KTN's online platform helps you to make the connections you need

 

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has refreshed its online platform to intelligently connect you to relevant events, funding, thought pieces and specialist staff to help your business innovate and grow.

You can discover content using your area of interest, from Digital Creative to transport; from space to health – all major UK economic sectors are covered. Once you have selected your interests, using our intelligent tagging system, we will then display rich and relevant content related to your area, often from surprising sources.

An example might be new satellite technology from the space sector that is applicable in the agri-food sector. KTN-UK.co.uk will help you form these unusual and valuable connections.

All content on the platform has been carefully curated by our team of innovation specialists – not by an automated algorithm – so you can be confident that KTN is connecting you to the most relevant cutting-edge information.

 

The move also marks a closer alignment with our main funder, Innovate UK , with the website branding making a clear visual link. Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK's innovation network partner, and also works with other funders to provide innovation networking services and fulfil our mission to drive UK growth.

We link new ideas and opportunities with expertise, markets and finance through our network of businesses, universities, funders and investors. From agri-food to autonomous systems and from energy to design, KTN combines expertise in all sectors with the ability to cross boundaries. Connecting with KTN can lead to potential partners, horizon-expanding events and innovation insights relevant to your needs.

Visit our people pages to connect directly with expertise in your sector.

Visit the KTN refreshed online platfom here

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Taking a user-centred approach to developing location-based services

The Knowledge Transfer Network’s Creative Industries Community has been working closely with the Technology Strategy Board on its ‘Innovation in location-based services’ collaborative R & D competition which opens today. Worth £5million in total, this competition will provide digital and creative businesses the opportunity to experiment and innovate, to experiment with new ideas and technologies, and to develop the products and services that will shape this exciting new market.
 
As part of our work around this competition my colleague Rachel Jones, a Creative Industries Community  Knowledge Transfer Specialist, delivered a presentation at the recent MEX 2014 event looking at techniques for enhancing user experience in the context of location-based services. 
 
This year’s MEX event was themed around eight user modes — locate, consume, create, control, communicate, explore, augment.
 
“We define user modes as both how and why a user is trying to achieve a goal. By identifying these common ways people engage with digital products, we can move beyond design governed by specific technologies or device types and instead use these modes to build experiences better suited to user needs, across smartphones, PCs, tablets, wearables and more.”
 
In her excellent presentation, “Location-based awareness — enabling a citizen-centred approach” (available here), Rachel focused on the 'location' trend from three broad perspectives:
 
1. MOTIVATION: contrary to the marketing hype that has underpinned the ‘location-based services’ concept for the best part of a decade “Beyond mapping, there is an apparent lack of consumer need and convincing scenarios”.
2. SITUATED DIGITAL SERVICES: rather than using peoples’ location as our starting point, if we use the location of things as our starting point then we begin to: enable the sharing of real-time data and feedback; move beyond a ‘one size fits all’ approach; allow two-way communication between city/town administrators (“who know what should be happening”) and citizens (“who know what is actually happening”).
3. DESIGN QUESTIONS: how do we create/ enable better resource discoverability, ambient data, interaction mechanisms, citizen contribution.   
 
Rachel also facilitated a creative session to further explore related opportunities and challenges. This workshop examined a series a provocations under the title of ‘Making choices in response to position’:
 
- How can experiences respond to users' relationship with the concept of place rather than simply their geographical co-ordinates?
- How can we facilitate the discovery of physical resources based on location, from ATMs to cycle hire, and the emerging virtual layer of ambient data, such as air quality and traffic?
- Which interaction mechanisms are most effective for displaying such physical resources and virtual layers, e.g. visualisations, augmented reality and haptics?
- Are there elements of the user experience which should be ring-fenced from being location aware?
- Should location awareness be considered across users' collections of digital touchpoints rather than being specific to a single device?
- How can location awareness become a two-way conversation which allows users to contribute their own data?
 
In response to these questions, participants worked together to develop a series of personas and user journeys out of which they also developed a key design principle which Rachel has subsequently summarised as follows:
 
"In the broadest sense, we are designing for situations. Location is not sufficient. Context determines what services and information to supply, e.g. if you are driving, you only want driving information and not distractions. Context = intent, activity and location."
 
 
 
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