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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Inspiring Design Interaction - in-action 
Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 11:23 PM - Mobile, Customer Experience, Service Design, Cross Channel Marketing, Technology,
I've been rethinking the fundamentals of interaction design methods and practice recently and I came across a news story posted on John Thackara's site that raised some really interesting points for me.

The story covers a UK surgical team that saw similarities between their surgical 'patient hand over technics' and those of a motor racing team in the pitstop, while watching motorsport on TV. The surgical team started to work with the Ferrari Racing Team to learn how to improve their own 'hand-over methods' from surgery to intensive care. This is a difficult and critical phase for surgery teams involving as many as six interventions from highly specialised personal. Precision and timing are everything. Imagine: Medical procedure designed by 'Ferrari', not a crazy idea (I think the brand could extend, see Cheskin’s Brand Extendibility Survey)

Here are some immediate thoughts that came to mind:

(1) It is great to see disciplines learning from others. And the willingness of the medical practitioners to act on the possibility of it working and at least testing the feasibility of the idea. True design innovation.

(2) These methods designed by the joint teams involved 'Interaction Design'. Other professions disciplines practice interaction design too, what do they call it? When does it become 'Interaction Design', and how/where does it differ from other professions practices? In this case, I think their goals became interaction design when the team defined a problem with the way they interacted with their technolgy and system and they set out to improve it.

(3) How did Ferrari become so good at 'Interaction Design' or designing for interaction? I have read case studies before on Peak Performance of the Williams F1 Team and how the split second timing of Pit Crews is often attributed to teamwork and practice. I think this is key, good outcomes from interaction design requires the design of really good interdisciplinary team design. Further to this, it must be practiced in-order to get better at it, and to achieve their goals. Ferrari’s race technical director that worked with the surgical team said, "It takes a long time to establish a team. We have twenty-odd people working together for four to six years to get a routine which lasts little more than four seconds. The surgical teams work round the clock, every day, with ever-changing personnel, so what they need is a formula to work to."

(4) The ultimate ‘goal’ of the race team would be something like ‘making the car go faster’ and the surgery team ‘fixing patients heart’ But the interesting thing is the total procedure to achieve those goals is made up of a series of complex stand alone methods that can be applied independently. The design of design, no situation is ever the same but there is often similarities and cross-over.

(5) It proved really valuable but it kind of happened by chance that two surgeons clicked while watching motor racing. What would it take for these problems to be addressed by design in the course of conscious problem definition?

(6) Product or a service? Hmm.

(7) It is being published in a medical Journal. So what is the relationship between medical science and interaction design? ....I'm saving that for another post.

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Sir Ken Robinson on Education and Creativity (TED Feb O6) 
Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 01:15 PM - Mobile, Service Design, Smart Space, Technology, Consumer Insights
I'm posting this because i've referred to Sir Ken Robinson's TED presentation on education systems and creativity at least three times recently. He raises some good questions.

Check it out - link here

What sort of future are we shaping? What are the relevant subjects? What is important now? What takes hold that isn't just a phase? Who decides? As that quote from Marshall McLuhan goes "We become what we behold. We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us".

Postscript:
Sir Ken Robinson is author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, and a leading expert on innovation and human resources. In this talk, he makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. (Recorded February, 2006 in Monterey, CA.)
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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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Toyota Massed Produced Houses 
Friday, June 16, 2006, 08:09 PM - Mobile, Service Design, Design - (UX), Technology, ,



Toyota production lines churning out houses? Well they have since 1975 but it is growing steadily. An article in the Toronto Star reports that Toyota is doing homes that are mass produced like Toyota cars. About 85 per cent of the work on the metal-frame cubicles is finished at the plant. The prefabricated cubicles, made to order for the customer, are stacked like toy blocks with a huge crane in just six hours.

Toyota is using technogy and production know-how gained from car making and applying it to houses. A 'smart key' similar to the car key you don't need to take out of your pocket to unlock your Toyota opens and closes the front door. A mechanism for reducing engine noise and tremors is installed under the floor to quiet upstairs shakes. Car paint-job skills deliver even scratch-resistant coating on walls. Imagine how they could apply the Prius technology.

I think they could do with some focus on the design, see Toyota Housing


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New Zealand Government Plan to Influence Consumer Behaviour 
Thursday, June 15, 2006, 07:21 PM - Brands, , ,
The New Zealand Government has embarked on a 'Buy New Zealand Made Campaign'. The Government is going to promote a 'Buy New Zealand Made' message to New Zealand consumers.

