hamburger.svg

For our final podcast of 2015, we chat about the big themes on the show and our favorite episodes over the past year. We had conversations on design and tech with some wonderful guests including Niti Bahn, Madeleine Price Ball, Uday Gajander, Kelly Goto, Bill Hartman, Suzanne Livingston, Jon McKay, Scott N. Miller, Juhan Sonin, Scott Stropkay, Scott Sullivan, and Giuseppe Taibi.

From UX in the enterprise to emerging technologies like wearables and robotics to the disruptive nature of creative class work, we covered a wide range topics on The Digital Life in 2015. So what did we learn from a year talking design?

Enterprise UX is on the rise
Enterprise users — from employees to customers to managers — face experiences that are antiquated and needlessly complicated when compared with the experience of consumer-facing software. For those large, complex businesses, government agencies, and other organizations, UX research and design can provide enterprise products with a competitive edge. What is the current state of enterprise software when it comes to UX? What is the scale and complexity of enterprise UX problems? And, most importantly, how is UX changing the way the enterprise works?

Episode 104: Enterprise UX with Kelly Goto
Episode 113: The consumerization of enterprise software with Suzanne Livingston
Episode 127: Design for Enterprise UX

Emerging technologies require design to be successful
From robotics to wearables to bio-inspired materials, emerging technologies represent a future that desperately needs design. There are immediate, significant opportunities for emerging technologies in energy, health, and manufacturing. Designers working in these areas will need to help identify the major challenges in these areas and seek proactive solutions — not an obvious or easy task.

Episode 89: Smart Cities and the IoT
Episode 92: Designing Bio-Inspired Technology
Episode 114: Hacking Cars
Episode 115: The Future of Food
Episode 119: UX for Robotics
Episode 124: Open Humans
Episode 125: The Wearables Revolution

The innovation economy is changing the way we work, collaborate, and live our lives
How do we separate work from play, busyness from leisure in the digital age? Is South by Southwest the big tent tech revival for the American creative class? What is the connection between creative routines and output? Creative work and digital automation are changing the economics of the American middle class. The need for meaningful work is an essential one for humanity, and one that increasingly is falling prey to technological change.

Episode 84: Is Leisure Dead? Exploring Time Poverty in the Digital Age
Episode 94: SXSW and Social Organization for the Creative Class
Episode 103: Creative Routines
Episode 112: Automating America
Episode 121: On Open Organizations
Episode 129: Innovation and Crowdfunding

A Year Talking Design

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about crowdfunding and its place in the innovation ecosystem.

The creative class — knowledge workers in industries like biotech, design, gaming, and software — need new models and structures for collaborating and interacting. Crowdfunding's open model means that nearly anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea can start up a project and hopefully, get some money behind it. For this reason crowdfunding is great for testing markets, and launching new product categories. But for all its benefits, it also come with some high risk potential.

Recently the TechJect Robotic Dragonfly drone project — funded to the tune of $1 million in 2012 on Indiegogo — disintegrated when the company ran out of money. And it's far from the first.

And the Glowing Plant synthetic biology project — a great example of how cutting-edge technology and innovation could receive crowdfunded backing — set off a series of events that led to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being banned on Kickstarter.

Is crowdfunding Wild West capitalism for the digital age? The new face of funding for innovation? Or just a flash in the pan?

Innovation and Crowdfunding

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life we chat about fantasy sports, big data, and the user experience.

It’s an interesting time for fantasy sports, to say the least. With 57 million players in the US and Canada, the industry is seeing booming growth. However, both the Justice Department and the FBI are investigating two of its biggest players, FanDuel and DraftKings. In particular, the Justice Department is looking at whether fantasy sports fall outside of a Federal prohibition on Internet gambling, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which outlawed online poker and sports betting. Is it a game of skill or gambling, pure and simple?

And, on the digital side, we ask, what are the implications for fantasy sports, when your big data product is derived from the activities of athletes whose personal licensing is, at least for the time being, entirely controlled by larger interests, the sports leagues and players associations themselves?

