Better User Experience of TV

SK Telecom/Broadband introduced a setup box called B Box. It was co-developed by a design consulting agency, Plus-ex, and recently received a red-dot design award. It not only looks way different from other ugly, bulky setup boxes, but it also provides several interesting services with TV viewers through immensely improved User Interface (UI). For instance, viewers…

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Empathy support system

Empathy matters in design and new  product development (e.g., Dev Patnaik’s Wired to Care). In order to deeply dive into target customers’ thoughts and feelings, marketers have used some combination of observation and interview (i.e., market-oriented ethnography in Rosenthal and Capper 2006) and even pictures (e.g., Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique). Academic researchers in the marketing area…

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PhD thesis: paper vs. book

Marketing PhD candidates write papers. However, some design PhD candidates publish books. I have received book-format theses from two people who obtained their design PhDs from European universities. I also know of some other design PhD candidate in US  who are presently writing books for their PhD degrees. Why do marketers and designers require different…

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Please help us recycle easily

We want to voluntarily participate in recycling but do so only when it is easy. Recently, I met two bin boxes next to each other at a university in Seoul. Unfortunately, their colors and names made me confused: the left one had a blue cover and a green panel saying “recycled” and the right one had…

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Going Outside the Frame

There is an OOH (Out-Of-Home) advertising at one subway in Toronto. Benylin is a medicine available at the Shoppers Drug mart. Advertisers intentionally drew its figure outside the frame to communicate that the pill is strong. Although this is less shocking than VolksWagen in the ski resort or AIA in Bangkok, going outside the frame will successfully attract attention by…

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Bridging the Chasm between Design and Marketing

Although integrating design and marketing is critical for successful new product development (NPD), there has been a limited attention to the potential problems that arise during the NPD process and their possible solutions in academic literature. In order to narrow this gap, our study conducted a series of surveys of an interdisciplinary class project between…

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Behavior Change in University Education

Historically, a professor distributed its course outline with a textbook (e.g., Principles of Marketing) and students bought it at a convenient place (e.g., book store in the campus). This pattern is now dramatically changing. First, students change their book purchasing behavior. The book store in the campus are now facing the price war with online…

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Two Different Ways to Play with Words

University of Toronto has two interesting institutes: Martin Prosperity Institute and Best Institute. The former is an academic place for the global-scale prosperity and inequality. Its research papers discuss the creative classes and cities (Richard Florida), the integrative thinking and strategies (Roger Martin), and the global crowdsourcing for problem solving (Don Tapscott). The latter is a relatively…

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Expert Products, Novice Consumers

Crate and Barrel, one of my favorite stores following Pottery Barn and Williams and Sonoma, has a section called “Everything You Never Knew You Needed.” It introduces highly specialized kitchen utensils including jar spatula, melon baller, strawberry huller, avocado slicer, dual citrus squeezer, egg timer, and herb scissors. At first, they look useless for many who…

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Mobile World Congress (MWC) sketch

Mobile World Congress (MWC) takes place February 24-27, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Some companies put huge design flavor into their booths to successfully attract attention from visitors and press (see pictures and articles on the Arts Technica by Ron Amadeo). Here are a few more pictures sent from one attendee. They are Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, LG…

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Helping People Make Color/Material Choice at Tesla

Choosing the right color and material is difficult for car buyers. Tesla store in Toronto helps visitors make decisions by allowing them to see/touch/smell a few samples. In the store, two working vehicles stand in the middle and they are surrounded by a wide variety of small components of the vehicle such as color samples…

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Microsoft Store vs. Apple Store

I recently visited a MicroSoft Store in a shopping mall in Toronto. My first impression was that it looks highly similar to the Apple Store. For instance, the MS Store places a simple logo outside, displays a wide variety of working devices on the tables, and has many assistants wearing blue (!) T-shirts. However, many visitors in the MS Store spent…

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Design Thinking: David Kelley + Roger Martin

David Kelley, the president of the IDEO, visited Toronto and talked with Roger Martin, the former dean of Rotman School of Management, under the title of unleashing the creative potential within us all. He started his speech saying that his life long question is how to innovate routinely. He suggests we need three things: creative…

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Airport moving walkway: Japan vs. Canada

Although the same moving walkways are installed in the airports in Japan and Canada, the two countries place them differently probably because of the different cultural norms: Japanese walk on the left side while Canadians walk on the right side.

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Seoul changes its face

People want modern shopping experience though they often go to the place the tradition is preserved. Indeed, balancing the tasteless convenience and inconvenient taste is challenging. The old downtown in Seoul has been much changed and people will evaluate this movement soon.

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