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Posts in category 'Interaction design'

10 May 2013

Jake Barton of Local Projects wins USA’s National Award for Interaction Design

jake-barton

We at Experientia have always admired the work of Jake Barton and his company Local Projects, for the way that they have deeply woven people’s narration and storytelling into the design of interactive installations and museums.

Now Jake has won the 2013 National Award for Interaction Design, which shall be handed to him by Michelle Obama during a luncheon ceremony at the White House. Congratulations!

The National Design Awards – which cover a range of design categories – were conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life.

Founded by Jake Barton, Local Projects is a media design firm that specializes in work for museums and public spaces. Local Projects is creating all media for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the Frank Gehry–designed Eisenhower Memorial. The firm is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content. Through Storycorps, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and Change By Us, Local Projects has brought forth over 100,000 individuals’ stories and memories, sharing them with millions worldwide. Clients include SFMOMA, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and the Sugar Hill Museum of Children’s Art and Storytelling, NYC.

1 May 2013

London exhibition explores alternative Britain governed by four extreme lifestyle tribes

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Belching cars made of skin and bones, nuclear-powered trains in the shape of mountains and arrow-like formations of joined recumbent bicycles are just some of the ways we might travel around the country in the future, according to designers Dunne and Raby, whose new exhibition at London’s Design Museum opens this week.

United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction imagines an alternative version of England governed by four extreme lifestyle tribes, with disturbing echoes of our own society – and where we might be heading.

The designers have devolved the country into four new counties, each conceived as an experimental zone with its own form of governance, economy and lifestyle. Might you be a Digitarian, driven by a blind faith in technology to join a world where tagging, tracking and total surveillance reign supreme? Or would you rather hang out with the Bioliberals in the rural southwest, producing your own energy, growing your own products and driving a farting biogas vehicle?

Read review in The Guardian

30 April 2013

Developing digital books with user-centred design

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Digital books are software. The more interactive the experience, the more complex that software is to develop – and the greater the risk of creating a digital product that alienates.

Taking a user-centered design approach to developing digital products helps to mitigate against that risk.

Zelda Rhiando of The Publishing Training Centre presented a toolkit on this subject at the 2013 London Book Fair. It’s a set of methods that help you to frame and present that narrative, and use it to create products that delight and inform.

30 April 2013

Exploring Problem-framing through Behavioural Heuristics

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Article published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Design
By Dan Lockton, David J. Harrison, Rebecca Cain, Neville A. Stanton, & Paul Jennings

Design for behaviour change aims to influence user behaviour, through design, for social or environmental benefit. Understanding and modelling human behaviour has thus come within the scope of designers’ work, as in interaction design, service design and user experience design more generally. Diverse approaches to how to model users when seeking to influence behaviour can result in many possible strategies, but a major challenge for the field is matching appropriate design strategies to particular behaviours (Zachrisson & Boks, 2012).

In this paper, we introduce and explore behavioural heuristics as a way of framing problem-solution pairs (Dorst & Cross, 2001) in terms of simple rules. These act as a ‘common language’ between insights from user research and design principles and techniques, and draw on ideas from human factors, behavioural economics, and decision research. We introduce the process via a case study on interaction with office heating systems, based on interviews with 16 people. This is followed by worked examples in the ‘other direction’, based on a workshop held at the Interaction ’12 conference, extracting heuristics from existing systems designed to influence user behaviour, to illustrate both ends of a possible design process using heuristics.

29 April 2013

Documentary examines the end of print books

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People have used books as a reliable tool to transmit and preserve information, ideas, and stories for hundreds of years. E-books have enjoyed wide use for only about six years — counting from when Amazon introduced its Kindle in 2007. Yet e-books have rapidly upended so many facets of the traditional book world that the changes they’ve caused have inspired a documentary, “Out of Print,” by director Vivienne Roumani, which debuted April 25 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Through interviews with historians specializing in the history of books, as well as key figures in publishing, libraries, schools, bookselling, and cognitive science, and by presenting statistics culled from recent literacy surveys, “Out of Print” presents a portrait of a literary landscape in the midst of rapid change, both positive and negative.

