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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'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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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


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.
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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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 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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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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