I think there is a case for food and other such primary products that are made locally. It would make sense from a environment and sustainable perspective to strike a better balance between exporting products, and having to import the same type of products from other countries to address the shortfall in local demand. However, for a whole lot of other reasons it seems like a misguided intiative.

The big problem I have with 'Buy New Zealand Made':

It is at odds with initiatives from the Goverments Growth and Innovation policy which is all about global connectedness and export growth. Initiatives such as Better by Design aimed at helping NZ companies become more internationally competitive.

It seems totally wrong in times when collaboration and alliances with other nations are so necessary for NZ businesses to produce world class products (and 'services'!!). Especially since we rely on technology, resources and know-how from other nations to remain a relevant and competitive nation. And if NZ businesses are trying to be globally relevant and competitive, what do they aspire too?

New Zealand companies have to export to grow. So NZ relies on other nations to accept New Zealand products. The initiative doesn't support a good position and competitve attitude towards global commerce.

It is so product centric (made, making, manufactured). With the big shift to the service economies in most successful economies it could be promoting something much more worthwhile.
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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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Design Innovation - latest report on the Global Competitveness in Design and Innovation from Finland 
Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 06:45 PM - Mobile, Service Design
LINK TO 2002-3 REPORT ON BUILDING A CASE FOR ADDED VALUE THROUGH DESIGN

Bruce Nussbaum's Business Week Online Design section reports on how the Design policies and initiatives of countries around the world are contributing to their ranking in the global competitiveness stakes. It mentions the first study done by NZIER in New Zealand which was part on New Zealand's Design Strategy see www.betterbydesign.org.nz. I initiated and contributed to this report back in 2002. There is a lot of measures that form the design index, more details on these can be found in appendix B of the report, for those interested, here is a link to the report: Building a Case for Added Value Through Design.

Updated from the 2006 report to the latest 2008 report Check out the latest 2008 report from Designium

New Designium Publication: Global Design Watch
A new report by Designium looks at the design policies of countries selected for the study. The principal objective of the study is to compare the effects of national design programmes on national competitiveness in the design sector. In 2002 the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) published a study called Building a case for added value through design with a design ranking drawn up using indicators from the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report.

The first report, published by Designium on national design programmes was completed in 2003.

The present report covers all the countries included in the previous report as well as four new ones: the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The real winners compared to the situation in 2002 were Denmark and Singapore. The trend has been slightly downward for Finland, which fell from number one to number seven, and Norway, which fell from 18 to 22;

Here is the ranking:
Design Competitiveness Ranking 2005 Design Ranking 2002

1. Japan > 1. Finland
2. United States > 2. United States
3. Germany > 3. Germany
4. Switzerland > 4. France
5. Denmark > 5. Japan
6. France > 6. Switzerland
7. Finland > 7. Netherlands
8. Sweden > 8. Sweden
9. Belgium > 9. Denmark
10. Austria> 10. Great Britain

Source: World Economic Forum 2005 Bibliography: World Economic Forum 2002,
Building a case for added value through design, NZ Institute of Economic Research 2003

Here is more directly from the report Designium World Design Series, which is a heck of a mouthful.

The real winners compared to the situation in 2002 are Denmark and Singapore. Denmark has climbed up from ninth place to fifth. Denmark has invested heavily in the visibility of design, in the promotion of the Danish design brand, and in the development of co-operation between designers and businesses. Singapore has climbed up from 22nd place to 15th. Singapore aims to become the design hub in Asia. Design excellence is a key factor for national competitiveness. Ranking has been steady for the United States, which remains number two, and Sweden, which retains its eighth place on the list. The trend has been downward for Finland, which fell from number one to number seven, and Norway, which fell from 18 to 22.



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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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Bringing 'visual' clarity to complex ideas 
Wednesday, April 12, 2006, 05:29 PM - Retail Experience, Technology, Consumer Insights


If you are ever needing inspiration for how to communicate your complex information networks or just have an appreciation for good visualisation methods, check out the Visual Complexity site. Click on the images for some project background. Cool content.


http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/
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Technorati 
Monday, April 10, 2006, 05:25 PM
Technorati Profile




<a href="http://technorati.com/claim/xe5iwrsf4k" rel="me">Technorati Profile</a>
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