Posts tagged “lisbon”

Video from UX Lisbon: Discover and act on insights about people

The lovely folks at UXLx have just posted the video from my talk earlier this year, Discover and act on insights about people.

Some of the most effective ways of understanding what customers want or need – going out and talking to them – are surprisingly indirect. Insights produced by these methods impact two facets of innovation: first as information that informs the development of new products and services, and second as catalysts for internal change. Steve discusses methods for exploring both solutions and needs and explores how an understanding of culture (yours and your customers) can drive design and innovation.

If you don’t see the video embedded above, you can view it here

Curating Consumption #3

We’re back this month with another round of Curating Consumption, seen last week over at Johnny Holland. In previous editions we have looked far and near for ponderous consumer experiences. This time around we are looking a little closer at the messages targeting us and what meanings they explicitly and unintentionally reveal.

On my last overseas flight, by the time they came around with the meal, I was more than ready. Sure, the crew didn’t seem to know what the options were, where words like “beef” and “chicken” were interchangeable options (and one attendant was freestyling with the radical “lentils” offering). Given the uncertainty, I went for the most-likely-to-keep-me-from-dying-of-low-blood-sugar-option: pasta. Looks like I made the right choice, because the pasta was homemade! Well, sure, the perfect formation of noodle-cheese-sauce may not evoke the sense of the artisinal, but the industrial inkjet printing on the foil covering reassures me that it was indeed homemade. Just like an artist numbers her limited edition prints, the pastacraftsman behind this meal uses a special code to document the individual pride and care. Sure, it tasted like crap, but I was thrilled to have homemade airborne crap. /SP

In this park in Lisbon, we found a phone hole, where a payphone once was, but is no more. The sign helpfully suggests that the phone is temporarily unavailable while being repaired. But let’s face facts, that phone is long gone and ain’t never coming back. Lisbon telco maintenance people, please don’t set up expectations you can’t meet! /SP

I recently received this card from an agent at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter. It included a lovely little flower-shaped piece of paper with flower seeds in it that I can plant wherever I choose. While I “luv” the idea of Southwest giving me flowers, I am baffled for a few reasons. Firstly, it seems like an unnecessary use of paper. Why not just print the promo message directly on the flower paper? Why use up a not plantable piece of paper to give me one that is? I have seen this kind of paper printed on before so I know that it is possible. Secondly, I don’t understand the campaign purpose. In preparation for this post I visited the Southwest Citizenship link on the card and found no connection to this item. I expected to see an image of this card or something, anything really, that would visually or conceptually close the loop between the gift, the targeted behavior (visit the site) and the message. A flowery fail, really. /TC

Celebrity sighting! For all of you out there wondering “Whatever happened to Johnny 5 from the 1986 film Short Circuit?” I believe I have the answer! While my son and I were returning a movie to a DVD rental kiosk in our local market this message appeared on the screen. My son doubted the likelihood of a little old-fashioned robot inside of the kiosk handling the check-out and return process. Of course, he is much too young to remember Johnny 5. So while he left the store incredulous, I left sighing with satisfaction that even 26 year-old robots can find relevant work in today’s economy. /TC

Out and About: Steve in Lisbon (2 of 2)

More observations from last week’s trip to Lisbon. See part 1 here

Street art.

Body-enhancing undergarments.


Eat box? Yum!

Y’arr! Pirate Bar! That’s some great neon. Perfect place for Drink Like A Pirate Day.

Scented dolls? They look pretty intense. Perhaps they inch forward menacingly as you pass by their window.

The design museum was redoing its facade with sticky notes. We watched their progress over several days.

This is the take-a-number device for a retail queue. Far more advanced than the familiar North American paper ticket dispenser. And also unrecognizable if you don’t read Portuguese and don’t know to look for this.

Detail of a building exterior. Tiled buildings are ubiquitous, with many different beautiful tile designs of various vintages.

Out and About: Steve in Lisbon (1 of 2)

Last week I went to Lisbon to speak at UX Lx (you can see my presentations and more here). We had a great time exploring the city on our own, and courtesy of our kindly hosts. I’ve got some images and observations here, and some more to come tomorrow.

This sign is advertising one of those small bright yellow cars that tourists drive around while a recording guides them from place to place. But here the promotional message is rather ribald. Is this reflective of the local culture and how English is used, or is it an attempt to adapt to visitor norms? My other triangulation point was the frequent t-shirts with rather forward sayings in English, worn by people that maybe didn’t know what they meant? I saw a slender woman jogging with a “Chubby Girls Cuddle Better.” A late-middle-aged man on the subway wore a shirt reading “Rock Out With Your Cock Out.” There was just something off about the wearer and the message, seeing my own culture coming back at me in a completely different way. Was this like Engrish, or something else?

Same idea. This is an advertisement for learning English, from the prestigious-sounding “Wall Street Institute” presumably targeting people who want to improve their careers. But FUCK (and the other side, SHIT) are the reference points for learning English. For sure, these are important words in business 🙂

The reliefs in the base of the statue of St. Anthony.

Friendly key dudes.

Do they sell each of those animals as meat?

Is this frog flashing a gang sign, or suggesting his availability for romance?

Funiculars traverse the steep hills.

Stunning architecture of the Oriente train station.

Nothing says sexy like toilet paper.

At the Vasco de Gama mall, this staircase used the same handrail as the escalator. As you approached it, you’d assume you were about to get on an escalator. But no, it’s stairs. Did some architect insist on symmetry with the design of the adjacent escalator?

Rossio train station.

Back from UX Lisbon

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Lisbon and presenting at UX Lx.

I gave an updated version of “Well, We’ve Done All This Research, Now What?” where we did a brief observation of the area around the venue and then developed concepts that spoke to the needs we uncovered. Among the concepts the teams played with was a giant robotic sheep that would provide shade.

The slide deck:

Per Axbom took a series sketchnotes during the session and kindly posted all of them here.

I gave a short presentation on the final day of the conference, exploring the power of user research not only to uncover data that drives product development but to change the way an organization thinks about it’s customers and itself.

The slide deck:

Sketchnotes from, Per Axbom, and Francis Rowland.

Click to see larger original

(Side note: amusing to see the consistent use of the presenter caricature. The organizers of the conference may have contributed to this; in each attendee packet was a poster showing a funny if awkward scene with cartoon representations of all the different speakers, as well as a set of cards for one of the speakers. Attendees were supposed to trade cards until they got a complete set.)


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