Read article

29 April 2013

Your body does not want to be an interface

 

Have you heard that Google Glass will let you snap photos by winking? John Pavlus of the MIT Technology Review writes why that’s still going to feel weird.

“The assumption driving these kinds of design speculations is that if you embed the interface–the control surface for a technology–into our own bodily envelope, that interface will “disappear”: the technology will cease to be a separate “thing” and simply become part of that envelope. The trouble is that unlike technology, your body isn’t something you “interface” with in the first place. You’re not a little homunculus “in” your body, “driving” it around, looking out Terminator-style “through” your eyes. Your body isn’t a tool for delivering your experience: it is your experience. Merging the body with a technological control surface doesn’t magically transform the act of manipulating that surface into bodily experience.”

25 April 2013

Jan-Christoph Zoels on interfaces at UNStudio during Milan Design Week [video]

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Jan-Christoph Zoels, an Experientia founding partner, was one of the panelists at the UNStudio Platform Dialogues during the Milan Design Week and a video of his discussion with Markus Benz (CEO Walter Knoll) and Birgit Lohmann (Associate Editor-in-chief Designboom), is now online.

Experientia and UNStudio, the famous Dutch architectural design studio led by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, have previously collaborated on the design of sustainable buildings, environments and behavioral change.

The dialogue explored explored the current and future possibilities of Interfaces with each other and through materiality Whether it is as a portal to the World Wide Web or active nano-technologies, the communication between users and materials is no longer only one-way. The surfaces and objects through which we communicate and design provide new tactile and virtual feedbacks.

The UNStudio Platform Dialogues webpage also features the videos of the two other talks:

DESIGNING (FOR) CO-CREATING
How can architecture and product design contribute to co-creation? Is co-creation a romantic idea driven by the democratisation and customisation of the consumer industry, or a true reflection of contemporary working practices? What are the potential benefits of co-creating within architecture and product design? This session investigates the importance of materiality at the human scale of design. Jurgen Bey, Ben van Berkel and Leo Schouten invite design critics and writers to actively share their opinions concerning the future of co-creation. Sharing an interest in encouraging dialogue, innovation and creative exchange through design, they will discuss the process of co-creating within their own practices, as well as the designing of spaces for the accommodation of co-creation.
Panelists:
– Ben van Berkel, Co-Founder/ Principal Architect, UNStudio
– Jurgen Bey, Director/ designer Studio Makkink & Bey and director, PROOFFLab
– Leo Schouten, Founder / director, PROOFF
– Moderator: Christine de Baan

MATERIAL ATTAINABILITY
Every day we strive to find new materials and novel uses for old ones to discover inventive, effective and sustainable solutions. In the context of this Dialogue, ‘attainability’ is the combination of research and sustainability in the pursuit of advanced materials. For this dialogue we will explore what materials can do now, and what we want them to do tomorrow.
Panelists:
– Gabi Böhm, Senior Architect/Project Manager, Premier Composite Technologies
– Micol Costi, Director of Materials Research, Material Connexion Italia
– Giammichele Melisz, Associate Director, Buro Happold
– James O’Callaghan, Director, Eckersley O’Callaghan Structural + Facade Engineers
– Federica Sem, Managing Director, Permasteelisa Interiors

25 April 2013

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

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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.

25 April 2013

Video online of Milan debate: “The Long View of Interaction Design”

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The people behind the upcoming IxDA Interaction14 conference organized on 6 April a panel discussion in Milan on the “Long View of Interaction Design”.

5 panelists debated with Interaction14 chair Alok Nandi on how to design for those interaction design challenges that go beyond the immediate consumer product/service launch cycle.


Note that due to technical difficulties, sound only starts at 0:10:15.

What if your interaction design has to be integrated in a hospital or a building or a city? How do you design if your creation has to last 10, 20 or even more years into the future? What tools can you use as an interaction designer? How do you make it adaptive and resilient? How to avoid obsolescence?

Panelists

The event was held at the Domus Academy in Milan who provided promotional and organizational support.

6 April 2013

Videos of breakout sessions at the recent Interaction13 conference in Toronto

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The IxDA gathered in Toronto, Canada’s largest center for design, for its 6th annual conference. Here are the video records of the breakout talks that took place (grouped thematically).
 

