Each week Mark brings us the latest UX news from around the world wide web. This week his focus was on cultural contexts and the Internet of Things.
Culture and context
We at Experientia often argue that UX design goes far beyond the interaction between people and a device or service, and that user-centred design cannot do without an understanding of culture and context. This week’s updates delve into the matter more:
- In response to questions from Amy Knox on the difference between US and European user experience, Søren Muus (creative director at FatDUX and co-initiator of the European Centre for User Experience) recently posted on the mail list of the Information Architecture Institute some interesting ideas on the matter.
- A contingent of Stanford University d.school students recently returned from Kenya, where they spent two weeks working with Nokia Research Africa, and the University of Nairobi, developing health-related mobile applications.
- “Creativity, Cost-Cutting & Keeping it Simple: what the Developing World can teach us about Technology” is the long title of a short feature story by Anna Leach on Shiny Shiny, a gadget blog.
- The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have jointly published the report entitled “Innovative ways of appropriating mobile telephony in Africa“, describing how development is happening “from the bottom up” and an entire economy, both formal and informal in nature, has come into being to meet people’s needs.
Internet of Things
The other main topic coming up this week was the Internet of Things, where the issues of debate now increasingly centre on mobile integration, human involvement and buy-in, and information visualisation:
- Hunter Whitney concentrated on the importance of information visualisation in his article on public health for UX Magazine;
- Boston University‘s participation in the $2 million Smart Neighborhood project to make a Boston neighborhood more energy efficient focuses on ways to get people on board and participate in what they hope will be a “living laboratory”; and
- The Internet of Things was also a hot topic during the Device Design Day that Kicker Studio organised on 20 August in San Francisco. Make sure to check out the videos of the talks by Mike Kuniavsky (“Information as a material”) and Julian Bleecker (“Design fiction goes from props to prototypes”).