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Search results for 'kolko'
20 November 2011

Out with the old, in with the new: a conversation with Don Norman & Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko, Don Norman and Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson has interviewed many people on stage, but, he says, the best of these, for multiple reasons (some very personal), might have been the most recent: a “conversation” with Don Norman and Jon Kolko, which took place at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco the evening of September 30, 2011.

The ~2-hour exchange with and between Don and Jon and the audience (comprised mostly of AAU students) was particularly engaging, thoughtful, rich, and delightful.

Topics addressed included the nature of and the difference between art and design, whether design should be taught in art schools (such as AAU), Abraham Maslow, usability, what design (or all) education should be like, the problem with “design thinking” courses, the destiny of printed magazines and printed books, aging and ageism, the relationship between HCI and interaction design, Arduino, simplicity, social media, Google, privacy, design research, the context in which design occurs, the Austin Center for Design, solving wicked problems, whether designers make good entreprenuers, politics, Herb Simon & cybernetics, the strengths & weaknesses of interconnected systems, and how designers should position themselves.

Read highlights (and watch full video)

5 February 2011

Core77 book review: Exposing the Magic of Design, by Jon Kolko

Exposing the Magic of Design
Robert Blinn reviewed Jon Kolko’s new book Exposing the Magic of Design (amazon) for Core77:

“Kolko’s book is subtitled “A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis,” and this reviewer joked that it sounded like an undergraduate film or semiotics course. Kolko himself states that “the ability to ‘be playful’ is critical to achieve deep and meaningful synthesis,” but the tenor of the tome is far from the giant grin the author wears while using carrots as a “phone” on the cover of his previous work. Exposing the Magic of Design is blunt, direct, serious and self-assured. At less than 200 pages and full of diagrams, processes and methods, Kolko certainly didn’t have time for any hand-holding. In this era of easy distraction, Exposing the Magic‘s interaction design requires complete attention. Perhaps that’s the way the author meant it.”

I strongly concur with the reviewer and recommend this book for all UX practitioners.

Disclosure: Some months back I was asked by Oxford University Press to read the manuscript and write a few sentences to use on the book’s jacket and in marketing copy. I have no idea whether my few lines have been published.

Read review

21 November 2010

Interactions Magazine – last issue of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is the last issue of editors Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, who reflect on the results achieved.

Also Don Norman reflects in his column, and raises some pointed criticism of Interactions Magazine publisher ACM, that I endorse completely:

“I recently became a columnist for Core77, an open, free Internet magazine for industrial designers, and my first post received more responses, blogging comments, and consideration than the total of the responses during my five years of columns in interactions.

It is time for ACM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the free dissemination of knowledge, to stop hiding behind paid subscription walls and get its stuff out in the open for everyone to share. ACM – and many scientific societies – have lost track of the knowledge-sharing role of science and instead have been governed more by old-fashioned media rules than the modern world of freely accessible media.

interactions fails to impact the larger world of research outside of ACM’s CHI because of its failure to be open and accessible. At the same time, it fails to impact the academic research world because it is neither peer-reviewed nor the repository of the weighty, carefully experimental, rigorous knowledge required by promotion committees in universities. So what is interactions? Neither a serious scientific publication nor an influential popular one.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

MCC’s Human Interface Laboratory – The promise and perils of long-term research
by Bill Curtis
In this column, Bill discusses his involvement with the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation. This research enterprise, largely forgotten today, was highly influential in the 1980s, hiring and providing visibility to HCI researchers, many of whom remain active.

Looking back, looking forward
by Don Norman
Over the past five years, Don Norman has written approximately three dozen columns. What has been learned? What will come? Obviously, it is time for reflection.

Angst, and how to overcome it
by Gary Marsden
Does it make sense to separate developing world research from that conducted in more developed economies? At the end of the day, people are people and technology is technology, the world over. Are we doing the developing world a disservice by somehow treating it differently from the developed?