AGILE / LEAN

Josh Seiden: A designer’s introduction to lean startup [15:04]
Josh Seiden introduces you to the key ideas of Lean Startup, talks about the amazing opportunities for designers this movement presents, and shares case studies of how he and his partners have used the techniques of Lean Startup as the foundation of their design studio.
 

BUSINESS

Johanna Kollmann & Martina Schell: Lean startup in design consulting: lessons learned [35:01]
As fast, user-centered development gains acceptance, many startups have successfully adopted a Lean Startup philosophy. But, why is it that many agencies and their clients still struggle to apply this methodology to larger-scale projects?

Matthew Connors: Print, snap, tap, track: using interactive print analytics to empower your design [25:32]
This session discusses the convergence of ink on paper and mobile through interactive apps that transfers the rapidly improving camera functionality and capabilities of iOS and Android devices to allow print readers to engage in various types of interactivity.

Nir Eyal: Stop designing apps and start designing habits [33:01]
Companies need to know how to harness the power of the desire engine to improve peoples’ lives, while consumers need to understand the mechanics of behavior engineering to protect themselves from manipulation. More and more developers realize that their success hinges on understanding user behavior.
 

CONCEPT DESIGN

Adam Little: Realism in design – communicating authentic experiences for the real world [10:02]
Drawing on examples from outside of the design world, we will see how artists and film makers have used the spirit of realism to create lasting works that are authentic and truthful.
 

CONTEXT

Jason Brush: The dream of the 90s is alive [43:35]
This personal talk excavates key ideas and media from the 1990s, which we may have forgotten, that, twenty years ago, inspired a generation to embrace digital technology and invent the world we live in today, and investigates how the many of the dreams that drove the 1990s — whether we realize it or not — may be alive today still.

Julia Barrett: Social networks suck – social computing frees you [33:12]
Most browser and mobile applications are designed to suck you in and away from the people that are right near you. We’re often busy updating our statuses instead of talking to the people we’re ‘statusing’ about.

Trip O’Dell: If UX can kill it probably will: designing for the 70 mph interface [36:36]
How do you create a great experience when you have to balance a user’s desire for a “killer app” with one that will not get them killed?
 

EDUCATION / COMMUNITY

Gretchen Anderson: Driving impact not serving shareholders – lessons from the non-profit world [11:24]
This session shares the tools we use to orient our organization, GreatSchools, toward the impact we seek to achieve and how those in the for-profit space can benefit from their use too.

Michael Wolf: Interaction design for learning [35:38]
The talk introduces the audience to the background and theory of interactive learning environments, whilst presenting exciting examples of interaction design projects in the field.

Sami Nerenberg: Design for America – students creating local and social impact – No video available as yet
Design for America (DFA) is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact.

Rob McMahon, Ken Reddick & Dave Holland: Intuitive Interfacing – No video available as yet
The use of interactive media in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana exhibit.
 

GAMING

Kunal Patel: Badges are the backup quarterbacks of game design [33:21]
While badges, points, and leaderboards can be used to create compelling digital products outside of games, how can we be sure they were the cause of success? Plenty of terrible games employ points and encourage competition, but what separates the good from the bad?

Ryan Coulter & Greg Martin: Navigating the media minefield [36:07]
So you’re designing a media UI — the one, multi-platform content solution that finally solves the living room, forever. It’ll be thoughtful, coherent, social and beautful to behold.

Timothy Garrand: Tell Me a Story But Make It Interactive! [28:02]
What interactive game narrative can teach us about UX process design.
 

HEALTHCARE / WELLNESS

Andy Goodman & Marco Righetto: Hack you – the human body is the next interface [33:15]
Today’s breakthroughs in “Bodytech” include a host of incredible innovations that will to transform our bodies, communication, society – even the human psyche. This provocative presentation will address emerging “smart medicines,” medical technologies, synthetic biology, robotics and organic body part replacements.

Audrey Richard-Laurent: Compliance – design to facilitate a healthcare service [11:49]
How to connect patients to their illness and the medical staff, while complying to the constraints of patient management in the care system?

James Senior: Designing a compassionate healthcare experience [33:26]
This session aims to inspire designers working in healthcare & wellness to keep compassion at the heart of our UX practice.

