November 20, 2015

UX delivers strategy in action

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 13.14.25The UX practices and mindsets are evolving. It’s becoming clear that UX is not just about user validation, pixels, or wireframes. That’s the old paradigm. UX is much more. UX permeates the whole design process and the overall underlying strategy. Because UX is strategy in action.

A little bit of history: do you remember when…?

For many years UX has been dominated by the design/wireframe and testing paradigm, and this is not a surprise.

Although stemming from HCI and UCD, the real turning point in the dissemination of a user centred culture was early 2000, when Jakob Nielsen and Donald Norman have highlighted and explained the importance of usability and good design.

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October 25, 2015

The UX mindset: a quest for values and meanings

UX mindset

UX is a mindset that connects strategy and design through the understanding of what is valuable and meaningful both for the users and the organisations. And in such a scenario, research is the link that allows organisation strategies to become experiences.

In an experience economy the value of a product or a service is not anymore limited to a price tag, but it is determined by the quality of the experiences delivered. This implies that organisations need to shift their focus from the product to embrace the intangible experiential elements and shape those elements to support the wider strategy through an effective and meaningful engagement with the users. Continue reading

July 5, 2015

From bricks to innovation

Unleash playfulness

Unleash playfulness

Lego bricks are a fascinating tool. Mostly considered a creative and engaging toy, they are much more than that. What is a toy that enhances children’s creativity and imagination, becomes a tool to enhance understanding and explore opportunities in business.

There is an increasing interests in anything that is LEGO: from the business case of a company that employed co-creation and changed a negative trend in the ’90s into a global success.

And there are an increasing number of applications that are exploiting the simplicity of systemic bricks that can be combined in countless ways and gain a number of different meanings based on individual narratives and stories.

Bricks are natural story maker tool: children imagine adventures while playing and building objects. And so do adults, although they may need some help. Continue reading

June 6, 2015

Combining co-creation with UX and CX: a cubed experience!

Cocreating experience: the power of collaboration

Cocreating experience: the power of collaboration

This is an excerpts from Co-Creation: Finding The Cubed Factor For Customer Experience (CX)

UX has helped global organizations to think and take into consideration how their users and customers interact with brands and companies through interfaces, digital services and the whole ecosystem. UX has also brought users closer to brands by involving user opinions.

However, when UX is in action, brands often leave UX to manage the conversation. UX researchers, consultants and designers often act as the man in the middle, interpreting both the brands’ goals and the users’ expectations. As much as UX accomplishes, global organizations are still not engaged and are still not talking with their customers.

This missing exchange is crucial. It has become clear, in fact, that customers are more focused on the experiential elements of a product and a brand than the product itself.   As J. Pine and Gilmore put it, “An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.”

The key to bridging the conversation gap between Global companies and their customers is “co-creation.”

Read the rest here.

May 17, 2015

Experiencing Lego Serious Play like a speed dating!

In March 2015, I was challenged by Marek Pawlowsky from MEX to do something unique to inspire the UX designers’ community and to show them the potential of Lego Serious Play.

Marek is not a novice, being a participant into one of my past workshops, and the challenge was exciting enough for me to accept it!

The goal of the session was to inspire, entertain, make the audience curious, intrigue them, challenge their ordinary ways of thinking, introduce them to new ideas, theories and opportunities.

I’ve imagined how would a speed dating with LSP look like and this is what happened…! (more in the next page)

Patrizia Bertini demonstrates Lego Serious Play and considers creative methods for future experience design from Marek Pawlowski on Vimeo.

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March 29, 2015

Conversations, Experience Economy, UX, metaphors, & LSP

[Thoughts after Mex15, Slides at the end]

Markets are conversations

Markets are conversations

It was back in March 1999 when a group of forward thinking people published a revolutionary book based on 95 thesis that explained that the old business models were disrupted by internet and technologies. They said that markets were conversations,they explained that it was time to start listening to the consumers and to engage in conversations.

The book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, was a revolutionary and visionary text that clearly saw the direction technologies were taking society and the business.  Internet and technologies dramatically changed in these 16 years, but every change reinforced the thesis of the Cluetrain Manifesto, proving how old business models were obsolete and could lead companies and business into a quick obsolescence.

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February 15, 2015

No Accessibility, no UX

No accessibility no UX (C) P. Bertini

No accessibility no UX (C) P. Bertini

Who are the users that User Experience professionals refer to when designing the ultimate digital experience?

They have many ways to describe the user: persona are a generally widely used method to bring users alive and create stereotypes of users. But stereotypes always lack detail and the core of UX is the ability to deliver details and experiences to all user, even those not captured by persona.

I cannot remember seeing a persona of a disabled user ever, but I may just have been unlucky.

However, the issue here is not Persona.

The key issue is that too many UX professionals do UX but do not practice accessibility. These two skills are often naturally considered distinct skill set, different domains of UX, and often managed by different people, where one is the Accessibility expert, the other the UX expert, with a help from the designers and consultants. Continue reading

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February 8, 2015

Stop calling it Accessibility!

In the era of excluFeatured imagesivity, how can inclusivity survive and be attractive?

It’s time to change the rhetoric around accessibility and include accessibility in the wider framework of the world we live in.

We cannot talk about inclusivity in a society that promotes exclusivity as a status symbol and a value we need to reach.

In the age of wellness and eternal youth, none wants to acknowledge that sooner or later our physical and/or cognitive abilities will fade and we’ll become elder, eventually with some cognitive or physical impairment.

Today, ageing and the natural and biological transformations we are all subject to, are tabus: in a world where drugs and surgery can fake appearance and let us forget about time, it’s easy to forget that behind apparently smooth faces there is still an ageing body.

Our society rejects the thought of ageing, refuse to accept that we won’t be young forever, that technology cannot (yet) make us to stay young for ever.

How can then we convince such a society about the importance of accessibility and inclusivity?

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December 21, 2014

Co-Creation: Designing With the User, For the User

Cocreation brings together individuals

Cocreation brings together individuals

[Excerpt. The full article is available on UXBooth. Many thanks to Marli Mesibov]. 

“In the past decade, new technologies ranging from Twitter to customer service chat-windows have led to an increase in the quantity and quality of interactions between people and organizations. But listening to user feedback isn’t where the company-user interactions end. Today more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies have made co-creation an integral part of their innovation strategy, as Andrew Welch—Chief Executive Officer of Y&R reports.

Yet in user experience design, most organizations take a traditional approach to user research and design, using a researcher to act as a middle-man between users, designers, and business stakeholders. Users are consulted in the process, but not given creative control over solutions.

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November 15, 2014

The LSP facilitator’s challenge

Facilitation's thorny issues

Facilitation’s thorny issues

Facilitating is an art. it requires a mix of personality traits, like the ability to guide and lead a group,  a set of knowledge about group dynamics, psychology, and techniques.

A facilitator is usually an external member, someone who enters into a group and guides them through a journey to get to a goal. The design part is the key: a facilitator always needs to know exactly where the group is, the next steps, the timing of every activity and include any eventual recovery plan in case something does not goes according to the plans.

Facilitator’s personality is another essential factor: the facilitator needs to be able to engage and lead the group, mitigate power games and dominant personalities and to involve shy and silent people without putting pressure.

All is clear, until the facilitator faces a challenge: facilitate within a group they know well.

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