Nice Facade, and Sustainable Technology Too  
Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 11:07 PM - Business Innovation, Design - (UX), Brands, Cross Channel Marketing, Technology,


Metropolis mag had this post on the new GreenPix digital media wall, in Beijing.
The possibility for interesting media content is huge. And a great way to make some bad architecture look good.

It is the largest color LED display in the world, with 2,292 of the energy-efficient lights spanning a 24,000-square-foot glass surface.

In the evenings, as traffic passes by the busy road it faces, the wall plays massive low-resolution video installa­tions by Chinese, Japanese, European, and Amer ican artists.

But GreenPix is also a fairly radical example of sustainable technology. Simone Giostra and Partners, working with Arup and German manufacturers Schüco and Sunways, laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells inside the glass curtain wall. In itself this is not new, but the level of integration and the scale of GreenPix are unique. The 6,000 square feet of PV cells are arranged with varying density: where natural light is needed inside the building, there are few or no cells; in other places, dense as sort ments of cells block the sunlight, reducing interior heat gain while generating enough electricity each day to power the display at night.


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Bookable Rich Media Ads 
Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:02 PM - Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Brands, Technology




This format offers a great way for Advertisers to meaningfully engage their audience.

Spongecell, makes online calendars with social features, has launched Spongecell Rich Media Ads. These ads offer a new way for advertisers to connect with people and provide some functional value at the same time. People can view Ads about an upcoming product launch, event, or TV show, and are able to add it to their calendar/social network/mobile device and invite friends without leaving the ad unit!

The example above appears to be an ad for a music event, but this format offers plenty of potential to any promotions with date/time relative information, promotions, coupons with dates, etc. To quote Spongecell, "We’re adding our Add to Life technology to a standard IAB advertisement to make it easy for a consumer to easily move relevant content from an advertisement into the tools they use every day - Calendar, Social Network, Mobile device or home page - think of it as a bookmark for an online campaign."
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Service Design - Capability Development Workshops 
Thursday, December 13, 2007, 09:09 PM - Mobile, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Customer Experience, Service Design, Cross Channel Marketing,
I've been focussing recently on developing Service Design capability for an organisation which has a strong desire to create great services and customer experience. Recently I've set up six Communities of Practice (CoPs) which focus on key areas of development for customer-centered design expertise. These include: design strategy, service systems, customer experience, interaction design, service enbedding, project leadership. The Communities of Practice are the learning and knowledge sharing channels for design methodolgies, tools, techniques, and principles of design.

I've had a lot fun recently developing more workshops to initiate and drive a common sense of purpose for the CoPs and we've had truely great organisations and people helping us.

We did a Service Prototyping workshop with IDEO. A fantastic team came out from their San Francisco Office which included Laura Weiss, Gretchen Addi, and Colin Raney. It was a really engaging and insightful three days. The learning has been huge covering territory from user insights methods, brainstorming and idea generation, through to proto-typed concepts capable of igniting interest and buy-in across the organisation. It was centred around a real project which now has a team putting the learnings into practice.

We had Michael Eckersley from Human Centered run a two day workshop on Customer Experience Design. Michael was a fantastic presenter and provided good balance between thought provocation and practice insights.

Otago University Design School ran a interaction Design workshop led by Thomas Bley and Ralf Hebecker. This was a really hands on workshop that challenged particpants to question design and design thinking relative to our business context.

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Design and Innovation Workshops 
Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 10:05 PM - Mobile, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Service Design
Professor Charles Owen from the (IIT) Institiute of Design in Chicago was in New Zealand recently to speak on User-Centered Design with the Public Sector. I had the pleasure of running a couple of Workshops with him for some Communities of Practice within the Service Design Group at a Government Agency.

The first workshop focused on the characteristics of Design Thinking. It was incredibly insightful but challenging for particpants, some of whom are just being introduced design. Thinking about the thinking process of design deals with idea generation, conceptualising, abstraction, and synthesising. The feedback was great and participants got a lot out of this that they could apply in the work.

The second workshop focused on and introduction to Structured Design Planning and Activity Analysis. Structured Design Planning is an approach to concept development for complex design problems. Professor Owen has been developing and refining this thinking since about 1966. What I found most interesting about the process was the thinking that hads that gone into the design development and dcoumentation process - it is a very powerful and useful tool for complex problem solving in the conceptual age.

