Yu Centrik welcomed many guests for a breakfast celebration on November 12 for the 10th annual World Usability Day. Five short presentations of refreshing initiatives showcasing the human side of innovation in a candid atmosphere, perfect with a croissant and coffee.
Watch some highlights!
From table to chair
Diane Leclair Bisson, food designer and author of Edible, was the special guest, astounding the crowd with her innovative designs of edible containers. Not only do they address the problems caused by traditional disposable packaging, but they also taste great, look amazing and are completely natural. A highlight was the series created for young oncology patients at the CHU Sainte-Justine, which renewed the hospital meal ritual to make them tasty, simple and utterly fun.
Stepping up higher in the food chain, Dave Lewis, UX senior designer at Yu Centrik, presented on Provender, a local startup that directly connects farmers with restaurateurs in the interest of offering a sustainable alternative to the “big agro” food system currently in place, bringing us back to better quality products at fair prices.
A customer experience that guarantees quality is also the promise of the German outdoor store Globetrotter. Joëlle Stemp, president and cofounder of Yu Centrik, surprised guests by giving a virtual tour of the 43 000 ft2 outdoor emporium where buyers can put any product to the test, with no purchase required. From diving and kayaking in an indoor pool to venturing into chambers sealing in conditions of extreme cold, wind and rain, the store has become a place to meet and share experiences, and the customers’ travel pictures covering it’s walls only attest to their strong sense of belonging. We celebrate this daring initiative that demonstrates the positive effects of creating a strong emotional experience for clients.
The sense of touch can go far beyond the discovery of a product, like creating unexpected connections between autistic children, for whom human contact is difficult, and their families. Carmen Bossé, UX designer at Yu Centrik, showcased the Touch*Play, a wooden box that records sounds and voices with the help of a button. Upon the touch of another’s hand, the recorded sound plays back, powered by magnetic fields induced by skin contact. Intrigued and amused, children begin to feel at ease with their sense of touch, losing themselves in the fun and giving parents the chance to experience a unique and cherished exchange with their child. We can only imagine the possibilities for innovation this brilliant use of human-powered technology could bring to other social design applications.
To close the event, Annemarie Lesage PhD, UX research and design director at Yu Centrik, revealed the DNA of a great experience through one of the subjects of her doctoral studies: a well-known chair, designed in respect of all ergonomic standards, that surprisingly exceeded all expectations once launched on the market. Dissecting the emotional peak, or wow factor, experienced during a memorable moment is part of the strong expertise she brings to Yu Centrik.
Participants were also invited upon arrival to choose a chair that appealed to them, and to discover their predominant tendencies between aesthetics, playfulness and being socially driven. Overall a light-hearted morning celebration of innovation that we are very eager to repeat!