The hard work lies ahead (if you want it)
by Steve Portigal
Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” from 1943 is a well-known psychological framework that has been applied (directly, or through derivative versions) to thousands of diverse problems. It’s high time to leverage this style of hierarchy to challenge the types of user experiences we’re enabling with the stuff we’re making.

Learning from John Rheinfrank: reflections on acquiring a design language
by Jon Freach
For three years in the mid-1990s, I had the fortune of learning a new language of design from John Rheinfrank, the co-founder and first co-editor of this magazine, through a user-centered baptism of sorts.

From static to adaptive
by Hugh Dubberly, Justin Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson
When John Rheinfrank [who passed away in 2004] learned he was sick, he began working on a book on the relationship between design and systems. Sadly, he never finished, but some of his core ideas were preserved in a presentation on moving from static to adaptive worlds. John saw adaptive worlds as a new way to frame interaction design. Working from John’s presentation slides and a tape of his talk, we have summarized his ideas.

On experiences, people and technology
by Jon Kolko
In reflecting on the 200,000 words we’ve published in the past three years, I see a common theme that describes interaction design as a discipline focused on culture and behavior.

17 June 2010

Jon Kolko on design that changes human behavior

Jon Kolko
As part of its “Future By Design” series, Forbes Magazine interviewed Jon Kolko, associate creative director at Frog Design and founder of the Austin Center for Design, on how a “well-crafted product can make the world a better place.”

Forbes: What do you think constitutes good design?
Good design is design that changes behavior for the better. I think it needs to take into account the context of the environment, of the human condition, the culture and then attempt to make the things you do–make us do them better, make us do better things. It encourages us to change the way that we live.

Read interview

14 February 2014

anthropology + design: nicolas nova

b-car2

Rachel Carmen Ceasar (@rceasara) is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Medical Anthropology Program at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco (California, USA). She writes about the subjective and scientific stakes in exhuming mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship in Spain today.

She is now running a short series on Savage Minds that features interviews with design researchers, ethnographic hackers, and field work makers with their take on anthropology and design.

For the first interview, she talks with design researcher and ethnographer Nicolas Nova.

Nicolas Nova is a design researcher, ethnographer and co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory. His work is about identifying weak signals as well as exploring people’s needs, motivations and contexts to map new design opportunities and chart potential futures. Nicolas has given talks and exhibited his work on the intersections of design, technology and the near-future possibilities for new social-technical interaction rituals in venues such SXSW, AAAS, O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and the design week in Milano, the Institute for the Future, the the MIT Medialab. He holds a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne and has been a visiting researcher at the Art Center School of Design (Pasadena). He is also Professor at the Geneva University of Arts and Design (HEAD–Genève) and curator for Lift Conference, a series of international events about digital culture and innovation.

Upcoming interviews are with Kat Jungnickel (Lecturer at Goldsmiths), Daniela K. Rosner (PhD student at UC Berkeley’s School of Information), and Silvia Lindtner (a post-doctoral fellow at the ISTC-Social at UC Irvine and at Fudan University Shanghai).

Kat Jungnickel is a sociologist interested in maker culture, DiY / DiT (do-it-together) technology practices, gender and mobilities and inventive methods. Her current work investigates the impact of (digital) technologies and material practices in knowledge transmission and the potential different stories hold for understanding social worlds.

Daniela K. Rosner is currently finishing her doctorate at UC Berkeley’s School of Information and holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in Graphic Design and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago. Through fieldwork and design, she reveal and create surprising connections between technology and handwork. She is also an assistant professor in UW’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE), and co-directs the TAT Lab with Beth Kolko.

Silvia Lindtner is a post-doctoral fellow at the ISTC-Social (the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing) at UC Irvine and at Fudan University Shanghai. She researches, writes and teaches about DIY (do-it-yourself) maker culture, with a particular focus on its intersections with manufacturing and industry development in China. Drawing on her background in interaction design and media studies, she merges ethnographic methods with approaches in design and making. This allows her to provide deep insights into emerging cultures of technology production and use, from a sociological and technological perspective.

