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".

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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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 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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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

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 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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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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