14 September 2010

Experience-based product design from Intel

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Genevieve Bell
The Day Zero event of the Intel Developer Forum started off with a presentation by Intel Fellow (and anthropologist) Genevieve Bell who is now also the head of Intel’s Interaction and Experience Research (IXR) division, that is focused on defining new user experiences and new computing platforms (see earlier announcement).

A few blogs report on Bell’s contribution, but so far no video is online.

Damian Koh on CNet Asia:

“Aside from asking the right questions, it’s also about learning through engagement and designing a set of experiences. Bell cited one of her latest coup in the last couple of years was that users are now as important to Intel as silicon. One of her biggest breakthroughs was the realization that she needed a roadmap that reflects what users needed instead of a simple processor update. However, she conceded that unless the intended experience of the silicon is very clear, it’s hard to make the right call throughout the entire process of conceptualizing and designing to testing in the homes and labs.”

Rupert Goodwins on ZDNet UK:

“We’re marrying social science with engineering. Taking what we know about human beings,. We have a centre of excellence for understanding people, and one for engineering. The lab thinks about human IO, not just computer IO, and running the gamut with new forms of input method, being playful and provocative. Having engineers makes this happen In the next ten years, you will see some very different things from Intel,” said Genevieve Bell.

Loyd Case on Tom’s Hardware:

“Intel thinks the idea of understanding future user experiences is important enough that it has funded an entire arm of its research organization to this, known as “Interactions and Experiences Research.” Split into design and technology elements, and headed by Dr. Bell, the idea is to understand how users worldwide experience their technology, what they love about it, and what frustrates them.”

Harley Ogier in New Zealand PC World:

“Speaking on Day Zero of this year’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Bell suggested that Intel should begin to “think about experiences as a starting point for designing new technology”. Instead of working around a list of features, she explained that this would require Intel to understand the experiences people have with technology today. With such understanding, the company could focus on creating new technologies to better those existing “beloved” experiences and facilitate new ones.”

Xavier Lanier on GottaBeMobile:

“Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist and Intel researcher spoke about how she is trying to get Intel to think simple instead of complex. She and her team travel the world watching how people use technology in public and at home.”

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