September 14, 2008

Connecting taxi driver knowledge to the Satnav interface.

Filed under: uncategorized — danielharris @ 11:42 pm

Driving back from town today, I came across a trainee taxi driver, on his scooter with a clipboard attached to the windshield. He was clearly ‘doing the knowledge’, which entails driving around streets of London to learn where they are and how they relate to each other.

And it occured to me, as I saw the streets and areas on his clipboard, that he was clearly in the process of a kind of mnemonics – gaining spatial knowledge through experience and placing memorys onto landmarks and junctions. As a result, the London cabbie is the probably the best Satnav system in the city.

What could we learn from them about wayfinding? Could we work with cabbies on the design of Satnav interfaces? Their knowledge of the city, rooted in reality and lines of sight, is much more valuable for wayfinding, and could help to aliviate the notion that Satnavs “…disengage users from their environment” as described by Leshed, Velden, Rieger, Kot, & Sengers at CHI2008


September 9, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — gavinedwardsuk @ 8:39 am


August 13, 2008

WordPress release iPhone app

Filed under: uncategorized — Tags: , — gavinedwardsuk @ 8:39 am

So, not exactly breaking news but I thought it was about time I finally tested this little app out on the way to work.

Initial impressions are ok I’m wondering how to get photos off my camera into the middle of this paragraph but local draft saving means I can step out and investigate further.

I love the principal of this app. My main barrier to blogging is convenience. Often it’s whilst on the train, having a coffee, waiting for the missus to get ready my brain will wonder and so far mobile blogging has failed to deliver an coherent cross device application/ toolset that can facilitate a easy blogging experience.

So hopefully this is it! No more half hearted efforts or maybe this is where I find out actually I am just not a blogger.

And yes I know the photo ain’t great but it’s a representaion of where I am now as I blog!

(UPDATE: the spell checker function does not for some reason seem to work as well as in other apps)


July 1, 2008

HMV is live!

It’s live and it’s now an open beta so anyone can join.

The doors were closed as we built the feature set to a sensible point, but now they’re open!

Got to and start to play. If you just want to see what it’s about you can visit the tour here without having to register.

The site is aimed music and film fans who like collecting, who want to broaden their knowledge and deepen their relationship with the things they love. It’s also aimed at aficionados, those that are domain experts, music and film creators and people who just want to be in the know.

HMV - User Profile

For the past year LBi have been working with HMV to conceive, build, seed and launch their new social property It’s a beta, so there is still lots to do, the data and product catalogue that sits behind it needs a little work, but it’s now ready to unleash on the world so that the community can start driving the development, helping add content, improving the tags, data, descriptions etc..

HMV - Connections Tool

I won’t go into the details as to what the site does etc, the tour can do that, but what I will say is this; it’s been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever worked on. Building a community of this type has it’s usual design challenges, not least that you need to build a community and to do that you need content, but you need content from the community!

HMV have been a fantastic client and the LBi team have been awesome. We used an agile development methodology that saw us release features every 2-4 weeks, slowly build a community, user test, evolve, sharpen.

HMV - User DNA

As I say, there is lots to do though not just with the website as the idea behind getcloser translates to many channels; in store, on mobile and others. It will plug into existing social properties, blog tools and the desktop.

The relationship with HMV has been brilliant, long may it continue,

I very much look forward to taking Getcloser forward, but now it’s live it’s ‘hand’s off the steering wheel’ as my colleague Stephen Barber would say, to see how people respond to it. We’ll be making hot fixes and planning a new set of features that aid the tools there already, as well as developing new ones.

June 23, 2008

Social Media in Laymen’s terms

Filed under: social media, video, youtube — Tags: , , , , — Warren Hutchinson @ 1:35 pm

I found this rather nice video on the Experience Curve website.

It’s nice because it a) explains the idea of social media and b) uses a rather lo-fi method for telling the story.


