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Search results for '"matt jones"'
31 January 2009

Dopplr designer Matt Jones on bionic noticing

Matt Jones
Reporting on PSFK’s Good Ideas Salon yesterday in London, Guardian writer Jemima Kiss highlights the presentation by Dopplr designer Matt Jones:

He sees mobile as something of a super power device and described something he calls “bionic noticing” – obsessively recording curious things he sees around him, driven by this multi-capable device in his pocket. […]

He’s frustrated with the disembodied way that we engage with mobile devices: “beautiful shiny plastic things with some gangly bag of mostly water tapping away on them”.

“We should be an embodied person in the world rather than a disembodied finger tickling a screen walking down the street. We need to unfold and unpack the screen into the world.”

Read full story

Photograph: adactio/Flickr/Some rights reserved

27 January 2009

Matt Jones on Dopplr’s new personal annual report for all its users

Matt Jones
Peter Merholz of Adaptive Path asked Matt Jones, founder/lead designer of Dopplr, on the new ability for every Dopplr user to download a Personal Annual Report of their 2008 travels in pdf.

“All of us at Dopplr are fascinated by the blur between the digital and the physical that it’s becoming easier and cheaper to create (for instance we just helped stage the first ‘papercamp‘ to investigate this) and we were definitely inspired by things like The Day-to-Day Data Exhibition, Lucy Kimbell’s LIX project, Nicholas Feltron’s annual reports and even, Schott’s Miscellany. Creating something procedurally in print from digital data seemed like the natural next step for us.”

Read full interview

See also this review by Ben Terrett.

6 April 2008

A conversation with Dopplr’s Matt Jones

Matt Jones
Matt Jones used to be director of user-experience design at Nokia. Now he is the co-founder of Dopplr, a social networking site for frequent travellers.

Ryan Freitas of Adaptive Path recently had a long conversation with him that you can read a summary of on the Adaptive Path blog and in full on Freitas’ personal blog.

23 June 2007

Matt Jones, former UX director at Nokia, now moving to BBC and Dopplr

Matt Jones
Matt Jones, former director of user experience design for Nokia Design Multimedia, announced a few weeks ago that he was leaving Nokia.

According to a blog post today, he will now be working four days a week at BBC’s Vision department , collaborating with content creators and commissioners to investigate and demonstrate how better to use the internet to help deepen/broaden the stories being told and worlds being built.

The fifth day is devoted to Dopplr, the “online service for frequent travellers” [of which I am a member], where he is the design director.

27 February 2012

And the Oscar goes to: Interaction

83_large_IxDA

[Guest post by Jan-Christoph Zoels, senior-partner of Experientia®]

Avoiding one of the shortcomings of Oscar ceremonies, the international jury of the first Interaction design awards, selected a diverse range of winners from all over the world – from Ford’s smart speed gauge to a Dutch shopping application Ice Mobile to a Brazilian museums installation Interaction cubes.

The inaugural award drew over 300 entries from 33 countries showcasing mobile and web-based applications, social media campaigns, product interfaces, installations, games and toys. 26 winners were selected among six categories highlighting the different facets of meaningful relationships between people, products and services.

The choice of categories – disrupting, connecting, empowering, engaging, expressing, optimizing – showcases the focal shift from product categories to categories of experiential impact. Imagine a time at the Oscars when we could truly see a disruptive movie…

The wide range of winning entries stimulate a discussion on the role and value of design and provide tangible examples of design excellence for years to come. Evaluation criteria were based on context, impact, craft and overall presentation.

Thanks goes to Jennifer Bove and Raphael Grignani for organizing and chairing the Interaction Awards, and an international jury of interaction design heavy hitters including Massimo Banzi (Milan, Italy), Janna DeVylder (Sydney, Australia), Matt Jones (London, UK), Younghee Jung (Bangalore, India), Jonas Löwgren (Malmo, Sweden), Helen Walters (New York, USA), and Jury Chair Robert Fabricant (New York, USA).

The awards were celebrated during IxDA’s Interaction|12 Conference in Dublin, Ireland on February 3rd, 2012.
 

And the Oscar goes to:

LoopLoop, the recipient of Best in Show – an interactive music toy created by Stimulant for Sifteo. The playful cubes use engaging visuals and sounds to let anyone create music. Responsive to touch and cognizant of other cubes, playful sounds emerge.

Interaction Cubes by Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/Museu da Vida, from Rio de Janiero was awarded the People’s Choice Award as well as Best in Category Engaging. The cubes enable playful learning of the periodic table in a science museum using videos and interactive explorations to showcase everyday connections to each element.

 

Connecting
Facilitating communication between people and communities.

Best in Category

Pepsi Refresh Project designed by HUGE in New York, USA, won Best in Category Connecting.
A truly refreshing project – from fleeting seconds in Super Bowl advertising to local community impact released over time.

In 2010 Huge created for Pepsi a community catalyst revolving around issues and ideas that people personally cared about. The Pepsi Refresh Project was designed to give millions of dollars in grants in the U.S. to fund good ideas, big and small that move communities forward. In times of economic crisis, actions like that give hope to some regenerative ideas in the world of advertising. A best practice to copy …

Other winners:

  • FoodHub: a digital community where local food people. ISITE Design, Portland, USA
  • Plug-In-Play: an interactive installation exploring the future of the connected city. Rockwell Group, New York, USA
  • Steps: an online resource and community for educators. Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, USA
  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango): Putting People First. Second, Metro – a new design language. Third, Fierce Reduction – a design approach enabling simple experiences. Microsoft, Seattle, USA

 

Disrupting
Re-imagining completely an existing product or service by creating new behaviors, usages or markets.

