user-centric

Making sense of a census

Spotlight was created for the 2011 Australian Census - making the story all about you!

The campaign idea was simple - engage people by showing them how their Census data can influence decisions that will shape their community and the future of Australia.
 
The campaign will consist of TV, print and radio but at the heart of it is an interactive microsite which will bring your personal data to life. The goal was to make data feel tangible and relevant to everyone and thereby drive interest in Census.

(Source: Campaign brief)

(not another) kids au:maybe the house will never be as tidy as it was, and maybe they won’t get lazy sunday mornings for another 18 years, but sidney and geno have a family and they couldn’t be happier. 

Recently, at a CIO and IT SRummit in Mumbai, Rakesh Kumar, Research Vice President at Gartner said that analysts, “are seeing an acceleration of adoption of cloud computing and cloud services among enterprises, and an explosion of supply-side activity as technology providers maneuver to exploit the growing commercial opportunity. The potential benefits of cloud are a shift from ’capacity’ on demand to ‘capability’ on demand, a reduced cost of computing resources and a shift from technology use to ‘value’ consumption.”

THE "WHAT" OF USER EXPERIENCE

Most systems executed fail. Why are there so few ‘good’ systems? The answer, from my perspective, is simple. The teams creating them have little or no understanding of the end user.

This is the first of a three-part paper on the What, Why and How of user experience. It explains and positions user experience practice within the broader field and gives some insight into common terminology.

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Scandinavian

During the Christmas holiday I had the opportunity to visit Skandium in London. Skandium is a company founded by three Scandinavians whose aim is to bring the best of Scandinavian design to the UK. There are four shops in London which include a popup store in Selfridges. Unlike other design stores like Conran the specific focus of the shop lends it a real sense of honesty and passion for this style of design.

The kitchenware is the section that appeals to me the most as the Scandinavians sure know how to do it well. Their combination of natural and synthetic materials with a strong emphasis on functionality results not only in efficient products but also a beautiful aesthetic.

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Users don't know - you have to lead them.

The user is king. It’s a phrase that’s repeated over and over again as a mantra: Companies must become user-centric. But there’s a problem: It doesn’t work. Here’s the truth: Great brands lead users, not the other way around.

The Apple and IKEA way

Take Apple. One evening, well into the night, we asked some of our friends on the Apple design team about their view of user-centric design. Their answer? “It’s all bullshit and hot air created to sell consulting projects and to give insecure managers a false sense of security. At Apple, we don’t waste our time asking users, we build our brand through creating great products we believe people will love.” Another hyper-growth brand, IKEA, has the same belief. One of us had the privilege of working closely with IKEA’s global brand and design leaders; at IKEA the unspoken philosophy is: “We show people the way.” IKEA designers don’t use user studies or user insights to create their products. When I asked them why, they said “We tried and it didn’t work.” Of course, neither Apple nor IKEA will say this publicly since they are both extremely closed companies and would risk offending users (and the design community) by speaking out against user-centeredness. And since no one will speak up, the false value of the user-as-leader has spread.

Be a Visionary

If users can’t tell a company what to do, what should companies do instead? The best brands are all guided by a clear vision for the world, a unique set of values, and a culture that makes them truly unique and that no user insights could ever change. They define their own rules.The vision must come first. This could come from the client, designers, a team, an organization, or a design leader. It needs to be clear and applied consistently over the project.

Create an icon

The same goes for truly extraordinary products, the icons of the world. There are three types of iconic products and none of them are made through user-driven design.

Why it’s harmful to listen to the users

But can’t you create radical new products based on what the user wants? Why do the most innovative brands not care about what users want?

Users insights can’t predict future demand

The demand for something fundamentally new is completely unpredictable. Even the users themselves have no idea if they will like an entirely product before they start using it (and maybe, only after years of use). Demand for something new cannot be predicted. The world is driven forward by improbable, high-impact events, both negative and positive: September 11th, the subprime crisis, or the explosive rise of social media. These events completely changed the world and were difficult to predict—perhaps a few individuals saw a glimpse of the future, but the majority of people were totally unprepared. It’s the same with new products and brands—you can’t foresee what will be successful. This is a very scary thought for most business leaders, but the good news is that there are ways to deal with it. All creative industries are dependent on the constant launch of radically new products. And the music, movie, publishing, and fashion industries have tried to find stability in a sea of unpredictability by constantly putting out new products and seeing what sticks. They have learned to hire the best and the most creative people in the world (whether it’s directors, music producers, or authors), worked hard to launch a broad portfolio of products and to speed up the time it takes their products to reach the market.

User-centered processes stifles creativity

Could you imagine Steven Spielberg starting out new film projects with intense user studies and insights? Not really. There is a reason why Spielberg and all other profoundly creative people don’t work in a user-centered way. The user-centered process is created as linear rational process for innovation and that’s why it’s so popular among managers. But as studies of successful innovations and creativity shows, creating something new is a chaotic, unpredictable, frustrating, and very, very hard process. And most of all, it’s the result of extraordinary efforts and visions of a few extremely talented people. These creative people will feel limited and bored, not inspired, if they have to start out a creative process with a lot of user knowledge. Their inspiration comes from a multiple of sources and is highly individual. Creating a formula will always be in vain and won’t result in something really new.