25 April 2013

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

IAX20.3_Cover

Interactions Magazine is no longer the influential voice in the interaction design community that it used to be a few years ago. Lots of the reason why has to do with the fact that the bulk of the articles are behind a membership paywall, while the content remains as relevant as ever. Here are the publicly available articles published in the latest, May-June 2013, issue:

Creating the World Citizen Parliament
The cover story by Douglas Schuler explores, very seriously and thoughtfully, how interaction designers could create a World Citizen Parliament, a bottom-up, social, and material infrastructure and a vast interconnected network of deliberative assemblies, that helps people better deliberate together to make better decisions.

Steampunking interaction design
In this feature story, Matt Walsh, who works for an advertising agency, writes about the awesome power and potential of tension as a tool for interaction designers.

Harnessing the power of positive tension
Joshua Tanenbaum, Audrey Desjardins and Karen Tanenbaum like to view Steampunk through the lens of what Julian Bleecker and Bruce Sterling have termed design fiction, and believe they have a general relevance to design within the HCI community and for the future of interaction design.

Austin Center for Design
Interview with Jon Kolko on the educational institution in Austin, Texas that teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship.

There is more in personal heritage than data
Daniela Petrelli explores personal memory and heritage in a time of digital obsolescence.

Interactive systems for health
Gillian Hayes, the new Health Matters forum editor, lays out three ways in which designers, researchers, and practitioners are reconsidering information and evidence within the realm of health IT.

4 September 2012

Qualitative research, UX strategy and wicked problems

 

These are the topics of the latest update on UX Matters:

Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative and Qualitative Research
By Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain
Both qualitative and quantitative methods of user research play important roles in product development. Data from quantitative research—such as market size, demographics, and user preferences—provides important information for business decisions. Qualitative research provides valuable data for use in the design of a product—including data about user needs, behavior patterns, and use cases. Each of these approaches has strengths and weaknesses, and each can benefit from our combining them with one another. This month, we’ll take a look at these two approaches to user research and discuss how and when to apply them.

UX Strategy: The Heart of User-Centered Design
By April McGee
Today, organizations interact with their customers through multiple digital channels such as call centers, mobile devices, applications, and Web sites. It is not enough to create a strategy for these channels from business, technology, and marketing perspectives. Rather, it is essential that an organization’s UX strategy be at the core of user-centered design. A UX strategy establishes goals for a cohesive user experience across all channels and touchpoints. The success of a UX strategy across multiple channels and offerings depends especially on identifying the business objectives of the channel leadership and relating them to the user experience, and understanding the overall ecosystem of the customer—in particular, what motivates them
Organizations must translate this information into a cross-channel user experience that meets the needs and aspirations of both its business and its customers.

Book Review: Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving (Author: John Kolko)
Review by Arun Joseph Martin, Calvin Chun-yu Chan, Erico Fileno, Noriko Osaka, and Yohan Creemers
In this “Handbook & Call to Action,” Kolko introduces the idea of wicked problems—large-scale social issues that plague humanity, like poverty and malnutrition—then describes the role of design in mitigating these problems. Kolko points out that traditional approaches cannot deal effectively with complex social and cultural problems. Such wicked problems always interconnect with other problems, are costly to solve, and often lack clear methods for understanding and evaluating them.
Kolko suggests that it is possible to mitigate wicked problems through what he calls social entrepreneurship—entrepreneurship that aims to create social capital by adding value to the community rather than focusing only on creating economic wealth.

2 June 2012

Interactions Magazine is (nearly) fully online, archives included

May+June2012

Somehow I hadn’t noticed but Interactions Magazine is now (nearly) fully online.

As far as I could discover (nothing is explained, sic), only some of the current year’s articles are fully available. Yet all the previous issues (up to 15 years ago) are fully available.

The only way to find out what is fully available and what not, is by clicking on an article title (and hoping for the best).