June 3, 2008

LBi Move House

Filed under: interior design, LBi, physical environment, work — Tags: , , , , , , — Warren Hutchinson @ 3:49 pm

A ‘company man’ post today I’m afraid. Sorry it’s been a while, but things have been crazybusy.

Amongst all sorts of things work and family related, I’ve a new role here at work so have been deep in transition/handover etc. More later on that (he says as if it’s interesting).

But, down to the ‘move’… it’s finally happened.

After a year of planning, building and changing plans LBi (we) have finally moved into the new shiny office space in Brick Lane. We’ve taken over the Atlantis Building in Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery

Apologies for the pic quality but I shot these from my LG Viewty. They’re okay, just not great.

Boardroom on the bridge

LBi - Ground Floor

LBi - Reception (viewed from mezz)

LBi - 3rd Mezzanine and 2nd Floor

LBi - Terrace

I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos to Flickr if you so fancy. Of the prospective 400+ seats only the guys on the ground floor have moved in so far, so there are lots of empty seats.

It’s a really important step for the agency having previously been split across three London offices (2 in Clerkenwell, 1 in Kensington). As a consequence of the merger between Framfab, LB Icon and Wheel running the business across 3 locations was challenge to say the least. But we did it and now we’re moving into one place.

I’ve been here 1 day and I’m very excited about our future. This place is awesome.

May 9, 2008

Semantic web

Filed under: innovation, user experience, web — thedelman @ 10:59 am


The other day a friend asked for my opinion after forwarding a link to one of his posts about “the semantic future”.

After reading the link my initial reaction was shock, anxiety, unease (you get the picture) accompanied by the assumption that Uea’s (User Experience Architect) may be out of a job in the near future (10 years) because of the impending semantic conquest of the web.

Then my common sense kicks in: “what the hell is this Semantic web anyway”. And so begins my journey…. so far I’ve watched some videos    


Question: What is the impact of semantic web for the Uea?




April 25, 2008

Shopping cart goes high-tech

Filed under: user experience — Tags: — thedelman @ 2:28 pm

This is old news, which I was meant to blog about it last year but you know how life is. 


This project has got my attention because it affects majority of the British population. Who do you know who doesn’t shop at a supermarket?


It would be interesting to know whether they used personas. I can image at least 4/5 are needed, obviously this will be analysed through user research!


My made up personas are (This is tongue in cheek):

  1. The speedy frenetic, trolley bashing mum of 4.
  2. The hard partying mad student.
  3. The professional who works hard plays hard and has a taste for the finer things in life.
  4. Maybe an Oliver loving granny.
  5. Not forgetting the healthy eating earth loving dude.


Another point of interest is whether the designers will take into account the full life cycle of the users. For me this starts from the minute the user wakes up to the minute they go to sleep, in fact 24 hours.


What am I on about!?!


Well, because people love food/eating and their day is planned around food, this system could have touch points throughout people’s lives from being at home, on the move, at work, socialising etc. So, in the end it’s not just a helpful dashboard sitting on a random trolley throwing out suggestions and information but it becomes an experience.



User will have an online shopping account. Part of his account has a shopping organiser, which has his weekly preference setting. Let’s say £40, moderately healthy, no seafood, no responsibilities, 60 min cooking time (average for the week), randomness, moderate etc


This account can be accessed online anywhere. The great thing about this is that whilst shopping, all he has to do is sign into the dashboard and it will tell him what’s on the menu today and show him where to get the ingredients in the shop. At home he can go online to his account and it will show him how to cook the dinner.


He receives a call from his parents whilst travelling. They inform that they will be coming for dinner in 3-4 hours. Then and there he could interact with his account (via hand held devices) inputting his new needs*. Parents – 4 hours – like red meat etc. Then the food could be delivered to his home, when he gets home he manages to cook it just in time for his parents


So what I’m saying is that this should not be just a helpful dashboard on a trolley but more of a life enhancing experience between the people, eating and shopping.  



