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Understanding why the $17,000 Apple Watch is small fry

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Understanding why the $17,000 Apple Watch is small fry

Mainstream media, understandably, has made much of the notion some customers may choose to spend $17,000 on an Apple Watch. However, this is a market which already exists – very profitably – for luxury goods companies. Indeed, there are customers for whom even the highest priced Apple Watch would represent a fraction of what they’re prepared to spend on a timepiece.

The photo above was taken in Harrods, the London department store known for its luxury goods, in March 2015. At the time o…

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Introduction to the 15th international MEX

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Introduction to the 15th international MEX

MEX has entered its 10th year as an initiative and today sees the 15th edition of the event convened in London. User-centred design, however, teaches us to be wary of numbers without context – and rightly so. Why then do these otherwise arbitrary data points feel like significant milestones?

The early days were concerned in no small part with raising awareness. In 2005, the notion of digital products which prioritised user experience over technical advances was novel. Back then the MEX co…

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The feel of paper, the convenience of bytes

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The feel of paper, the convenience of bytes

I buy one newspaper a week, the Weekend FT. I suppose it is partly because I enjoy walking to the shop to buy it on a Saturday morning and partly because I like the feel of turning the improbably large pages at the breakfast table. It is an illogical and impractical habit, but I don’t plan on changing it any time soon. In fact, for someone like me who reads almost everything else in digital form, the paper medium is one of the big attractions: it marks this activity out as something differ…

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Microsoft’s multi-touchpoint machine starts to move

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Microsoft’s multi-touchpoint machine starts to move

Theoretically, of course, Microsoft should be well placed to embrace and lead the next generation of multi-touchpoint digital experiences. It has always had interests in a broad range of computing platforms, from its heartland of the PC to the Xbox games console.

However, time and again it has failed to capitalise on this breadth, struggling to find a unifying vision for these individual fiefdoms.

At last there are signs of change and they have become more frequent and significant sin…

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Showing users how they shaped an outcome

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Showing users how they shaped an outcome

I opened up Google Drive this morning and there it was: a little pop-up telling me the ‘Incoming’ menu item had been changed to ‘Shared with me’. ‘Incoming’ had been a minor irritation for me personally, and I know of several others who have experienced varying degrees of confusion over this since Google introduced the concept. I found myself pleased to see the change, and all the more so because Google had taken the time to tell me it had been changed based on user feedback: ‘You spoke, we…

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The demise of smarter rectangles

When a man like Sundar Pichai, responsible for the platform powering the majority of the world’s mobile devices, speaks up, one does well to take note. Android is understood today in the context of how well it performs on the little slabs of plastic, metal and glass we call smartphones and tablets. It is easy to mistake these devices, Android and otherwise, as an industry in themselves – the ‘mobile industry’ which will gather for its annual jamboree in Barcelona next week.

However, in hi…

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Video: Arun Vasudeva’s #mexsession on building multiple experiences within content consumption

As media evolves into a changing, dynamic entity accessed from numerous different touchpoints, the challenges of experience design multiply. Arun Vasudeva’s session draws on his experimental work with one of the world’s largest publishers to combine media formats, and push beyond to create wholly new digital experiences where users can shift between modes of behaviour – from communicating to exploring – while remaining within the same overall content consumption …

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Video: Giles Colborne’s #mexsession on illusions of efficiency in UX

Giles Colborne’s March 2014 talk at MEX challenges preconceived notions about time and efficiency. Drawing on years of experience leading cx partners, the UX agency he founded, Giles’ explores a broad and compelling array of references to show how users think about speed and latency. He goes on to explain the advantages of different methods for tracking these often illogical user reactions and turning them into delightful customer experiences, grounded in the r…

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Video: Rich Clayton’s #mexsession on UX at the intersection of physical & digital

When Rich Clayton took on the role of Creative Director at Loaded Magazine, it was a publication adrift – in need of both a new content direction to reflect the evolving tastes of its community and a new delivery experience to reflect the multi-touchpoint way in which readers now consume across physical and digital channels. In this 30 minute video recorded at MEX in March 2014, Clayton shares how his background in user-centred design helped chart a new course f…

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Living with a Moto 360 smartwatch and thoughts on a wearable future

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Living with a Moto 360 smartwatch and thoughts on a wearable future

I first wrote about the Moto 360 in December 2014. Suffice to say I was not impressed:

“The Moto 360 looked very different in real life to the media I’ve seen online. Without any attempt to show it in context, or market it as a luxury item, seeing it in a shop felt like a disappointment. My gut feeling is that these need to be sold like watches and jewellery, not consumer electronics.”

However, I decided the only way to really understand the user experience was to live with a Mo…

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