Professor Owen also introduced the idea of 'Meta Planning' which I could as a valuable approach across government organiations and large design-led businesses. I have had a lot of thoughts on this and will post more on Meta-Planning.



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Thought Starters for the Year to Date 
Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 01:23 AM - Mobile, Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Service Design, , , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology,
Apologies for the the lack of posts so far this year. I can assure you it isn't a sign of a lack of interesting stuff going on. Here are some things I've been looking into and thinking about so far this year:

Kiwi FOO Camp (www,baacamp.org) organised by Nathan Torkington was a fantastic event - thanks for the invite Nathan. The content was great, many inspiring discussions, lots of energy and subsequenlty many thoughts and ideas that I will continue to post on over the next few months. Big outtakes: everyone in IT is engaged in design at some level; as designers we can learn a lot from open source communities and this has enormous potential for big design probelems like sustainability; usability, UX design, interaction design require clear context for useful discussion, even amongst experts, I was involved in a discussion where we all came at this from many angles and I think we needed to get clear on architypes to have a useful discussion on this (still plenty of opportunities; Hardware hacking is a cool thing and shows so much potential for interesting developmements.

FRONT link here is pretty cool, FRONT members have developed a method to materialise free hand sketches. They make it possible by using a unique method where two advanced techniques are combined. Pen strokes made in the air are recorded with Motion Capture and become 3D digital files; these are then materialised through Rapid Prototyping into real pieces of furniture. Lots of potential to use this technology. I can forsee a time when we will all have our local RP centres to print off the odd useful thing ot two, and maybe using different densities and textures of materials etc..

Amazon's new directions. This article in USA Today was interesting. Quote "You can rent space on Amazon's computers to run a business, or rent out its transaction capabilities to sell things and collect money, or rent pieces of its warehouses and distribution system to store and ship items — or all of the above. So, with almost no start-up costs, anyone anywhere could become a retailer".

This is a great example of a company that really understands innovation and isn't afraid to put into action. It offers potential to really change the way we think about design of business models and supply chains.

QR Codes see this article in the Japan Marketing News where the uptake has been relatively strong compared to elswhere. If you are into marketing certainly worth a try on a few campaigns.

Design Process of architect Joshua Prince-Ramus. Diego Rodriguez from Metacool posted on this video of his Joshua Prince-Ramus'd talk from TED2006. It is great to see architectural process take new directions. As Diego points out Three interesting threads are woven in to his commentary:

The notion of employing a "hyper-rational" design process in the name of creating emotionally resonant experiences and spaces.

Using a team-based design process, rather than the more traditional "star designer" model often found in architecture and industrial design.

Designing for business by using flexible spaces to enable economic viability now and in to the future.

Agree the storytelling is great.




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'User Experience' terminology 
Monday, September 18, 2006, 08:01 AM - Business Innovation, Channel Management, Service Design, Smart Space, Cross Channel Marketing, Consumer Insights
Brandon Schauer of Adaptive Path has published the initial results from their survey, looking at the range of vocabulary used for referring to 'user experience'. To quote:

There's a range of vocabulary that can be used to refer to user experience: 'usability', 'interface', 'human centered design', etc. What term we use seems to depend on what sells --- within an organization, you use the terms that connect with the values and the understanding of the people you're working with.

Adaptive Path recently conducted a survey of over 800 user experience professionals to create a base of quantitative insight into how organizations value and practice user experience. One of the simpler questions was, "If you use other terms [than 'user experience'] that are similar in meaning or intent, which terms do you use?" Here's the terms we heard, ordered by the number of times mentioned.


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American Apparel, Enter New Retail Dimension 
Sunday, June 18, 2006, 08:13 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Design - (UX), Brands, , , Retail Experience



American Apparel are opening a new store in Second Life, a virtual retail space.
Springwise report that the store, set on a private island within Second Life, was designed by Aimee Weber, a Second Life resident and designer, in conjunction with American Apparel's own architect. The store will sell 20 familiar American Apparel items for avatars, including the women's jersey polo dress. The company will charge a token sum of about USD 1 per item. It's (surprisingly!) the first 'real world' retailer to set up shop in Second Life.