Notwithstanding such a blatant usability error, it is still a major improvement, and this after an unsuccessful battle to achieve this by the likes of Donald Norman, Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko and myself, some years back. The ACM is finally starting to see the light.

Here are the cover and the fully available features stories of the latest issue (May-June 2012)

Interactions with big data analytics (cover story)
Danyel Fisher, Rob Deline, Mary Czerwinski, Steven Drucker
We report on the state of the practice of big data analytics, based on a series of interviews we conducted with 16 analysts. While the problems uncovered are pain points for big data analysts (including HCI practitioners), the opportunity for better user experience around each of these areas is vast. It is our hope that HCI researchers will not only turn their attention toward designs that improve the big data research experience, but that they will also cautiously embrace the big data available to them as a converging line of evidence in their iterative design work.

Technologies for aging gracefully
Ronald Baecker, Karyn Moffatt, Michael Massimi
Technology by itself cannot solve these [aging] problems. Yet technology designed to empower older adults and to make them more capable, resourceful, and independent can help.

Interaction as performance
Steve Benford, Gabriella Giannachi
Our overall goal is to lay the foundations for a “dramaturgy of performance” by establishing a framework of concepts — a language, if you like — to help express the different ways in which computers can be embedded into performative experiences. We intend this framework to guide practitioners and researchers who are entering the field of artistic, performance, and cultural applications of computing. However, we also aim to stimulate wider thinking in HCI in general around the changing nature of the extended user experience and the new challenges this raises.

22 April 2012

How to create products hand in hand with your customer

inline-hand-in-hand-product-development-2

In his book “Wicked problems: Problems worth solving“, author John Kolko (founder and director of Austin Center for Design) argues that involving end users in the entire design process ensures a humane design solution. He now summarises his argument in this article for FastCo.Design.

“Cultural probes literally probe a given culture, poking at society and trying to extract inspiration through narrative. Because the input comes from non-designers, this becomes a form of “designing with,” as the designer’s role becomes one of interpretation and facilitation rather than visionary. This is still a fully creative endeavor on the designer’s part. But consumers temper and inspire the results.”

Read article

2 March 2012

Book: Wicked Problems – Problems Worth Solving

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Austin Center for Design today published a new book focused on the role of design in social entrepreneurship. Titled Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, the book is presented as a handbook for teaching, learning, and doing meaningful disruptive design work. The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities of design-led entrepreneurial activities. The text describes the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and offers both methods and curricula for learning how to engage with large scale humanitarian problems.

The book is available for free in its entirety online, at wickedproblems.com, and is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which allows anyone to use the contents for their own non-commercial purposes.

Author Jon Kolko described the book as both “a call to action and a granting of permission. I’ve found that many designers desperately seek meaning in their work, but for any number of reasons, don’t feel empowered to act as an entrepreneur. Instead, they find themselves in high-paying jobs at famous corporations and consultancies, but doing work that they find boring or, worse, harmful. This book says to those designers, ‘It’s OK to start your own company. It’s OK to do meaningful work. It’s OK to expect more from your life.”

Kolko, formerly a director and principle at global innovation firm frog design, is now the founder of Austin Center for Design (AC4D), a non-profit school in Austin. AC4D teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship, and graduates from the program go on to form their own double-bottom line companies. Kolko explained that “This book is a glimpse of what we’re thinking about at AC4D. It’s about working on problems that matter; it’s about problems worth solving. We’ve made the full text of the book available online for free in order to help advance the discussion of design-led social entrepreneurship.”

See also: Core77 book review

10 November 2011

Craftmanship

 
John Kolko reflects on design education and the importance of craftmanship in an article for Interactions Magazine.

“Based on my experience reviewing portfolios from recent business school graduates, I would argue that one of the most fundamental failings of “design thinking” education is the _lack of craftsmanship_. Students don’t appear to learn a honed, tacit, and careful “innate” sensibility for making, and simultaneously, they don’t appear to have developed an intimate understanding of the medium they are responsible for shaping. Instead, they are equipped with a toolkit of methods.”

