Showing posts from 2014

I'm an architect ...

I'm an UX designer. I don't design UIs. I design touch points where people feel good. I don't start a project by sitting down in a quiet office. I sit in the busiest place where I can watch and meet the users. I watch the people. Hear the stories. Smell the scents. Feel the light. I sit there and wait until I understood the needs and aims. Until it nudges me and says, "This is how we'll do it. Exactly like this." I'm an architect, a designer, ... I don't design UIs and push pixel. I design for and with people I design touch points where people feel good.
Inspiration is found wherever you look for it.

As I saw the video for the first time - And I thought that's the way I ever worked and I am still working.

It make no difference whether I worked as an Architect or city and urban planner after my study or later as information architect and now as UX designer.

It's all about understanding the needs, make it simple, easy to get into, c…

Catching somebody's eye and attention - Flight Safety Video - part 2

Each airline is trying hard to make sure it’s customers watch the air safety video - in Germany once a steward was fired because he tried to make it 'better'.

 About one year ago I already wrote about the topic how to catch somebody's attention.

Just three months after pulling a controversial in-flight safety video showing scantly clad Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models blowing into their airline life vests, ...

... Air New Zealand has released another great in-flight safety video featuring the star-studded cast of “Lord of the Rings.”

I would say an "epic" production crammed with marauding Orcs, Elves, Hobbits, Wizards and cameos from Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson.

Air New Zealand and a few other airline understood why and how to think outside the box when it comes to safety videos.

This time Air New Zealand's safety video features several castmembers from Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, including Elijah Wood, Dean O'Gorman and Sylvester McCoy.

Please c…

3 Highlights from the UX Day in Mannheim 2014

If I were British, I might sum up the UX Day on October 23, 2014 in Mannheim by saying it was partly quite good and partly very interesting (see

The event was a double-track conference, so therefore all attendees didn’t share the same conference experience. I can only speak and write from my experience.

The day kicked off at 9:30am and closed at about 6:00pm. Christian Reschke’s welcome and opening remarks and closing comments bookended the day. Three breaks, one in the morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks gave attendees opportunities to network. During my lunch I had the luck to meet a few nice conference members who are working as UX designers at Hornbach, a home improvement chain.

This one-day conference included a choice of over 20 presentations as well as 3 workshops.

It was announced that the conference attendees can learn about best practices for user-centered product development, usability research, and real-world case studies about websi…

Will this be Amazon's Miracle on 34th Street? - Amazon is going to open its first brick-and-mortar store

To be honest for me it's a surprise move of Amazon - the one who critically endangered so many local stores and businesses by its aggressive online business behavior and strategy.

But as I said before e-commerce is and will not killing brick-and-mortar - but it will change the whole understanding and it will be an ongoing process of change. Consumers still, and always will, want a shopping experience where they can touch, feel and play with products before they purchase – particularly when it come to things like fashion - tactile perception and wearing comfort. And we should not forget that even online has changed and increased the experience and expectation of shoppers, research shows again and again that the customers still love the convenience and services that come with shopping items in-person. And the vendors should never forget, giving customers a great in store shopping experience and service and even it's just a pick-up service and the local vendor and the local sa…

Converting the online experience into offline

'Yesterday' we tried to transform brick-and-mortar store experience to the online stores – Today we have to converting the online experience into offline.

Accenture’s 2014 seamless retail survey shows an interesting trend in retail in the US. And I am sure it’s not different to other countries. As I often said before the in-store consumer experience cannot be overlooked. Consumers aim to buy more from brick-and-mortar shops but they expect having the accustomed in-store shopping experience to match convenience of online.

More consumers are looking to take advantage of seamless retail services – omni retail experience – brand experience – no matter where and how whether online or in a local store.
Nearly 90% of consumers would travel to a store or buy online if retailers would offer real-time stock information. The ability to check product availability online before traveling to a …

Make good time in the checkout line - Online Payment

Your customers impatiently hopping from one foot to the other in your checkout line – another reason why retailers have to go mobile now.

Time is money, a phrase used by Benjamin Franklin – this is particularly true and valid for waiting customers in your local store. You cannot control what happens in the till queue while a customer is waiting - when is the till queue too long? What will the customer do - leave your store and visit the next but one – perhaps visiting your competitor perhaps.

Picture from the video -  The Future of Payments -- A Story from PayPal -

I still hear a few people shouting: ‘It’s still very early days for mobile payments!’ YES and NO - the generation Y is convinced that it is a lot easier to pay for things using their phones instead of pulling out a payment card or even cash. And so do I and I am a very early one of the generation X.