Best in Category

Ford SmartGauge by Smart Design in San Francisco, USA, won Best in Category Disrupting. The SmartGauge is an intuitive and beautiful LCD instrument panel to help Ford Fusion drivers to save fuel in adapting their driving styles.

In building an emotional connection and creating awareness of driving choices the SmartGauge affects behavioral change over time. “Efficiency Leaves” give feedback over time and suggest driver actions.

According to Dan Formosa, president of Smart Design, the SmartGauge also reduces the cognitive load in reducing glance time for drivers through increased contrasts and enhanced peripheral vision.

Smart Designs team of six designers took it from interface concepts to interactive prototypes and usability tests of readability, helpfulness, and glance time. Resulting in an automotive gauge “designed to be read without being looked at.”

Other winners

  • Spotify Box: tangible interactions with a service. Umea Institute of Design, Umea, Sweden
  • SWYP: See What You Print: see and manipulate, in 1:1 scale, what the finished result will look like before you print. Artefact, Seattle, USA
  • Peel: a smart remote suggesting programs you’ll love to watch on TV. Peel, Mountain View, USA
  • The Waste Land: an iPad app to explore every facet of a poem – from its inception to its interpretation. Touch Press LLP, London, England

 

Expressing
Enabling self expression and/or creativity.

  • LoopLoop, Stimulant/Sifteo, San Francisco, USA (Best in Category, Expressing; Best in Show)
  • The Film Room: learning basketball from the very best. R/GA, New York, USA

 

Engaging
Capturing attention, creating delight and delivering meaning.

 

Empowering
Helping people to do things they otherwise couldn’t do.

Best in Category

ReadyForZero, ReadyForZero, San Francisco, USA
ReadyForZero is a free, online financial program that helps people get out of debt. It automatically pulls in all their financial data, helps them make a plan, and tracks their progress as they change their financial behavior for the better.

With the recent financial crash and consistent unemployment, the time could not be better for a service like ReadyForZero to help people take control of their financial lives.
readyforzero.com
blog.readyforzero.com/2011/09/19/readyforzero-success-profile-colin

Just imagine a budget balancing tool for debt-ridden nations of this world from Greece to Italy to the USA. What could we cut first of our unsustainable expenditures – defense budgets, tax subsidies for the superrich, the most polluting companies and tax avoiding multinationals? Which Open data app will surprise us at next years Interaction Awards?

Other winners

 

Optimizing
Making daily activities more efficient.

Best in Category

The Best in Category Optimizing was awarded to Appie, a simple and thoughtful mobile shopping application designed by IceMobile in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Created for the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn it simplifies shoppers groceries lists. Previous purchases, recipes, current offerings and discounts, as well as a detailed walking route of a store of choice, makes this mobile shopping list easier as its pen & paper brethren.

Let’s just hope Albert Heijn licenses its best practice application to other enlightened retailers.

Other winners

  • B-Cycle: a next-generation bike-sharing program. Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, USA
  • Out of Box Experience – Accu-Chek Aviva: testing diabetes made simple. Frontend.com, Dublin, Ireland
  • Xero: beautifully designed accounting software for small businesses. Xero, Wellington, New Zealand
    xero.com

 

Best Concept

Best in Category

Out of the Box by Vitamins, London, UK, is a simple yet effective solution for the increasing number of cell-phone users who have difficulties with learning to use a new smartphone.

For older people, this experience can be particularly frustrating as they apply analogue modes of learning to digital experiences – looking in the box for help that simply is not there.

Vitamins created a set of books which would act as the packaging and provide an entire learning experience for any device.

The books actually contain the phone, and use each page turn to reveal the elements of the phone in the right order, helping the user to set up the SIM card, battery and even slide the case onto the phone. The phone then slots into the book, which acts as the main manual. Arrows point to the exact locations the user should press, avoiding confusion and eliminating the feeling of being lost in a menu.

A beautiful solutions which reminds me of Dynamic Diagram’s (Krzysztof Lenk, Paul Kahn, and Ronnie Peters) unfolding poster to assemble an IBM Thinkpad notebook dating from 1996. Association like this make the newly founded Interaction Design award an inspiration, an archive and a celebration of smart practices.

 

Best Student

Pas a Pas by CIID student Ishac Bertran is an interactive educational tool that enables children to learn and experiment through animation.

An excellent example of self-directed learning in animating abstract concepts of time and movement through playful and creative discovery.

The prototype builds on Montessori concepts of tangible explorations and is intended for kindergarten and primary school kids. CIID rocks!

 

22 December 2011

Five lessons from the best interaction designs of 2011

ixd

Frog’s Robert Fabricant breaks down the themes from the 2011 Interaction Design Awards.

