I tend to think of myself as a futurist, I immediately see the possibilities of technologies as part of a much larger ecosystem than the one it is intended for. I look for ways to test and assess “How we might Live” with the technology and how it will adapt our lives, our cultures and move humanity onwards to greater things. Digital Living In our modern societies we have relieved ourselves of the burdens of the industrial age and are in the process of doing the same to the digital age. We had digitized the same old processes, making them easier to do, involving less time so weRead More →

Data, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence Clients don’t understand their customers, they just think they do! It’s not for the lack of trying or spending millions on developing and building huge data systems, the problems are many but can be traced back to one simple thing; “Data only describes part of the what is happening and almost nothing of the why, let alone what should be done to change the situation” Clients have been sold that data gives them the answers and that big data will close the loop for them to understand the upstream and downstream thinking of their customers, WRONG. Douglas Adams noticed the realRead More →

Thank you to everyone who attended our (Karl Smith and Thom Heslop) talk at SXSW, it’s the start of a long road into a really complex and contextual problem. But being silent in the crowd as the King walks by with no clothes on is not an option, peoples lives, futures and prosperity is at risk, not to mention the risk of multi-trillion dollar lawsuits that can follow by knowingly distracting people who are engaged in critical tasks. The IoT – Internet of Things (Ubiquity) is the next great opportunity for commerce to engage with business enterprises and customers. However, there is no unified approachRead More →

Cognition Clash in the IoT

I’m speaking at SXSW Interactive 2016 on Cognition Clash in The Internet of Things, if your in Austin, TX let me know? The IoT is the next great opportunity for business enterprises to engage with customers. However there is no unified approach to the mental load between context of use, physical interaction, mental interaction and digital interaction. This cognitive landscape is inhabited by associated experiences that gel human behavior and machine interfaces through, touch, mouse and keyboard. The usage of sight, voice and thought create new complexities and risks which have until recently been the subject of defense technologies, where clear outcomes and prescribed mental modelsRead More →

karl smith iot products situational awareness

I should say at the beginning this is one inception of the IoT, which may or may not be confirmed by products or more importantly by human adoption. The foundation for this thinking goes back to a notion of the ‘social life of things’. If things themselves exist and have a number of trajectories and states then those things also potentially have accessible and useful human touch points in the IoT. Much of the interactions we humans have become used to are in fact simple touch-points to hidden and complex interactions within dispersed and non-interlinked at the core technology systems. This simplification process of creatingRead More →

See you later

This song really touched my heart and made me think of all the friends who have not made it this far, especially the 18 who died on Pan Am Flight 103. Your never forgotten, hardly lived, but you were good people and you are remembered. And to Robert de Lorimier, who I had to tell what happened, then got him very, very drunk. I never really said much about this, but it changed me forever. Years later he visited me in Scotland and we both went to Lockerbie and paid our respects. He and another guy had decided to travel in Europe over Christmas orRead More →

Humanity in Digital Landscapes

UCD2015 Conference 23rd & 24th October, Deans Mews, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN. We are delighted to confirm… [Keynote] The Joys and Sorrows of the Digital World: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Digital Landscapes Patrick Jordan, Consultant Business Psychologist [Keynote] Intelligence Everywhere: the Rise of Sympathetic Machines Susan Cook, Senior Designer, Native Design Steven Kelly, Electronic Engineer, Native Design [Keynote] Brainstruments – Adventures in Design, Cognition, and Musical Creativity Lee Sankey, Director, Designer, Innovator, Strategist | @leesankey [Keynote] Almost Everything I’ve Learned From 5 Years of Lean UX Jeff Gothelf, Author of Lean UX, Speaker, Organizational Designer | @jboogie Self-Presentation Online Aaron Parker, Senior UX Consultant, Nomensa | @AaronIRLRead More →

google breakout

1. Play “Atari Breakout”(Google Images) Go to Google Images, type “Atari Breakout”, hit the Search button, wait for a second for the game to start. 2. Play Pacman Type “Pacman” and click Search. Click to start playing the game. 3. Play Zerg Rush Type “zerg rush” and click Search in Google Search to play this cheeky game. Your page is taken over by little o’s and you have to click on them destroy them, before they destroy your search results. 4. Input Handwriting for Translation Did you know that on Google translate, you can write input words you want to translate via handwriting? Go to Google Translator,Read More →