Fantasy Sports and Big Data

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we chat about dark UX patterns, those dirty UI tricks that some designers use to get people to do things they never intended to do — like purchase products or services they don’t need.

UX designer Harry Bignull has brought attention to this problem with his curated pattern library at Darkpatterns.org. Scams like the "bait and switch" have been around for hundreds of years, but in the digital world, whether its online or via a voice UI, the potential for deceit at scale is so much greater.

Lots of big brands use dark UX patterns. For instance, most recently LinkedIn was subject to a class action lawsuit, with an award of $13 million in compensation for a deceitful UI workflow that resulted in spam related to “expanding your professional network”.

We discuss the proliferation of dark UX patterns in every kind of digital communication and commerce.

Dark UX Patterns

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the wearables revolution with Scott Sullivan, Experience Designer at Adaptive Path and a co-author of O'Reilly's "Designing for Emerging Technologies".

We chat about the current state of wearable tech from fitness tracking to augmented reality to watches, the tools for design and prototyping, and the future of wearables, as humans develop a more intimate relationship with this technology.

The Wearables Revolution

 



Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat with Madeleine Price Ball, Co-founder and Principal Investigator of the Public Data Sharing study, about Open Humans, an online platform that enables people to not only connect and participate with research studies but also receive data back from the scientists conducting them.

We explore the origins of the Open Humans project, its revolutionary data sharing model, and how it works for both members and researchers.

Open Humans ecosystem experience map

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

This week, on The Digital Life, we chat about the Volkswagen scandal and the increasingly important role that software plays in controlling our physical world. 

Last week, Volkswagen, the biggest automaker in the world, got caught cheating on its diesel engine emissions tests. The automaker installed software, a “defeat device” in its cars to make them appear cleaner while they were being tested. As a result, the company faces $18B in fines in the US alone.

While this is probably not the first time software has been used to circumvent regulation, the VW scandal is so high profile that it feels like a game changer. In this, the digital and physical worlds are colliding in ways we haven’t seen before. What is the responsibility for software in the real world? And what is the responsibility of design and user experience?

The Volkswagen Software Scandal

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about the themes and take aways from the BIF2015 and Big Design conferences.

At BIF 2015, the Business Innovation Factory annual gathering in Providence, RI, personal stories intertwined with tales of innovation and design. One of the primary themes was innovation in education — a social design critical to the future. Storytellers included Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google, who spoke from his own experience about how education disrupts poverty in one generation, and Sophie Houser co-creator of Tampon Run and Girls Who Code alum discussed the power of technology to create discussion and social change.

While at Big Design, the multi-faceted conference for user experience and usability professionals, digital marketers, designers, content strategists and developers, the conversation incorporated not just the digital, but also emerging technologies like robotics.

Design conference wrap-up

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we explore helping companies infuse design and UX strategy into their culture and structure, with special guest, entrepreneur, product designer, and AI expert, Giuseppe Taibi.

Many companies are constructed to do one thing well — efficiently produce their current products or services. But this kind of focus can oftentimes create overwhelming inertia against change and innovation.

Today, there is a significant trend toward companies building their own in house design and UX teams, some of them for the first time. However, introducing user experience and design culture, and making a company more customer-centric in its thinking, is an investment that requires patience and experimentation. It’s a multi-point process that happens over time — requiring buy-in across the organization, from the executive level to the managers to the doers and makers on the front lines. Join us as we discuss some real life scenarios that we've encountered introducing design into companies.

Infusing a company with design culture

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Episode Summary

Robots are ideal for taking care of jobs that are repetitive, physically demanding, and potentially hazardous to humans. There are immediate, significant opportunities for using advanced robotics in energy, health, and manufacturing. Designers working in robotics will need to help identify the major challenges in these areas and seek proactive solutions — not an obvious or easy task.

In this episode of The Digital Life we discuss the future of UX for robotics, and interview Scott Stropkay and Bill Hartman of the design firm Essential, on human-robot interactions. This interview aired originally on O'Reilly Radar.

UX for Robotics

Subscribe to The Digital Life on iTunes and never miss an episode.the_digital_life_podcast

Click here for more blog posts!