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Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation,
by international UX consultancy Experientia.
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Emerging markets

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016

This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of ethnography to create transformative innovation, growth and strategic success for companies, industries and communities. On the second day of […]

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

5 March 2016

How the World Bank is ‘nudging’ attitudes to health and hygiene

Many of the problems governments and NGOs in developing countries are trying to fix are at least partly behavioural. This is where nudge theory comes in. It is about using insights from behavioural science to identify reasons why people make bad choices, such as smoking or failing to pay taxes on time, and then testing […]

1 January 2016

Uday Dandavate: “stupidity wrapped in ignorance” underlies Facebook’s Free Basics program

Uday Dandavate, co-founder and CEO of design research company SonicRim, is appalled about Facebook pushing its Free Basics program in India, which he think is driven by “an attitude that represents stupidity wrapped in ignorance”. He just posted this reflection on the newsgroup “anthrodesign“, which I republish here with his permission: I just returned from […]

18 July 2015

LSE anthropologist: microcredit only adds to poverty

Far from being a panacea, small loans add to poverty and undermine people by saddling them with unsustainable debt, argues anthropologist Dr. Jason Hickel of the London School of Economics: What’s so fascinating about the microfinance craze is that it persists in the face of one unfortunate fact: microfinance doesn’t work. Of course, there are […]

16 April 2015

Putting technology in its place

Kentaro Toyama is a former Microsoft Research Executive and now an associate professor at the University of Michigan. Toyama calls himself “a recovering technoholic”—someone who once was “addicted to a technological way of solving problems.” Five years in India changed him. After getting his PhD in computer science and working on machine vision technologies at […]

3 April 2015

Design prototypes for Nairobi, Kenya

In 2014, Ericsson and UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) entered a three-year partnership with the intention to collaborate around Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and sustainable urbanization. One of the first explorations was driven by the Ericsson User Experience Lab in collaboration with their colleagues at Sustainability Research and UN-Habitat. The intention and scope […]

23 March 2015

Design fiction personas illustrate possible impact of educational tech

People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but most of us get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues as we are endlessly dissatisfied with how little difference these promises make to the people implicated in these futures. These […]

16 December 2014

World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more accurate understanding of human behavior can make it easier to tackle such difficult development challenges as increasing productivity, breaking the cycle […]

8 November 2014

Society’s sandbox

Steve Daniels, director at Makeshift magazine, explains why informal economies are the world’s biggest — and most overlooked — design research opportunity. “Informal economies are society’s sandbox, where early experimentation can take place freely. In the same way that thoughtless acts inspire us to rethink products and services, the way people conduct everyday business outside traditional legal frameworks forces […]

1 November 2014

The challenge of connecting the unconnected

Every time we return to or sign up for an Internet service (e.g. Facebook, Google, Gmail, YouTube, etc.), writes Hassan Baig on TechCrunch, we rely on what UX experts call a “mental model” for navigating through the choices. “A mental model is essentially a person’s intuition of how something works based on past knowledge, similar […]

30 September 2014

Using HCD to make mobile money relevant

Earlier in 2014, two consecutive Mondato Insights examined the role of Human Centered Design (HCD) in enhancing the user experience and closing the gap between registered and active users of Mobile Money. In the six months since then, reports Mondato, the value of the HCD approach in creating MFS (Mobile Financial Services) products that meet […]

22 July 2014

Call to bring refugee-led innovation into humanitarian work

The humanitarian sector must lift barriers to user-led innovation by refugee communities if it is to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, says a new report, Humanitarian Innovation: The State of the Art, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and presented at the Humanitarian Innovation Conference at the […]

18 July 2014

Financial consumer protection: 5 lessons from behavioral research

In its new Focus Note, Applying Behavioral Insights in Consumer Protection Policy, CGAP (a unit affiliated with the Worldbank) presents a summary of the growing evidence from consumer and behavioral research for consumer protection policy on four topics—disclosure and transparency; complaints handling and recourse; debt stress; and fair treatment. These new research methods provide deeper […]

30 March 2014

Behavioral approaches to product innovation at the Base of the Pyramid

Alexandra Fiorillo, Principal of GRID Impact, writes that if we want to achieve full financial inclusion, we cannot simply offer more financial products and services to more people and hope they need, want, like, and use them. Instead, she writes, we should spend the necessary resources to ensure our products and services work for clients […]

24 March 2014

Crowdfunding for design: ITC-ILO campaign for training and facilitation card set

Are you a trainer? Do you facilitate meetings? The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO, a specialised, not-for-profit UN agency and an Experientia client) is currently experimenting with crowdfunding to finance a set of 60 cards featuring participatory knowledge sharing methods. The cards are a handy tool to help workshop facilitators and […]

15 January 2014

[Paper] Designing customer-centric branchless banking offerings

Designing Customer-Centric Branchless Banking Offerings Claudia McKay, Yanina Seltzer The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) 20 December 2013 pdf, iBook, Kindle Branchless banking services have taken on a significant challenge: developing new channels through which to provide financial services to customers who have mostly used only cash before. Understanding the customer experience is […]

23 December 2013

Ethnographic research: Facebook is basically dead and buried with UK teenagers

As part of a European Union-funded study on social media (make sure to check also the UCL site and blog on the same project), the Department of Anthropology at University College London is running nine simultaneous 15-month ethnographic studies in seven countries (small towns in Brazil, China (2), India, Italy, Trinidad, Turkey and the UK). […]

27 November 2013

Melinda Gates on the power of human-centered design

Interesting quote from a Wired interview with Melinda Gates and Paul Farmer: WIRED: What innovation do you think is changing the most lives in the developing world? MELINDA GATES: Human-centered design. Meeting people where they are and really taking their needs and feedback into account. When you let people participate in the design process, you […]

9 November 2013

Ubiquitous across globe, cellphones have become tool for doing good

With 96 percent of the world connected, organizations are using mobile phones to deliver, via texts, water, energy, financial services, health care, even education. “The number of such initiatives seems likely to increase. “The development community is eager to learn more about how to use mobiles effectively,” said Nick Martin, a founder of Tech Change, […]

22 October 2013

How teachers in Africa are failed by mobile learning

Only projects that work with existing education systems will improve learning and cut poverty, says Niall Winters of the London Knowledge Lab at the University of London, and he argues for a user-centred approach (rather than a technology-centric one) that is focused on understanding teachers’ practice, co-designing interventions with them and providing them with training […]

18 October 2013

What behavioral economics is not

Essay: The Nature of the BEast: What Behavioral Economics Is Not 10/16/13 Matthew Darling, Saugato Datta, and Sendhil Mullainathan People are complex; they defy easy summary. Like Walt Whitman, we all contain multitudes. As a discipline, economics has been successful in part because it has ignored this complexity. Instead it has focused on explaining the […]

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