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December 6, 2015No Comments

Experience Design In The Fourth Dimension

Design is in the eye of a technological, social and cultural storm, revolutionizing how we interact with the world around us. Its impact on business is the difference between disrupting, or being disrupted, as a new design method dictates which brands win and which lose. Central to it all is customer experience, the benchmark of a brand’s value.

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August 29, 2010No Comments

on: cacoo


Check out Cacoo!  It is is an online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts.

on: cacoo via @jpenabickley

August 29, 2010No Comments

on: cacoo


Check out Cacoo!  It is is an online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts.

on: cacoo via @jpenabickley

August 29, 2010No Comments

on: cacoo


Check out Cacoo!  It is is an online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts.

on: cacoo via @jpenabickley

November 26, 2006No Comments

ON: Hitachi & User Generated Media

Hitachi takes the plunge into consumer genrated media to help connect with its US audience.
Ads take pieces of CG Video and tease you to click to the broadband website.
Picture_5_5  Picture_1_15

Click here to view the site: http://www.hitachi.us/truestories/


ON: Hitachi & User Generated Media via @jpenabickley

November 1, 2006No Comments

ON: Reframing My Product Design Life Cycle

As important as it is to have people with the right skills and appropriate team structure to implement user-centered design, it is just as important to facilitate a good design process. An effective design process involves several phases: researching, designing, prototyping, testing, and iterating.

Designing for users presupposes that the product development team understands the users it is targeting. True understanding comes from extensive qualitative and quantitative research, which help the team identify market segments and user needs, behaviors, and attitudes.

A fundamental premise of bringing design into the development process is that design happens before programming begins. If the foundation is flawed, corrections can be difficult to make after coding begins. During the design phase, objectives and features are not only defined, but also who the target user is, what their goals are, what the context of use is, and what the task requirements are. As mentioned earlier, design tradeoffs are made based on the business case for the product, so it is important to establish the business goals upfront. During this phase it is important that the team consider the product in terms of goals, which are generally more descriptive than features.

As the product evolves from a conceptual framework and interaction model, it is important to create prototypes of the design. Prototypes not only help communicate the design, but also help the team visualize the design and understand task flow. They are also useful for gathering user feedback throughout the design process, whether they are storyboards or interactive mockups.

Low-fidelity prototypes may be created using pencil and paper or in Visio. Such prototypes are useful for visualizing and getting user feedback on task organization or conceptual ideas. Hi-fidelity prototypes are more operational and allow the team to get feedback on the mechanics of user interaction.

User testing during the design process offers many benefits. Feedback from user testing can provide input into the current design, future releases, and related products, and offer general lessons about usability that might be applicable across the entire network. It can also provide the development team insight into the user’s perceptions, satisfaction, questions, problems, and general use. More specific information about user research methods can be found in the next section.

Rarely is a product team going to nail down the best solution on the first try. Therefore, it is important to allow for time to iterate on the design so the team has an opportunity to modify the design based on user feedback. The more the design can be refined upfront before coding, the more time spent on development can be saved. Of course, additional lead time is needed for the design team to design, prototype, test, and iterate, so involving UED upfront and early is imperative to fostering user-centered design.

ON: Reframing My Product Design Life Cycle via @jpenabickley

November 1, 2006No Comments

Experience Planner/Designer In The Seat of Product Developer

Building the tool that online ad agency needs most has taken on new meaning for me. For months I have been gathering research that will lead to the formation of a set of agency products. I am developing my plans, product ideas and observing agencies business problems. I have defined the common agency process, developed personas and outlined the typical task analysis.   Now that I am ready to begin vetting out a new product specifications, I stepped back to answer the most important question of the day….

What is User-Centered Product Design?

User-centered design (UCD) is a method for designing ease of use into the total user experience with products. Key to this approach is the focus on understanding the users—their environment, their goals and tasks necessary to achieve these goals, their skills, and their abilities.

Throughout the development cycle, feedback and input from users is gathered to ensure that the design is based on real data, and not the product development team’s imagination about what users do.

Using this method enables the efficient design of effective interactive systems as UCD expedites and simplifies gathering user feedback and incorporates it into the design process.

Specifically, user-centered design means that product teams start by observing and working with its users. Throughout the design process, users judge whether the product meets their requirements by evaluating prototypes.

After a period of iterative evaluation and design, the technology is built to fit the mockups.

User-centered design is about describing the whole user experience, not just what the users see on the page. It is about relating user goals to application functions, as opposed to taking requirements from someone and turning out web pages.

The deliverable for user-centered design is a product that is useful, usable, and desirable to users, not just the final HTML, programming, or implementation.

Note that user-centered design is different from and complementary to market research. Market research strives to answer the question, “What product should be built?” Marketing knows what customers are asking for, what drives their behavior at the point of sale, what they will pay for, and what determines their purchasing habits.

