science of design.

Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders: Co-creation through generative design thinking
Co-creation is not just the next new thing in marketing. It is an alternative way of seeing and being in the world. Existing and thriving in the emerging co-creative landscapes will require the creation and application of new tools, methods and methodologies for connecting, innovating, making, telling and sharing. These generative tools must be useful and usable for all types of people. Generative design thinking provides a design language for all of us, designers as well as non-designers, to use in provoking the imagination, stimulating ideation, stirring the emotions, discovering unmet needs and facilitating embodiments of future possibilities. Examples of this generative design language in action, from projects ranging from consumer product and service development to the planning and architecture of new healthcare campuses, will be shared.
Building on the emerging co-creative landscapes will require that we hold new attitudes and mindsets about the people formerly known as ‘consumers’ or ‘users’. It will also require that designers and researchers take on new roles in addressing the rigor, relevance and sustainability needed for human-centered designing.

Kees Overbeeke: Eindhoven interaction design
The Eindhoven Industrial Design Department (ID) focuses on how to design for highly interactive intelligent systems. Our approach is shifting its research and teaching context from Human Product Interaction (HPI), mainly focused on opening up the functionality of a product, towards a broader approach to enhance dynamical aspects, interpersonal and societal values, including personal, aesthetic and socio-cultural ones, through the application of highly interactive intelligent systems.
The skills involved in designing systems are different from the skills that were needed before, (see figure 1). There will be overlap between the skills needed for ‘design for interaction’ and ‘design for appearance’ but there will also be a need for new skills.
In this talk, I expand on how far we are on this new road. What does it mean to design for systems? What does it mean for the educational system? And for practice? And for research? What sort of new (dynamical) design language will emerge? What sort of theories and philosophies can support this approach?
I give our answer to these questions. We developed a new design process, a new educational system and a new approach to research. Keyword in all this is integration: integration of disciplines, teaching and research, paradigms, technology and design etc. I strongly believe in the knowledge generation power of design as integrator. So, above all we need a new professionalism based on thinking with the hands, reflection on making.

Kazuo Kawasaki: Progressive Inclusive Design for the BOP
The capitalism has already ended.
When socialism was over, the capitalism also died.
However, because of having just dead capitalism system, we have faced the current global deceptions.
We, designers, have a duty to create new economic system, international political system, and a construction system of the information culture globally by design method.
The design is a possess to force innovation in every world system as business technique.
The design has been considered and treated as only the professional ability in developed, capitalism economy so far.
However, our design must be the leading role as methodology to solve the various problems which current Earth has.
Therefore, I will speak the logic to the focus of the design area.
Aiming of the design should innovative the evolution called Progressive Inclusive Design as the business studies-like method.
The Inclusive design can support the logic basis characteristics as logic from of the grammar in the human talks called the first person, the second person, and the third person as the national audiologies verification.
I will show my design works about the utility and the effect in the example which regards this Progressive Inclusive Design as design object for reverse the Bottom of the Pyramid in the world.
My expression is in this concept for the Bottom of the Pyramid, and businesses are required to overcome the current global deceptions.

Kyung-won Chung: “Caring for Citizens”: The New Value System of Seoul Design Excellence
I will start with how the meaning and roles of design have changed as the term is increasingly used in diverse fields in recent years. Traditionally, design used to refer to ‘fashion’ or ‘styling’ in close relationship with visual art. It, however, is frequently used in other disciplines such as engineering, management, even politics. Design can be categorized into three distinctive areas: visible design mainly for hardware; invisible design for services and hybrid design that is both visible and invisible. Design also deals with various issues such as green (sustainable, eco-friendly), universal (trans-generational) and others.
I will explain how Seoul City has performed various design initiatives since June 2006 when Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s took office as Mayor of Seoul City. Mayor Oh fully understands the importance of good design and set up the Seoul Design Headquarters (SDH) in April 2007. Under the new vision of “Caring for Citizens” and strategy of “Citizen-First Design”, I am directing the SDH that is composed of about 100 public servants who are undertaking 55 projects with about US $ 80 Million for implementing principles of public design, green design, and universal design in various activities of subsidiary headquarters, bureaus, and 25 autonomous districts in Seoul. SDH is also developing city’s design DNA such as the Seoul’s symbol Haechi (an imaginary animal that protects human beings from demons), Seoul fonts, Seoul colors, and Design Seoul guidelines.
I will discuss how Seoul city has pursued design initiatives in order to upgrade the quality of citizens’ lives and enhancing the competitiveness of the city through its new value system.

(via InfoDesign)

29 October 2009

Computerworld New Zealand on user-centred web design

Computerworld
Computerworld New Zealand introduces user-centred web design.

Introducing user-centred web design
The first article in this series introduces the idea of User-Centred Design (UCD) — a design process that concentrates on designing websites for the people who will use them; rather than to embody the latest trends in web technology, or to simply please the senior management in the company.

User experience: What it is and how to get some
The second article in this series looks at the concept of user experience. As well as explaining user experience in more detail, the article outlines what skills are needed to embody it in good web design.

User experience in action
This article looks at some of the methods that can be used to implement UCD in real websites. It considers some case studies drawn from the experience of Wired Internet Group, a Christchurch-based company striving to promote the principles of UCD in the local web industry. These case studies will reveal some of the “real world” usability issues that may be encountered, and the sometimes simple steps that you can take to remedy them, and give your site the user experience your customers deserve.

26 October 2009

Stop your search engines

offline
Peggy Orenstein forced herself offline, and reflects in the New York Times Magazine whether this is the path to true knowledge:

“Not long ago, I started an experiment in self-binding: intentionally creating an obstacle to behavior I was helpless to control, much the way Ulysses lashed himself to his ship’s mast to avoid succumbing to the Sirens’ song. In my case, though, the irresistible temptation was the Internet.”

Read full story

26 October 2009

Memory and forgetting in the digital age

Unforgettable
Yadin Dudai writes in the New Scientist on two books on memory and forgetting in the digital age — Total Recall: How the e-memory revolution will change everything by Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, and Delete: The virtue of forgetting in the digital age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger — and concludes:

“For the human condition, forgetting is at least as important as remembering – sometimes more so. Without it, we are all bound to lead the miserable life of A. R. Luria’s patient Solomon Shereshevsky, who was crippled by his boundless, indelible memory, or his fictional counterpart, Jorge Luis Borges’s Funes. No forgetting implies no generalisation, no real present time, no amelioration of trauma, and no weaving of meaningful life narratives.”

Read full story

22 October 2009

Human behavior: the key to future tech developments

Ka-torchi
As trained observers of how people in a society live, ethnographers can help companies figure out what people need and then work with designers to meet those needs with new (or more often tweaked) products and services. CNN reports.

“Microsoft and many other companies realize that since it is, after all, people who use technology, it’s critical for the company to understand how people adapt to technology,” notes Kentaro Toyama, who leads the Technology for Emerging Markets research group at Microsoft Research India.

That helps explain why, as [Professor Michael] Wesch [, a cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University] notes, digital ethnography is increasingly being integrated into other majors at universities.

Read full story