February 15, 2015
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
February 8, 2015
In the era of exclusivity, 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?
December 21, 2014
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.
November 15, 2014
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.
August 9, 2014
cocreation & UX
In the past few years, we have assisted to a sort of divorce between users and organisations: technology has bought in a wide range of new behaviours and opportunities that companies are not always able to follow or predict. Most innovative projects fail because it’s difficult to fully understand what’s in the users’ heads (Leadbeater 2008) and the big changes society is facing, with a shift from products to experiences makes traditional UX approaches difficult, time-consuming and less effective.
To reduce complexity and make the overall internal and external process simpler and leaner, UX today can take advantage of collaborative approaches that involve and engages stakeholders, users, and designers in a creative and participative activity, namely co-creation. Continue reading
July 19, 2014
The road to change – © P. Bertini
Markets are ever more conversations and the role of the user has dramatically changed in the past decade, shifting from a passive unknown being, into active part of the conversation.
We live in convivial times where technology has enhanced new practices and new opportunities for organisations and users to talk, to understand their mutual points of view and share knowledge, meanings and values.
Nevertheless, there has been a divorce between users and organisations and much of those conversations are today limited to the final stage of product and service design. Rather than taking fully advantage of the potential of co-creation, and engage users in conversations and creative exercises, today users are involved only in the very final stage, when it comes to validate an idea that has been developed using traditional approaches. Continue reading
June 29, 2014
Another world is possible
We Live in industrialised times: everything is following the strict industrial standards set over 150 years ago by the industrial revolution.
Mass production and the need to have standardised process, where one fit all, created a society that has tried to convince us that there is one way to do things right, that there’s one solution to a problem, one right perspective, one direction.
Multiple directions, different choices, and different paths would have been detrimental to an industrial society, which needed conformance and standards to deliver its goods and create the cultural and economic system we are all imbued with today.
To reach the largest number of people, everything has been industrialised: processes, production, creativity, and education.
June 20, 2014
© Patrizia Bertini
In the past few years, the number of articles published around Lego Serious Play is hugely increased.
The initial theories developed in the mid ’90s, 20 years ago, by Johan Ross and Bart Viktor and put into its current shape by Robert Rasmussen, are today converging and mingling with new trends and emerging needs.
What was supposed to simply be a language, communication tool, problem solving methodology, based on the belief that everyone can contribute to the discussion, the decisions, and the outcome, it has become a tool for exploring, both a crinkly and torn treasure map to be completed with the imagination of the facilitator and the participants, and a hammer to deconstruct and construct new opportunities. Continue reading
June 12, 2014
I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a LEGO SeriousPlay workshop at Foolproof with Hot Source members. One of the participant, Marek Pawlowski, shared his experience.
As a facilitator, used to describe the method, it was refreshing and an immense pleasure to know that he experienced exactly what I always described when I talk about the power and benefits of LSP. Thank you @Marek for such an amazing post!
Improvement requires change, whether that happens gradually through iteration or in big leaps through sudden sparks of creativity. This is true of improving anything, from companies to individual products. It’s something I think about a lot in the context of the MEX initiative, which is, at its heart, about helping people to improve digital experiences. We are always looking for new ways to equip people to make good changes to the user experience of the products they’re designing.
June 9, 2014
Creativity © P.Bertini
[Excerpt. The full article is available on Editorial IV. Many thanks to Joseph McKeating]
Crowdsourcing, open innovation, co-creation, and co-production all have become buzzwords that are often used interchangeably.
However, these words identify different processes that have a few key differences, but also a key similarity: they are all innovation and creativity-driven activities.
The outcome of all of these activities are products or services, and all of these initiatives focus on the engagement of customers and people outside of the organization.
Then similarities stop and the differentiating factors come into play.