Cognition Clash in the IoT at SXSW16

Description The Internet of Things is the next great opportunity for commerce to engage with business enterprises. However there is no unified approach to the mental load between physical interaction, mental interaction and digital interaction. This cognitive landscape is inhabited by associated experiences that gel human behaviour and machine interfaces through, touch, mouse and keyboard. The usage of sight, voice and thought create new complexities and risks which have until recently been the subject of defence technologies, where clear outcomes and prescribed mental models exist. The diversification of these touch points and multi-point human logic models clash and derail human thinking patterns. Questions What isRead More →

MVP is all people talk about in development these days, like it’s the fix for every problem, unfortunately it creates a whole new set of problems and a certain amount of complacency that is often damaging the brands that deliver MVP’s. Minimum Viable Product MVP The minimum viable product (MVP) is a product which has just enough features to gather validated learning (often too slowly) about the product and its continued development. A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. MVP Features A new feature in an application may be provided in an existing system orRead More →

A great deal of effort is being spent on customer experience and user experience that misses the point, experience is about desire, not process or fulfilment. Desire drives behaviour Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) proposed the concept of psychological hedonism, which asserts that the “fundamental motivation of all human action is the desire for pleasure”. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1588–1679) claimed that “self-consciousness is desire.” Psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions as they are mechanical and a response to chemical imbalance or lack, such as the stomach which needs food, the body needs oxygen, as opposed to, emotions that arise from a person’s mental state. There is a huge study inRead More →

Every dollar spent on UX brings in between $2 and $100 dollars in return. This is gained by spending on UX not making things look pretty, it’s not graphics its making the product, service or information system meet the business KPI’s and the customers expectations, desires and needs. Forrester Research finds that “implementing a focus on customers’ experience increases their willingness to pay by 14.4 %, reduces their reluctance to switch brands by 15.8 %, and boosts their likelihood to recommend your product by 16.6 %”. Making things for Users/Customers makes the business relationship are real one rather than just some marketing hype.Read More →

Recruiters requesting a UX portfolio can cause a breach of Intellectual Property Rights So I posted this as an update on LinkedIn I got some great responses from people who read their contracts and got a whole load of really negative responses from people who did not understand the statement so I will try again here. I make no legal determination as part of this post, I am simply reporting an actual event. The Background First off this is from several actual experiences, years ago in one instance where a recruiter was found to be in Breach of Contract as the Contractor they supplied heldRead More →

Design thinking in User Experience

How do you design experience UXD? You can design a framework or architecture but the experience in UX is in someone’s mind and in their emotions, if you design people experience its a crime against humanity UX research or UX analysis all make lots of sense but UX design does not, but the real point here is the breaking of the UX process in to sections. The practice of breaking the process is clearly done by people who don’t understand it. I keep meeting UX researchers who are excited that I am recruiting UX people, but to me not being able to do the fullRead More →

As with Agile, UX has suffered fools having a go and failing. Focusing on titles, roles, activities or outputs misses the essential process that has not been applied by qualified, able and intelligent people who are able to deliver. No amount of talking about wireframes without understanding that anyone can produce a wireframe, just like anyone can produce a presentation can reduce the risk of confusing a delivery mechanism with the deliverable itself. “Wireframes are not the deliverable in UX” The deliverables of UX are the user research, business research, domain research, usability, accessibility, site architecture, enterprise architecture, data architecture, control language, logic model, engagement model,Read More →

“UX and Development cannot exist in the same Agile workstream” might sound like an outlandish claim but if you fully understand, it’s obvious. Forcing things to work as with the picture above is not a good idea. Can UX be Agile yes, of course in so far that all the effort and artefacts required to deliver UX can exist in an Agile UX workstream. UX includes user research, user requirement, KPI’s, system-wide taskflows, concepts, concept testing, persona definition, user roles, user journeys, usability and accessibility standards, sitemaps, key pathway wireframes. Development can also be Agile, but not all of it, infrastructure and front end needRead More →

