User Interface (UI) is the next battlefield in consumer electronics and, as products mature, the race to differentiate based on the UI will accelerate. Rather than compare minor differences in features sets, consumers will increasingly make purchases based on ease of use and access of features. Specifically, when innovation in the core functionality of an end product approaches maturity, consumers increasingly turn to the industrial design and user interface of the product to guide purchasing decisions. Further, the UI is now defining the personality of a device and becoming an integral part of the branding equation, thereby creating emotional ties between consumers and their devices, and ultimately building loyalty to a particular product.
Ciara Taylor was also at Interaction 12 in Dublin and reports on the keynote talk by Anthony Dunne for Core77.
“Interaction design and designing interactions… are they the same concept? Anthony Dunne, partner at Dunne and Raby and professor at Royal College of Arts in London, gave a keynote at Interaction12 that began this discussion for the attendees. In Dunne’s talk titled “What if…Crafting Design Speculation,” he asks designers to use imagination to think about what kind of futures we want—opening up the problem space. What if “we shift from how the world is to designing for how the world could be?” What if…we designed for alternate realities or fictional scenarios?”
There was magic in the air on the final day of the Interactions 12 conference in Dublin, as a number of speakers drew the connections between magic and design, whether it be electric faeries, having childhood dreams of being a magician, or actually being one in a past professional life.
Louise Taylor, Boon Chew and Vicky Teinaki cover the presentations by Fabian Hemmert, Kate Ertmann (Animation Dynamics), Pete Denman (Intel), Dr. Michael Smyth & Ingi Helgason (Centre for Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University), Jeroen van Geel (Fabrique), Dan Saffer (Syntactic Devices), Matt Nish-Lapidus (Normative Design), Leanna Gringas (ITHAKA), Abby Covert (The Understanding Group), Adrian Westaway (Vitamins), Angel Anderson (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), Jonathan Kahn (Together London), and Dr Genevieve Bell (Intel Labs).
It is a constant complaint: We’re choking on information. The flood of data on the Web has reached mind boggling proportions, and it shows no signs of stopping. But wait, says Harvard professor Ann Blair in an NPR radio program — this is not a new condition. It’s been part of the human experience for centuries.
McKinsey’s John DeVine, Shyam Lal, and Michael Zea write that businesses ought to focus on the human side of customer service to make it psychologically savvy, economically sound, and easier to scale.
“Some organizations are making strides in the design and delivery of services. By focusing more thoughtfully on the human side of customer service, these companies are lowering costs by 10 percent or more while improving customer satisfaction scores by up to 30 percent. In this article, we’ll look at three such companies—a provider of cable-TV and Internet services, a technology company serving small and midsize businesses, and a car rental company. From their experiences, we’ve distilled three interrelated questions that CEOs and other senior executives should ask themselves before they introduce new services or conduct a reality check on the health of existing ones. Taken together, the questions can help spur productive conversations among top-team members, raising the odds that a company’s services will be both efficient and effective.”
Vicky Teinaki and Louise Taylor continue their coverage of the Interactions conference in Dublin.
In this long article, they report on the presentations by Jonas Löwgren (School of Arts & Communication at Malmö University), Scott Nazarian (frog), Ariel Waldman (Spacehack.org), Dustin DiTomasso (Mad*Pow), Julie Baher (Citrix), Jonathan Rez (Seren Partners), Sami Niemalä (Nordkapp), Rachel Bolton-Nasir (MISI Company), Abi Jones (Google), Michael Hawley (Mad*Pow), Katie Koch (Project: Interaction), and Amber Case.
Dublin — and even its Lord Mayor — welcomed a record 750 attendees to the opening of Interaction 12. The day would unfold with Hitchcock, healthcare, and hearing the question ‘what if?’.
Vicky Teinaki and Louise Taylor report on the presentations by Luke Williams (frog design), August de los Reyes (Samsung UX Centre), Mike Lemmon (Ziba), Kel Smith (Anikto), Giles Colburne (cxpartners), Maggie Breslin (Mayo Clinic), Virgil Wong and Akshay Kapur (Medical Avatar), Katey Deeney (WebMD Health Services) and Søren Muus (FatDUX), Dave Malouf (Savannah College of Art and Design), and Tony Dunne (RCA London).
Tricia Wang of UCSD’s Department of Sociology and Barry Brown of the Mobile Life VINN Excellence Center Stockholm presented the paper “Ethnography of the telephone: Changing uses of communication technology in village life” at MobileHCI 2011.
While mobile HCI has encompassed a range of devices and systems, telephone calls on cellphones remain the most prevalent contemporary form of mobile technology use. In this paper we document ethnographic work studying a remote Mexican village’s use of cellphones alongside conventional phones, shared phones and the Internet. While few homes in the village we studied have running water, many children have iPods and the Internet cafe in the closest town is heavily used to access YouTube, Wikipedia, and MSN messenger. Alongside cost, the Internet fits into the communication patterns and daily routines in a way that cellphones do not. We document the variety of communication strategies that balance cost, availability and complexity. Instead of finding that new technologies replace old, we find that different technologies co-exist, with fixed telephones co-existing with instant message, cellphones and shared community phones. The paper concludes by discussing how we can study mobile technology and design for settings defined by cost and infrastructure availability.