User Experience, on the other hand, knows what customers or clients actually do, what makes a product simple or difficult, usable or not. Thus, User Experience is better suited to answer the question, “How should the product be designed?”

Marketing, User Experience, and Engineering offer a spectrum of perspectives in product development. Creating the right synergy between these functions so that a successful product is built is not an easy task.

Experience Planner/Designer In The Seat of Product Developer via @jpenabickley

October 18, 2006No Comments

Is Your Brand Safe?

Are you pro or against working with ad networks?

If you, either through an internal department or an agency, work with ad networks, are you happy with the placements your ads get through ad networks?
Why or why not?

What is your biggest fear about relying on ad networks for the placement of your ads?
How have you tackled this?

Should mid sized & smaller publishers (the interactive ad long tail) be made to categorize their content in an open market place?

If so who should regulate and publicize publisher compliance?

If there were such a service would you pay for membership that helped protect brands through categorization and fine based penalties for non compliance?

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Is Your Brand Safe? via @jpenabickley

October 18, 2006No Comments

The Online Ad Game

There are so many aspects to the online advertising space that confuse marketers and agencies who act as the client advocate in the interactive space. After conducting a number of industry interviews with ad agencies and advertisers I have found that there is market confusion around ad networks and the safety of your brand.

Over the next few posts I thought I would address some high level issues and recruit your feedback and ideas in this forum to begin an open dialog with the best of our industry in order to develop a strategy and possibly an organization that will begin to guide the interactive ad industry in a positive direction that will inevitably lead to larger online ad spending from advertisers for 2007.

Ad Networks
Historically, an organization charged with the representation of advertising space for a group of Web sites for the purpose of maximizing revenue and minimizing administrative costs through aggregation. The role of an Internet advertising network is to transact, serve, track and report the distribution of creative from advertisers to publishers using an efficient, interactive marketplace.

Today they have become sophisticated operations designed to allow advertisers to place their advertising materials in front of selected individuals.  The typical selling proposition of a network is that these individuals are good prospects for the particular product or service on offer. But ad networks differ in several ways, including:

  1. How the your audience or individuals are selected or targeted
  2. The range of publishers' sites on which the advertisements may appear

A network can also be categorized according to the nature of the financial arrangement between the advertiser, the network and the publisher.

  1. The True Network= bases on revenue sharing agreements across a wide range of sites
  2. Arbitrage network = buys unused, unwanted remnant inventory at bargain prices in hopes of repackaging and reselling it profitably
  3. The Broker network = simply manages the transactions and adds little value for advertisers.

The beauty of the Ad Network, dependant on type, business emphasis, organization and approach, is that most networks offer a range of options, including demographic, geographic and dayparting. Many allow advertisers to mix and match various types of selectivity, creating a near infinite range of possibilities for finding specific categories of prospects and serving them targeted messages.

So why do Ad Networks have such a bad rap with advertisers and agencies alike?

One answer could be….
While ad networks offer increased reach ad networks also offer less control for brand advertisers. Marketers placing impressions on an ad network will be challenged to keep tabs on where their advertising appears. Marketers are justly vigilant about protecting their brand -- especially online, where they must inevitably give up a degree of control -- but ad networks can be particularly frustrating.

  1. Who do you hold responsible when you brand shows up on inappropriate content?
  2. How can you hold the agency, ad networks or publishers accountable?
  3. Is your Brand truly Safe without some sort of industry standard categorization of content?

Sound off...

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The Online Ad Game via @jpenabickley

October 5, 2006No Comments

ON: 56% of Active Gamers Are Online, 64% Are Women

Among the roughly 117 million "Active Gamers" in the U.S. in 2006, more
than half (56 percent) play games online, and 64 percent of all online
gamers are women, according to Nielsen Entertainment's third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study, released
Thursday. Moreover, though teenagers still constitute the largest
percentage (40 percent) of active gamers, more than 15 million of those
gamers (almost 8 percent) are now 45 years old or older.

Although women make up nearly two-thirds of all online gamers, men
outnumber women in the overall videogame universe by more than two to
one. And although older females make up the largest percentage of
casual gamers, active gamer teens and young adults comprise a
considerable portion of this market, with more than half playing casual
games an hour or more a week.

The social elements of videogames are becoming an increasingly
important part of the gaming experience, with those in the active
gamers category spending more than five hours a week playing games
socially. Some 64 percent of active gamers play on PC-based systems,
which offer users connected experiences through massively multiplayer
online games (MMOG) that other platforms cannot yet match. Personal
computers also are the platform of choice for players of casual games,
especially among women.


ON: 56% of Active Gamers Are Online, 64% Are Women via @jpenabickley

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