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You know, engines for race cars are very important: they give you power and speed to win races.

But have you ever driven a car on ice? No matter how soft on the pedal you are, it seems that all that power causes a lot of troubles … so you end up spinning around 🙂

That’s the same concept for race cars: if you have the most powerful engine but it is un-drivable you end up losing races maybe not being able to accelerate out of corners due to the high amount of wheelspin.

I think you have a similar effect with user interfaces of our applications: you may have the most powerful software to solve a specific problem but if your user experience sucks … your app sucks and sorry but you are going to lose: as easy as that.


Interesting demo / short training today of a usability test lab.

There was a camera behind me …

.. an eye tracking system looking at my eyes …

.. an app recording what I was doing with the software and something registering if I have a brain J.

Interesting experience (and yes, I have a brain 🙂 )


I’m really impressed by the new UI of the Google App for iPad: polished, essential, nice …
Here are some screenshots:





As usual, here is my live twitting from the UX Conference 2011 in Lugano. Please note that I have a specific Twitter account for live twitting from events: PierGLive.

  • To complicate is easy, to simplify is hard. Great finish. Great talk. Thx @Folletto #uxcon11
  • If you want to be social: YOU CAN’T FAKE #uxcon11
  • Zappos ha premiato una persona del supporto x’ è stata 12 ore al telefono con un cliente per risolvere un problema #stopUsingROI #uxcon11
  • We really think of Zappos brand as about great service, and we just happen to sell shoes #uxcon11
  • … download the RICE checklist #uxcon11
  • Competition, excellence, curiosity, affection: the motivational diamond #uxcon11
  • @leeander yes … and it’s not me 🙂 #uxcon11
  • Complex systems must be simplified (to manage them) but not banalized (otherwise results are wrong) #uxcon11
  • PierG: tablets (and smartphone) are pushing consumerization. CIOs: wake up!!! #uxcon11
  • Why doctors will accept to make presentations with iPads? Because they already have it!!! #uxcon11
  • UX highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human computer interaction #uxcon11
  • We have to balance the cognitive overload: too high is evil … too low is evil #uxcon11
  • You should work on high level points to make them WOW points #uxcon11
  • Define, understand, find, design, lean = evolutive experience design #uxcon11
  • As users/consumers we now EXPECT. If Starbucks gives you free wifi you expect wifi from your local bar #uxcon11
  • The ideal experience does move continuously … and it’s personal: so movable from the designer point of view #uxcon11
  • To design is a human process, and it’s a learning and discovering experience @lucamascaro #uxcon11
  • As users / consumers we now PRETEND. If Starbucks give you free wifi, you pretend free wifi also from your local bar! #uxcon11
  • Tasks during testing shouldn’t suggest any specific path #Carniato #uxcon11
  • Remember THE message: Personas is not the voice of our prejudices #Tassistro #uxcon11
  • We have to continuously push Personas to work with us #Tassistro #uxcon11
  • Question 1: how many personas do we want? Golden rule: between 3 and 6 #Tassistro #uxcon11
  • Personas do not belong to our ideas (or prejudices): they should be used to give voice to people #uxcon11
  • I know MS Project … and I try to avoid it as much as I can 🙂 #Tassistro #uxcon11
  • Once, when you used to compile, you had to wait … #uxcon11
  • Alan Cooper, the father of Personas. He was a developer #uxcon11
  • Personas are key: they help us to avoid prejudice #uxcon11
  • Francesca Tassistro – Creative Lead @ Avanade #uxcon11
  • User Research activities are growing … at least looking at revenues 🙂 @lucamascaro #uxcon11
  • It’s not clear where UX starts and ends. What’s important is that we are all dealing with experience and interaction #uxcon11
  • Design is changing how companies are organized internally #uxcon11



Native apps are a remnant of the Jurassic period of computer history, a local maximum that is holding us back. The combination of a discovery service and just-in-time interaction is a powerful interaction model that native apps can’t begin to offer.

via Mobile Apps Must Die | Blog | design mind.


Last week I attended CHItaly2011.

