14 March 2006

User-centred environments...and branding

There is an interesting briefing about branded environments at Trendwatching.com. People working in usability often get irritated by branding professionals, perceiving branding as being concerned only with selling products and services, with little concern about whether they are easy to use.

There may be a grain of truth in there, but user-centred design is about providing things people need and, yes, also ensuring that those things are as easy as possible to use. So it's interesting to see examples of companies that have provided services people need (mobile phone charging and quiet spaces to make phone calls at public events such as rock concerts, lounges and travel centres at airports etc.) in order to enhance their brand. (I wasn't so sure about the LG Washbar in Paris, twenty years on from My Beautiful Launderette.)

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