“Technologies like cheap sensors and cloud computing are increasingly being used to augment our daily lives in both magical and mundane ways. Everything we do is an app in the making (a million and counting). But in this environment we are also developing a new sensitivity to the thin line between enrichment and annoyance. Which is why interaction design continues to gain prominence as the discipline with the greatest potential to maintain our sanity in this brave new world of distraction. So it was with high hopes that I joined a gathering of some of the best minds in interaction design today, including Massimo Banzi, Janna DeVylder, Matt Jones, Younghee Jung, Jonas Löwgren, and Helen Walters, to judge the first annual Interaction Design Awards sponsored by the IxDA. Our job was to recognize the best examples from 2011 as well as communicate the critical role of good interaction design in our lives. While I cannot share the winners–yet– this experience was a great moment to reflect on the state of interaction design and what it might hold in the next few years.”

Read article

24 November 2011

Demanding devices: design and the Internet of Things

Design and the Internet of Things
On Tuesday 22 November, NESTA in London organised an event that looked at the challenges of designing for an Internet of Things.

The speakers: pioneers Usman Haque, founder of Pachube, and Matt Jones, formerly at the BBC, Dopplr and Nokia, and now a principal at design agency BERG.

Videos:
Part 1: Usman Haque (17:20)
Part 2: Matt Jones (18:58)
Part 3: Q&A (26:49)

23 September 2011

Reflections on the internet of things and yet another revolution

Matter
The internet of things and yet another revolution
The “internet of things” is viewed as the next big thing, but when will it allow people to create their own stuff, asks Russell M Davies on the BBC website.

“It’s a world where everything is smart – smart cities, smart grids, everything prefaced by smart. It’s a world of sensors in bridges so the bridge can report when it needs maintenance. This world where everything reports on its status to some kind of mothership is close to coming upon us.

It falls down, though, when it starts to think about people, and when it starts to design for how people will get involved in this infrastructure. It is not a bad or stupid world, it is just slightly boring. There is none of the texture or magic or specialness of life in it.” […]

“It is not about the thing, it is about the satisfaction of making it and the relationships which surround it. That is what will be so transformative and bewitching about the next technological revolution.

It will not be about media and screens, it will be about our lives and the objects we surround our lives with.”

My problem with the “Internet Of Things”
My problem with the “Internet Of Things” is the Things, writes Matt Jones of Berg London (formerly Nokia Design and Dopplr).

“Matter is important.

To which you quite rightly cry – “Well, duh!”

It is something we are attuned to as creatures evolved of a ‘middle world’.

It is something we invest emotion, value and memory in.

Also, a new language of product is possible, and important as the surface of larger systems.”

8 February 2010

Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium 2010

Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium
For the past four years, Microsoft Research (MSR) has sponsored a symposium on social computing that “brings together academic and industry researchers, developers, writers, and influential commentators in order to open new lines of communication among previously disconnected groups.”

The theme of the 2010 symposium, held at ITP at NYU, was “The city as platform”, which revolved around various sub-topic such as urban informatics, the city as a social technology, pervasive games and government infrastructure/data.

Participants included Genevieve Bell, Julian Bleecker, Ben Cerveny, Tom Coates, Anil Dash, Russell Davies, Alexandra Deschamps-SonsinoAdam Greenfield, Liz Goodman, Usman Haque, Tom IgoeNatalie Jeremijenko, Steven Johnson, Matt Jones, Jennifer Magnolfi, Mike Migurski, Nicolas Nova, Ray Ozzie, Clay Shirky, Kevin Slavin, Molly Steenson, Linda Stone, Alice Taylor, Anthony Townsend, Duncan Wilson and many more.

You can read elaborate and well-written symposium reports by Nicolas Nova (LIFT Lab) and Dan Hill (City of Sound / ARUP).

By the way, do also check Dan Hill’s urbanistic take on the iPad.

27 October 2009

Data mines and ideas of time

BERG
The boys at design consultancy BERG are prolific this week:

Toiling in the data-mines: what data exploration feels like
by Tom Armitage

“There are several aspects to this post. Partly, it’s about what material explorations look like when performed with data. Partly, it’s about the role of code as a tool to explore data. We don’t write about code much on the site, because we’re mainly interested in the products we produce and the invention involved in them, but it’s sometimes important to talk about processes and tools, and this, I feel, is one of those times.”

“All the time in the world” talk at Design By Fire 2009, Utrecht
by Matt Jones

“What I wanted to talk about today is how we, as human cultures – CONSTRUCTED time, and as a resulted how we, as designers, can DE-CONSTRUCT it and RE-CONSTRUCT it.”

26 September 2009

The city is a battlesuit for surviving the future

Future metro
Matt Jones, design director at Berg in London, has published a piece in Future Metro which Bruce Sterling “would like to call ‘the greatest design-fiction writing I’ve ever seen,” but (a) it’s not about design, (b) it’s not fictional and (c) it’s not even writing.”

“This piece,” Sterling says, “is doing the same futuristic thing that Archigram did decades ago, except for us, for now, in our idiom, with our techniques. It’s far-out, it’s edgy, it’s visionary, it’s truly violative of the given norm, and yet there’s nothing merely cheap and sensational here. These are ground-breaking concepts dressed in a Pop Art battlesuit, and beneath that guise lies profundity. Time is going to be kind to this.”

A small excerpt:

“I’d contend cities are not just engines of invention in stories, they themselves are powerful engines of culture and re-invention. […]

Cities are the best battlesuits we have.

It seem to me that as we better learn how to design, use and live in cities – we all have a future.”

Read full story

15 June 2009

From business to buttons

From business to buttons
Interaction designers, business strategists and usability experts gathered last week in Malmö, Sweden for the third edition of the “From Business to Buttons” conference.

