Social Media Week Milan: day 4

Here we go!

last day of the amazing Social Media Week in Milan. It was a real joy to participate to the Social Media Week in Milan. I will surely be back next year, who knows, maybe even as a speaker. Thinking of it.

I am also considering to pay a visit to the Social Media Week in Rome they spoke about. The sad part of living in Scandinavian countries, it is that all things are tailored around their realities and at times it feels to me like they are purposely missing the whole picture. Being able to travel around, I would recommend anyhow to travel to other cities to learn how the world develops.

Shutout to Copenhagen, it is not an official city but they have an independent event and it is worth the mention.

Now let’s see today’s events.

Augmented reality and corporates storytelling


Andrea Fontana AD at Storyfactory and Didactic Director for Master MUST University of Pavia, made an introduction to successful storytelling. Brilliant examples to separate storytelling from narration.

Here the examples we watched. It’s the last day, so I am kind 🙂 Besides they are on youtube for everybody to see

Example of narration

Example of storytelling

The difference is easy to be spotted: narration is a description of the business, the offer etc. Storytelling is separated from the business but incorporates values that send back to the core values of the business. Higher emotional value and involvement

What about augmented stories?

For this Andrea Fontana showed the genial choice of the French Musée De La Grande Guerre, who created a profile on Facebook for a soldier who died during the war and let people follow his life, up to the tragic end, to promote the museum. You can still follow Leon Vivien, although he’s been declared dead, and you can see his everyday life as collected by the museum.

Check the video

Finally Andrea Fontana gave us the ingredients to create a solid story telling: transform content to story, plan the story listeners, create show (in the British sense of dynamic of involvement), skills (you need people very skilled in very different tasks to succeed), set as script and choreography and you need a storyteller to guide through the storytelling. The whole to be mixed and simulated.

Five stars to this opening today! Short and quite on spot introduction to storytelling. Chapeau!

Proxima Milano and UNIMIB: first insights on user experience for the “AdVR” scenario to come

Proxima is among the coolest companies we have in Milan. They work among the others with A-class special effects and are exclusive MPC (Moving Picture Company) partners in Italy . Today they were at Social Media Week to present a case study: Urban Up. Speakers were Andrea Masera from Partner & General Manager of Proxima Milano, Ebi Maria Grassi from Real Estate, Sgr Immobiliare and Unipol Sai Insurance and Federica Pallavicini researcher at UNIMI Bicocca.

The project, Urban Up – Milan Virtual Experience as an ambitious project that was presented at MIPIM in Cannes, March 2017. The task was to show sustainability, high performance and innovation. The images created in virtual reality showed Milano including the buildings that are yet not ready, and many others who are not accessible for the public were at disposal in virtual reality. First among the others was Milan’s outstanding and visionary mayor Sala, who saw a Milan he was dreaming of through the VR device. So we can say that the images showed were emotionally charged.

The university of Bicocca was also making a research studying the spontaneous behaviour of the people testing Urban Up and the VR device: goals were to understand the relationship with the device and with virtual reality and to register the level of motivation given by the experience.

Highlighting the studies the general reaction to virtual reality is positive, the majority consider it easy to use, likeable. As to the content of the Urban Up project, testers felt they learned something new and that they were willing to visit the real town in the future, to see the things that are planned to be ready in the future in the city.

The spontaneous reaction was also monitored: 62% of tester had a positive spontaneous reaction, 28% a neutral reaction and for 9.5% it was not visible to measure. This is very encouraging!

I will end my report on this part of the conference quoting from the researcher’s slides:

“There are two kinds of people. Those who think that VR will change the world. And those who haven’t tried VR”

A shutout to Proxima for being such a Milano pride, I look with tremendous admiration to all they do: such an inspiration! A place to call a dream-working place indeed.

