Archive for September, 2010

September 29, 2010

Transcending a Product’s Encasing

Meet me at the Berlin Technical University of Art on the 12. October, 19:00 Uhr. Johannes Osterhoff invited me for the Dropshadow Talk. I am going to talk about – surprise, suprise – Experience Design.  See you there!

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September 27, 2010

Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie

Sarah Diefenbach hält am Mittwoch, den 29. September, 8:30 Uhr einen Vortrag zum Thema “Usability versus Schönheit. Was wiegt schwerer für Produktwahl und Erleben?” in  der Arbeitsgruppe “Mensch-Maschine Interaktion I: Usability und User Experience”.

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September 23, 2010

linked. What the hell are these boys doing?

Social exchange, intimacy and relatedness are a basic human need. Not surprisingly, there is a number of means to mediate relatedness over a distance, such as the telephone, Skype or Facebook. However, each of these imposes a particular way of communication, constrained by the employed technology rather than deliberately shaped by the designer. In line with an experience-driven approach to technology design, Matthias Laschke suggest linked. as a communication device for teenage boys. An ethnography-inspired study revealed that teenage boys tend to “squabble” to express and fulfill their need for relatedness and physicality. linked. draws upon this. It is a modular pillow-like device, enabling boys to squabble over a distance, thereby providing a means to experience relatedness in a novel, emotional, but socially appropriate way.

See the movie for an introduction to the concept:

Read more here.

September 23, 2010

Wahre Männer müssen raufen: Das Gestalten von technologievermittelten Verbundenheitserlebnissen

Laschke, M., Hassenzahl, M., and Mehnert, K. (2010). Wahre Männer müssen raufen: Das Gestalten von technologievermittelten Verbundenheitserlebnissen. i-com.Zeitschrift für interaktive und kooperative Medien, (2):59-63.

Wenn zwei Jungen sich raufen, bedeutet das nicht gleich, dass sie Streit haben oder sich nicht mögen. Häufig bedeutet es sogar genau das Gegenteil – “sich kabbeln” wird dann zum Ausdruck von Verbundenheit und Nähe. Die vorliegende Arbeit präsentiert ein Konzept zur technologischen Vermittlung des “Kabbelns” bei Jungen im Alter von 10-14. Am Beispiel dieser Fallstudie wird ein erlebnisorientierter Ansatz zur Gestaltung von Kommunikationstechnologien vorgestellt, bei dem zugrunde liegende menschlichen Bedürfnisse, entsprechende Gefühle und bedeutungsvolle Erlebnisse und nicht “Aufgaben” oder Technologie im Fokus stehen.

September 11, 2010

The Inference of Perceived Usability From Beauty

Hassenzahl, M. and Monk, A. (2010). The inference of perceived usability from beauty. Human-Computer Interaction, 25(3):235-260.

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September 9, 2010

Transformationale Produkte im Rahmenprogramm der ÖkoRausch [updt]

Am Samstag, den 18.(Korrektur)  September 2010, 16:00, stellt Matthias Laschke unsere Arbeiten zu Transformationalen Produkten auf der Ökorausch in Köln vor.

Natürliche Ressourcen sind begrenzt – der Umgang mit ihnen muss nachhaltig gestaltet werden. Bei der Gestaltung entsprechender ressourcenschonender Produkte werden dabei häufig Prozesse automatisiert und aktives menschliches Handeln damit ausgeschlossen. Transformationale Produkte dagegen haben das Ziel, menschliches Handeln zu beeinflussen, so dass der Mensch den bewussten Umgang mit Energie langfristig erlernt. Diese Produkte gilt es zu gestalten und ihre Wirkungsprinzipien zu erforschen.

September 7, 2010

Experience before products

For many in business, designing the experience before the product seems a weird thing to ask for. In the end, it is all about computers, mobile phones, game consoles, or washing machines – concrete products addressing concrete tasks. Yes, they should look and feel good, but, hey, working, talking, playing, washing is what people do and we provide products to do so. It is all about the product. This is at best “self-absorbed” as David Grzelak pointed out in his a brief opinion on Advertising Age. I would call it ignorant.

I am happening to be premium customer of O2. This is not because of my shocking turnover, but because of a muddled DSL order, which forced me to spend some considerable time talking to various people in various call centers. As premium customer, I am granted the privilege to apply for test driving new mobile phones. O2 organizes it as a raffle. The lucky winner gets the phone for four weeks or so and is then asked to give feedback for this privilege. This is what I would call self-absorbed. Hey, asking people to test without offering any compensation for the hassle is one thing, but framing it as a prize, a privilege is outrageous. For O2, it is all telephones and technology; for me life consists of a little more. As Grzelak emphasizes: People are not interested in the product itself, its detailed features and potential variations. And asking them about products might be futile.

They simply don’t want to talk about the product, the ingredients or what those ingredients did or didn’t do. However, after thousands of hours of research, I’ve learned what people don’t mind at all and never once resist or get tired of talking about is … themselves. Consumers are, after all, people. They engage with things and products that are interesting and meaningful to them. In order to get beyond the uninteresting and, oftentimes, undifferentiating focus on product features, marketers must position their brand not within a category, but within consumer culture.

I fully agree. In one of my recent industry-based projects on measuring the quality of interactive products, I tried to push the idea that we should rather measure the resulting experience in terms of needs fulfilled (see) than asking people to assess products. I got not more than a blank stare from the management, followed by being assured that it is much easier to talk about concrete features of a product than fuzzy human experiences and emotions. Maybe for a manager of a technology provider this holds true. For the rest of us, it don’t.

Let’s focus on the meaningful stories around product use. Let’s seek ways to deliberately design those, not only to pile up “practical” features. It is not about the product, but about how it impacts daily life through providing compelling and meaningful experiences.

September 6, 2010

A trip to Finnland

Last week I visited Media City at the Abo Akademi University in Vasa, Finland. On my way home, I took a little detour via Tampere and gave a lecture at the UCIT PUX 2010 summer school. I enjoyed it very much. (I hope the audience did so as well.) Thank you for the invitation.

I always intend to make a lot of  photographs, a nice little visual trip report, and usually end up with nothing to show. It happened again. Actually this is the only picture I made on my trip. I changed trains at Seinäjoki.

September 5, 2010

For Andrew Monk

More at Andrew’s place.