Videos (alternate link) of the presentations are now online. A selection:

The Zen of presentation design & delivery: Why it matters now more than ever
Garr Reynolds, Associate Professor of Management, Kansai Gaidai University , Japan
Over the years presentation software such as PowerPoint has gotten better, but presentations largely have not. The presentation tools have advanced, but we have not. Why? Part of the problem has been a focus only on how to use the tools themselves rather than on how to clarify and amplify our ideas and messages through through fundamental design and storytelling principles.

“What’s going on” to “We’re not gonna take it”
David Malouf, Professor, Savannah College of Art & Design, USA
The new differentiators are beyond quality and usability, but is directly related to holistic aesthetic design consideration.
Designers bring a new level of “fit” to this new class of products and services. They imbue stories that engage and delight. Surrounding all this is depth, connectedness, and individual expression, that adds up to the “soul” of a design.

Designing personal informatics
Matt Jones, Co-founder/Lead Designer, Dopplr.com, UK
Here’s an explosion in “personal informatics”: Services that surface information about you and your network to your advantage.
Reviewing visualisations like the Dopplr Personal Personal Annual Report, Matt Jones will examine how great UX design can maximize the services’ benefits and impact.

Designing humanity into your products
Bill DeRouchey, Director, Interaction Design, Ziba Design, USA
Relationships are formed in the smallest moments and intimate details within each and every interaction, even between people and products. In this session, we’ll see examples of how humanity has been designed into products and services through humor, personality, and emotion. We’ll discover how just a little extra design effort and thought beyond functional needs can enrich the experience, reveal the company behind the product, and forge enduring connections with customers.

Designing beyond the screen: the convergence of products, interactions and services
Niclas Andersson, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Ergonomidesign, Sweden
Lennart Andersson, Director of Interaction Design, Ergonomidesign, Sweden
During this session we will give you a look into what we believe is the future of convergent design, based on real-life case studies and by interpreting the signs of the future trends. We also share our knowledge and experience within physical, cognitive and emotional ergonomics to be able to give you insights and tools for developing people driven innovation.

“Every 3 Seconds, a User Dies Somewhere”. Making analytics matter in your design process
Gene Liebel, Partner, Director of User Experience, HUGE, USA
Nowadays almost every internet team looks at website usage statistics on a regular basis. But most of the discussion is still about broad measures like “monthly visitors”, “repeat visitors”, “sign-ups”, “conversion”, and so on. In reality the tools have evolved to the point where you can quickly learn things about users you would usually need to get from qualitative research techniques (such as user interviews or usability studies). We’ll discuss a few situations where the analytics are sending a clear message about what the user wants or the performance of the current design. Finally we’ll check out a few tricks for “humanizing” the numbers so they’re easier to present to product design teams.

Why designers fail and what to do about it
Scott Berkun, author, USA
All those who participate in design, from interaction designers, to usability engineers, to IA masters, fall victim to the same kinds of challenges when trying to bring good design into the world. From politics, to hubris, to downright incompetence, what can we learn by confessing to, and examining the causes of, our failures? Berkun thinks we can learn everything, much more than studying our successes. This fun, interactive talk, explores why designers fail and offers advice on how to learn from and triumph in the face of these situations.

11 June 2009

“Singing the body electric” by Fabio Sergio and other talks at Frontiers of Interaction

Frontiers of Interaction
Fabio Sergio, a design and user experience strategist, creative director at frog design, and former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, was one of the speakers at the Frontiers of Interaction conference that took place on Tuesday in Rome, Italy.

“Given the themes of the conference and who else was speaking I decided to steer clear of potential irrelevance, and had fun superficially exploring an area actually at the frontier of the day’s very themes.
When the smart city will come to be – if it has not already – what will it mean for its human inhabitants?
Even more vertically: what will living in such a techno-cultural milieu do to people’s first-life avatar – to their body – and to their very perception of it?
I briefly touched upon “the body as a terminal” and “the body as a node”, and left “the body as a conduit” for a longer timeframe.”

View presentation notes and slides (alternate link)
View presentation video (24:59)

You can also watch other Frontiers of Interaction resentations in English (skip the Italian introduction):

See also my earlier post on Matt Jones’ talk at the same conference.

11 June 2009

Designing things that think they are services, and services that think they are things

Frontiers of Interaction
Matt Jones, founder and former lead designer at Dopplr and also former director of UX design at Nokia, is now a principal designer at Schulze & Webb in London.

He was also one of the speakers at the Frontiers of Interaction conference that took place on Tuesday in Rome, Italy.

On this personal blog, he underlines the draft nature of the talk which was entitled “The New Negroponte Switch” and deals with the “physicalisation of data” and “being a designer in the internet of things”, but we think, as we always do when Matt Jones presents, it is very much worth viewing:

“The concept of “Thingfrastructure” in the talk is something I’ve found myself scribbling in the margins of my moleskine for a few months now, and it’s something I want to come back to: resilience in services, especially when connected to things – and whether it’s possible to design ‘things’ that generate resilient services for themselves. I think it’s been in the back of my mind since Ryan Frietas gave an excellent talk on the subject at MX last year in San Francisco. Anyway – as I say, I’ll keep scribbling, and hopefully others will too.”