Read article

(via InfoDesign)

1 June 2011

Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces conference

DPPI11
DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan at the end of this month, with leading roles for two Experientia partners: Mark Vanderbeeken will act as co-chair of the user-centred design track while Jan-Christoph Zoels will be part of a roundtable discussion.

The conference will take place at the Milan Polytechnic on 22-25th June, with the focus on “How can Design Research serve Industry? – Design visions, tools and knowledge for industry,” thus trying to stimulate the discussion on user driven design within the context of other design approaches and its role for industries.

Mark will co-chair the track on “Innovative ways to explore User Centred Design”, in partnership with Anna Meroni, Assistant Professor in Service and Strategic Design at the Milan Polytechnic, as well as researcher in the DIS (Design and Innovation for Sustainability) research unit of the Polytechnic’s acclaimed INDACO department.

Jan-Christoph will participate in a Thursday evening roundtable discussion together with Federico Ferretti (Continuum), Christian Palino (IDEO), and Jon Kolko (Frog Design).

The DPPI conference originally began through the desire to move away from talking purely about usability, and look at the role of experience in human-product interaction. As products and services in mature markets become increasingly standardised, the DPPI organisers realised there was a space to debate the the end-user’s perception of products, and to explore a more experiential approach to innovation.

The conference will provide a mix of workshops, paper presentations and other activities. It aims to get participants “listening, doing, researching, designing, discussing, learning and having fun.”

Keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Bruce Brown, professor of design at the University of Brighton and co-editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT press)
  • Jon Kolko, founder and director of Austin Center for Design
  • Dr. Donald Norman, co-founder and principle of the Nielsen Norman Group, IDEO fellow, and professor at the Department of Industrial Design, Kaist (South Korea)
  • Dr. Ezio Manzini, coordinator of DESIS International of the INDACO department at the Milan Polytechnic
  • Dr. Roberto Verganti, professor of management of innovation at the Milan Polytechnic, and visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School

As a member of the conference’s scientific committee, Mark has also been responsible for reviewing some of the conference papers.

Registration for the conference is still open.

14 April 2011

Call to participate at the Core77 Design Awards

Core77 Design Awards
As one of the jury captains for the inaugural year of the Core77 Design Awards, I am calling upon all Putting People First readers to spread the news about the award and help us get as many strong entries as possible.

The Core77 Design Awards
An Annual Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise and Intent

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards celebrates the richness of the design profession and its practitioners. Dedicated jury teams around the world will judge 15 categories of design endeavor with the deadline for entries May 3, 2011.

In creating the awards program, Core77 have re-thought a lot of the elements of the design award model, and have come up with a recipe that is more inclusive and celebratory, leverages online scale, and decreases plane fuel. Five key ingredients to the program are:

1. Video Testimonials – Participants get to share their “real stories” with the judges personally and directly via short video submissions. Intended to be easy to make – videos can be low-tech, look-into-the-webcam recordings – these testimonials provide a unique opportunity to get across the intent and notable aspects of a design in a way that text and jpegs can’t.

2. Global-Local Judging – Bringing together the field’s brightest design minds, Core77 has selected 15 Jury Captains to lead 15 juries distributed around the world in cities such as Tokyo, Turin, San Francisco and Sydney. This unique judging process balances a broad global perspective with local expertise.

3. Live Web Broadcasts – Winners will be announced by jury teams in 15 different locations around the world – live – so the world can watch events unfold as they happen and hear from the jurors themselves the rationale behind their choices.

4. New Categories – Reflecting newer contemporary fields of practice with innovative categories such as “DIY” and “Never Seen the Light of Day,” this competition truly reflects what is happening in the wider industry and offers more opportunities to ennoble design enterprise in all forms.

5. A Trophy That Celebrates Teamwork – Breaking the mold for typical awards, Rich, Brilliant, Willing are approaching the design of the trophy with generosity in mind. Winners can flex their creative muscles by casting their own award in a material of their choice and can share the accolades by creating multiples for their team and contributors.