I remember being in the discussion at a state owned investment bank when the discussion was being had about which front-end language should be used on their new system interfaces and they choose Silverlight. This choice was known with the full knowledge that Microsoft was going to drop it as it was not in their new architecture. We discussed HTML5 but Silverlight was chosen, over objections. So now 3 years on I still see them recruiting Silverlight people. I have to ask at what point before Microsoft stops supporting Silverlight in 2021 will someone work out that they need to stop building new interfaces andRead More →

It’s just the most embarrassing thing to hear intelligent people say UI/UX. It makes professional people cringe because your left wondering should you care that they are exposing ignorance or just let them get on with sounding like an idiot. I mean their ignorance is not your responsibility after all, or is it? So what’s so bad? Well not knowing that UI is a tiny subset of UX should not be that bad? It’s the total lack of knowledge that irks, I think. I mean when you first went to school there was always some kid who thought it was funny to pee in theRead More →

An interview with a UX Guru

User Experience (UX) why is it important? User experience is so important because it enables client companies to get to the heart of their relationship with their customers without the marketing glamor that hides how they really feel and what they really experience. Client companies spend a great deal of money creating myths about what they do and their relationship to their customers but they also need the reality that user experience research brings. Ultimately user experience is about the ability to make decisions based upon re-creatable rigorous scientific research (avoiding one person’s view) involving real customers to create actionable information for design and theRead More →

Design thinking in User Experience

The UX point of view is; we have no point of view that’s the point of UX (in fact it’s been created that way) any person who can offer a UX point of view (without actual user and business perspective) is not a UX practitioner. I get really concerned when I’m asked for my opinion; by people who say they understand user experience my opinion is of no importance in regard of delivering my clients a system designed to engaged with their target audience. The target audiences and individual users expectations, experience, desires, tasks, objectives, capabilities are of the utmost importance, but to assume IRead More →

UX afinity diagram

What is a User in Professional UX? Below is a simple guide to find out if you have users involved in your project. A person who is part (employed or service team) of a contracted consultancy – IS NOT A USER A person who is part (employed or service team) of a client company project team including sponsors and stakeholders – IS NOT A USER A person who does not represent the primary targeted audience (based upon user screening protocols) – IS NOT A USER A person who does not provide an independent non partisan (providing both positive and negative experiences) view – IS NOT A USER If your user falls into any one of the above groupsRead More →

An interview with a UX Guru

User Experience (UX) looks pretty simple can anyone do it? No it’s a skill and knowledge based activity, I look for communicators with formal science qualifications (BSc, MSc or PhD), standards knowledge, creativity and genius level intelligence. Wow you need to be a genius to do User Experience (UX)? Not exactly, but it helps. User Experience is a complex translation process, requirements are tested with users and transformed. These user requirements are then filtered through standards and then transformed again into concepts. The concepts are then transformed into functional and non functional specification (mostly as user stories) which are transformed again into wireframes, annotations andRead More →

UCD2012

After a year and a half of planning and work UCD2012 is almost due to start. It started as a conversation on Linkedin for me, then for a while between contacts became all consuming to make it happen. As a contractor myself I argued for an event that would also be available on a Saturday as I know how hard it is to motivate someone to lose a day’s rate and then pay for a conference on top of that. To my knowledge UCD2012 is the only United Kingdom conference to focus on it’s users in this way. It’s totally appropriate for a user centredRead More →

Karl Smith Experience Consultant

About Karl Smith Karl Smith works globally with directors, stakeholders and customers of multi-national enterprises across all verticals and technology stacks whose focus is on new concepts and capabilities that drive customer engagement, interaction and retention. He creates digital companies, strategies and services that drive customer centricity into the core of client companies, that in turn enable them to realise their ambitions to engage with and establish a consistent two-way communication and interaction with their customers. These new companies and capabilities are underwritten with tailored blue sky work, digital strategy, management consulting and program planning fitting to tight timescales, strategically correct, fully featured, useable, governable, scalable,Read More →

Investor High Level Processes

There are several types of on boarding that relate to both business and investors structure and size, their specific purpose for investing and their local regulatory constraints. The Main Participants I will be focusing on four main participants in this post financial advisers (FA) and investors (I), either or both of these may be constituted by companies, funds or individuals and para planners (PP), local office administrators (external or internal) (AD), company back office administrators (AD). Other participants are traders, local regulation, international treaties, company regulation, regulatory reporting, trustees, product managers and the security services. Financial Adviser The role of the financial adviser is shapedRead More →