6 May 2009

Inspiring articles by Elizabeth Churchill of Yahoo! Research

Be the first to share

Elizabeth Churchill
If you like the writings by the highly original Elizabeth Churchill, a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research in charge of the Internet Experiences Group — and I definitely do! — then this Spring has been a particularly rewarding period.

Here are some of the publicly available papers and articles, which she wrote or co-wrote:

Spinning Online: A case study of Internet broadcasting by DJs
Paper to be presented at the Communities & Technology conference, ACM, University Park, PA (June 2009)
Authors: Shamma, D.A.; Churchill, E.; Bobb, N.; Fukuda, M.
Personal video streaming websites have become common on the Internet. They are increasingly used by broadcasters, bands, and entertainers as performance spaces and community gathering places for “fans”. In order to understand how such live broadcasting sites fare as venues for gigs and for the maintenance of fan communities, we studied a video streaming site that is home to a vibrant DJ community. We spent time as audience members, analyzed site usage data, interviewed and charted the online presence of DJs who perform regularly on the, and talked with the site designers about their vision for the site. We found DJs use a number of tools to maintain close connections with three communities—their peers, with sources for new music and for related show content, and with their fans. When streaming live performances, DJs use visual interface cues to gauge audience reaction and tailor their sets accordingly. DJs talked about the broadcast channel as ‘a place’, and reported close social connection with invited and regular audience members. We conclude our paper with observations regarding the nature of community involvement on performance centered webcasting sites.

Digital Order: Just over the horizon or at the end of the rainbow?
interactions, ACM Press, (May/June 2009)
Confronting the iPod Shuffle with Churchill’s design principles, with some unexpected consequences. [Interesting to read this post, keeping in mind my earlier Intel digital storage post].

Learning How: The search for craft knowledge on the Internet
Paper presented at the CHI 2009 conference, ACM Press, Boston, USA (April 2009)
Authors: Torrey, C.; Churchill, E.F.; McDonald, D.W.
Communicating the subtleties of a craft technique, like putting a zipper into a garment or throwing a clay pot, can be challenging even when working side by side. Yet How- To content—including text, images, animations, and videos—is available online for a wide variety of crafts. We interviewed people engaged in various crafts to investigate how online resources contributed to their craft practice. We found that participants sought creative inspiration as well as technical clarification online. In this domain, keyword search can be difficult, so supplemental strategies are used. Participants sought information iteratively, because they often needed to enact their knowledge in order to evaluate it. Our description of people learning how allows us to elaborate on existing understandings of information-seeking behavior by considering how search originates and is evaluated in knowledge domains involving physical objects and physical processes.

On trusting your socks to find each other (pdf)
interactions, ACM Press, p.32-36 (March/April 2009)
This articles addresses design issues that may arise as a result of the deployment of networks of devices that will constitute the “Internet of Things”. Addresses issues in particular around the trustworthiness of information exchange and transparency in such networks.

How big can you think?
Yodel Anecdotal (26 March 2009)
Did you know that humans have only used verbal language for the past 50,000 years – a virtual blink of the eye in evolutionary time? This got me wondering how people communicated before language. Since we’ve been thriving on this planet for 160,000 years (or millions more, depending on when you start the “human” clock), how exactly how did we express ourselves? And do we hang on to old non-verbal habits today? An interview with MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland.

Givin’ you more of what you’re funkin’ for: DJs and the Internet
interactions, ACM Press, p.20-24 (Jan/Feb 2009)
Since DJ’s always talk about “how they ‘read’ the crowd, garner a sense of the energy in the place, and manipulate its ebbs and flows with music to amp up the crowd, maintain a pace, or slow it down”, the question arises how this happens with a webcast and whether it is at all possible.

Be the first to share
27 March 2015
Sharp methodological critiques on current Big Data practices
Two methodological critiques on Big Data that caught our attention: In the Financial Times, economist and journalist Tim Harford points out that sampling bias and statistical errors are, if anything, magnified in Big Data research, …
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …
24 March 2015
Ethnographic research drives IKEA’s global success
In a long Fortune Magazine article on IKEA's successful global expansion, author Beth Kowitt devotes quite a few paragraphs to the importance of qualitative, ethnographic research: "Today research is at the heart of Ikea’s expansion. “The …
12 March 2015
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations by Cass R. Sunstein Yale Journal on Regulation January 17, 2015 50 pages Is nudging unethical? Is choice architecture a problem for a free society? This essay defends seven propositions: It is pointless to …
10 March 2015
Empathy makes you only more egocentric
In a battery of experiments, Imperial College’s Johannes Hattula and his coresearchers Walter Herzog, Darren Dahl, and Sven Reinecke interviewed marketing managers about their personal preferences for a selected product or service. The researchers then …
7 March 2015
Why most customer experience efforts fail
It is no secret among Customer Experience (CX) professionals that most CX efforts fall flat. Forrester found that only 25% of CX professionals say their companies’ CX programs actually improve customer experience, and Avaya recently …
2 March 2015
Human-centered design should be a CMO’s best friend
The average tenure of a CMO is just 45 months, according to a recent study released by executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart. Fortunately, for CMOs in need of help, there's an elegant and simplistic process called …
1 March 2015
Italian bank offers user-friendly home security kit
The Smart Care unit of the insurance arm of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has just launched an innovative home security offering. Branded "ACasaConMe" [AtHomeWithMe], the service combines a personalized insurance package and a security kit …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

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

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

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles