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Posts in category 'Interaction design'

6 February 2012

Interaction 12: Keynote by Anthony Dunne

crowbot_jenny

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?”

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6 February 2012

Interaction 12: Day Three

ixd12

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).

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5 February 2012

Interactions 12: Day Two

ixd12

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.

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3 February 2012

Interactions 12: Day One

ixd12

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).

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25 January 2012

State of Interaction Design: Diverging, by David Malouf

dublin_city_gpo

In anticipation of the upcoming IxDA Interaction12 Conference taking place in Dublin, Ireland February 1–4, Core77 is bringing us a preview of this year’s event, including this guest post by David Malouf, professor of Interaction Design in the Industrial Design Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“In the last year IxD, as a community of practice, has faced its strongest challenge to date. We have shifted from converging and assimilating to a community that is ever rapidly diverging.

The divergence is happening along the lines of the gravitational interests from where interaction design was born or where the slippery slope of our primary interest takes us. The divergence is also because the level of complexity of our problem sets have grown so vast that no single group can or should keep track of all of it. We have split basically along our primary lines of interest: Engineering, Individuals (psychology), Culture (anthropology) and Art.”

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Note that Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels will be attending Interaction12 as well.

25 January 2012

The city as interface. Digital media and the urban public sphere

phdmartijndewaal-180x300

On 23 January 2012, Martijn de Waal defended his Ph.D. thesis ‘The city as interface’ at the Philosophy Department of the University of Groningen.

Abstract:

The main concern of the study ‘The City as Interface’ is the future of the urban public sphere. It investigates various scenarios that describe how the rise of digital and mobile media technologies, such as the mobile phone, GPS-navigation, and the usage of social networks through smartphones, change the way the urban public sphere functions.

Most studies on the urban public sphere have so far theorized it as a spatial construct, a physical place for encounter and social interaction. Yet, such a purely spatial approach has become problematic now that new media technologies, from the mobile phone to urban sensor networks, have started to play an important role in the experience and organization of everyday urban life. The experience of the city has become extended by media technologies that bring absent others or distant (either in time and space) contexts into the here-and-now. The infrastructure of these new technologies and the way they are programmed now co-shape urban life, just like the physical infrastructures and the spatial programming of urban planning have always done.

This may lead to two different (non-exclusive) scenarios that enforce a broader trend in which people sort themselves out geographically, that is: people are more and more keeping in touch with people who share a similar identity or particular goal. Citizens may use digital media as ‘filters’ that allows them to find the spaces where they are likely to meet people who are similar to them. Institutions may use these same technologies to target particular audiences and make places more attractive to them, or even to exclude access to those who do not belong.

A second scenario also builds upon a broader geographic trend that has been called ‘Living Together Apart.’ This is a development in which various urban publics live in and use the same geographic areas, but do not interact much. An example is found in the former working class turned migrant quarters near European inner cities that have become gentrified over the last decades. Local working class people, young professionals and migrants share the same neighborhood. A Turkish coffee house might be located next to a designer coffee bar. They are geographically close, but are separated by a large symbolic distance. The filtering mechanisms of mobile media could enforce this scenario. The chaotic experience of all those different worlds on top of each other becomes ‘navigable’ and ‘inhabitable’ through the use of urban media that help users locate those microvariations in space that are relevant to them.

That, however, is only one part of my findings. Urban media also have the affordance to create a public sphere in new ways. Urban media can create a new type of platform that can bring forth collective issues around which publics can organize. Data from various sensor networks can be mapped to, for instance, show the air quality or energy use of a city. These mappings can become a condensation point around which publics start to organize themselves. In addition, the use of urban media can be used to make individual contributions to such communal issues visible. This could mean that it becomes easier to turn resources into a ‘commons’, a communally used and managed resource. First examples of these are the bike and car sharing schemes that have sprung up in various cities around the world. There is a chance that the communal use and management of these practical collective issues could lead to the formation of publics around these issues that bring together people from various backgrounds. I have shown how ‘open data’ initiatives could perhaps play a similar role. These too could create new platforms on which urban publics can form.