View presentation slides
View presentation video (17:55)

30 April 2009

A selection of CHI2009 papers

CHI2009 proceedings cover
Today I spent some time looking through the CHI 2009 papers. Here is a personal selection (and you need an ACM membership to access them):

A comparative study of speech and dialed input voice interfaces in rural India
Neil Patel, Sheetal Agarwal, Nitendra Rajput, Amit Nanavati, Paresh Dave, Tapan S. Parikh
In this paper we present a study comparing speech and dialed input voice user interfaces for farmers in Gujarat, India. We ran a controlled, between-subjects experiment with 45 participants. We found that the task completion rates were significantly higher with dialed input, particularly for subjects under age 30 and those with less than an eighth grade education. Additionally, participants using dialed input demonstrated a significantly greater performance improvement from the first to final task, and reported less difficulty providing input to the system.

Sacred imagery in techno-spiritual design
Susan P. Wyche, Kelly E. Caine, Benjamin K. Davison, Shwetak N. Patel, Michael Arteaga, Rebecca E. Grinter
Despite increased knowledge about how Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are used to support religious and spiritual practices, designers know little about how to design technologies for faith-related purposes. Our research suggests incorporating sacred imagery into techno-spiritual applications can be useful in guiding development. We illustrate this through the design and evaluation of a mobile phone application developed to support Islamic prayer practices. Our contribution is to show how religious imagery can be used in the design of applications that go beyond the provision of functionality to connect people to the experience of religion.

A comparison of mobile money-transfer UIs for non-literate and semi-literate users
Indrani Medhi, S.N. Nagasena Gautama, Kentaro Toyama
Due to the increasing penetration of mobile phones even into poor communities, mobile payment schemes could bring formal financial services to the “unbanked”. However, because poverty for the most part also correlates with low levels of formal education, there are questions as to whether electronic access to complex financial services is enough to bridge the gap, and if so, what sort of UI is best.
In this paper, we present two studies that provide preliminary answers to these questions. We first investigated the usability of existing mobile payment services, through an ethnographic study involving 90 subjects in India, Kenya, the Philippines and South Africa. This was followed by a usability study with another 58 subjects in India, in which we compared non-literate and semi-literate subjects on three systems: text-based, spoken dialog (without text), and rich multimedia (also without text). Results confirm that non-text designs are strongly preferred over text-based designs and that while task-completion rates are better for the rich multimedia UI, speed is faster and less assistance is required on the spoken-dialog system.

Comparing semiliterate and illiterate users’ ability to transition from audio+text to text-only interaction
Leah Findlater, Ravin Balakrishnan, Kentaro Toyama
Multimodal interfaces with little or no text have been shown to be useful for users with low literacy. However, this research has not differentiated between the needs of the fully illiterate and semiliterate – those who have basic literacy but cannot read and write fluently. Text offers a fast and unambiguous mode of interaction for literate users and the exposure to text may allow for incidental improvement of reading skills. We conducted two studies that explore how semiliterate users with very little education might benefit from a combination of text and audio as compared to illiterate and literate users. Results show that semiliterate users reduced their use of audio support even during the first hour of use and over several hours this reduction was accompanied by a gain in visual word recognition; illiterate users showed no similar improvement. Semiliterate users should thus be treated differently from illiterate users in interface design.

StoryBank: mobile digital storytelling in a development context
David M. Frohlich, Dorothy Rachovides, Kiriaki Riga, Ramnath Bhat, Maxine Frank, Eran Edirisinghe, Dhammike Wickramanayaka, Matt Jones, Will Harwood
Mobile imaging and digital storytelling currently support a growing practice of multimedia communication in the West. In this paper we describe a project which explores their benefit in the East, to support non-textual information sharing in an Indian village. Local audiovisual story creation and sharing activities were carried out in a one month trial, using 10 customized cameraphones and a digital library of stories represented on a village display. The findings show that the system was usable by a cross-section of the community and valued for its ability to express a mixture of development and community information in an accessible form. Lessons for the role of HCI in this context are also discussed.

Designable visual markers
Enrico Costanza, Jeffrey Huang
Visual markers are graphic symbols designed to be easily recognised by machines. They are traditionally used to track goods, but there is increasing interest in their application to mobile HCI. By scanning a visual marker through a camera phone users can retrieve localised information and access mobile services.
One missed opportunity in current visual marker systems is that the markers themselves cannot be visually designed, they are not expressive to humans, and thus fail to convey information before being scanned. This paper provides an overview of d-touch, an open source system that allows users to create their own markers, controlling their aesthetic qualities. The system runs in real-time on mobile phones and desktop computers. To increase computational efficiency d-touch imposes constraints on the design of the markers in terms of the relationship of dark and light regions in the symbols. We report a user study in which pairs of novice users generated between 3 and 27 valid and expressive markers within one hour of being introduced to the system, demonstrating its flexibility and ease of use.

