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16 SEPTEMBER 2013

Robert Peston Goes Shopping: shopping and the high street retailer

"In this new three–part BBC Two series, Robert Peston tells the colourful story of shopping in Britain since the Second World War. Using rarely seen archive and interviews with the key players of British retail, Peston explores how shopping has changed–and how it's changed us.

He tells the story behind some of our favourite high street stores, including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco. He explains how we fell in love with shopping, but allowed the love affair to become too passionate, so much so that many of us ended up in chronic debt. And he shows how retail is now in the grips of a revolution as it attempts to come to terms with the rise of online shopping and the fallout of the financial crisis.

In the first episode, Seduction, Robert Peston tells how shopping in Britain was transformed from a chore to be endured into our favourite pastime. In the years of austerity and rationing after the Second World War, shopping was drab. There were long queues, yet there was little to buy.

But in the economic boom of the 1950s, consumerism took off. Marks and Spencer led the way with a mix of quality, value and customer service. From America came self–service supermarkets, which changed the way we shop. Then came out–of–town superstores–one–stop shops which fed the need for convenience as car ownership and the numbers of working women rose in the 1960s.

Clever retailers learned to adapt to cater for the new markets of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties fashion boutiques: Chelsea Girl, for instance, catered for the emerging teenage market, while the career woman was served by Next.

By the 1980s, shopping had been transformed into a leisure activity–a fundamental shift confirmed by the opening of Britain's first large out–of–town shopping mall in 1986. Gateshead's MetroCentre was more than just a shopping centre–it was a leisure complex complete with restaurants, cinema, and even a fun fair. Shopping was king."

(BBC Media Centre)

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TAGS

1950s1960s1980sASOSausterityBBC Two • car ownership • click and collect • consumerismconvenience • David Sainsbury • Dixonseconomic boomfinancial crisis • George Davies • high street shops • high street stores • Jane Snowball • leisure activity • leisure complex • m-commerceMarks and Spencer • Michael Aldrich • Mrs Snowball • multi-channel retailing • Next Retail Ltd • one-stop shops • online shopping • out-of-town • out-of-town superstores • pawnbroker • payday loan lender • rationing • retail historyretail storeretailers • Robert Peston • Robert Peston Goes Shopping (2013) • Sainsburys • self-service supermarket • shoppingshopping behaviourshopping centreshopping mallsocial shopping • Stanley Kalms • superstore • Teleputer • TescoUK • working women

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 MARCH 2013

Mobile Apps: the trouble with using 'Responsive Design'

"Amid an overwhelming amount of mobile options and solutions, it's easy to see why responsive design's singular code seems like an alluring universal panacea for mobile optimization. However, while responsive design aims to scale web content fluidly across multiple devices with different screen sizes, it may not represent the best option for organizations aiming to deliver unique and innovative experiences to customers. ...

The future of digital business depends primarily on mastering the mobile channel. Mobile's mushrooming numbers are due to the convenience of remote access and a new reliance upon the delivery of information when and where little to none was previously available. When developing your approach to engaging customers via mobile, it is key to ensure your strategy accounts for the rising expectations your customers have for this important channel.

Once you understand the kind of mobile experience you want to create, you can decide whether adopting a responsive design philosophy can deliver upon these expectations and goals. While responsive design can help you achieve a certain measure of consistency across channels, the real prize lies with the ability to create unique experiences. A broader multi–screen approach designed dynamically by channel will enable the sort of customer experiences that yield higher engagement and contribute to overall success."

(Carin van Vuuren, 18 November 2012, Forbes)

TAGS

appconveniencecustomer experiencedesign principles • device-specific content display • differencedigital business • engaging customers via mobile • Forbes • Forrester • information delivery • interactive experienceLinkedInmagazinesmobile apps • mobile channel • mobile development • mobile experience • mobile optimisation • mobile site • mobile solutions • mobile strategy • multi-screenmultiple devicesnewspapers • one-web • People magazine • remote access • responsive design • responsive site • responsive web design • scale web content • screen size and orientation • screen sizes • singular code • smartphonetechnology solutionuse case • varying screen sizes • web development • web experience

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 DECEMBER 2011

Zoontechnica Journal redirective design futures

"A variety of designers and researchers address issues of concern to contemporary design thinking in this first issue1 of Zoontechnica (not counting the pre–issue, now archived). All grapple with questions about how design can, in more substantial ways, contribute to sustaining those things that need to be sustained, like social justice, equity, diversity and critical thinking. ...

