14 January 2017

Nissan turns to ethnographic research to inform the design of new models

Be the first to share

During the futurist panel at the 2017 Automotive News World Congress, Rachel Nguyen, executive director of Nissan’s Future Lab, said understanding what the consumer wants will help brands define their experience. One method Nissan utilizes: ethnographic studies of consumers.

“The more insight you have to a holistic view of that, the product in the vehicle becomes more tailored,” said Nguyen. “Not only in the interior, but packaging, wear and tear, how we think of that whole ownership experience.”

In the process of learning, though, carmakers and suppliers face significant hurdles.

“You kind of stumble into these potential roadblocks,” said Nguyen.

Sometimes issues can be day-to-day. For example, Nguyen highlighted state licensing regulations that make it difficult to put more than two individuals on a lease, a step to shared ownership in the future.

Peter Kosak, executive director of General Motors’ urban mobility programs, agreed, pointing out that these initial projects that many carmakers are doing are crucial to exciting the public about the future of transportation. In his view, regulators should be more accommodating.

“It’s important to learn, to demonstrate efficacy,” said Kosak.

The issues can involve addressing big questions, said Phil Eyler, president of Harman International’s connected-car division. In his role, Eyler not only thinks about interior software and system design but also how the car will communicate with infrastructure.

Be the first to share
3 February 2018
Anthropology in Industry w/ Natalie Hanson
Design and anthropology have been seen together with increasing frequency over the last few years, but how do design and anthropology fit together in relation to industry? And, how does this pairing create insight? The …
31 January 2018
Three-part series on the intersection of ethnography and design
The Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) published some months ago a three-part podcast series on the intersection of ethnography and design. The series, produced by Tariq Rahman and Katherine Sacco, was based on the conference “Ethnography …
18 January 2018
Proceedings and videos of EPIC 2017 conference now available
EPIC is the premier international gathering on ethnography in the business world. Its latest edition, EPIC2017, took place in Montreal in October 2017 and had the theme of "Perspectives": perspectives explores the vantage points that …
18 January 2018
[Book] Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere
Driverless Cars: On A Road to Nowhere Christian Wolmar London Publishing Partnership Jan 2018, 136 pages Driverless cars are the future. That is what the tech giants, the auto industry and even the government want us to think. Almost …
18 January 2018
Towards multi-dimensional ethnography
In this paper, Julia Katherine Haines, user experience researcher at Google, argues for the value of multi-dimensional ethnography. She explores the potential for ethnography to venture beyond sites, into different dimensions. As an example of …
3 January 2018
This Anthro Life podcasts on design anthropology
This Anthro Life is a round-table, open format discussion of an anthropological take on the people, objects, ideas, and possibilities of everyday life around the world. They are hosted by Adam Gamwell and Ryan Collins …
15 December 2017
The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines
It’s tempting to think of the mind as a layer that sits on top of more primitive cognitive structures. But Ben Medlock, co-founder of SwiftKey, argues that the layered model of cognition is wrong. The point …
15 December 2017
Learning from today’s car-centric cities for a human-centered future of mobility
The introduction of autonomy into urban environments creates a unique opportunity to do things differently. This, writes Maya Pindeus (CEO and co-Founder of Humanising Autonomy) requires us to encourage a human-centered perspective towards urban mobility …

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.

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

20 November 2017
Experientia and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo announce innovative partnership

Wide ranging partnership also covers collaboration with design schools and public events on service design “Finding the way forward for independent design means building new business models for service design consultancies in the age of the company buy-out.” Michele Visciola, President, Experientia PRESS RELEASE It seems the business world is finally realising that service and […]

26 October 2017
Epic storytelling with video

Another EPIC conference come and gone, and no, we’re not using “epic” in the way under-10s use it about cool things on the internet. EPIC is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, one of the most important annual events for practitioners of anthropology, ethnography and related disciplines. Ethnography is one of Experientia’s key methodologies, underpinning […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Service design intern

Service Design Intern: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, is looking for service design interns for our Turin, Italy office, to support research, concept development and design. The ideal candidate will be a holistic thinker and designer, with a systems approach to enable complex service offerings, driven by an understanding […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Senior Service Designer

Senior Service Designer: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy (*) We are looking for service designers with outstanding design skills, methodical thinking, and experience in designing complex service ecosystems using a human-centered design methodology.   Required 2-5 years’ experience in service design and/or user experience design University and/or advanced degree(s) in Service Design, Interaction Design, User […]

See all articles