Here are my notes taken with Twitter (you can get the original notes searching on Twitter “CHItaly2011 from:PierG“)

  • “I know that modern sewing machines are better but I’m in love with MY 30yrs old one: I’m used to it” pretty interesting 🙂
  • First let’s talk about targets: are we talking about old or disabled people?
  • Designing Technologies for ageing – are u talking about me? 🙂
  • As human beings we are not hierarchical
  • Problem solving in the REAL world relies on BOTH conscious and unconscious processing
  • XIM – eXperience Induction Machine
  • Conscious processing is sequential, continuous, slow
  • Characteristic of unconscious processing: parallel, fragmented, VERY fast, automatic
  • Relationship between conscious and unconscious at  Here is where my hypnosis training can be useful 🙂
  • Stefano Micelli, Venice University. Smart talk
  • Chinese expects that the GPS on their German car talks with a German accent: they want the full German experience
  • Culture will come back in what we are doing. Now you find everywhere the same stuff due to globalization: this will change
  • Experience of motorcycles riders is more social. Most never drives alone but with their community collecting memories
  • Experience: design should promote more active experiences
  • Doing things with my ends give me the real idea (very #DesignThinkin)
  • Translation: we need to quickly give results translating from R&D / design shops to business
  • In Italy we have a strong manufacturing experience. Now these machine have / need innovative interfaces
  • SDK for #BlueDash is freely available while the whole system is patented #digitalFluency #reLab
  • digitalFluency can enable the #Twitter of things #cool #reLab
  • A baby is making some noise at  : very good, we need new fresh ideas in the HMI field 🙂
  • The digitalFluency architecture is natively extendable: it’s a data based extendible model #reLab
  • digital Fluency is about easy integration, seamless distribution, super scalable architectue … #reLab
  • Technology is not enough to have digital fluency #reLab
  • BlueDash and digitalFluency live at  @ Centro Storico
  • #BlueDash is the enabling technology for the #digitalFluency #reLab
  • #blueDash has a server side component, in the cloud, to close the loop and give services #reLab
  • We want to create a seamless link between people and tech and to make people digitally fluent #re:lab
  • digitalFluency initiative
  • Pretti fresh presentation from #DeepBlue : thank you guys
  • Iterative approach: 6 maturity levels from concept to operational deployment (innovations doesn’t come for free in aviation :))
  • Focus on interaction also for safety (and regulatory) topics #DeepBlue
  • “reality is more complex” #DeepBlue
  • I like slides from #DeepBlue : the best IMHO till now  (no 16×9 slides till now like IDEO or Frog though 🙂 )
  • #DeepBlue is a small company specialized in HCI & Human Factors, Engineering and Mathematics mainly for aviations
  • And now Simone from #DeepBlue at #CHItaly2011
  • It seems that the usage of gloves is a recurring problem in HMI
  • Alessandro #emmegi
  • Good wifi, bad microphones at #CHItaly2011
  • Seen in the PCs of the audience of  : #Prezi, #TED, email, PowerPoint …
  • (graphical) designers and developers interaction in embedded sw is brother of the same stuff for the web: is the answer a tool?
  • A very practical case for #Akhela at
  • Less Macs than I thought at  being a ‘designers’ conf + no one is twitting at least with this hashtag(I might use the wrong one)
  • We built a tool so designers and developers don’t need to talk each other. #AreYouSure?
  • QT libraries for a car HMI starting from JPEGs #Akhela
  • Roberto from RE:Lab is doing a great job in the industry panel here at
  • Here is Akhela in the house 🙂
  • Another example of potential open innovation: cameras, context, Internet of things #Telecom
  • Smartphone and smart grids and sensors are a new ecosystem and a good field for open innovation #Telecom
  • Open innovation is the new innovation cycle that puts customer first and Internet with the role of ‘home’ for the community
  • Telecom companies didn’t have to understand gyroscopes or accelerometers #Telecom
  • In the past it was easier (= abuso di posizione dominante 🙂 )
  • Smartphones and tablets are built around an ecosystem
  • ‘this is not a telephone’ = revenues are not coming from phone calls any longer #Telecom
  • As engineers we are good in developing tech but something goes wrong with ‘mobile telecom operators’ #Telecom
  • ‘tablets are exploding’ I hope not literally 🙂
  • Mobile subscriptions are two times the fixed broadband subscription #Telecom
  • Gabriele Elia is head of Future Internet Techs and Research at Telecom Italia #estica #Telecom