It is now widely acknowledged that design has played a central role in creating and sustaining cultures of consumption that continue to use up resources, burn fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, and so on. What's less recognized is that these are not just biophysical problems to be solved by technologies, but that the unsustainable is often that which is closest to us, the everyday world in which we feel comfortable, secure and accommodated (herein lies a dilemma for user–centred design–what to do about user needs/desires that clearly contribute to unsustainability?). Being–in–the–world is being with designed things, structures and spaces that design our modes of being. Sometimes this is obvious, 'the designed' declaring itself as such,but mostly, the designed nature of our worlds is invisible to us, and when everything is working as it should, we feel at ease. We shouldn't. So much of what functions seamlessly now, saves time, delivers convenience, gives pleasure, etc– is actually taking futures away."

(Anne–Marie Willis, November 2011)

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TAGS

academic journal • Anne-Marie Willis • anthropometrics • being-in-the-world • biophysical • Brunel University • Chris McGinley • climate changeconsumptionconveniencecritical thinking • cultures of consumption • Daniel Sobol • designdesign futuresdesign thinkingdesigned spacesdesigned things • Donald Welch • Emmanuel Levinas • environmental change • equity • ethicseverydayfossil fuelgreenhouse gases • Griffith University • human factorshuman-centred design • Jason Robertson • Jennifer Loy • Marc Steen • modes of being • Nada Filipovic • our world • QCA Griffith University • Queensland College of Art • redesign • redirective • reflexive practice • RMIT • Robert Macredie • social changesocial justicesustainability • the designed • time savingTony Fry • unsustainability • unsustainableuser needsUser-Centred Design (UCD) • Zoontechnica

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2010

Republic.com: individual experience causing social fragmentation?

"MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte prophecies the emergence of 'the Daily Me'––a communications package that is personally designed, with each component fully chosen in advance [4]. Many of us are applauding these developments, which obviously increase individual convenience and entertainment. But in the midst of the applause, we should insist on asking some questions. How will the increasing power of private control affect democracy? How will the Internet, the new forms of television, and the explosion of communications options alter the capacity of citizens to govern themselves? What are the social preconditions for a well–functioning system of democratic deliberation, or for individual freedom itself? ...

A large part of my aim is to explore what makes for a well–functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a diverse society, such a system requires far more than restraints on government censorship and respect for individual choices. For the last decades, this has been the preoccupation of American law and politics, and indeed the law and politics of many other nations as well, including, for example, Germany, France, England, and Israel. Censorship is indeed a threat to democracy and freedom. But an exclusive focus on government censorship produces serious blind spots. In particular, a well–functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.

First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like–minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.

Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation.

As preconditions for a well–functioning democracy, these requirements hold in any large nation. They are especially important in a heterogeneous nation, one that faces an occasional risk of fragmentation. They have all the more importance as each nation becomes increasingly global and each citizen becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, a 'citizen of the world."

(Cass Sunstein, 2002)

Sunstein, C. (2002). "The Daily Me". Republic.com, Princeton University Press.

Fig.1 San Liu (2004) 'Narcissism' webshots.com.

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TAGS

1995 • being digital • Cass Sunsteincensorship • citizen of the world • citizenshipcommon experiences • communications technologies • consumer choiceconveniencecultural signalsdemocracy • democratic deliberation • democratic participation • democratic society • digital culturediversityemerging technologiesempathy • extremism • filter • Fishwrap • fragmentationfree expressionfreedomfreedom of speechglobalisation • government censorship • heterogeneity • heterogeneous society • individual choiceindividual experienceindividual freedomindividualisminformation in context • international relations • Internetisolationmedia consumptionMITnarcissismnew forms of televisionNicholas Negroponteparticipationpersonalisation • political philosophy • power • Princeton University Press • private control • Republic.com • shared experiencesocial changesocial constructionismsocial fragmentationsocial gluesocial interactionthe Daily Me

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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