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Opinions, ideas and new thinking

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Spectacles as a gateway to novel visual conversations

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Spectacles as a gateway to novel visual conversations

Who would pay $130 to adorn their face with plastic spectacles of questionable aesthetic merit, capable of recording a mere ten second burst of video? You could be forgiven for dismissing Snap’s Spectacles as a symptom of an over-funded and over-hyped start-up culture.

However, they possess a characteristic which merits further investigation: charm.

Since news of Spectacles surfaced there has been a natural tendency to compare them with Google Glass. They…

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Intro to user research in 4 videos: better interviews to generative techniques

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Intro to user research in 4 videos: better interviews to generative techniques

Rory Southworth’s video series of 4 ‘lightening’ sessions on user research starts with the basics of how user insights drive better design decisions and goes on to explain a range of techniques for delving deeper into user motivations.

Each of the 4 sessions is supported by case study examples of user research applied in context and a selection of the frameworks Rory has found useful in his work.

Read more about Rory Southworth on his LinkedIn profile.  The sessions were recorded at MEX…

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Designing mobile devices at the intersection of creativity & consumption

The stories behind why novel product categories are introduced are often more important than the first product in the new line-up.  In the 20 years I’ve been writing about technology, I’ve seen plenty of good new products arrive, only to disappear – unsupported – after just 1 or 2 release cycles.  Nokia’s Lumia 2520 and Windows RT, anyone?

Reading between the lines of Lenovo’s September 2016 Yoga Book launch, however, there is an i…

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Experimenting with audio in digital experience design

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Experimenting with audio in digital experience design

This is the story of a MEX experiment in audio design, where we blindfolded 100 conference participants and played them three original compositions – each a minute in length – by Peter ‘pdx’ Drescher.

Participants were allowed to briefly remove their blindfolds between each composition to write or sketch their instant reaction.

It was part of a larger (and ongoing) effort – MEX Pathway #9 – to encourage digital designers to strive beyond purely visual interactions and tap into additiona…

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User story: the selfie and the daisies

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User story: the selfie and the daisies

It was her stillness which caught my attention. She sat on the grass with an almost statue-like absence of motion. Slowly she raised an expensive, complicated digital camera until it was positioned in front of her face, the colour display angled towards her. She was staring not just at the lens but at the mirrored image of herself on the digital screen.

She’d taken daisies from the lawn and woven them into her dark hair, studding it with little bursts of white. She looked into the camera, …

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Design Talk 12. Virtual, augmented & mixed reality; Greg Taylor, General Manager of Tigerspike Next

What will the experience feel like for the first users of virtual, augmented and mixed reality? How might designers prepare for this new, multi-dimensional digital canvas?  Hosts Marek Pawlowski and Alex Guest discuss with Greg Taylor, General Manager of Tigerspike Next in London, a pioneering digital agency. Greg has been thinking about ways of breaking outside the traditional form factor of digital screens for many years, including a prescient talk at MEX in 2010, entitled ‘Screen today, go…

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Design principles for creating trust in digital UX

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Design principles for creating trust in digital UX

Transposing the intangible and very human notion of trust into the rigid world of digital products presents an especially difficult challenge for experience designers.  In an environment constructed of absolute building blocks – 1s and 0s – how might we reflect the subtle sliding scale most humans apply to the concept of trust in the physical world?

 

Rich Clayton facilitated a design challenge at MEX/14 to explore this question and produce a set of principles guiding the industry’s appro…

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User experience principles for proximity

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User experience principles for proximity

Can technology draw us closer to our physical environment? The rollout of ‘tap to pay’, the growth of beacons and embedded digital intelligence (IoT) challenges everyone, from automotive manufacturers to retailers, to consider the user experience of interacting with smart physical objects.

One of the design challenges at MEX/15, facilitated by Alex Guest, asked a team to investigate and define the principles of proximity interactions. The challenge was deliberately broad, but grounded in …

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Announcing MEX Design Talk, the podcast about UX

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Announcing MEX Design Talk, the podcast about UX

I’m delighted to announce Design Talk, the podcast for the MEX community.

Co-hosted by Alex Guest and me, Marek Pawlowski, it’s a fortnightly audio programme exploring the intersection of emerging technologies, user behaviour and great digital experiences. In episode 1:

  • We discuss design implications of bringing digital intelligence to our physical surroundings.
  • An in-depth interview with Patrizia Bertini, Wipro Digital’s user research director and Lego Serious Play facilitator.
  • A …
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Thoughts on the UK’s Digital Strategy

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Thoughts on the UK’s Digital Strategy

Ed Vaizey, the UK’s digital economy minister, has asked for input on the government’s digital strategy by 19th January 2016. Following a dinner discussion in London with various interested parties, convened by Nico Macdonald under the auspices of ‘BIG POTATOES: The London Manifesto for Innovation’, I’m contributing the following thoughts and 7 recommendations. Please note that while the impetus was UK-centric, the gathering’s outlook was rather broader and may also interest those in the int…

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