Several years ago we have been promised the ability to make payments anywhere …

Innovative technology to optimize sports - for fans and athlets

The world of sports is changing, with technology innovating every part and area of the fan and athlete, whether the athlete has two or four legs.

These innovations will change and increase the …
… Fun and experience of each fan and athletes

But most of all also the …

Athletes’ performanceAthletes’ monitoringTeam managementand so on
Capability characteristics, such as …

accelerationspeedpulse rateetc.
And when we talk about horses

jumping power
Or if we talk about American Football or Soccer / Football …

ball contactsrunsetc.
are calculated in real-time for individual athletes or the whole team and visualized via an easily configurable user interface.

And if you imagine the data which is collected during a play or a whole game – we are talking about real BIG DATA.

This data is used to personalize training in order to strategically target the strengths and weaknesses of each player and help create the most effective training plan possible. For instance, spatial analytics can be applied t…

Innovation on the railway platform

Innovative Idea by edenspiekermann - ProRail & NS - to improve the boarding process on platforms – In order to make it more comfortable, faster and safer.

We all know and experienced the rush hour at the train station. Where will my railway coach stop? And if I have no reserved seat where do I find an empty seat? Where can I board with a wheel chair, buggy or my bike?

On this platform-long ribbon travelers get all the information they need to prepare themselves for the next incoming train …Position of …
… entire length
… coaches
… train doors

Information / Status about
… first and second class
… occupancy level indicator (full and available seats)
… disabled ramps

But as I am someone who is always looking for more I like to share with you a perhaps future changing idea.
Ever thought about picking up passengers without a train stop? I am sure you have – but I am also sure you imagined how hurtful that might be.
The next video shows that it might be possible in the future. Travel…

Use of mobile devices in hotels and over the clouds

As visitor, consumers, travelers, new employee or patients we are again in situations where we need help, assistance, or just someone or something which still our fears or just a tiny information – where is what, who is in charge, etc etc

And we all know these small folded brochures sometimes nice – but all too often hackneyed and with incomplete or out-dated information – and if you are abroad again and again a test and check whether the copy-writer and translator was as good as he said or whether you really know the foreign language as good and as complete as you thought.

We have all visited a location and thumbed through the ‘welcome kit’ - which should usually include all of the information about the property. Haven’t you ever wished about moving this experience to a tablet device?
The Nielsen Cross-Platform Report for 2014 ( ) showed that tablet user…

Head-up displays (HUD) much more than nice features

Augmented reality (AR) devices, like Google Glass, seem like a strange idea when running around public places on two legs. But what about situation on the road, where you have to act directly, particularly in situations where the driver, or rider, needs all the information available immediately without distracting their attention  from the road ahead.

Head-up displays (HUD) are much more than just a 'nice feature'

Head-up displays are any translucent display that presents information without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. The origin of the name stems from a pilot being able to view information with the head positioned "up" and looking forward, instead of angled down looking at lower instruments.
Although they were initially developed for military aviation, HUDs are now used in commercial aircraft, automobiles, computer gaming, and other applications.

It’s a new way to orientate, navigate and keep control of the vehicle and the surrounding.

Mac vs. PC redux

The battle of Mac vs. PC is back. 

Microsoft’s latest ads place the MacBook Air and their Surface Pro 3 head-to-head - starting with the style and mood right through to sound elements – its style is similar to the ads which Apple launch years ago.
I am sure most of you will remember the campaign - the campaign was a television advertising campaign created for Apple and it ran from 2006 to 2009 - shown all over the world - in various languages.

The campaign started months ago - targeted the iPad

the next was Siri:

I love the way how they mimic Apple’s classic ads from the ‘00s.

There’s three 30-second spots in total, and each focuses on the touchscreen and pen benefits of the Surface Pro 3 over Apple’s MacBook Air.

multi-touch technology - Touch+

It’s no question that touch interfaces, multi-touch technology and gesture recognition has vitally changed the ways how we interact with computers.

At this point I like to mention that I do not really like the expression natural user interface, or NUI - Natural Interface is the common jargon used by designers and developers of human-machine interfaces to refer to a user interface that is effectively invisible, and remains invisible as the user continuously learns increasingly complex interactions – I don’ like it because I firmly believe that it’s not helpful to come up with new jargons as so many people still have issues to understand the actual interfaces – and even experts are using phases only for the reason ‘it sounds great’ or it’s a another innovative thing and in the end it’s just the ‘Emperor's New Clothes’

But back to a great gadget.
From smartphones to tablets, multi-touch devices have become a routine part of our everyday lives. Up to now, there hasn't yet been a …

Microsoft Research converts tottering and wobbly first person videos into smooth timelapses

The evolution of wearable video cameras …

from Google Glass

to GoPro

and more, ...
beaconed to a huge increase in first-person videos. But the reverse of the medal is that most videos are overly long and uneventful.

