A MEX event
A MEX event
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ICTKTN (ICT Knowledge Transfer Network)
Pathway sponsor
CI KTN (Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network)
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Pathways

Over the years to March 2013, MEX explored a series of Pathways, ongoing initiatives combining pre-event research provocations, a two day agenda of speaker presentations and working sessions, followed by a complete post-event summary of videos, sketches and notes. They are archived here.

Starting in September 2013, MEX introduced a new set of themes, entitled 'Ingredients of User Experience', based around designing for the different modes of engagement which define user interaction with digital devices.
#17. Insight
Improve understanding of user behaviour and enhance how that insight drives design decisions
#2. Diffusion
Principles of multiple touch-point design and new, diffuse experiences
#14. Context
Provide relevant experiences, respect privacy and adapt to preferences
#9. Sensation
Techniques for enhancing digital experience with audible and tactile elements
#6. Form
Excite users with change in shapes, materials or the abandonment of physical form
#7. Sustainability
Enable sustainable expression in digital product choices and harness digital design to promote sustainable living
#17. Insight
Improve understanding of user behaviour and enhance how that insight drives design decisions
Initiated January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. Which research methods are best suited to imagining radically new products?
  2. Do the most valuable user insights result from the targeting and commitment inherent in crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter?
  3. Is the process of commissioning outsourced user research incompatible with breakthrough design decisions?
  4. How is technology improving the efficiency of user research? How can the increasing volume of data analytics support design?
  5. Does an iterative development approach provide better overall experience or risk straying from the original vision?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #17 >>
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#2. Diffusion
Principles of multiple touch-point design and new, diffuse experiences
Initiated July 2010 , evolved January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. How does user research differ when studying behaviour across multiple touchpoints?
  2. How does the psychology of use change with the multiplication of digital touchpoints?
  3. How will multi-touchpoint services evolve beyond simple content replication to deliver experiences greater than the sum of their parts?
  4. To what degree does the cloud both enable and limit good user experience in a multi-touchpoint environment?
  5. Will digital experiences diffuse to the physical fabric of users' lives? Which tasks performed today on mobile devices could become embedded in architecture and furniture?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #2 >>
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#14. Context
Provide relevant experiences, respect privacy and adapt to preferences
Initiated June 2012 , evolved January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. How can design demonstrate the potential of context awareness to skeptical users? What are the most successful examples?
  2. In which scenarios do real-time sensor data and behaviour patterns combine most effectively to reveal user context?
  3. How can contextually responsive experiences respect privacy yet learn user behaviour quickly enough to deliver benefit?
  4. How do graceful failure techniques allow users to correct inaccurate contextual guesses and reassure the system is learning from mistakes?
  5. What is the right balance between dynamic, contextually responsive elements and consistency in the user interface?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #14 >>
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#9. Sensation
Techniques for enhancing digital experience with audible and tactile elements
Initiated February 2011 , evolved January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. Have today's smooth, glass touchscreens caused designers to forget the senses of sound and tactility in interaction sequences?
  2. Which digital experiences are uniquely enabled through audible and tactile elements?
  3. Which sounds and feelings are innately suited to digital interaction? Is there a need for common palettes of audible and tactile elements?
  4. How should visual, tactile and audible elements adapt in response to changes in the ambient environment? How should the priority afforded different senses change in response to context?
  5. Does the success of audible and tactile interactions increase when users have been alerted to expect them?
  6. How can design process evolve towards parity for audible, tactile and visual elements?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #9 >>
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#6. Form
Excite users with change in shapes, materials or the abandonment of physical form
Initiated July 2010 , evolved January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. Is the rectangular slate the endpoint of mobile device design?
  2. Which methods are available for imagining and testing new forms?
  3. Which barriers are restricting more varied form factors? What would happen if they were removed?
  4. Which materials, technologies and manufacturing processes are emerging to reshape the form of mobile devices in the future?
  5. Will there be a time when form disappears?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #6 >>
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#7. Sustainability
Enable sustainable expression in digital product choices and harness digital design to promote sustainable living
Initiated February 2011 , evolved January 2013 | Status: Active
  1. Is the contemporary nature of digital experiences incompatible with the more patient values of sustainable products? How can an industry reliant upon constant replacement cycles embrace a more sustainable approach?