Juhan Sonin: Hacking Health – Designing for and understanding my health – No video available as yet
This presentation traces the evolution of the author’s health design experience covering open source solutions to interoperability and policy to the design of health stations and corporate clinic experiences.

Sweta Mohapatra: Health on the go – designing electronic health records for mobile [11:20]
This talk covers some of the lessons learnt from building mobile EHR applications, the types of design problems that need solving when designing an application based on desktop software, and the complexities of designing applications where patients’ lives are at stake.
 

METHOD

Derek Vaz: Bury the wireframe – a primer in interaction prototypes [14:16]
This talk discusses why interaction designers should abandon printouts for interaction prototypes, how to introduce them into your process and showcase real world examples and success stories.
 

MOBILE

Behzad Aghaei: Towards buttonless touch interaction [25:31]
Presentation of an interaction concept that attempts to replace traditional buttons or tap interactions with gestures for list navigation and contextual actions.

Calvin Tennant: Moving past the navbar – No video available as yet
This presentation addresses the shortcomings of the navbar and introduce alternate navigation methods.

Michael Costantino: Toucha toucha toucha touch me [16:42]
Comparing standard touch-based input in iOS with musical gesture and how MIDI might provide a framework for us to think about touch.

Nate Archer: Beyond responsive [10:33]
If we have learned anything from the recent push to mobile, we need to anticipate the future sooner rather than later; not only the next wave of formats, but everything after that.
 

PROCESS

Carla Diana: Making meaning in an Internet of Things [38:22]
The Internet of Things presents a juicy opportunity for designers to pioneer new territory in rich interaction, but it also can backfire, filling people’s lives with more frustrations over technology than ever before.

Chris Pennell & Jessica Bailey: Designing for Complexity – What Did I Get Myself Into? [08:44]
In an ideal world, UX designers get to learn all about the people who use these types of systems – what they do, and why they do it – in order to design and redesign experiences that meet users’ needs. But what do we do when the information available is less than ideal?

Dan Saffer: Microinteractions – Designing with details – No video available as yet
The difference between a good product and a great one are its details: the microinteractions that make up the small moments inside and around features.

Dane Petersen: On aircraft and craft [11:00]
This talk discusses self-imposed principles, and how they can inform the way we think about our own design experience.

Davide Casali: Social experience design – shifting the focus where really matters [36:55]
Too much focus on external metrics will harm in the long term the effectiveness of your social strategy as well as your company as a whole.

Jason Alderman: Learning visual design to become a better unicorn [18:25]
Designer and author Cennydd Bowles refers to hybrid designers as “unicorns”–those mythical creatures who not only can do user research, information architecture, and interaction design, but ALSO can make gorgeous interfaces.

Jason Ulaszek & Brian Winters: Setting course – design research to experience roadmap [38:19]
In this session you’ll learn how to turn design research activities into a mental model, identify potential new business opportunities and derive business and experience direction from your newly found consumer insight.

Josh Cothran: Personas made personal [14:38]
This talk provides an overview of the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), highlights research and thought leadership relating personality types to technology usage, examines controversies and limitations of the MBTI and shares ways to use personality types to support and communicate design, including a brief case study.

Judith Siegel: CNN and the UX challenge of presenting long-form stories [10:01]
How is design and user experience considered when constructing pages and templates for these stories? How does the editorial process differ and adapt to web-based journalism?

Ron Goldin: Design and the mobile startup – Toronto edition [33:54]
Design and the Mobile Startup: Toronto Edition is the third in a series of discussions about how great mobile products emerge from the chaos and uncertainty that is startup culture.

Sander Viegers: Designer as connector [11:55]
The story of adding 722 emoticons to Windows 8 and designing the invisible parts of the UX by connecting people.

Silvia Calvet: Switch on and design for good everyday [22:22]
This presentation is about how to adopt a new awareness to add human and ethical strand into our everyday work.

Susan Dybbs: Beautiful failures [11:45]
In this talk Susan Dybbs shares failures from three categories: relationships, results and process. Each story has its own foreboding indicator that provides opportunity for reflection but also an opportunity to reframe the failure as something to be celebrated.
 

