putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
6 May 2009

Inspiring articles by Elizabeth Churchill of Yahoo! Research

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

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
Related Article
20 December 2014
Why Mozilla conducts qualitative user research
"Technology and business organizations often default to a positivist worldview and subsequently believe that quantitative results that provide numeric measures have the most value," writes Bill Sellman, Lead User Researcher on Firefox. "The hype surrounding …
Related Article
19 December 2014
Beautiful users: book and exhibition
BOOK Beautiful Users: Designing for People Edited and designed by Ellen Lupton Princeton Architectural Press, 2014, 144 pages In the mid-twentieth century, Henry Dreyfuss, widely considered the father of industrial design, pioneered a user-centered approach to design that focuses …
Related Article
16 December 2014
World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”
WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more accurate …
Related Article
8 December 2014
Understanding human behaviour to improve mobile research design
Shirley Eadie, founding member and CEO of Pondering Panda, explored some of the idiosyncrasies of the human condition at last month's MRMW Africa conference [Market Research in the Mobile World], in order to help attendees …
Related Article
5 December 2014
Using sensors in design research
Elliott Hedman is the founder of the design consultancy mPath, where he’s pioneering a new approach to design research. It combines stress-testing sensors with traditional observational techniques. The idea is to uncover the tiny, often …
Related Article
4 December 2014
There is no such thing as UX Design
Peter Merholz argues that the entire “field” of user experience emerged for one reason — to accommodate, and overcome, poor (or non-existent) product management practices. He now wants to retire the term: "'User experience design' served a …
Related Article
3 December 2014
Ericsson’s new ConsumerLab report about the smart citizen
Last month, Ericsson published its latest ConsumerLab report, entitled "Smart Citizens: How the internet facilitates smart choices in city life." The study covers 9 cities worldwide-Beijing, Delhi, London, New York, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, Stockholm and …
Related Article
27 November 2014
Intel, Tony Salvador, and design anthropology
Why would Intel need to conduct a tremendous amount of ethnographic research if all they are manufacturing are microchips? This short essay by Ioanis Hristodoulou eexamines Intel’s role in design anthropology on a worldwide context, exploring …

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.

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 […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

See all articles