Uncovering opportunities for digital innovation through field research

I cannot think of anything more exciting for a researcher than the moment you finally leave the lab and bring your research skills to the field. UX researchers these days deal heavily with software and digital product testing, but there is only so much you can learn about your users in an artificial lab setting. Some of us are lucky enough to work in an industry — e.g. the travel and mobility industry — in which much of the experience provided to the users actually happens offline. Doing research for FlixBus (now FlixMobility), with its iconic long-distance green buses, means


The link between technology, society and culture has been for years one of the focal topics of research across several fields in social sciences and information studies. With the rise of techno-scientific development, a new interdisciplinary research area was recently established, that of “cyber-anthropology” or “digital anthropology”, aimed at exploring technology as one of society’s main transforming driving forces. The spread of social media and new trends in technology suggests an increasingly close relationship between ethnographic studies and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

The scope of this literary review is to identify the current state of the art and the main concepts…


Exploring modes of interaction in BrainSnake, a cooperative multi-brain BCI game based on alpha activity

Playing BrainSnake

Brain-Computer Interfaces is one of the coolest fields of emerging technologies and particularly exciting when it comes of its possible applications for the gaming community. One of the coolest projects I have worked on recently involved the design, implementation and evaluation of a BCI game during my master degree in Human-Computer Interaction & Design at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands. I hereby present you: BrainSnake.

BrainSnake

BrainSnake is a BCI version of the classic Nokia game Snake which relies on alpha activity of the player to control its main character (the snake, of course). It was born from the…


How videogames and gamification have the potential to change the world for the better

In her book Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal analyses the phenomenon of the mass exodus from the real world to the virtual space of gaming in the past few decades. With hundreds of millions of people devoting more and more time and effort into digital games, her argument is that in today’s society, video games are able to fulfil genuine human needs that the real world is currently unable to satisfy — that is, that reality is broken when compared to the digital world. The reason behind is rather simple — games are inherently designed to trigger the reward system…


An updated version of this article has been recently featured on my blog So You Want To Be a UX Researcher. Check it out if you can :)

When I started my postgraduate degree in Human-Computer Interaction & Design I did not have any previous formal education nor training in design thinking. With my background in IT, I was used to think of product design in terms of functionality. What is the task of the product? What is the user’s purpose when using the product? These are all valid questions that designers and engineers alike need to take into account…

Pietro Romeo

UX Researcher @ FlixBus. Pan-European, uprooted globetrotter. Idiosyncratic. Passionate about UX, Human-Computer Interaction, and Digital Anthropology.

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