The top professional and student entries will win the inaugural trophy, and the Winners, Runners Up, and Notable entries will be published in the Awards Gallery and across the Core77 online network. Please take a moment to visit the site and learn about the unique features of the award program and share it with your friends and colleagues. http://awards.core77.com/

And here is the inaugural line-up of categories and Jury Captains:

Products: Julie Lasky, Editor of Change Observer, New York, USA
Jury team

Soft Goods / Apparel: Peter Kallen, Design Director of NAU, Portland, Oregon, USA

Furniture / Lighting: Max Fraser, Editor & Publisher of London Design Guide, London, United Kingdom

Graphics / Branding / Identity: Steven Heller, author/commentator, and Co-Chair of the MFA Designer as Author at the School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
Jury team

Packaging: Mark Christou, Creative Director of Pearlfisher, New York, USA
Jury team

Interiors / Exhibition: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa), Tokyo, Japan

Interactive / Web / Mobile: Jon Kolko,Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv and Founder & Director of Austin Center for Design, Austin, Texas, USA

Transportation: Lars Holme Larsen, Co-Founder of KiBiSi and Founder of Kilo Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

Service Design: Fran Samalionis, Innovation Coach of BT Financial Group, Sydney, Australia
Jury team

Design for Social Impact: Ashoke Chatterjee, development volunteer and Former Director, National Institute of Design (India), Ahmedabad, India
Jury team

Strategy / Research: Mark Vanderbeeken, Senior Partner, Strategic Communications at Experientia, Turin, Italy
Jury team

Design Education Initiative: Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, Associate Professor in Design Anthropology and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at Swinburne University,Melbourne, Australia

DIY / Hack / Mod: Christy Canida, Community & Marketing Director of Instructables, and Eric J. Wilhelm, CEO of Instructables and Co-Founding Partner of Squid Labs, San Francisco, CA
Jury team

Speculative Objects / Concepts: Branko Lukic, Founding Partner of Nonobject, Palo Alto, California, USA
Jury team

Never Saw the Light of Day: Aric Chen, design journalist and Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China

10 March 2011

Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces – conference in Milan

DPPI11
DPPI 11, the 5th conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, will take place in Milan, Italy this year and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken is part of the scientific committee.

The DPPI conference originally began through the desire to move away from talking purely about usability, and look at the role of experience in human-product interaction. As products and services in mature markets become increasingly standardised, the DPPI organisers realised there was a space to debate the the end-user’s perception of products, and to explore a more experiential approach to innovation.

This year the conference, which will take place from the 22-25th June, at Milan Polytechnic, will have the general theme: “How can Design Research serve Industry? – Design visions, tools and knowledge for industry,” thus trying to stimulate the discussion on user driven design within the context of other design approaches and its role for industries.

The conference will provide a mix of workshops, paper presentations and other activities. It aims to get participants “listening, doing, researching, designing, discussing, learning and having fun.”

Keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Bruce Brown, professor of design at the University of Brighton and co-editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT press)
  • Jon Kolko, founder and director of Austin Center for Design
  • Dr. Donald Norman, co-founder and principle of the Nielsen Norman Group, IDEO fellow, and professor at the Department of Industrial Design, Kaist (South Korea)
  • Dr. Ezio Manzini, coordinator of DESIS International of the INDACO department at the Milan Polytechnic
  • Dr. Roberto Verganti, professor of management of innovation at the Milan Polytechnic, and visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School

As member of the DPPI 11 scientific committee, Mark Vanderbeeken is responsible for reviewing some of the conference papers.

Organisers have been pleased to note that this year the committee received an unprecedented number of responses to their call, giving them a deep pool from which to select the highest quality content for the conference.

5 February 2011

Core77 book review: Living with Complexity, by Donald Norman

Living with Complexity
The same Robert Blinn who reviewed Jon Kolko’s new book (see previous post), also wrote a review on Core77 on the latest book by Donald Norman: Living with Complexity (also reviewed on Putting People First in December 2010).