  • In order to be effective new safety functions must be more than ACCEPTED by riders #Yamaha
  • Vibrating helmets are very well accepted from test users: not distracting and very good feedback #Yamaha
  • Haptic devices have different kind of feedbacks: frequency, location, strength … #Yamaha
  • Rider distraction mitigation is key for safety #Yamaha
  • Haptic devices are able to provide info leaving the attention of the driver to the road #Yamaha
  • “The motorcycle is vibrating” “yes, it’s a motorcycle” 🙂 #Yamaha
  • Visibility, feedback, mapping, acceptance as key drivers for HCI evaluation #Yamaha
  • Which HCI in today’s motorcycle? Basic, legal, comfort, safety #Yamaha
  • Yamaha con stage at #CHItaly2011
  • We use a lot small movies to communicate, internally to the company: ideas, prototypes, solutions  #yam
  • The user interface of the washing machine of the future is … no interface #INDESIT
  • INDESIT is introducing the concept of FUN in developing the interaction with a washing machine #innovation
  • We decided to put designers and engineers under the same roof #INDESIT
  • Strategic position at  🙂 @ Centro Storico
  • We have many and many devices to work on: are we ready for the challenge? #DonNorman
  • Researchers, if they want to have a better impact, have to be more in tune with industry #DonNorman
  • Designers deal about what people need, marketers what people buy
  • If you work in a company, your customer is … your boss. Your job is to make him promoted #DonNorman
  • By the way, great WiFi at  : thank you guys!
  • There is lack of impact of designers in industry: industry wants to build something that ppl want no matter if it’s ‘correct’
  • When people say they want simple stuff, they are wrong. They don’t want confusion but want lot of features #DonNorman
  • 2 types of simplicity (or complexity if you want): perceptible simplicity and cognitive simplicity #DonNorman
  • Google is simple but … he has menus and … has a ‘More’ menu 🙂 #DonNorman
  • “oh, I was so close …” that’s what makes the difference in design #DonNorman
  • There is just one thing more addictive than angry birds, it’s twitter (ooopsss) #DonNorman
  • What makes a great experience? It’s overcoming a challenge (an emotion, a task … ) #DonNorman
  • Your experience is not important (it is often an instant), what’s important is memories that last ‘forever’ #DonNorman
  • The business model have a great impact on how work (see roming fees)
  • What are we delivering? It was functionality, today is memories #DonNorman
  • Devices are starting dealing with our intentions (to give services and fun) #DonNorman
  • Suddenly the device itself is starting to be fun #DonNorman
  • When tech is used by many people at the same time, culture starts becoming important #DonNorman
  • Interaction with devices is the same around the world. The difference is in social interaction #DonNorman
  • Italy doesnt design things differently to China. So where is the cultural effect? There is no cultural effect! #DonNorman
  • Undo on iPhone is done by shaking, I discovered it reading a newspaper 🙂 Newspaper are the new manuals 🙂 #DonNorman
  • Apps to be good have to know a lot about you and your friends. Is this good? Don’t know but thongs are changing #DonNorman
  • With Kinect MS discovered to have R&D labs .. thanks to Nintendo 🙂 #DonNorman
  • In the US, people don’t talk with phones. They use it to look for restaurants 🙂 #DonNorman
  • Android has menus, iPhone doesn’t … HUGE difference #DonNorman
  • The iPhone is so clear to use that people don’t care to remember how to do stuff #DonNorman
  • With graphical UI you don’t need to remember commands, you have to recognize them + you have a feedback systems
  • People in products groups have no time (for UX) #DonNorman
  • Donald Norman at  @ Centro Storico
  • On planes we have glass displays (monitors) that substitutes tens of indicators: easier, better
  • From usability to interaction design, experience design … but we are moving on.
  • Emotion is an important part of how we interact with technology
  • Norman uses small sheets of paper as reminders of his speech ‘a la’ agile
  • Norman talks about web and mobile in the past tense 🙂
  • Don è fuori come un balcone 🙂
  • Let’s talk about how the world is changing #DonNorman
  • A good mix of young an ‘not so ypung’ people here at #CHItaly2011
  • Donald Norman is familiar to anyone as his ideas became quickly common sense
  • Donald Norman: innovation, research and (lack of) impact on industry


“create a low-fi prototype at the first responsible moment, create the hi-fi product at the last responsible moment” @aslamkhn

via Twitter / @KentBeck: “create a low-fi prototype ….


Design Principles: The Philopsohy of UX via Design Principles: The Philopsohy of UX –- Higher Ed Edition.


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