Experience design as a critical factor for products and IoT services construction

Here I have a confession to make: I took this at a toss of a dime. There was a bit of delay between some workshops and unfortunately I had planned to see this and afterwords a workshop (that was sent in live streaming) on Google evolving, machine learning and vocal research. Unfortunately they ended up colliding and so I literally threw a dime and this workshop won. To tell you the truth, I am happy it did, as many of the things that were said apply to lot more than just IoT. This is really how the world is evolving. Speaker was Pier Paolo Bardoni, Founder & CEO of THINGS. We started speaking about make strategy & trying for innovative experiences as tasks when creating new products. A key to success is to design products & services that create valuable relationships, that are users centric. To get a successful result, one should not ignore the macro trend that is happening: products are changing to services. We have spoken a lot about  mixing up as part of many conferences content, but for designers an important factor is the transformation of the product from product only to service. To explain this, we took a statement of  Jeffrey Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. In 2001 he said about Kindle Fire “we don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet , we think of it as a service”. And this is a core point for today’s devices too. Kindle Fire is seen as something who completes the service on Amazon: you can buy books, included in the service a device to read the book. So it is a means to complete the experience. Note this, as it is a core point.

The 15th of June, so a few days ago, Amazon officially entered in all American’s home, with the new Alexa-enabled Dash Wand, which is at disposal almost free for prime subscribers, temporarily only in the US. What is Alexa? It is a smart assistant. Again, to complete the service of Amazon prime. Alexa is programmed to interprete the natural, audio and visual language and can also read gestures interface. Its goal is to simply people’s life and it is the new frontier of the house business. This is a strong news. Also because it tells us something about consumers.

Expectations for people in the use of products and service are always more advanced and the perception of the value is vital. Consider that we have practically everything so the expectations for new devices is that they ameliorate our life, but these expectations are sky high. Status is something that falls very fast, it is the perception of value that is vital for the product. If this value is easily accessible, then you are on the right path.
So: generic high expectations and there are short honeymoons.  Usable, desirable and exciting is the A B C of the product but then it must integrate in our habits. Which means the barriers of usability must be reduced to minimum: natural, social, intuitive and perceived as to use frequently. These are also minimum requirements.
A declared goal for designers today is to get rid of the geeks. New products must be so easy to use that whatever old fashioned granny could be able to use the tool non dramatically.
The elements that go into the evaluation of the core value of the tool are: seeing, thinking (evaluation), hearing, feeling (motivation), doing (behavioural), and with whom (social). These are all the elements that can make the success of the artefact. It is enough to mess up one thing to see the interest goes lost.
In a survey on smart home, I want to give you the arguments against in order from the highest to the lowest:
  1. too expensive
  2. not consolidated (brand has still some value)
  3. did not know
  4. who sells it?
  5. privacy fears
  6. more FX
  7. fear of installation too hard
  8. don’t get the value
Target for each and every person is that the product solves problems, ameliorate the habits, is easy and safe to use. Innovation is also based on people’s behaviour that you can collect for design-driven approach. Actually studying people’s behaviour is doing design. This involves all stakeholders, that orchestrates all behaviours.
So in the end the IoT evolution from product to service means interdisciplinary design where human entered methodology. But I would dare say this extend to much more than this. It has become core for whatever you are selling on the market.
But for EXPERIENCE DESIGN the front stage and back stage are on these tasks
front > experience final user
back >process configuration
At the end of this we looked at many examples. Among the devices that his own company produces, I want to give a shutout to a tool that you can talk to and tell what you are missing home, it will register your needs and follow you when you are buying at the stores. If they make it past the prototype, I will definitely buy one.
A last note on this event – in 2013/2014 I made a conference warning people not to get too enthusiastic about apps, that their peak was to be reached very soon. You download those you use and then it is very hard to give extra value to the new ones. That many things would go back to the web, or to new services.
Now, it was a small not convinced audio I spoke to, but during the event in Milan this same thing is repeated: today apps are after their peak. What I could not foresee but was explained today is that they are entering a new role: they are turning into the remote control for the IoT. You get the device, you download the app to make it work.

As said, I picked this workshop on a toss of a dime, I gave it so much space because although this is all about IoT devices, I am convinced what we are talking about is how the market is evolving.

This will be all from me. I want to thank all the people who followed me on Twitter, Instagram and my Facebook page during the event. All the volunteers and the sponsors that made this Social Media Week an outstanding experience. A big shutout to Talent Garden, what an oasis in the city! Inspiring space indeed. And I want to thank Milan for being the lighthouse of Italy. It really makes me so proud of being born in this town. It is harder and harder to leave!

See you next year at Social Media Week 2018, although I am trying to bring me to Social Media Week in Rome in September. Be there and maybe see you there!


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