  2. How might the design of digital products evolve in a future where sustainable and premium are synonymous?
  3. To what degree can digital experiences influence users to live more sustainably? In which areas of life are these applications likely to emerge first?
  4. How can users track and measure sustainable behaviour in units relevant to their lives?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #7 >>
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Archived Pathways

Previous MEX Pathways are archived for future reference and exploration, providing a complete record of the work achieved by the community:
#1. Efficiency
Define more efficient user experience techniques for an age of network austerity
#3. Concurrency
Develop interface designs for multi-person, simultaneous use of touchscreens
#4. Dimensions
Identify ways 3D input and output enrich the user experience
#5. Health
Create best practice for the user experience of mobile health services
#8. Creativity
Inspire new forms of creative expression through mobile devices
#10. Additions
Build smart hardware additions to transform the mobile user experience
#11. Connect
Develop user experience principles for super local connectivity
#12. Psychology
Apply knowledge of brain processes for more effective mobile experiences
#13. Quiet
Use quiet design principles to reduce the visual noise of mobile interface design
#15. Clarity
Develop design strategy for increased visual clarity and pixel density in mobile displays
#16. Speed
Explore implications of speed in customer experience and how to achieve it
#1. Efficiency
Define more efficient user experience techniques for an age of network austerity
Initiated July 2010 , evolved February 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. Why is the efficiency of mobile services becoming increasingly important despite Moore's Law and advances in network capacity, processors and resources? Where are the pain points in the age of network austerity?
  2. Is the quality of experience proportional to the quantity of data transferred over the network? Does simplifying always lead to the simplistic?
  3. How can alternative channels circumvent the limitations of cellular networks?
  4. Do practitioners need an evolved design language to deliver the best experiences, in the most efficient way, without the legacy of old world metaphors?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #1 >>
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#3. Concurrency
Develop interface designs for multi-person, simultaneous use of touchscreens
Initiated July 2010 , evolved June 2012 | Status: Archived
  1. How does face to face simultaneous interaction over the same device change the dynamics of interface design?
  2. Which activities are best suited to multi-person, simultaneous usage and what benefits are derived from sharing the experience?
  3. Which user interface design techniques best support the parallel usage model of simultaneous multi-person experiences?
  4. How can experiences switch between individual and simultaneous modes while supporting individual ownership of of jointly created data?
  5. Will simultaneous usage of the same device enable digital collaboration to evolve from simple social applications to more complex creative scenarios?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #3 >>
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#4. Dimensions
Identify ways 3D input and output enrich the user experience
Initiated July 2010 , evolved February 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. How does combining 3D input mechanisms with 3D displays create more natural interactions and overcome visual strain?
  2. What new experiences are uniquely enabled by 3D and more relevant to customers' lives than today's technology-focused demonstrations?
  3. Does the ability for mobile devices to perceive 3D allow them to understand and interact with the physical environment?
  4. Does the ability to represent visual depth in interfaces better reflect our natural, multi-dimensional brain processes?
  5. Can lessons from early pioneers of 3D in gaming and data visualisation inform the future of interface design?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #4 >>
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#5. Health
Create best practice for the user experience of mobile health services
Initiated July 2010 , evolved July 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. What is the best way to design for multiple users' needs, including patient, carer and healthcare professional, in a single product experience?
  2. How will the user experience differ across customer-prescribed, doctor-prescribed and co-operative mobile health scenarios?
  3. Which techniques can be used to convey the implicit trust and reliability of the healthcare profession in the mobile user experience?
  4. How much can be learned from existing inclusive design techniques to ensure mobile health products are usable for the elderly and disabled?
  5. How can positive design techniques motivate users of mobile healthcare products to move from thinking 'I am unwell' to 'I am helping myself to get better'?
  6. What are the most effective ways to gain the empathy essential to designing good mobile healthcare experiences?
  7. How should user-centric design processes evolve when the consequences of failure have such serious health implications?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #5 >>
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#8. Creativity
Inspire new forms of creative expression through mobile devices
Initiated February 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. How does ubiquitous access to new sensors such as touchscreens, gestural input and location tracking change the expression of human creativity?