“While his book doesn’t exactly provide hard and fast rules for taming complexity, it does a very good job of framing the problem. After all, when the aspects of a problem are laid out clearly, problems begin to appear progressively less complex. Along the way, as Norman explains the problem, his text is accompanied by the usual assortment of author photographs of awkward and difficult devices. Digressing from the paradoxical nature of choosing from two rolls of toilet paper in a public restaurant to the “desire lines” caused by human behavior (creases in books and dead spots in public meadows where people walk), Norman covers social signifiers. He addresses forcing functions, grouping and countless other design/behavior problems. Norman even devotes an entire chapter to the nature of waiting in line (nearly every hospital does it wrong, and our recent visit to the Apple store on Prince Street showed that even Apple had stopped listing the names and timing of those in the queue, much to this reviewer’s consternation).”

Read article

2 November 2010

Exposing the magic of design

Jon Kolko
Jon Kolko has published on UXMatters a sample chapter of his forthcoming book, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis.

Read chapter

2 September 2010

Interactions magazine on human nuances

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on the nuances of what makes us human, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko, and more in particular “about authenticity, complexity, and design-and the political, social, and human qualities of our work”.

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

interactions: authenticity, complexity, and design
by Jon Kolko
Frequently, designers find themselves reflecting on the nuances of what makes us human, including matters of cognitive psychology, social interaction, and the desire for emotional resonance. This issue of interactions unpacks all of these ideas, exploring the gestalt of interaction design’s influence.

The meaning of affinity and the importance of identity in the designed world
by Matthew Jordan
When a designer is thinking about ways to create experiences that deliver meaningful and lasting connections to users, it is helpful to consider the notion of our personal affinities and how they affect perception, adoption, and use in the designed world. In our cover story, Matthew Jordan explores the term “affinity,” leading us to consider new and useful ways of informing design thinking and ultimately help us design with more success.

Why “the conversation” isn’t necessarily a conversation
by Ben McAllister
Architects have long understood that the structures we inhabit can influence not only the way we feel, but also the way we behave. This turns out to be true in digital environments like social networks, too. Subtle differences in the underlying structures of these networks give rise to distinct patterns of behavior.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst: interaction design and the tipping point
by Eli Blevis and Shunying Blevis
Typical interaction designers are not climate scientists, but interaction designers can make well-informed use of climate sciences and closely related sciences. Interaction design can make scientific information, interpretations, and perspectives available in an accessible and widely distributed form so that people’s consciousness is raised.

Gestural interfaces: a step backwards in usability
by Donald Norman and Jakob Nielsen
The new gestural and touch interfaces can be a pleasure to use and a pleasure to see. But the lack of consistency and inability to discover operations, coupled with the ease of accidentally triggering actions from which there is no recovery, threatens the viability of these systems. We urgently need to return to our basics, developing usability guidelines for these systems that are based upon solid principles of interaction design, not on the whims of the company-interface guidelines and arbitrary ideas of developers.

All look same? A comparison of experience design and service design
by Jodi Forlizzi
The comparison of experience design (or UX, as it has been labeled) and service design seems to be a topic of interest in the interaction design community. Can we and should we articulate differences among these fields? Can the methods and knowledge of one successfully transfer to another?

Relying on failures in design research
by Nicolas Nova
The investigation of accidents within a larger process can be inspiring from a design viewpoint. Surfacing people’s problematic reactions when confronted with invisible pieces of technologies highlights their mental model and eventually has implications for design.

Solving complex problems through design
by Steve Baty
What is it about design that makes it so well suited to solving complex problems? Why is design thinking such a promising avenue for business and government tackling seemingly intractable problems?

On academic knowledge production
by Jon Kolko
Now, as design enjoys the corporate credibility of “design thinking” and with the social problems confronting the world growing increasingly intractable, the need for bridging the gap between practitioners and academics is more important than ever.