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Banking on 'better customer experience'  
Saturday, June 10, 2006, 07:13 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Design - (UX), Brands, , , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology,


David Polinchock, in his blog The Experience Economist on a story run by NBC station in New York on how banks are changing to create a better in branch experience. The article points out that the driver behind these kinder, gentler banks is fierce competition. Radical new design of branches and services create new levels of experience and relationship with the banks customers. Amenities like childrenís play areas, cafÈís, more open spaces, and free standing tables for interacting with bank staff etc. They appear to be proving some value, the manager gave a compelling argument for the need to create better experiences:

An average bank in the suburbs will do about $1.5 million a month is deposits. In the first 25 weeks with our new branch, we've done $1 million a week. This roughtly translates to, the traditional branch doing about $9.4 million over 25 weeks, versus the $25 million they've done in the new branch.

See the whole article here

Also see an article in BAI , by the Bank of Smithtowns Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer John Romanoextract: ìYou have to find a way to differentiate yourself, and for us, that was through branch design.î



ALSO SEE DEUTSCHE BANKS 'QIIO'; BANK OF THE FUTURE



CScouts reports on Deutsche Banks new pilot branch, named Q110. Finally somebody thought about banking of the future and how to present financial services in a more innovative and customer friendly way. In addition to regular bank operations, this distinctive complex houses an exhibition space, a trend shop, a reading corner, childrens play area, and a cafe.

For full details click here and link through to images



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New Book on Interaction Design - Interview with Shelly Evenson on Service Design 
Sunday, May 28, 2006, 07:00 PM - Mobile, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Customer Experience, Service Design, Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology
Dan Saffer's new book; 'Designing for Interaction'; looks really interesting with a good line up of contributions from many people who's views I respect in the area of Interaction Design: Brenda Laurel, Adam Greenfield, Marc Rettig, Hugh Dubberly, and more.

I like what Shelly Evenson has to say about Service Design, link here to see the breif interview.

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Nike+iPOD - a product or a service system, or both? 
Friday, May 26, 2006, 05:13 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Cross Channel Marketing, Technology,


The Nike+iPOD strategic alliance got me thinking about the boundaries of brand extendibility, and a survey that Cheskin did last year on the extendibility of global brands and categories. see: Cheskin Brand Extendibility Survey (pg 17 for the category info) It just happens that athletic and consumer electronic categories extend quite well.

We've seen plenty of examples of strategic alliances with varying degrees of success, see: Trend Watching, Branded Brands for many examples. What I found interesting about Nike+Apple is the production of a new product-service (an extension of an existing function- shoe, music) utilising the best of their core competencies. All in a category that neither brands would extend to as successfully on their own. In Nike's case I loosely perceive their competency as something like 'sports fitness' and in the iPOD case 'portable technology', and they've created a 'sports technology appliance' (a sports bio sensor and monitor) that competes in a market where there is many specialised developers of such products. There is real value in the way that the Nike+iPOD has extended use of existing products (shoe, ipod) that have other useful functions beyond just this application. They've also defined their individual brand competencies well within the alliance to retain brand authenticity and integrity.

Where I got to and what I really like about this outcome is the design of a new 'product-service-system' or service function, that has been enabled through an alliance of technology, know-how and brand positioning. I don't know how the Nike+iPOD compares to other products of this type but I really like this platform thinking and it would be great to see more alliances that create useful multifunctional services, rather than product-centric, single function innovations. This sort of thinking could have great benefits for the planet and with the right business models they'll make money, so double good! And as a brand extension it has avoided complexity around the offering and in doing so has avoided brand confusion.
Nike+
Apple iPOD

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Service Design Podcast from Northumbria  
Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 06:51 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Customer Experience, Service Design, , , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, ,
ISDN International Service Design Northmbria hosted a colloquium in March on issues around designing services, and I've finally had a chance to listen to the Podcasts. The speaker line-up included Tim Brown from IDEO, Andrea Cooper from the Design Council UK, Chris Downs from Live/Work, Steven Kyffen from Philips, and Oliver King from Engine Group. Design.

I've listed some of the really interesting Podcast sessions below, they are worth listening too. Tim Brown spoke of methodologies for approaching design, including services, and some interesting points on story telling and communicating the stories. Chris Downs spoke of the huge potential and value that can be derived from service design and service systems. Andrea Cooper picked up on some of these points also - we can take a more holistic approach to deliver to peoples needs and desires. More products is often not the answer - and the real value is often 'experienced'; though the service component i.e IPOD the customer adding favourite music. Steve Kyffen raised some good points about the complexity of designing services. They are time based and evolve well beyond the point of sale, and experienced differently every time. It requires new business models and with that new design and marketing mindsets.