  2. What does artistic experimentation at the boundaries of digital technology teach us about mainstream user experience requirements of the future?
  3. How does mass person-to-person communications facilitate new creative experiences through co-operative working?
  4. Will person-to-person communications enriched with new channels, such as haptics, emerge as a new form of artistic expression in itself?
  5. Are the text-based 'Status Updates' espoused by Facebook and Twitter the zenith of emotional expression or can human moods be better expressed?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #8 >>
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#10. Additions
Build smart hardware additions to transform the mobile user experience
Initiated July 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. How do hardware additions enhance the core user experience of a device?
  2. How can simple, physical materials combine with software to add a level of smartness?
  3. What is changing the economics of developing accessories for niche requirements? What is the impact of high volume individual handsets such as the iPhone? What is the role of pre-production, product-centric funding platforms such as Kickstarter?
  4. What inspiration can be found in the history of mobile accessories?
  5. When does the experience justify expanding a software product into a combination of hardware and software. What are the differences between user-centred design processes for hardware and software?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #10 >>
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#11. Connect
Develop user experience principles for super local connectivity
Initiated July 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. How can designers create good user experiences for the emerging interaction class of short-range connectivity events?
  2. Which new experiences will be enabled by short-range connectivity, beyond the established ideas of touch to pay, share and connect?
  3. Is it possible to identify and improve upon the existing, analogue benchmarks against which short-range digital interactions must be measured?
  4. How does the users' visual focus change when making short-range, physical connections?
  5. Which aspects of the experience occur on the personal mobile device and which aspects occur on the object the user is connecting with?
  6. Are tactile and audible elements more important than visual design in short-range interaction experiences?
  7. What opportunities exist for face-to-face usage scenarios where digital interactions replace or supplement the traditions of human contact?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #11 >>
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#12. Psychology
Apply knowledge of brain processes for more effective mobile experiences
Initiated July 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. How can improving understanding of the brain's inner workings inform the design of more natural user experiences?
  2. Why can humans perform some actions instinctively but find other actions take practice and concentration?
  3. At what age and why do these behaviours start to emerge in the cycle of a user's life?
  4. How do innate behaviours vary according to language, culture and gender?
  5. Is it possible to create new behaviours that feel as natural as our innate abilities? How can we educate users to try new things in the least disruptive and most rewarding way?
  6. Are digital experiences prompting the development of a new gestural language for users?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #12 >>
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#13. Quiet
Use quiet design principles to reduce the visual noise of mobile interface design
Initiated July 2011 | Status: Archived
  1. Why do users feel like the digital world is constantly shouting for their attention? What are the quiet design principles which can help turn down the visual volume?
  2. Does reducing the quantity of information with quiet design deliver a more satisfying experience? Can a gentle rain shower deliver as much water as a surging river?
  3. Does the proliferation of screens in users' lives enable designers to offload elements of the experience from the primary devices?
  4. Does the unobtrusive and distributed nature of quiet design allow for playful new interactions which would otherwise compromise a traditional interface?
  5. Which existing appliances provide inspiration for the new interfaces of quiet design?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #13 >>
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#15. Clarity
Develop design strategy for increased visual clarity and pixel density in mobile displays
Initiated June 2012 | Status: Archived
  1. What new services are enabled by increased clarity?
  2. How does the users' relationship with displays change at varying levels of pixel density?
  3. What new interactions, textures and styles become available to designers on highly pixel dense displays?
  4. What are the accessibility, legibility and aesthetic considerations for existing, and new, services when delivered on high pixel count, small form factor displays?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #15 >>
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#16. Speed
Explore implications of speed in customer experience and how to achieve it
Initiated June 2012 | Status: Archived
  1. What design techniques make an experience seem fast to the user?
  2. How do the relative speeds of different digital touchpoints in users' lives influence behaviour?
  3. How fast is too fast?
  4. How can the relative pace of an experience be measured?
Explore further
Blog notes on Pathway #16 >>
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