* Let’s hope he’s not driving at the time!

April 23, 2008

Unilever Switches Off Dove Forums

Filed under: brand, community, dove, unilever — Tags: , , , , , , — Warren Hutchinson @ 9:18 pm

I had a reply to my last post from Jamie who is the web editor for Greenpeace, saying that ever since Greenpeace launched their campaign the forums on Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ site have been closed.


Engage positively!!!

This is lame and you’re looking like fools.

This smacks of the fake blogging incident by L’Oreal brand Vichy who failed to understand (at first) how to engage with this level of digital subversion. L’Oreal turned it round by positively engaging with the blogging community to create a dialogue.

Unilever have put up their rather un-inspiring, dry, content free retort and are putting their fingers in their ears and saying la la la. I think they might be sitting up there in Unilever Towers looking out the window saying things like “Have they gone yet?” or “Today’s news is tomorrow’s chip wrapping.”

Silly Unilever.

Well done Greenpeace.

It’d be great if you could look at some other ecologically naughty brands / campaigns and entertain us all with some more highlighted irony to deliver important messages.

Beauty? It’s what’s on the inside that counts. What’s inside Dove is ugly.

Unilever’s ‘digital reaction’ to Greenpeace Protest

Filed under: brand, community, dove, unilever, user generated content, video — Tags: , , , , — Warren Hutchinson @ 12:30 pm

By Warren Hutchinson

The Greenpeace Orang-Utan’s struck Unilever on Monday and within an hour the blogosphere was rampant with rampaging Orang-Utans, videos, images, stories.

As ever ‘Transparency Tyranny‘ is rife and digital is the driving nemesis of corporation x.

What are Unilever doing in response? And how are they going to engage in this digital onslaught, this citizen journalist propagation and ironic spin of ‘real beauty’?

I’m really interested in the strategy behind all of this and how it unfolds. In the inception of the ‘campaign for real beauty’ I wonder if they thought about defensive strategies should stories (which they MUST have suspected) such as this emerge.

On the Unilever site there is a front page news item titled ‘Sustainable Palm Oil’. Click through and you see a video from their SVP of Communications and Sustainability starting with a statement that:

“We have great sympathy with what Greenpeace are trying to achieve, they are drawing attention to a really important issue” – Gavin Neath, SVP Communications and Sustainability

I find the role of SVP ‘Communications’ (Spin) and ‘Sustainability’ incongruous, but that’s another issue.

Unilever's News Page

Unilever are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, or RSPO for short, and unsurprisingly they are playing up to this. Unilever claim to be instrumental in setting up the roundtable for sustainable palm and carrying it forward.

The transcript can be found here.

The response is a step, I’d rather see something directly relating and acknowledging the Greenpeace efforts, an alignment of sorts. They are playing it down, but not explicitly responding.

The ‘Dove in the News’ site is even wetter. Dove is all over the news, but it is not showing here.

Cue fingers in the ears – “la la la”:

Dove's News Page

The problem is, in order to hear Unilever’s point of view you have to mobilise yourself to go and see their site, navigate and watch a polished corporate video.

I can’t, yet, find any level of engagement by Unilever with the user-generated, mobilised, chatteriffic sphere of blogs, video sites and social networks. Searches for ‘Greenpeace, Unilever, Palm Oil’ only result in links to sites siding with the Greenpeace effort and not Unilever.

Designing a strategy for organic search traffic is required or else people will simply miss Unilever’s point.

I had a quick scan through the Facebook groups and found lots of Unilever corporate groups for ‘Graduates’ and ‘Management Schemes’ but UNSURPRISINGLY I found the Facebook group ‘Dove: Not so clean’.

Okay – it has 12 members so far.

Corporations are really uncomfortable with this stuff and they continue to ignore dealing with it.

And in closing, the final statement by the interviewer:

“Gavin Neath – thank you very much indeed”

smells horribly corporate and reeks of Aunty (The BBC for non-UK readers).

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