“When I am on Wi-Fi, I am fearless”: privacy concerns & practices in everyday Wi-Fi use
Predrag Klasnja, Sunny Consolvo, Jaeyeon Jung, Benjamin M. Greenstein, Louis LeGrand, Pauline Powledge, David Wetherall
Increasingly, users access online services such as email, e-commerce, and social networking sites via 802.11-based wireless networks. As they do so, they expose a range of personal information such as their names, email addresses, and ZIP codes to anyone within broadcast range of the network. This paper presents results from an exploratory study that examined how users from the general public understand Wi-Fi, what their concerns are related to Wi-Fi use, and which practices they follow to counter perceived threats. Our results reveal that while users understand the practical details of Wi-Fi use reasonably well, they lack understanding of important privacy risks. In addition, users employ incomplete protective practices which results in a false sense of security and lack of concern while on Wi-Fi. Based on our results, we outline opportunities for technology to help address these problems.
Predrag Klasnja, Sunny Consolvo, Jaeyeon Jung, Benjamin M. Greenstein, Louis LeGrand, Pauline Powledge, David Wetherall

Sharing empty moments: design for remote couples
Danielle Lottridge, Nicolas Masson, Wendy Mackay
Many couples are forced to live apart, for work, school or other reasons. This paper describes our study of 13 such couples and what they lack from existing communication technologies. We explored what they wanted to share (presence, mood, environment, daily events and activities), how they wanted to share (simple, lightweight, playful, pleasant interaction), and when they wanted to share (‘empty moments’ such as waiting, walking, taking a break, waking up, eating, and going to sleep). ‘Empty moments’ provide a compelling new opportunity for design, requiring subtlety and flexibility to enable participants to share connection without explicit messages. We designed MissU as a technology probe to study empty moments in situ. Similar to a private radio station, MissU shares music and background sounds. Field studies produced results relevant to social science, technology and design: couples with established routines were comforted; characteristics such as ambiguity and ‘movable’ technology (situated in the home yet portable) provide support. These insights suggest a design space for supporting the sharing of empty moments.

14 April 2009

Data as seductive material

Sensing sensuality
Matt Jones (of Dopplr) gave a talk recently on seduction at the Sensing and Sensuality conference at the Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden.

It’s all about seductive data visualisation.

But as per usual, impossible to summarise. And as per usual, highly recommendable.

Download talk

5 February 2009

RCA Design Interactions’ Tribal Futures project for Vodafone

Tribal Futures
Matt Jones writes about a short project he worked on last November with the students on the Design Interactions course at the RCA in collaboration with Vodafone’s User Experience group.

The brief was deliberately wide and intended to steer us all from thinking about mobile phones. It was entitled “Tribal Futures”, and asked the group to:

“…focus in on the mundane and the extremes of our behaviour in groups and propose design interventions to support, subvert and celebrate our tribal connections. We encourage you to extrapolate the current trends in mobile, social and other technologies in terms of their failures as well as successes, and examine what technologies intended and unintended consequences might be.”

A short summary of the work can be found on Matt’s Magical Nihilism blog.

All of the projects can be found at http://beta.interaction.rca.ac.uk/ft/ and they have kept the project blog that the group used for research and work-in-progress live (but with comments closed) at http://beta.interaction.rca.ac.uk/futuretribes/ to show some of the process along the way.

31 January 2009

35 Picnic conference videos

PICNIC
On Vimeo you can find no less than 35 videos of the Picnic conference. They are great.

My personal favourites (quite a few):

Jim Stolze: The virtual happiness project
“Virtual Happiness” is a research project that aims to provide insights on the relationship between internet usage and happiness.
– Jim Stolze specializes in new thinking on digital communication.

Matt Hanson: Celebrating Collaborative Creativity
Matt Hanson, a filmmaker, working on the open-source movie project A Swarm of Angels

Panel Discussion: Celebrating Collaborative Creativity
In this fast paced session, several examples of collaborative creativity are under review- what processes and business models appear? What changes will occur in the movie, music, ppublishing and advertising industry?
Moderator: Laurent Haug, entrepreneur and co-founder Liftlab
– Matt Hanson, a filmaker, working on the open-source movie project A Swarm of Angels
– Ton Roosendaal, founder of Blender, an open-source, cross-platform suite of tools for 3D creation
– Katarina Skoberne is the co-founder and managing director of OpenAd.net, ‘The biggest Creative Department’
– Pim Betist, a music lover and founder of Sellaband, an audience supported business model for bands.
– Eileen Gittens, founder and CEO of Blurb, has built a creative publishing platform that makes it easy for anyone to design, publish, share and sell real bookstore-quality books

Ben Cerveny: Can you see what I know?
Artists, scientists and designers are exploring a new world of software aesthetics and developing new languages for interactive and visual expression. How can we make information intuitively meaningful?
– Ben Cerveny is a strategic and conceptual advisor to Stamen, specialists in creative visualization. He is highly regarded experience designer and conceptual strategist.

Stefan Agamanolis: Dueling with Distance
Based on his work at MIT and Distance Lab, Stefan Agamanolis reports on hot trends in communication and connectedness that are doing battle with distance in unexpected ways, ranging from sports games you play over a distance to telephones crossed with flotation tanks.
– Stefan Agamanolis is the Chief Executive and Research director of Distance Lab

Matt Jones: The Emerging Real-Time Social Web
Matt Jones is a creative director and user experience designer who worked a Sapient and the BBC before founding travel service Dopplr

Jyri Engestrom: The Emerging Real-Time Social Web
Jyri Engestrom is a social scientist as well as the founder of the Finnish mobile presence service Jaiku, which was acquired by Google in 2007; his subsequent move to Silicon Valley resulted in his renewed attention to social processes in new media platforms.

