You adults should consult us children on how to change the educational system! 13-year-old Amy Mather from Manchester, UK encourages us, when being invited up on stage by Commissioner Mrs Kroes to share her views on future innovations. And the audience of the ICT 2013 conference in Vilnius greets her with a big round of applause. Because it truly makes sense, doesn’t it? The human beings affected by any activity really should be heard, be they end-users of an educational app or citizens stating their errands digitally to authorities. It makes for a happier customer, a smarter product or service and the environment greets us for using her resources sustainably and wisely.
The connecting thought of the conference, expressed by entrepreneurs, policy makers and researchers, was the indispensability of the engagement of users in all phases of innovation and product development processes. We need to understand user needs and carefully take them into account when designing digital content and services. And not only that, EU’s latest program for funding research and innovation, Horizon 2020, encourages applicants to invite the users into collaboration and let them co-create and co-design, all the while we listen to and act upon their fears and hopes for the digital content or service.
Amen to that, we say at the content testing and user experience lab of MediaCity! For a decade already, we've conducted academic, multidisciplinary research in the field of user experience and applied our knowledge of users' needs, motivations, goals, and behavior to development and design projects together with clients, mostly in the creative industries. In a User Centered Design process, users of the target group evaluate and co-create digital content and smart solutions with us. However, there's still continuous work to be done and we're happy to see that there's a call for thoroughly listening to the human being living her life in a hyper connected world. Do join us in that quest!