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February 27 2015

October 31 2014

October 23 2014

August 08 2014

February 12 2014

Contextual Knowledge in Design

Everytime that I sit down to design or review a product or service presentation, I often ask what what do we know about our users? I don’t mean their profiles, but rather what bits of knowledge or behaviour do we know about them? I force myself and the people around me to know as much as possible about their users and most importantly about the context that surrounds them and where the actions will take place or the products and services will be used. Still today I struggle how such simple questions raise so many doubts.

I have from my experience, that the majority of the problems come not from a misfit user profile, but rather from some unexpected context problem that wasn’t considered during the design phase of that project. Knowing what our customers think is important, but the sweet spot between a good experience and a great experience is to have the knowledge to his or hers outskirts: where might the user bem, what are his expectations, what actions is he trying to accomplish? what else is going on around him? What distractions, noises and messages are competing for his attention?

Last Christmas, while returning from Lisbon, I came across a good example of good service design, subtle, but a very well thought use case. Once you’ve completed your check-in and baggage drop off process, it’s time to head into the international area of the airport, once there, we’re faced with the typical security processes, liquids out, laptop and electronics, etc. but even after so many flights, some times it does happen that you missed something within your hand luggage, which is not permit to carry on the flight! Solution? Well until now I’ve seen many airports offering their passengers to… dump the unauthorised items in the trash! May they be liquids or any other form of objects, it’s a strange process, but what options are there when all the check-in was completed and your big luggages somewhere already inside the airport or plane?

Aeroporto de Lisboa - Partidas

Seems that someone in Lisbon, thought a bit about it and they now have at the security area, vending machines that allow passengers to buy padded envelops and boxes allowing them to post the items to themselves via a mail dropbox post. Clever? Maybe, but in many circumstances, more than convenience it allows you to save that awful lot of money in a item that you just can’t carry into the plane.
I found this not just a great product placement idea, I believe that it was only possible because someone looked at all those passengers and realised the difficulties and decided to improve the experience of the airport service.

With all the sensors and information we can access today from our users, what’s stopping us to deliver ever more smart and aware products and services? How are we using all the information we have about them?

A second great example of context awareness in this case to help push commercially a new product, is to think carefully about how not just the typical product placement activities, but go beyond them and understand where the new product might make sense to be and how to better communicate the added value it carries:

I could write lines and lines of great example, but I close this post with some of the key pointers to help uncover users context information. A starting point about using technology and sensors is Robert Scoble and Shel Israel “Age of Context” book, describing a not so far future where Data & Sensors will help deliver a highly anticipatory and predictively intelligent world in terms of products and services.

Context will not only affect every product and service, its already helping deliver contextual aware products and services, finally putting an end to all the product and service context agnostic development.

February 10 2014

UX Lead for Vodafone Germany

Its as big for me as it is a uniquely great challenge for the upcoming times, but today I’m just very thankful, proud and happy to be officially responsible for the User Experience team for Vodafone Germany :) at Vodafone Campus

Read on Path.

January 28 2014

June 11 2013

June 10 2013

What do you want people to feel?

Apple WWDC 2013 keynote intro video was an ode to technological achievement, a company vision of perfection, a celebration of proper engineering and design. In video, each phrase is an ode to the growth and impact of proper user centered design. An ode for a paranoid attention to every little detail, something Apple meticulously, but it’s also an ode to experience design, to those outthere like myself who think from the end towards the beggining, overlooking the effect, overlooking how one feels upon interaction, and then designing backwards to ensure a curated and designed experience, consistent, repeatable and delighful.

Apple is in many senses unique, for there are those that do inovation by brute force differentiation and those who generate differentiation by design, in particular experience design. I work along the last.

Me happy.

March 05 2013

Empathy

For the past 5 months I’ve been working on Vodafone Germany customer journeys, trying to understand that ticks their customers have when interacting with mobile, online and retail experiences, we called service or experience design.

Today I came across a video made for a clinic (see below) that brilliantly shoes how we try to see the world around the company, its services, products and above all what people expect and how they use them. I like being able to walk other persons shoes, but as this video shows, it’s far from easy, the fundamental thing is that each one of us even when sharing one same experience, inevitably end up having a very different view of it.

I see more and more people thinking like me, preaching for a more centered human, more attentive services, being them digital or not and how to marry the ones that cross the digital/non digitial frontier. The goal is to deliver experiences that are worth building and going through. I keep saying that I’m tired of half baked things, so so experiences..

Seeing this video today, made me realize that probably one of the reasons I do what I do, might have been with how I processed all the craziness of my own journey trough 2 years of life and death possibilities, of procedures and badly designed machinery. Scary constructs with little or no attention and regard for the human individual in front of them.

maybe that was it… maybe that the reason I like fixing experiences..
who knows..

Check the video, its a great example on how to showcase insights in a clear, understandable and empathetic way.

August 06 2012

June 14 2012

April 03 2012

March 26 2012

March 09 2012

GazeHawk

Webcam Eye Tracking - Ad Testing and Optimization

February 25 2012

February 16 2012

February 10 2012

February 07 2012

Urbanflow: an operating system for cities

In a time when the urban population has outpaced the one living in rural environments, our cities although a marvelous achievement (think about the logistics and food provision systems that power up a city), they tend to be inefficient, slow and disconnected from the majority of their citizens.

Urbanflow proposition, a joint effort of Nordkapp and Urbanflow (founded by Adam Greenfield) aims to take advantage of urban screens as means to provide not just locally-oriented information (maps, points of interest, etc.) but also to provide a wide range of more generic information about the city (air quality, traffic, etc), converting what used to be a static snapshot of information into an interactive window towards the ins and outs the city.

I found here in Düsseldorf a very interesting example of a realtime sculpture – The Energy Pyramid which displays in realtime the amount of energy, gaz and warm water being consumed by the city.

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