One solution is to speed the videos up into to timelapse video, however, they can become more fascinating and entertaining, but there is another downside - person’s movement is hardly ever stable.

Microsoft Research present a method for transforming first-person videos into hyperlapse videos - time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera.

Showrooming and in-store assistance

Showrooming, the practice of visiting a retail store to see an item only to buy it later from a different retailer online, had a major impact on retailers and has become a major concern for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Original models to combat this were based solely on lowering prices, promotions and price matching - but battling online retailers on price alone is a losing proposition.

Best Buy was even billing itself as "your ultimate holiday showroom" in its marketing campaign of last Christmas, touting its price-matching guarantee and in-store pickup of online orders.

Social shopping and social gratification What retailer can do is making the stores more of a "playground" destination with fun in-store events, group discounts, and refer-a-friend programs. There's such a huge opportunity for retailers to link their product showroom appeal with a social experience.

Once, I think it was Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin Luther King said: ‘The ultimate measure of…

Social Media – Social networking above the clouds

In a world of rapid technological innovation and much more rapid changing user behavior mean to every business that each must anticipate and innovate with great zeal and velocity. One thing is staying one step ahead of consumers to cater not just for their needs today, but for tomorrow and there search, information and purchasing behavior in the future.

It’s important to take a holistic view of the behavioral patterns of current consumers, and those who may turn to a business in the future.

In my last few articles I mainly focused on online and local retailers. Today I like to write about the travel business.

The social web contains a huge amount of information about the users, users’ behavior, users’ experiences with products, brands, and companies but also about their networks and their networking.

Since a while KLM is using Social Media data - ‘Meet & Seat’. Meet & Seat enables passengers to pick seatmates by checking out social media profiles of fellow passengers who link…

Ideas and Innovations for Sports and Entertainment Solutions

Deepen fan engagement, drive performance, and optimize results - there is so much we can do to improve by our ideas, our design - call it User Experience, Spectators Experience, Animal Experience ( ) or how to handle Big Data ...

At the CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival, the two winners, Ingrid Klimke and Sandra Auffarth, show how the new SAP prototype based on SAP HANA cloud technology allows fans and riders to better visualize the action on the cross-country course.

I like to show you two things SAP developed ...
During the eventing competition at CHIO Aachen 2014, Olympic Champion Ingrid Klimke and Sandra Auffarth are wearing a data logger, a pulse sensor and a helmet camera on the cross-country course to test an SAP prototype in action: SAP Equestrian Analytics, which is part of a co-innovation project with CHIO Aachen to make the biggest equestrian event in the world a truly digital experience.


Retail - Right - Now ...

It bears repeating, but we are living in a changing and challenging retail landscape. Consumers no longer behave and interact with the store as their one and only touch point. They do not distinguish their shopping, brand, or whatever experience – customers perceive the online, mobile, brick-and-mortar, visual, textual, verbal experience as one – And if you fail at one point or in other words you put your customer’s nose out of joint at one important point it will affect your whole business - and not only with this customer.
In time past these disappointed customers ‘only’ shared their bad experience with their, family, colleagues, and friends in their pub – But today they share their good and bad, and it’s natural, one shares more likely their bad experience with the whole world and their family, colleagues and friends by the endless social platforms.
A radical rethink of purpose of stores in the customers shopping journey is necessary. Non-traditional vendors are leading the way in …

‘buzzwords’ and phrases I am sick of hearing

Maybe I am too old, I am avoiding saying 'too experienced', but I am getting sick and tired of hearing these ‘buzzwords’, jargons, and phrases …
User Experience / ExpectationCustomer Experience / ExpectationBuyer Experience / ExpectationProsumer Experience / ExpectationProduct Experience / ExpectationBrand Experience / ExpectationService Experience / ExpectationConsumer-grade Experience / ExpectationClient-grade Experience / ExpectationEnterprise-grade Experience / Expectation
Does just one ‘word’ or ‘phrase’ helps you to do your job better or even sell your service better?
Do you really think you can separately design for these experiences and expectations? 

As long as all these terms and definitions are on the one hand so enormously overlapping, spanning, convoluted, encapsulated and on the other hand narrowly conceived or defined I think more often than before it’s less helpful for the communication than helpful to sell and to charge for another deliverable.

Even though the gr…