Conversation the Emerging Real-Time Social Web
With ubiquitous internet connections and a surge of connected mobile services, slices of reality can be saved that people could not capture before. Saving and sharing our presence, we can feel those of others as well. We are on the verge of a reality with ‘social peripheral vision’, in which ambient friendships flourish and life stories and life’s details are stored, shared and searchable.
– Matt Jones is a creative director and user experience designer who worked a Sapient and the BBC before founding travel service Dopplr
– Philip Rosedale is founder of the 3D online world Second Life and a pioneer in virtual worlds
– Addy Feuerstein is the co-founder and CEO of AllofMe, a service that allows you to create digital personal timelines form digital assests such as pictures, videos, and blogs.
– Jyri Engestrom is a social scientist as well as the founder of the Finnish mobile presence service Jaiku, which was acquired by Google in 2007

Younghee Jung: Design as a Collaborative process
New interactions develop into new design practices; new processes induce new forms of creativity. How can creators involve the peopele they want to create for in their work?
– Younghee Jung, a senior design manager at Nokia, shows how users are imagining new products.

Bill Moggridge: Design as a Collaborative Process
New interactions develop into new design practices; new processes induce new forms of creativity. How can creators invovle the people they want to create for in their work?
– Bill Moggridge is founder of IDEO, one of the most successful design firms in the world and of the first to integrate the design of software and hardware into the practice of industrial design.

Ethan Zuckerman: Surprising Africa
A presentation on vibrant and fast-moving tecnological and creative developments in cities and rural areas across Africa, from mobile naking to new communication patterns.
– Ethan Zuckerman, the co-founder of Global Voices, a research fellow at the Berkman Center, and a prodigious blogger interested in hte impact of technology on the developing world.

Conversation with Ethan Zuckerman, Helen Omwando and Binyavanga Wainaina: Surprising Africa
An update on vibrant and fast-moving technological and creative developments in cities and rural areas across Africa, from mobile banking to new communication patterns.
– Ethan Zuckerman, the co-founder of Global Voices, a research fellow at the Berkman Center, and a prodigious blogger interested in the impact of technology on the developing world
– Helen Omwando, head of market intelligence for Royal Philips Electronics
– Binyavanga Wainaina, Kenyan author and journalist

Clay Shirky: Here Comes Everybody
A revelatory examination of how the spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exict within them. Our age’s new technologies of social networking are evolving- and causing us to evolve into new groups doing new things in new ways.
– Clay Shirky is a leading Internet thinker, the author of Here Comes Everybody, and a sharp analyst of social media developments.

Wolfgang Wagener and Jared Blumenfeld: Eco Map
What can we do with an open source collaboration platform that enables citizens and business to see collective results of their actions?
– Wolfgang Wagener, Director, Sustainable Cities Connected Urban Development, CISCO and Jared Blumenfeld, Director, Department of the Environment, City and County of San Francisco

Euro Beinat: The Visible City
What if we could view an entire city from above, as if from an airplane – and see not only the buildings and squares but also all the human beings populating it, oudoors and indoors?
– Euro Beinat, professor of location awareness at Salzburg University, CEO if Geodan Mobile Solutions, and founder of the Senseable Future Foundation

Stan Williams: Tracking our World
CeNSE: The Central Nervous System for the Earth is based on the believe that nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionise human interaction with the Earth as profoundly as the Internet has revolutionised personal and business interaction.
– Stan Williams, HP senior fellow; director, HP Information and Quantum Systems Lab

Adam Greenfield: The Long Here, the Big Now, and other tales of the networked city
Future urban life will thrive on new modes of perception and experience, based on real-time data and feedback. What will the networked city feel like to its users? How will it transform our sense of the metropolitan?
– Adam Greenfield , head of design direction for Nokia and author of Everyware

Charles Leadbeater – We Think: The Power of Mass Creativity
The conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and the attempts to retain top-down control will be one of the defining battles of our time. An exploration of what this means for our culture, the way we work, government, science and business.
– Charles Leadbeater, thinker, famed policy advisor to former UK prime Minister Tony Blair, and author of We Think, a groundbreaking analysis of a changing world

Charles Leadbeater in conversation with Clay Shirky
The conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and the attempts to retain top-down control will be one of the defining battles of our time. An exploration of what this means for our culture, the way we work, government, science and business.
– Charles Leadbeater, thinker, famed policy advisor to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and author of We Think, a groundbreaking analysis of a changing world,
– Clay Shirky, leading Internet thinker

(via Laurent Haug)

11 November 2008

Two UX magazines for subscribers only

UX Mags
Two user experience magazines landed on my desk this week. They are available only to subscribers, both in print and online. But subscriptions are relatively cheap.

User Experience is the quarterly magazine of the Usability Professionals’ Association (membership is a modest 100 USD) and its latest issue is devoted to usability in transportation. Here are the titles of the feature articles and you can find the abstracts online:

Taxi: Service Design for New York’s yellow cabs
By Rachel Abrams

Safer Skies: Usability at the Federal Aviation Administration
By Ferne Friedman-Berg, Ph.D, Kenneth Allendoerfer, Carolina Zingale, Ph.D, Todd Truitt, Ph.D.

Listen Up: Do voice recognition systems help drivers focus on the road?
By David G. Kidd, M. A., David M. Cades, M. A., Don J. Horvath, M. A., Stephen M. Jones, M. A., Matthew J. Pitone, M. A., Christopher A. Monk, Ph. D.