ROBOTICS

Matthew Powers: Smart and beautiful – designing robots and intelligent machines [33:50]
Think about the design implications of robots and intelligent machines working in our world, does not only include considering the physical and interaction design, but also the robot’s impact on our social ecosystem.
 

SERVICE DESIGN

Franco Papeschi: Innovation, investment, influence and impact: design that fosters change [38:04]
In this session, Papeschi presents an approach that goes beyond user-centred design and activity-centred design: impact-driven design.

Sara Cantor Aye: Designing everything but the food [34:59]
This year, in partnership with the SAIC, Greater Good Studio designed and built a new public school cafeteria. While that sounds like an architecture project, it really means designing interactions between kids and food, staff, space and other kids!
 

STRATEGY

Azmina Karimi: Grandma likes my Facebook status – how older adults are influencing the digital enterprise
This talk helps us understand the digital practices of older adults, and new opportunities it can create for the social and business models of our clients and brands.

Carina Ngai: Failed futures [15:01]
To design meaningful futures, designers will need to embrace a different perspective: It’s no longer about out of the box thinking, but finding the right box to frame the opportunity space.

Cindy Chastain: New frontiers – the UX professional as business consultant [47:17]
This talk is meant to be both a thought starter as well as a lively group discussion around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company’s digital strategy.

Iram Mirza & Jannie Lai: You’ve been asked to re-design the wheel [15:08]
…and while you are at it “make it like Apple”!

Jan Moorman: Measuring user delight using the Kano methodology [39:44]
Learn why and how this methodology can be harnessed in design strategy decisions.

Jonathan Rez: Tomorrow’s news [15:54]
In this session Rez highlights some of the issues with current news websites and apps and presents a number of proposals for the delivery of tomorrow’s digital news.

Juan Cartagena: Getting what you want
This talk covers the mistakes we made, what we have learnt from them, and how we now lead users to do what we expect with our “dietary” approach to UX.

Matt Walsh: Tense up – creating positive tensions in experiences [47:32]
A few months ago we asked designers to finish this sentence: “One of the best ways I’ve seen positive tension created in an experience is…”

Peter Stahl: Rhythm, flow and style [32:37]
Your choice of rhythmic style, and how it’s expressed, can set up predictable behavior patterns and foster intuitions and extrapolations that will result in an engaging, rewarding experience.

Stephen Gay & Rich Redka: Ignite potential – value exchange networks [34:23]
Services are shifting from an era in which companies created and delivered monolithic offerings to passive consumers, to an era in which services exist as networks of value co-creation.

6 April 2013

Videos of keynotes and panel discussions at the recent Interaction13 conference in Toronto

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The IxDA gathered in Toronto, Canada’s largest center for design, for its 6th annual conference. Here are the video records of the keynotes and panel discussions that took place.

KEYNOTES

Albert Shum: Connecting – emerging themes for interactions [36:59]
This session will share some of the design thinking behind emerging interactions themes and provide ways for design making that will help us create holistic human experiences to enrich people’s lives.

Jer Thorpe: Data & human experience [41:57]
By framing data in a human context, we can use it more effectively, and ultimately foster better practices for data-focused design.

John Bielenberg: Rubber ducks and hockey gloves (or, how to jump the ingenuity gap) [38:22]
How do you unlock the ingenuity that exists within people and organizations? Welcome to Future Blitz, the process of using rapid ingenuity to address your greatest challenges.

Kate Hartman: Social prosthetics – technology and the human form [43:54]
What gizmo can we use to read our minds, expose our hearts, or settle disputes? What gadget can improve our communication with house plants or buildings or glaciers?

Paul Adams: How to design social experiences [46:52]
Paul talks about the social design process, how it differs from classic user-centred design methods, and will explain why he thinks UX professionals will need to change how they work to be successful in the future.

Ravi Sawhney: Our power to empower – the satisfaction of designing for social impact [27:04]
Creating social impact is one piece of a very large world that flows through our fingertips as we conceive and create not only new user experiences but in fact new, highly empowered users… everywhere.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Data depth and ingenuity [46:19]
Panel with Jer Thorp, Todd Silverstein, Andrew Crow & Ben Fullerton
Big Data…so what? Have you heard it isn’t the size of the data, but what you do with it that matters? Cutting across industry and domain, we’ve invited some of the top creative minds to discuss and debate the value of information, in an information age. What to look for, how to determine what is important in the loads of data captured, and why making meaning out these mountains of digits can be so valuable.

Design led startups [40:21]
Panel with Ben Fullerton, Todd Silverstein, Raphael Grignani, Josh Seiden & Suzanne El-Moursi
This panel brings together a group of designers and entrepreneurs to discuss the real value of design in the startup world, how designers can think about entering the entrepreneurship world and what it takes to “jump ship” and start your own company.

Interaction design education workshop report back [1:13:10]
Panel with Dave Malouf, Haig Armen, Kendra Shimmell, Kristian Simsarian & Dianna Miller
The workshop co-organizers and the topic session facilitators present their session topics as well as communicate the next steps this group of people have planned in relation to interaction design education.

IxDA 10th anniversary panel [59:02]
Join members of the IxDA leadership – past and present – for a look at how our community has evolved between 2003 and 2013. Learn how IxDA started. Discover some of IxDA’s secrets: key moments, inflection points, lessons learned, and how it’s impacted peoples’ lives and work. Hear about where IxDA is today and where it’s going – what are our ideas & goals for the future and how we might get there through working together.

Open Brands: The future of brands is OPEN [52:14]
Panel with Matt Walsh, Donald Chestnut, Steve Baty & Suzanne El-Moursi
The role of interaction design in building an open brand.

ReDux Live: IxD13 [40:29]
Panel with Cliff Kuang, Jeroen van Geel & Lin Yee Yuan
With their fresh eyes and ears they shared from their perspectives the big ideas, trends and predictions from IxD13 and reflected on them while we were still together as a community in Toronto.

The great UX debate [1:02:32]
Panel with Robb Stevenson, Lou Lenzi, Angel Anderson, Donald Chestnut & Mikkel Michelsen
Following the outstanding success of the ‘Great IxDA Debate’ at Interaction12, Dublin, SapientNitro & IxDA have joined forces once again to organize another ‘Great UX Debate’ at Interaction13, Toronto.

5 April 2013

Free resources provided by the Interaction Design Foundation

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A few days ago, I reported on the news that SAP has become the first major sponsor of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF).

Today, Rikke Friis Dam, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the The Interaction Design Foundation, provides an overview of the kind of resources IDF provides, largely free of charge.

4 April 2013

Gestural, Wearable, Neural – the new pillars of interaction design

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This is an exciting time to be a digital designer, as the future of digital interaction is all around us, writes Nev Fordyce, reflecting on his SxSW experience.

“What many have touted as the rise of the ‘Digital Native’, may be better described as the arrival of the ‘Digital Born’.

This new species will benefit extensively by the promise of the three new pillars of interaction design. Through the implementation of gestural, wearable and neural technologies the Digital Born will simplify their everyday life, amplify their learned knowledge, and even extend their natural life.”

3 April 2013

SAP sponsors the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF)

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SAP has become the first major sponsor of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF), writes Gerd Waloszek on the SAP Design Guild blog.

The HCI encyclopedia, which recently appeared in its second edition, is one of IDF‘s major assets. But IDF offers designers a plethora of free educational materials:

  • Free Textbooks: 100+ expert authors on how to design interactive systems. Used by universities and tech companies around the world.
  • Free Educational Videos: HD video interviews with leading technology designers and professors. Filmed around the world.
  • Free Educational Images: Royalty-free images suitable for learning, teaching, publications or just plain fun.
  • Free Wiki Bibliography: The world’s largest wiki bibliography. A goldmine of research on designing interactive products.
  • Free Toolbox: A curated toolbox of essential products/tools for interaction designers. Our paying members get significant discounts.
  • Free Conference Calendar: A curated calendar of great conferences – ideal opportunities for learning and professional networking.

In addition, IDF supports a professionals association that “is meant for those who want to invest in their career” (membership cost is $98). Thanks to SAP’s sponsorship, membership in this association and access to the resources is free for SAP employees (they will find the respective information on SAP-internal Websites).

In the future, IDF will, among others, cooperate closely with SAP’s new User Experience Community.

IDF is overseen and guided by a distinguished executive board of industry experts and leaders in the field of high tech, software design, and user experience. Members include Michael Arent from SAP and SAP’s former Vice President of User Experience Dan Rosenberg.

20 March 2013

Smart homes: our next digital privacy nightmare

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The hyper-connected smart home of the future promises to change the way we live. More efficient energy usage, Internet-connected appliances that communicate with one another and cloud-enhanced home security are just some of the conveniences we’ll enjoy. It’s going to be amazing. It will also open up major questions about privacy. John Paul Titlow reports on ReadWriteWeb.

“Every time we connect another one of our household appliances to the Internet, we’re going to be generating another set of data about our lives and storing it some company’s servers. That data can be incredibly useful to us, but it creates yet another digital trail of personal details that could become vulnerable to court subpoenas, law enforcement requests (with or without a warrant) or hackers.”

Meanwhile, OvenInfo, the oven review site by Reviewed.com, is running a five-part series about smart appliances and connected homes. Where they are now, how they got here, and most importantly, whether they’ll earn a place among our smartphones and tablets as an everyday part of our lives. So far, three have been published:

1. What is a smart appliance?
The next generation of “smart” appliances will likely connect to your phone, negotiate rates with the power company, and even communicate with other appliances.

2. The history of smart appliances
Everything seems to be trending toward highly automated households, controlled by a mobile device. What’s different now is that this trend is being pushed not merely by what’s possible, but by technologies that are practical and already integrated into our daily lives.

3. The business of smart appliances
Smart appliances are not big business yet—at least not within the scope of the entire industry. In 2012, smart appliances sales totaled a modest $613 million, a fraction of the worldwide bottom line. But that isn’t stopping a few manufacturers from trying to make the future of smart appliances happen right now.

4. The future of smart appliances
Touchscreens and Twitter are fine, but smart appliances will need to save time and money.

5. How to buy a smart appliance right now
Smart appliances still can’t do your laundry on their own, but a few good models are ready for a place in your home.

13 March 2013

No to NoUI

 

‘The best design is invisible’ is the interaction design phrase of the moment. Design and technology will ‘disappear’, become ‘invisible’, and the ‘best interface is no interface’… A cluster of thinking which Timo Arnall calls ‘invisible design’.

Arnall agrees with some of the reasons driving this movement; that design’s current infatuation with touchscreens is really problematic. In response he has been researching and inventing interfaces for taking interaction out from under the glass.

Yet, he also takes issue with much of this thinking for a few reasons that he outlines in a blog post.

Highly recommended (and timely).

5 March 2013

The disappearing interface

 

Where static computer screens and smartphones suck in our gaze and extract us from the world around us, many of the most interesting new tech gadgets and ideas move us back out into the open.

Instead of all-purpose, full-focus devices, these new tools are migrating outward, on and around our bodies, to our fingers and heads and wrists and ears, and even feet. From there, they can be ready to help us the moment we need them, in a manner that’s less abstracted and hard to talk about without referencing science fiction.

28 February 2013

Computer interfaces: tech’s next great frontier

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Since the invention of personal computing three decades ago, how we interact with computers has remained about the same: monitor, keyboard, mouse. Monitors have gotten a bit bigger, keyboards are smaller, and mice are wireless, but today’s PCs at Best Buy would still be familiar to a computer user from 1984. That’s begun to change, and today there’s an explosion of innovation in interface design, driven by huge strides in processing power, memory, and bandwidth.

Some of these new technologies are intuitive, others are bizarre, but as computers find their way into everything from car dashboards to kitchen appliances, there’s greater need to control them more easily—and to make sense of their data without drowning in it.

Learn about the Tongueduino (!) and more

20 February 2013

Experientia partner joins Interaction14 organizing team

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Interaction, the annual interaction design conference organized by IxDA (the global Interaction Design Association), will head to Amsterdam in in February 2014.

Conference chair Alok Nandi asked Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken to be the Interaction14 Lead of Marketing and Communications (Marcomm Lead). Mark (and Experientia) are extremely honored by this request.

