All posts filed under “Asides

A survey

As mentioned here, I’ve finally got round to putting a survey online to capture some people’s experiences with using the Design with Intent cards. A few people have already very kindly filled in prototype versions of these questions in different contexts.

So, if you’ve downloaded the cards, or used a printed version, and you have a spare few minutes, it would be very much appreciated if you could have a go at this survey – it’s anonymous (if you like), all the questions are optional, and the whole thing should be quick to do.
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End of the year

It’s been a very very very busy year, and that’s my main excuse for not blogging for far too long. There are many interesting people, interesting things and ideas and opportunities, and unresolved thoughts that need to be talked about, but haven’t been. And many people who’ve got in touch that I just haven’t got round to replying to. I apologise. For quite a while it’s been easier to use Twitter than to blog here. That’s a shame, but it’s also enabled me to get to know (virtually or otherwise) a great group of very clever people. I’ve been to Copenhagen, Ghent, Delft and Enschede on Design with Intent-related business, as well as managing to go camping on the Isles of Scilly with Harriet, which was fantastic.
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Why it’s been quiet here

I haven’t blogged for a couple of months, which is not unusual, but I always feel I owe loyal readers an explanation! Primarily, I’ve been so wrapped up in PhD-related work (now in my final year, and desperately trying to get the thing finished by the summer), that most of my writing energy has been going into the thesis and some papers and articles for various outlets, rather than towards the blog. Our Applied Ergonomics article, ‘The Design with Intent Method: A design tool for influencing user behaviour’ (co-authored with my supervisors David Harrison and Neville A. Stanton) has just been published in the print version of the journal (I will put an open-access preprint version online soon), and I’ve written articles with Fergus Bisset and Nick Marsh for the next issue of the Service Design Network’s Touchpoint journal – ‘Designing Motivation or Motivating Design? Exploring service design, motivation and behavioural change’ and ‘Research in practice: Bringing behaviour change from lab to studio’. Look out for them in the April/May issue.

There have also been a few other projects with which I’ve made an effort to get involved, mainly to secure my own future and enable expansion of research in this field once the PhD studentship runs out! I’m pleased to say that things seem to be progressing OK on that front, with some very exciting projects lined up, working with some very interesting people indeed.

In parallel, DwI toolkit v.0.95, which I think I will henceforth name Design with Intent 1.0 (shows a bit more confidence!) is nearing a stage where I’m happy to release it. More on that very soon.

As Richard Hamming said, “You have to neglect things if you intend to get what you want done. There’s no question about this.”

New card deck under development

User-centred design for energy efficiency in buildings: TSB competition

The deadline’s fast approaching (mid-day 17th Dec) for the UK Technology Strategy Board‘s ‘User-centred design for energy efficiency in buildings’ competition [PDF] – there’s an introduction from Fionnuala Costello here.

This is an exciting initiative which aims to bring together (in a 5-day ‘sandpit’) people from different disciplines and different sectors to address the problems of influencing user behaviour to improve the energy efficiency of offices and other non-domestic buildings, and generate commercially viable collaborative solutions to develop, some of which will then be part-funded by the TSB. Fionnuala’s blog, People in Buildings has some great posts and discussions exploring aspects of how human factors and technology together might be used to help people use energy more effectively. If you or your organisation are interested in these kinds of issues – and using design to address them – it’d be well worth getting an application in over the next few days.

Design for Conversion

Design for Conversion: The Mobile Edition – taking place on 11th of December in Amsterdam – looks like a great conference. Organised by Arjan Haring, it’s described as “a mashup of persuasive design, principles of persuasion and evidence based marketing” and brings together user experience design, analytics and online marketing, with a ‘persuasion’ focus.

For this edition, it centres on using mobile technology, including speakers from Nokia, Symbian and Sagem and a multidisciplinary team-based challenge based on a real persuasive design problem – as Arjan puts it, “Design for Conversion is not for the faint at heart as there is no escaping the interactive nature of the format.” (I understand a card-deck version of the Design with Intent toolkit, not yet released, will be involved in the team challenges – it’s great to be able to help out like this, and have a different kind of audience try it out). Some of the testimonials from speakers at previous editions, such as Eric Schaffer, Andrew Chak and BJ Fogg are especially complimentary about how refreshing the interactive format is.

All in all, Design for Conversion seems like a colourful, exciting, friendly and relatively intimate (150 people) event, and until 11th November there is a discounted early-bird registration fee. Thanks to Arjan for letting me know about this, and I hope it all works out well.

Next year’s edition, taking place in New York, also sounds interesting, with Dan Goldstein among the speakers.