Get Your Bearings: User perspective in map design
By Thomase Porathe

Lost in Space: Holistic wayfinding design in public spaces
By Dr. Christopher Kueh

A Really Smart Card: How Hong Kong’s Octopus Card moves people
By Daniel Szuc

Recommendations on Recommendations: Making usability usable
By Rolf Molich, Kasper Hornbæk, Steve Krug, Josephine Scott and Jeff Johnson

Disclosure: my business partner Michele Visciola is on the editorial board of this magazine.

Interactions is the bimonthly publication of ACM. Better designed than User Experience, it has become, under the thoughtful leadership of Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, both profound in its analysis and broad in its interests. At 55 USD for six issues, it is also a bargain.

Here is the latest harvest of articles, some of which you can actually find online:

Designing Games: Why and How
Sus Lundgren

An Evolving Map of Design Practice and Design Research
Liz Sanders

Signifiers, Not Affordances
Don Norman

User Experience Design for Ubiquitous Computing
Mike Kuniavsky

Cultural Theory and Design: Identifying Trends by Looking at the Action in the Periphery
Christine Satchell

Understanding Children’s Interactions: Evaluating Children’s Interactive Products
Janet C. Read, Panos Markopoulos

An Exciting Interface Foray into Early Digital Music: The Kurzweil 250
Richard W. Pew

Some Different Approaches to Making Stuff
Steve Portigal

Design: A Better Path to Innovation
Nathan Shedroff

A Call for Pro-Environmental Conspicuous Consumption in the Online World
Bill Tomlinson

Of Candied Herbs and Happy Babies: Seeking and Searching on Your Own Terms
Elizabeth Churchill

Experiencing the International Children’s Digital Library
Benjamin B. Bederson

Taken For Granted: The Infusion of the Mobile Phone in Society
Rich Ling

How Society was Forever Changed: A Review of The Mobile Connection
Brian Romanko

Audiophoto Narratives for Semi-literate Communities
David Frohlich, Matt Jones

Think Before You Link: Controlling Ubiquitous Availability
Karen Renaud, Judith Ramsay, Mario Hair

Disclosure: As of next year, I will be a contributing editor to the magazine (and I feel honoured to be in such esteemed company).

25 September 2008

Experientia’s Jan-Christoph Zoels at Picnic /1

PICNIC
Experientia’s senior partner Jan-Christoph Zoels is this week at the Picnic conference in Amsterdam and is sending regular updates. Here is his first one:

Create the Future – Collaborative creativity is the guiding theme of Picnic, Amsterdam’s Cross Media Conference, now in its third year with a fascinating rooster of speakers, workshops and artistic events. Putting People First will report on key events over the next three days.

Aaron Koblin, an artist from Los Angeles, showed the use of lasers to generate data clouds in his eerie video with Radiohead’s Home of Cards as a soundtrack. Lounged on Google’s Code section it enabled the remixing of audio and image tracks facilitated by the use of Processing, a visual software for designers and artists by Casey Reas and Ben Fry.

His latest collaboration with MIT’s Sensible City Lab is Currentcity.org, a data visualization of KPN cellphone data of SMS usage in Amsterdam during New Year’s Eve 2007 and Queen’s Day. The time based representation adds a new dimension to understanding people’s communication patterns in select locations during social events.

Dueling with Distance was Stefan Agamanolis‘ metaphorical comparison of fast and slow communication patterns. Drawing on poetic and provocative work done at MIT Dublin and at Distance Lab, he questioned how distraction-free and contextual use of space can support new communication patterns. Mutsugoto enabled poetic and intimate mobile interactions between partners over distance; Isophone suspended callers in sensory deprivation chambers resulting in an increase of stream of consciousness conversations; and Solar Vintage integrated traditional embroidery techniques, LED’s and solar cells in embellished objects. Stefan heads up DistanceLab.org, a research lab in Scotland.

Linda Stone presented a podium discussion on The Emerging Real-Time Social Web deploring the ludicrous notion of ‘friending’, fake friends and the social pressures of being available in social web networks.

  • Jyri Engeström, founder of Jaiku and now at Google, focussed on how social objects draw people together and may enable new ‘social peripheral visions’ in supporting social relevance beyond the documentation of activity streams.
  • Matt Jones, founder of Dopplr, recalled Jane Jacob’s request for a diverse spectrum of social roles to support the health of social cities. Dopplr supports asymmetric and informational relationships in letting other people’s travel plans emerge.
  • Addy Feuerstein presented Allofme.com, a time line-based personal image collection and annotation tool. In this social network recorder friends and family can collaborate in establishing time lines of themselves, compare individual memories and public events.
  • Philip Rosedale of Linden Lab interpreted Second Life’s maker culture as allowing for an increasing diversification of creativity. However, the scarcity of people’s attention and the missing of curatorial intentions resulted in images full of crafted objects devoid of avatar interactions.

The highlight of the evening was Itay Talgam‘s Conducting Creativity, a session dedicated to explore the creative leadership and collaboration style of famous conductors. Videos showing Zubin Mehta’s precise and autocratic conducting style, the stoicism of Richard Strauss, and the passion and emotional subtlety of Leonard Bernstein highlighted different approaches to guiding creative teams.

For more Picnic reporting, check also Bruno Giussani, Hubert Guillaud (writing proficiently in French), Ethan Zuckerman, and Ernst-Jan Pfauth and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten.