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Search results for 'curtis'
19 October 2013

Observations from an ethnography conference

EPIC2013

Alexa Curtis recently attended EPIC, the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, a truly international gathering of ethnographers, anthropologists, strategists, designers, and others who are committed to understanding audiences in order to inform appropriate solutions.

Unlike past years, there was no explicit theme to which submissions had to relate, but themes certainly did emerge.

In her conference review, she concentrates on two: data (in all its forms) and the tension that shapes our practice(s).

Her reflection on why designers have a different take on ethnographic methods than ethnographers themselves is well worth a read.

21 November 2010

Interactions Magazine – last issue of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is the last issue of editors Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, who reflect on the results achieved.

Also Don Norman reflects in his column, and raises some pointed criticism of Interactions Magazine publisher ACM, that I endorse completely:

“I recently became a columnist for Core77, an open, free Internet magazine for industrial designers, and my first post received more responses, blogging comments, and consideration than the total of the responses during my five years of columns in interactions.

It is time for ACM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the free dissemination of knowledge, to stop hiding behind paid subscription walls and get its stuff out in the open for everyone to share. ACM – and many scientific societies – have lost track of the knowledge-sharing role of science and instead have been governed more by old-fashioned media rules than the modern world of freely accessible media.

interactions fails to impact the larger world of research outside of ACM’s CHI because of its failure to be open and accessible. At the same time, it fails to impact the academic research world because it is neither peer-reviewed nor the repository of the weighty, carefully experimental, rigorous knowledge required by promotion committees in universities. So what is interactions? Neither a serious scientific publication nor an influential popular one.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

MCC’s Human Interface Laboratory – The promise and perils of long-term research
by Bill Curtis
In this column, Bill discusses his involvement with the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation. This research enterprise, largely forgotten today, was highly influential in the 1980s, hiring and providing visibility to HCI researchers, many of whom remain active.

Looking back, looking forward
by Don Norman
Over the past five years, Don Norman has written approximately three dozen columns. What has been learned? What will come? Obviously, it is time for reflection.

Angst, and how to overcome it
by Gary Marsden
Does it make sense to separate developing world research from that conducted in more developed economies? At the end of the day, people are people and technology is technology, the world over. Are we doing the developing world a disservice by somehow treating it differently from the developed?

The hard work lies ahead (if you want it)
by Steve Portigal
Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” from 1943 is a well-known psychological framework that has been applied (directly, or through derivative versions) to thousands of diverse problems. It’s high time to leverage this style of hierarchy to challenge the types of user experiences we’re enabling with the stuff we’re making.

Learning from John Rheinfrank: reflections on acquiring a design language
by Jon Freach
For three years in the mid-1990s, I had the fortune of learning a new language of design from John Rheinfrank, the co-founder and first co-editor of this magazine, through a user-centered baptism of sorts.

From static to adaptive
by Hugh Dubberly, Justin Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson
When John Rheinfrank [who passed away in 2004] learned he was sick, he began working on a book on the relationship between design and systems. Sadly, he never finished, but some of his core ideas were preserved in a presentation on moving from static to adaptive worlds. John saw adaptive worlds as a new way to frame interaction design. Working from John’s presentation slides and a tape of his talk, we have summarized his ideas.

On experiences, people and technology
by Jon Kolko
In reflecting on the 200,000 words we’ve published in the past three years, I see a common theme that describes interaction design as a discipline focused on culture and behavior.

27 May 2009

Nokia’s sixth sense and new homescreen experience

Nokia homescreen
Nokia Conversations is reporting on a rare behind-closed-doors Nokia design event dubbed The Inside Story.

According to a first post, Alastair Curtis, Head of Design at Nokia, shared the design insight that your mobile is becoming more of a “sixth sense”, equipping you with “super-human” abilities.

“This notion of your mobile providing your with pseudo super-human abilities might sound a little exaggerated, but the evolution of context aware services is arguably a powerful sixth sense that, as Alastair’s design colleague Bill Sermon mentioned, equips you with a new sort of “peripheral vision” that enables you to see things you perhaps weren’t expecting. And as Alastair explains this “frees you from the complexity of technology to let you look up and enjoy the world around you”. This new breed of mobile behaviour is being investigated and developed with the design ambition being to create interfaces that are absolutely instinctive and don’t keep trapped looking at a screen – instead of say how you might find yourself immersed in a desktop computer screen, the Nokia design team is looking at ways to make your mobile phone screen a glance-at tool to inspire you to spend your time immersed in your physical world, aided with digitized help from your handset.”

A second post reports on a presentation by user interface designers Juliana Ferreira and Lee Cooper on the future of Nokia homescreens.

“The upcoming N97 is the first device to fully realize the research that has taken place over the past two years by Juliana, Lee and the other UI design specialists at Nokia, when it comes to creating a new breed of homescreen experience – an experience that reflects the now embedded trend of personalization and our desire to communicate, share media and control any extension of ourselves on our terms.”

Also check the Making of the N97 video.

20 May 2009

Science alone will not save us

Windmills
Changing behaviour will be as vital as new technologies in tackling climate change. So where is the funding for linguists, anthropologists and sociologists? Tariq Tahir reports in The Guardian.

“Multidisciplinary work helps engineers and scientists, as well as the professional carers, tackle extreme weather events in the future and keep services running,” Curtis says. “They also need to understand from the people receiving those services what’s important to them and that’s where the social science perspective comes in – really being able to interpret events and problems from different social perspectives.

“The social science perspective isn’t just about individual behaviour, but helps us to think about the way that people work and interact together. I would argue that what’s important to people and how they tackle problems is not just down to individual characteristics but also to the social circumstances they’re in.”

Read full story

(via Nick Marsh)

20 November 2008

Nokia designs the future

Curtis
Alastair Curtis, Nokia’s chief designer, discusses his design inspirations, coming Nokia devices and how Indian teenagers will influence the future of mobility, in an interview published on Forbes.com.

As Nokia’s chief designer, a post the company veteran has held since 2006, he influences the look and feel of the millions of cellphones the Finnish communications giant produces each year.

Curtis describes his role as promoting “the intelligent use of creativity” within Nokia. He says he feels privileged to work in a fast-moving industry–his team just completed a first take on the firm’s 2010 product portfolio–but also stresses the importance of doing something right, as opposed to first.

Read interview

26 April 2008

Audio files of IA Summit sessions

IA Summit
The IA Summit was held in Miami, FL from April 10-14. Boxes and Arrows captured many of the main conference sessions.

Keynote: “Journey To The Center of Design”Jared Spool
Jared enlightens and entertains with his keynote address. It now seems the foundations of user-centered design are disintegrating. Notable community members are suggesting UCD practice is burdensome and returns little value.

Search patternsPeter Morville
Peter describes a pattern language for search that explains user psychology and information seek behavior, highlights emerging technologies and interaction models, illustrates repeatable solutions to common problems, and position us all to design better search interfaces and applications.

The information Architect and the Fighter PilotMatthew Milan
Matthew argues that fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd can teach us a great deal about how to understand, interpret and design for human decision making.

E-service: What we can learn from the customer-service gurusEric Reiss
In this passionate and entertaining presentation, Eric Reiss talks about the design and execution of a system of activities – people, processes, and technology – that ultimately build brand, revenues, and customer satisfaction.

Audiences & artifactsNathan Curtis
Nathan Curtis explores both the articles we produce and the audience we produce them for, revealing what works and what doesn’t.

Data driven design research personasTodd Zaki Warfel
Todd Zaki Warfel engages his audience sharing new visualization techniques he has been using that have personas even more effective and valuable to the design process.

7 February 2008

Sixteen hours of video to enjoy

bbc
Over the last few weeks, I have been watching five documentary series. All of them deeply thought provoking and none of them directly related to the topic of this blog (although three of them deal with psychology and people’s behaviours – the other two focus on the future of technology). I think they are really worth spending your time on and they are can all be found on Google video.

Three of the series are by Adam Curtis, a brilliant British television documentary maker who works for BBC Current Affairs. He is noted for making programmes which express a clear (and sometimes controversial) opinion about their subject, and for narrating the programmes himself.

The Century of the Self consists of four one-hour films examining “how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.” It tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? [Google Video]

The Power of Nightmares consists of three one-hour films that explore how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. The films compare the rise of the American Neo-Conservative movement and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and noting strong similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is in fact a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies. [Google Video]

The Trap also consists of three, one-hour programmes which explore the concept and definition of freedom, specifically “how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today’s idea of freedom.” [Google Video]

The two other programmes are narrated by Michio Kaku, an American theoretical physicist, specialising in string field theory, and futurist.

Visions of the Future is a three-part BBC series, exploring the cutting edge science of today, tomorrow, and beyond. The first part is dedicated to the intelligence revolution, the second to the biotech revolution, and the third to the quantum revolution. [Google Video]

2057 is the only non-BBC programme. It is made by Discovery Channel and attempts to predict what the world will be like in 50 years based on current trends. The show takes the form of a docu-drama with three separate episodes, each having informative stories ingrained into the plot. [Google Video]

30 October 2007

Mobile banking must overcome consumer doubts

Mobile banking
The San Jose Mercury News reports on why users need convincing that mobile banking is convenient and secure.

“South Bay residents Curtis McGovert, Dave Ritter and Leon Mendiola have at least three things in common. They own cell phones. They bank at Wells Fargo. And they didn’t realize that they effectively have an ATM in their pockets that they now can use to do some of their banking – anytime, anywhere.

Make that four things in common: As intriguing as “mobile banking” sounds to each of them, none is dying to try it. They either don’t see a clear need for it or worry that it’s vulnerable to hackers.

“I’m just a basic user,” said McGovert, a 33-year-old personal trainer from Milpitas. “I’m not into all the high tech. I’m old school.”

And there, in a nutshell, is the challenge that banks face as they race to roll out the next big thing for on-the-go consumers. To succeed, they must show customers it’s convenient and easy to use their cell phone to check balances, transfer money and watchdog their finances even if they’re miles from a computer.”

Although a good introductory article to the issue, it doesn’t contain a word on Africa, where mobile banking has taken off quite spectacularly and where mobile banking services are much more innovative than in the Bay Area.

Read full story

8 October 2007

‘My mobile is me’ – a story about mobile design in India

WikiCity
India is one of the world’s hottest mobile design locations today. The Hindu Business Line reports on what handset makers think of design in India, and how they track trends and make gadgets that reflect people’s personality and needs.

The article features quotes from people at BenQ, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Vertu.

Here a quote about the Nokia design process:

“Our entire design process is influenced by the consumer and their behaviour — how they want their mobile to look, function and fit into their lifestyle. We take a human approach to design in an industry that tends to focus on just pushing technology. We are creating stylish products that work just the way people like them to. This combination is central to our design work and brand,” says Jan Blom, Head of the Bangalore design team of Nokia, which recently tied up with Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology to set up the first of a series of satellite design studios. The Bangalore studio “reflects India’s status as one of the hottest countries for design,” according to Nokia’s Chief Designer, Alastair Curtis. [...]

“The [Bangalore studio] will look at a range of design trends and themes, including: visual perceptions: researching key colour and material trends in India and their cultural significance; Internet mobility: understanding how people in India are accessing the Internet via mobile phones, why and what are they using this for, the impact on behaviours and culture, and how can we identify these and other signals that will help us come up with relevant and compelling devices designed for Internet usage and even social applications for mobiles — how can mobile design be used to address issues in more rural areas of India, for example access to education material.”

The article ends with some hints at what is coming up “by 2010″.

Areas to watch, according to the maker, are new shapes, materials and features, creating new ways for people to interact with their device, how to make the mobile Internet experience compelling, and broader adoption of multi-media features and content. “Mobile design is a fascinating and dynamic area. Design will be much more based around the experience people want from their device — what they want their device to do and how it needs to fit into their everyday lives. Given that we are not all looking for the same experience, there will be a number of different trends,” says Blom.

Read full story

4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

3 July 2007

The Nokia “observe and design” brand slide show

First we observe
Nokia’s Keith Pardy and Alastair Curtis produced a slideshow on brand and design priorities, as part of an external presentation to investors at the Nokia Capital Markets Day 2006.

The presentation is all about Nokia’s human approach to technology: i.e. observing first (“the often small, the sometimes big moments of everyday”) and designing later, and turning that int a brand philosophy.

Keith Pardy is strategic vice president of Nokia Strategic Marketing, whereas Alastair Curtis is Nokia’s chief designer.

(via Logic & Emotion)

19 January 2007

Nokia presents video scenarios of the future

Nokia video scenarios
Nokia has released a number of short videos on its own website and on YouTube that explore how mobile phone design may change in the next three or four years.

There is a video for each of the four categories, or put more simply different lifestyles, that Nokia focuses on.

The videos are not showing prototypes of actual phones or devices that Nokia is currently working on or plans to launch. They are exploring futuristic concepts and potential new ideas that may or may not be produced in years to come. They are designed to inspire and stimulate discussion around how the mobile device of the future might look and function in our lives.

It looks like these are the same videos that Alistair Curtis, Nokia’s head of design, presented at the end of November at the Nokia World conference in Amsterdam.

Nokia – Achieve: Achieving Together | (on YouTube) (1:50)
Members of an architectural firm work feverishly together to win a competitive new project. Virtual teamwork is made effortless through smart wireless conferencing and remote presentations. Bluetooth audio ensures strong and clear communication. When mobile technology ascends to this level, we will achieve great things together.

Nokia – Connect: Connecting Simply | (on YouTube) (1:41)
We visit a grandmother who is virtually surrounded by her family as she prepares the evening meal. Simple interfaces scale up to wall mounted touch screens for ease of use. A spoken phrase is quickly translated into a large, readable text message to send. To connect simply is to honor what we value most as humans: staying close to those that matter.

Nokia – Live: Inspiring Senses | (on YouTube) (1:45)
What do our devices say about us? We seek new forms of personalization which are fluid and spontaneous, such as using captured images to transform our devices instantly. We exchange electronic business cards with the ease of passing a note. Reinventing personalization will inspire new ways to tell the stories which are uniquely our own.

Nokia – Explore: Sharing Discoveries | (on YouTube) (1:36)
People connect through their passions. An obsession with astronomy has led one man to scale a tall building, rapidly capturing and sorting images along the way. He is alone – and not alone. He is sharing his discoveries with a vast community of kindred observers from all over the world. Explore extends the reach of minds inclined to wander.

(via ExperienceCurve)

2 December 2006

Nokia Design video scenarios of future mobile device use

Nokia World video
Alistair Curtis, head of design at Nokia, presented several video scenarios of how mobile devices will be used in the future at the Nokia World conference in Amsterdam.

TechDigest, a UK-based consumer electronics and gadgets site, recorded it all and posted it on You Tube.

The first scenario, the ‘Live’ video, shows how we’ll be touching each others’ phones to pass messages in clubs in the future.

The second one, the ‘Explore’ video, shows off the way they think the user interface of phones may go, turning it, according to TechDigest, into a “whizzy touchy-feely touchscreen” type affair.

(Nokia has also posted a video on YouTube and their own blog but it is just a poorer quality version of the Explore video.)

(via Freegorifero)