8 July 2010

Sensemaking

Sensemaking
Jon Kolko was one of the speakers yesterday at the Design Research Society conference in Montreal, Canada.

His presentation addressed Sensemaking – the manner in which we make meaning during the design process, and arrive at insights and new design ideas.

Sensemaking and framing: a theoretical reflection on perspective in design synthesis (paper)
Presentation (on Mac, use Acrobat, not Preview)

30 June 2010

Interactions magazine on subtlety and change

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on subtlety and change, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko:

“There are some strange changes under way in our world. We constantly hear the refrain of the massive chaos around us, yet the allure of such a large, looming flux may distract us from something more important: the countless tiny, nuanced, and fundamental ways in which our culture and society are advancing. This issue of interactions describes these subtleties and teases them out of the greater topics that we’ve grown accustomed to discussing: environmental change, the role of education and government in a technological society, and the nature of behavior.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

Time goes by, everything looks the same
by Dennis Littky
“The system doesn’t work.” So says Dennis Littky, author of our cover story and founder of Big Picture Learning – a school focused on developing a new educational model. Dennis offers his views on how design and a designerly approach can bring change to the broken education model in the United States.

The research-practice gap: the need for translational developers
by Don Norman
Between research and practice a new, third discipline must be inserted, one that can translate between the abstractions of research and the practicalities of practice. We need a discipline of translational development. We need translational developers who can act as the intermediary, translating research findings into the language of practical development and business while also translating the needs of business into issues that researchers can address.

Visible synthesis
by Katie Minardo Scott
Katie Minardo Scott describes the challenge of research-practice synthesis—the relationship between a designer and the data that can be so overwhelming. To make research valuable, she says, we need to make the synthesis process as visible as the research phase and make the synthesis output visible to stakeholders. Personas accomplish both of these goals, recognized or not.

Navigating the terrain of sustainable HCI
by Carl DiSalvo, Phoebe Sengers, Hronn Brynjarsdottir
The authors explore the manner in which sustainability has impacted HCI and academic research. No longer a simple colloquialism of “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” sustainability research and design now require an acknowledgment of the political differences involved in the discipline. This demands a more nuanced discussion of topics, as well as a more direct connection between research and practice.

Adding by leaving out: the power of the pause
by Liz Danzico
What would happen if, as communicators and designers, we became more comfortable with the pause? Because it turns out we can add by leaving out. The pause has power.

Adaptive reuse: things, containers, and streets in the architecture of the social web
by Fred Scharmen
A way of talking about buildings and cities in terms of protocols, relationships, and parameters—all borrowed by architectural theory from computer science—can be returned to a conversation about online systems in order to rejuvenate our methods of understanding and designing places.

On education
by Jon Kolko
It is interaction design, and behavior, that will act as the driving force behind the educational revolution of the next century.

21 May 2010

Special issue on experience design

New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia
Last year, Mark Blythe, Effie Law and Marc Hassenzahl edited a special issue on Experience Design in the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia.

It features a more designerly perspective on and some reflections about Experience Design itself and its relation to common approaches and views in Human-Computer Interaction and Design.

Editorial:
Blythe, M., Hassenzahl, M., and Law, E. (2009). Now with added experience? New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 15(2):119-128.

Articles:

  • Toward an articulation of interaction esthetics by Jonas Löwgren
  • Designing for human emotion: ways of knowing by Danielle Lottridge and Gale Moore
  • Mood Swings: design and evaluation of affective interactive art by Leticia S. S. Bialoskorski, Joyce H. D. M. Westerink, and Egon L. van den Broek
  • Designing for playful photography by Marianne Graves Petersen, Sara Ljungblad, and Maria Håkansson
  • Designing in the face of change: the elusive push toward emotionally resonate experiences by Matt Schoenholz and Jon Kolko

I am not sure where you can download the articles, but I suggest by using the author links that you can find here.

(via InfoDesign)