Interaction14 will be the second IxDA conference to be held in Europe, following from the successful staging of Interaction12 in Dublin.

IxDA currently has 78,754 members, and about 1000 of them attended Interaction13, which took place a few weeks ago in Toronto.

The Amsterdam conference will offer four days of presentations and workshops from 5-8 February 2014.

Although very much at the beginning of his (volunteer) mandate, Mark – who is not a designer himself – is pushing for the event to aim beyond its confines and reach out to the city and the local design fabric, which seems to be very dynamic, to the global UX and IxDA community (irrespective of whether they can make it to Amsterdam or not), but also to many others who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves designers, but can still be intruiged by the issues many interaction designers face. An event during the Milan Furniture Fair is also in the works.

The planning committee is currently in a very open phase and good ideas are highly welcome. Interaction14 is also looking for sponsors (so pass the word).

14 February 2013

First outputs from Intel research centre on sustainable connected cities

connectedcities

The Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities – a cooperation between University College London (UCL), Imperial College London and Intel – was launched in May 2012, which a focus on how to enable future cities to be more connected and sustainable. Their activities entail investigating, developing and deploying adaptive technologies that can optimize resource efficiency, and enable new services that support and enhance the quality of life of urban inhabitants and city visitors. Their approach is interdisciplinary, combining methodologies from computer science, the social sciences, interaction design and architecture to improve how cities are managed and maintained in order to ensure and enhance citizen well-being.

The Institute is directed by Duncan Wilson of Intel, assisted by Charlie Sheridan. Other people involved include David Prendergast (Intel senior researcher and anthropologist), Yvonne Rogers (UCL Professor of Interaction Design and Director of the UCL Interaction Centre), Licia Capra (UCL Reader in Pervasive computing), and Johannes Schöning (professor of computer science with a focus on HCI at Hasselt University, Belgium).

According to an initial overview article, the focus of the Institute is to be human-centred:

“Our perspective in the Sustainable Connected Cities Institute is to be human- centred. We have wide-ranging expertise and background in user experience, interaction design, ethnography, together with research in the built environment, commerce, engineering, anthropology, the arts, and social psychology. We also work as inter-disciplinary teams that can make a real change to enrich and extend city dwellers lives.” […]

We will develop and exploit pervasive and sensing technologies, analytics and new interfaces, putting humans at the centre of technological developments. Our approach is to address four main themes:

  • City Experience: How do we enhance the City Experience and communicate services?
  • City as a Platform: How do we create the digital platform of the city from sensor/edge to cloud?
  • Sustaining Sustainability: How to sustain behavioural change?
  • Connecting the Invisible City: How do we visualize the Human-Environment Interface?”

Meanwhile the Institute has published its first research papers and articles:

Toward a real-time city health monitor
A common metaphor to describe the movement of people within a city is that of blood flowing through the veins of a living organism. We often speak of the ‘pulse of the city’ when referring to flow patterns we observe. Here we extend this metaphor by hypothesising that by monitoring the flow of people through a city we can assess the city’s health, as a nurse takes a patient’s heart-rate and blood pressure during a routine health check. Using an automated fare collection dataset of journeys made on the London rail system, we build a classification model that identifies areas of high deprivation as measured by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation, and achieve a precision, sensitivity and specificity of0.805, 0.733 and 0.810, respectively. We conclude with a discussion of the potential benefits this work provides to city planning, policymaking, and citizen engagement initiatives.

Smart Citizens in the Data Metropolis
Article with some insights on the discussions around smart citizens and community engagement. It was original published in the website of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona.

Reflecting on the Institute, Mandeep Hothi, programme leader at the Young Foundation, writes:

“Much of the institute’s outputs will be relevant to local government. For example, a recent study shows a link between measures of multiple deprivation and patterns of passenger flow on public transport in London.Researchers propose that this data could become an early warning system for identifying areas of high deprivation, helping local government to better target its resources.

Data sensors such as Oyster card readers are becoming ubiquitous and the availability of real-time data is going to vastly increase.

It is important that the applications that emerge are co-created with local citizens, using ethnography and design as the starting point. Not only will this maximise usefulness, it should ensure technologists and officials respect issues such as personal privacy and autonomy.”