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User story: sisters, airports & bear phones

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User story: sisters, airports & bear phones

Whatever they were doing, it was causing a lot of excitement. The younger sister launched herself forward from one of the long metal bench seats lining the airport waiting area. Her phone, an iPhone 4S, was held in front of her face like a viewfinder. She bounded across the five foot gap to where her older sister sat on the opposite bench, both hands gripped tightly around her chunky blue plastic phone case, shaped like a teddy bear, complete with protruding ears.

The older girl also h…

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Challenge a Brunel student for a new design perspective

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Challenge a Brunel student for a new design perspective

If you’re looking for an injection of fresh ideas and human-centred innovation, Brunel University runs a highly regarded scheme for companies to tap into the skills of its design and engineering students. Companies submit their briefs, which are then matched to a student who works on solving the challenge as part of their final year at university.

If you’d like to submit a brief, now is the time to talk to Brunel’s Designplus team and find out more about the process.

Having engaged in …

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User story: Hello Grandma!

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User story: Hello Grandma!

The waterside has a magnetic draw. It pulls people down to the quay: young and old, tourists and locals alike. By 7am on a warm Saturday morning in July you will already encounter a diverse cast of characters. There are the dog walkers, of course, offering a quick ‘good morning’, and children on holiday, eager to try their hand at crabbing before breakfast and shrieking with a mixture of terror and delight as they pull clawed sea monsters from the shallow water.

They are joined by retir…

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Video: Louisa Heinrich’s #mexsession discusses the etiquette of robot UX

As digital machines gain greater autonomy, Louisa Heinrich (@customdeluxe | louisaheinrich.com) talks about our expectations of this coming generation of entities which will bridge the physical and digital worlds, blurring the definitions of ‘robot’, ‘drone’ and ‘appliance’. Louisa goes on to discuss how our interaction expectations are formed and how we might avoid the looming ‘domestic wars’, when contextually aware machines countermand each others’ instructions as they seek to fulfill thei…

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User story: the shattered image

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User story: the shattered image

“Oh yeah, that went a long time ago,” the dad said when I asked him about the spider’s web of cracks spreading out from the corner of the iPad’s screen. He seemed resigned to the fate of the expensive tablet, as if its demise had been inevitable in the family environment.

His daughter, holding the iPad in both hands seemed unfazed by the weird patterns and reflections caused by the shattered glass. She carried on jabbing at the screen with alternating finger tips on each hand, playing a …

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Video: Demangeat & Gilleland’s #mexsession on thinking with things

The opening session of MEX in March 2015 saw participants arriving to a conference room unexpectedly devoid of the usual chairs, screens and speakers. Instead, Think with Things (@thinkwthings | thinkwiththings.co.uk) – led by Isobel Demangeat & Julie Anne Gilleland – had laid out thousands of individual objects which could be used to solve a number of challenges related to key themes of the MEX event. After nearly an hour of frenetic activity, with participants collaborating to use the obje…

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Reference library for digital user experience

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Reference library for digital user experience

An evolving list of free resources with data and insights describing digital user experience. Latest entries at the top of the page. To contribute, please add a comment to this post containing the link, report title, author, a quote and a single sentence summary.

Curious Rituals: Gestural Interaction in the Digital Everyday (PDF)
Nicolas Nova, Katherine Miyake, Walton Chiu, Nancy Kwon

“The iPad Photographer: The iPad is held in both hands a little awkwardly and at arm’s length un…

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Video: Kajsa Sundeson & Samir Fors’ #mexsession on designing interfaces for the body

Kajsa Sundeson & Samir Fors of Ocean Observations (@ocean_sthlm | oceanobservations.com) ask whether the digital interfaces such as the fitness trackers available circa March 2015 are really helping to improve health. For instance, does monitoring how much someone sleeps create a meaningful difference unless they can be presented with results in the context of their other activities? They go on to look at ways in which data are currently presented and suggest a series of design principles to …

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User story: the daughters, Minecraft and aeroplane mode

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User story: the daughters, Minecraft and aeroplane mode

British children are enjoying their half-term holiday this week. Without the school run, the roads are quieter in the mornings. The trains from my station on the Norfolk coast, however, are busier with families heading to London and Cambridge for day trips.

The mother was sitting on her own. Her daughters – 7 and 10, I’d guess – occupied the pair across the aisle. Mum wore sunglasses perched on her head and a neckerchief fastened at her collar. Standard uniform for a well-heeled lady from …

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Experimenting with Microsoft Hyperlapse

Brief thoughts on the user experience of Microsoft Hyperlapse:

While Hyperlapse corrects motion through a combination of image processing and hiding imperfections through speed, it does not solve the issue of camera positioning. My first experiment was to record a short bike ride and this proved challenging simply to get the camera (in my case a Samsung Galaxy Note 4) mounted in a usable way. I resorted to placing it in a waterproof case on a neck lanyard, b…

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