By Kris Nygren
If someone had told me last year that the most innovative initiative we would be involved with in 2012 would be conceived by ACC, I would probably have laughed it off. Yet, for the past four months we’ve been involved with ACC’s Idea Nation initiative and it’s shaping up to be one of the most courageous and creative approaches to a big, hairy problem I have ever seen. Read more »
Going to Webstock is like eating breakfast. A very large breakfast. Think crispy hash browns, creamy mushrooms, plump poached eggs, grainy toast, small but perfectly formed sausages. And slow-roasted tomatoes. And hollandaise.
Of course, the trouble with so much food is the inevitable food coma that follows. So it is with Webstock 2012. My brain is stuffed full of new ideas, and I’m going to be spending the next couple of weeks waddling around, digesting what I learnt.
There were a lot of highlights: the quality of storytelling (hardly a bulletpoint in sight), the mixture of melancholy and mirth, the down-to-earthness of everyone there. Also, Kapiti black doris plum ice cream. Read more »
You’ve finally got your new brand sorted. It’s taken ages, you’ve had multiple shouting matches with your branding agency, but it was all worth it in the end. Just look at that brand – it’s awesome, it’s different from anything else, it’s a work of art.
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I recently relocated to the US of A so watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup from afar. It was not only nerve-racking but a good reminder about the importance of not just having a game plan, but a plan for the entire tournament.
This is not just a necessity for rugby but also for conducting research and design. Reflecting on my experiences, I am often asked to come up with an approach to “win a game” but not to “win the tournament”. This can result in tactical approaches which may not always be the best for a product or service in the long term.
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People are creatures of habit and this can introduce challenges should you want them to adopt a new behaviour. We all start forming and evolving our behaviours from the time we are born, and each of us will respond to different stimuli in our own unique way. Some of us can’t start their day without our morning coffee whereas others will reach for a cigarette as a first port of call. Some can’t fall asleep without a book in their hands and others like to leave their T.V. switched on. These behavioural differences are a big part of what makes us human.
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The deeper we get into the service design world the more methods we are finding that improve our ability to empathise with (and then create for) our target audiences. Service design, in a nutshell, is intentionally designing a customer’s experience to be wonderful no matter how they interact with your organisation. It is as much about designing great customer facing interactions as it is about the internal processes that enable that experience to be replicable and adaptable. Read more »
In the mid-80s, a new radiation therapy machine called the Therac-25 was introduced to treat people with cancer. During treatment the machine would often show cryptic error messages like “malfunction 47″ and “vtilt”. These messages would occur up to 40 times a day, and they rarely involved patient safety.
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Recently I was driving in France, and got a bit…lost. At the next village I pulled into the petrol station, walked up to the matronly woman at the counter, and asked to buy a road map. She stared at me blankly. I checked my phrasebook and tried again. “Non”, she said this time, waving her arm to encompass the whole shop, “pas de cartes ici”.
I left there shaking my head. No maps at a petrol station? The next petrol station was the same – “pas de cartes”. Clearly, my idea of what a petrol station should sell was different from the French model.
So what does this have to do with usability? Read more »
In June, I had a 3-month sabbatical from Optimal Usability and went to work for a US-based user experience consultancy called User Centric. As well as interacting with the smart people from User Centric I also spoke with IDEO, Adaptive Path, Chicago Institute of Design, Paypal, McDonalds, Salesforce.com and SAP. Read more »