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Examples of path dependence and where it might lead for smartphones

50 Things That Made The Modern Economy is a BBC World Service podcast.  In short snippets of 9 minutes, Tim Harford, the FT journalist, discusses innovations that have played a crucial role in shaping the world today.

The Haber-Bosch process, for example, responsible for thousands of deaths in the First World War, is fundamental to sustaining human life and population growth. It is the magic that results in fertilisers, without which there would be insufficient food for the world.

I…

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How to choose scalable customer experience metrics

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How to choose scalable customer experience metrics

Part of a new MEX series highlighting compelling case studies which catch our eye. Follow @mexfeed or by signing-up for the weekly email newsletter.

Our case study of the week is this long-form article from Ericsson’s research team, offering a blueprint for scaling customer experience measurement to massive networks while retaining individual-level detail.

This is a macro challenge in the world of experience design, as large companies struggle to balance the depth of insight from small …

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Sennep’s playful exploration of digital design materials

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Sennep’s playful exploration of digital design materials

Part of a new MEX series highlighting compelling case studies which catch our eye.  Follow @mexfeed or by signing-up for the weekly email newsletter.

Seeds is where design agency Sennep experiments with digital materials, from animated typography to playful exercises in motion graphics.  They’re beautiful and engaging, as well as providing insight into the creative team’s thinking.

Each Seed is available for publication exploration. In some, there is a direct and obvious link with subse…

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Design Talk 27. Alex Genov, Head of UX Research, Zappos

Alex Genov, head of UX Research at Zappos, talks to Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, about designing retail experiences, understanding users as people and emerging user research methods.  The conversation covers Genov’s early interest in experimental social psychology and expands into a discussion of how he has applied his knowledge in both financial services and retailers.  Genov and Pawlowski also talk about Zappos’ core commitment to customer service and how its adoption of the holocracy o…

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£3m to fund early stage design innovation

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£3m to fund early stage design innovation

Design Foundations is a funding programme offering £3m to support early stage investment in design. Announced at a London event on 17th January 2017, it is the first Innovate UK funding of its kind with an explicitly horizontal remit, intended to help a broad range of sectors achieve new business outcomes through explorative design approaches.

Highlights

  • !–block–£1m available in the first round, registration closes 15th February 2017
  • !–block–Individual grants of between £20,000…
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User story: all change on the train

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User story: all change on the train

It’s a grey, chilly morning the week before Christmas.

I’m walking through the ticket barriers to board the London train at my end-of-the-line station in Norfolk. I’m pressed for time because, once again, I had to help an elderly passenger who had fallen victim to the unfathomable interface of the car park machine. Festive cheer is running low.

“Good morning, sir,” said the ticket attendant. “And Merry Christmas.” He smiled and handed me a small box of chocolates, decorated with toy tra…

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New digital opportunities in the macro view

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New digital opportunities in the macro view

In tech, it is always tempting to focus on the micro, but we forget the influence of the macro at our peril.  For instance, while countless words continue to be written on reassuringly easy subjects like iOS versus Android, less time is dedicated to understanding which innovations have the potential to alter long-term behaviour and categories of spending.

This led me to choose the chart above for my Friday inspiration, showing how Americans have been spending their money for the last 75 ye…

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Most popular design podcasts of 2016

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Most popular design podcasts of 2016

When Alex, Patrizia and I launched the MEX podcast in February 2016, we begun with a notion: an ongoing conversation with our diverse community about how to design better digital experiences.  However, we could not have anticipated it would lead to such a wealth of interesting guests, themes and explorations.

In 11 months we have:

  1. Published 25 episodes and over 27 hours of design discussion to listeners in 66 countries
  2. Interviewed 18 pioneering design thinkers with a broad range of…
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Design Talk 25. UX Review 2016

Patrizia Bertini, Alex Guest and Marek Pawlowski pick their most memorable digital – and non-digital – user experiences from 2016.  With examples ranging from virtual reality and conversational interfaces to home baking and biodegradable thank you cards, the MEX team try to unpack what makes for an extraordinary UX.  The conversation turns to the year ahead and the hosts’ hopes for skills and technologies to improve digital design in 2017.  Patrizia leaves listeners with a challenge: to send …

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Summary from MEX/16: new skills for a changing world of experience design

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Summary from MEX/16: new skills for a changing world of experience design

This much was clear from MEX/16: we must prepare for a future quite different from today’s world of smartphone primacy.

Emerging technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and multi-sensory interfaces are changing the skills required for good user-centred design. The impact will be felt throughout, from organisational strategy to the crafts of interaction design and user research.

Although the agenda for the 16th international MEX in London had been designed in advanc…

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