You can can download ISDN Podcasts here

Service Innovation through Design Thinking from Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Signposts for the Next Decade from Dr. Andrea Cooper, Head of Design Knowledge, Design Council

Pioneering Service Design from Chris Downs, Partner, Live/Work

Objects of Service - From Subjects to Objects and Back Again from Prof. Steven Kyffin, Global Head of Design Research, Philips Design

Better Services, Happier Customers, Oliver King Engine Group.

and much more...


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Making Meaning: how successful businesses deliver meaningful customer experiences 
Thursday, May 11, 2006, 06:36 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Brands, Retail Experience,
An interesting series of Podcasts from Lunar Design. Icon-o-Cast explores and demystifies the world of design.

The latest on 'MAKING MEANING'; is worth checking out.

In a market economy characterized by commoditized products and global competition, how do companies gain deep and lasting loyalty from their customers? The key, argues author Steve Diller, is in providing meaningful customer experiences.

In this episode of Icon-o-Cast, Lunar's John Edson talks with Steve, a partner at Cheskin Research and co-author of Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences.

Listen - http://www.lunar.com/podcast/index.html
Subscribe - http://www.lunar.com/pressroom/podcast/podcast.xml


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Ambient Technology, a shift from information worlds to experience worlds 
Thursday, May 11, 2006, 06:31 PM - Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Design - (UX), Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology, Consumer Insights



A lot of consumer experiences are mediated through ambient technologies. This article (link below) from UIGarden.net covers some interesting information on the development processes required for the shift from information worlds to experience worlds.
link to article

This raises some interesting questions about the importance of the psychology of space when information technology is involved. Design approaches to need to consider the activities of the space, and create clear context for the use of the space inorder to create a complete user experience. see earlier weblog on ideo.

see the IDEO article.
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Customer Experience - it's a branding tool? 
Saturday, May 6, 2006, 06:22 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Brands, , Smart Space, , ,

There are two kinds of CEOs. Those who only aim to deliver numbers and others who swear that ìCustomer Experience is brandingî

Let us see what do customers experience. Read on..

Link to the article on - The Three 'Ds' of Customer Experience: Marketing: HBS Working Knowledge

QUOTE
A recent Bain & Company survey reveals just how commonly companies misread the market. We surveyed 362 firms and found that 80 percent believed they delivered a ìsuperior experienceî to their customers. But when we asked customers about their own perceptions, we found that they rated only 8 percent of companies as truly delivering a superior experience. Clearly, it is easy for leading companies to assume they're keeping customers happy; itís quite another thing to achieve that kind of customer devotion.

ENDQUOTE
Are you surprised? Arenít we ourselves customers buying things or services? How often we get a feeling that we are really buying?

We know the ground reality.

We should also know by now that it takes much much more than marketing people and wild creativity to create and sustain customer experience. We should know that it takes leadership, strategy and supporting business processes that enable talented employees.

And that is quite some hard work. It takes months.. years. It involves business transformation.

Original Post: http://purple-stream.com/blog/?p=19


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Giant Touch Screen at Chicago Airport adds a new dimension to traveler's experience 
Thursday, May 4, 2006, 06:07 PM - Business Innovation, Channel Management, Service Design, Design - (UX), , Smart Space, , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology, Consumer Insights



Dwell time, or experience information on the run. Giant digital touchscreen technolgy taking off at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Revolutionary for out-of-home advertising and also for inter-office collaboration.

For more info - link here, to Accenture media release

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Experience Design - here is an interesting process diagram 
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 06:04 PM - Business Innovation, , , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology,


Check out this Experience Design process approach produced by David Armano. Link here
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IDEOs Smart Space group - effective processes for creating tangible consumer experiences 
Sunday, April 23, 2006, 05:56 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Design - (UX), Cross Channel Marketing,
link to PDF of NY Times article

The New York Times Sunday Business reports on IDEO's approach to spacial and enviromental design and the 'Smart Space' group. They take on projects ranging from hotels, office space to redevelopment of urban space and take an innovative approach.

They start with a 'deep dive'; a process involving Smart Space designers, anthroplogists and researchers to build understanding of what users really think and what really underlies their motivations and actions.

They design for activity as much as for space. This is the really valuable angle that IDEO are bringing. There processes are drawing out insights to create informed strategy and concepts that can be prototyped and tested. They can then take the most appropriate design direction for the projects and work with architects and designers to get it implemented.

It's a good process and current reports indicate the results speak for themselves - see the article.

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