User focus makes companies miss out on disruptive innovations

Focusing on users will lead companies to make incremental innovations that typically tend to make the products more expensive and complicated and ironically, in the long run, less competitive. Radical innovations typically gain traction in the margins of a market and the majority of customers (at least in the beginning) will dislike change. If a company bases their decisions on user studies, they will conclude that most radically new innovations are not rational to pursue. This often means that companies miss out on new growth markets that can end up eventually eliminating their business. The same logic applies to branding. A company will always go for very small incremental changes in their branding efforts if they base their decision on user input. In the short run, minor changes pleases their users. In the long run, it means the big brand will be run over by bolder, often smaller, and more innovative brands that redefine an industry.

User-led design leads to sameness

Even if user insights were useful, it isn’t a competitive advantage. Even the most advanced users studies are now widely available. Most companies have conducted these studies and they have had the same insights about their users as you have. Therefore, product strategies based on studies will tend to be similar to their competitors. The result is a sea of sameness. This isn’t a theoretical point—most industries are characterized by very similar products and brand positions, partially because companies have listened too much to their users. Branding is really about differentiation, about standing out. User centeredness leads to the opposite, similarity.

It’s time for brands to step up and trust themselves again. ***

Written by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen.

Your users are your brand's most important asset

Over the past year I have been involved in many different discussions and meetings with the purpose of determining a company’s or product’s customer. I quickly realized that there isn’t a simple answer that can be applied across the board. However, I sometimes like to propose a different question: Who is your brand’s most important asset? More often than not the answer is simple. The users.

How does this help?



If you are asking this question then you are missing something vital to your business’ success. Without users you have no advertisers and typically no content. This also usually means you have no revenue. Basically, you have no business.

Building for the user and thinking about pie





Keep this principle in mind as you build out your web service or product. With every decision you make ask yourself “Is this good for the user? Why?”. User-centric design is indeed on the rise but you’d be surprised how many UX and product designers are still slaves to aesthetics. Looks are nice but they are not everything. If your web app was a pie, aesthetics would be a single slice while user experience would be half the pie.

Conclusion



We truly are entering an era where the user is king. Customer service, customer interaction and user experience are becoming increasingly important in our society. This is because users, at their core, are the primary link to revenue. Users are the ones who add true value to your platform, product or service. Without them you don’t even have a business.

I also want to note that I realize this principle doesn’t apply to all products everywhere but most modern services and products would truly benefit from this user-centric mentality. So what do you think? Is the user really that important or are there other factors? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
youtube

‪Meaningful Play: Getting Gamification Right‬
Google Tech Talk Presented by Sebastian Deterding

Really good simple insight into gamification - great presentation.

Pinterest boards!

So I’ve all but stopped using Tumblr as an inspiration dump (more on this later). Pinterest is just a better organizing tool, with better reference collections, with way more artist-centric users. If you’re using Chrome, it’s insanely easy to reverse-search the images for their source or for images of a similar niche. It’s helped me find more obscure references that would otherwise be filtered to the bottom of a simple Google search. It’s awesome.

My main pinterest is here: http://www.pinterest.com/paracoma/

The boards I update most frequently:

http://www.pinterest.com/paracoma/study-dump/ — Master studies!

http://www.pinterest.com/paracoma/ugly-animals/ — Weird animals for later study/research.

http://www.pinterest.com/paracoma/master-drawings/ — Master drawings!

http://www.pinterest.com/paracoma/illustration-composition/ — Composition reference, comp study resource (I’ll be posting some of these today)


My sense is — and I’m only speaking for myself, of course — is that Google is wonderfully and enormously user-centrically concerned about overly broad “requests” by the government for user data. And across the board, the government will not get the “nod and wink” non-warrant cooperation that they’ve perhaps gotten used to when dealing with Big Telecom and the like. Again, just my personal opinion.

https://plus.google.com/117024231055768477646/posts/WzVv1kG7VeB

Latest blogs for ZDNet: How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015

Latest blogs for ZDNet

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How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015
http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-digital-collaboration-will-evolve-in-2015/
Jan 25th 2015, 19:53

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Providing a usable digital workplace today increasingly means giving access to a wider set of collaboration tools as part of an open adoption approach that’s is more dynamic, user-centric, and strategic.

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How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015 | ZDNet

Providing a usable digital workplace today increasingly means giving access to a wider set of collaboration tools as part of an open adoption approach that’s is more dynamic, user-centric, and strategic. http://dlvr.it/8F5MYP

How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015

Providing a usable digital workplace today increasingly means giving access to a wider set of collaboration tools as part of an open adoption approach that’s is more dynamic, user-centric, and strategic. http://q.gs/7z2nM

Latest articles for ZDNet: How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015

Latest articles for ZDNet

Latest articles for ZDNet

How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015
http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-digital-collaboration-will-evolve-in-2015/
Jan 25th 2015, 19:53

Providing a usable digital workplace today increasingly means giving access to a wider set of collaboration tools as part of an open adoption strategy that’s is more dynamic and user-centric.

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this feed at https://blogtrottr.com

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How digital collaboration will evolve in 2015

Providing a usable digital workplace today increasingly means giving access to a wider set of collaboration tools as part of an open adoption strategy that’s is more dynamic and user-centric. http://q.gs/7z1X2

ZS Associates: Business Process Consultant (Business Solution Consultant/Systems Cons

50000.00 – 80000.00 GBP Annual:

ZS Associates:
Business Process Consultant (Business Solution Consultant/Systems Consultant/Technology Consultant) Bridge business and technical teams by being fluent in the language of consulting (business drivers, process), design (user–centric experience design
London

Source:: ZS Associates: Business Process Consultant (Business Solution Consultant/Systems Cons

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