At the same time I have also argued that the introduction of a new platform by itself is not enough for a public realm to come into being. To function as a public realm, platforms need a program that provide one or more functions that will attract citizens from various backgrounds. This is true for physical spaces as well as for urban media platforms. Studies have shown that digital platforms can enhance the sense of a local community or public in a particular neighborhood, but that this does not happen by itself.

(via SmartMobs)

13 January 2012

Affective computing

affective_computing

Chapter twelve of the interaction-design.org resource is now available in preview. It deals with what HCI specialists call ‘affective computing’ and was written by Kristina Höök, professor in Human-Machine Interaction at Stockholm University.

As Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design moved from designing and evaluating work-oriented applications towards dealing with leisure-oriented applications, such as games, social computing, art, and tools for creativity, we have had to consider e.g. what constitutes an experience, how to deal with users’ emotions, and understanding aesthetic practices and experiences.

The author describes three strands of affective computing: 1. Affective computing (based on cognition, and the most widely known); 2. Affective interaction (coming from a more culture-based angle); and 3. Technology as experience (arguably more art-based).

The different angles show projects that range from helping people with autism to creating text messages with emotion-related colours.

She finishes with a caution that with affective computing “we may easily cross the thin line from persuasion to coercion, creating for technological control of our behavior and bodies.” Her example is a parody fitness app ”I’m sorry, Dave, you shouldn’t eat that. Dave, you know I don’t like it when you eat donuts” just as you are about to grab a donut.”, but she could be talking about the XKCD take on Facebook suggestions as well.

(via Johnny Holland)

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22 December 2011

Five lessons from the best interaction designs of 2011

ixd

Frog’s Robert Fabricant breaks down the themes from the 2011 Interaction Design Awards.

“Technologies like cheap sensors and cloud computing are increasingly being used to augment our daily lives in both magical and mundane ways. Everything we do is an app in the making (a million and counting). But in this environment we are also developing a new sensitivity to the thin line between enrichment and annoyance. Which is why interaction design continues to gain prominence as the discipline with the greatest potential to maintain our sanity in this brave new world of distraction. So it was with high hopes that I joined a gathering of some of the best minds in interaction design today, including Massimo Banzi, Janna DeVylder, Matt Jones, Younghee Jung, Jonas Löwgren, and Helen Walters, to judge the first annual Interaction Design Awards sponsored by the IxDA. Our job was to recognize the best examples from 2011 as well as communicate the critical role of good interaction design in our lives. While I cannot share the winners–yet– this experience was a great moment to reflect on the state of interaction design and what it might hold in the next few years.”

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14 December 2011

Philosophy of interaction

Chapter

Chapter eleven of the interaction-design.org resource is now available in preview. It was written by Dag Svanaes, Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (and former professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea) and deals with the philosophy of interaction and the interactive user experience.

“I will approach the question of interactivity from a number of angles, in the belief that a multi-paradigmatic analysis is necessary to give justice to the complexity of the phenomenon. I will start by defining the scope through some examples of interactive products and services. Next, I will analyse interactivity and the interactive user experience from a number of perspectives, including formal logic, cognitive science, phenomenology, and media and art studies. A number of other perspectives, e.g. ethnomethodology, semiotics, and activity theory, are highly relevant, but are not included here.”

Lengthy comments to Svanaes’ chapter were provided by Donald A. Norman and Eva Hornecker.

Read chapter

1 December 2011

End-user development

Chapter 10
Chapter ten of the interaction-design.org resource is now available in preview and deals with end-user development.

Computer users have rapidly increased in both number and diversity. They include managers, accountants, engineers, home makers, teachers, scientists, health care workers, insurance adjusters, salesmen, and administrative assistants. Many of these people work on tasks that rapidly vary on a yearly, monthly, or even daily basis. Consequently, their software needs are diverse, complex, and frequently changing. Professional software developers cannot directly meet all of these needs because of their limited domain knowledge and because their development processes are too slow.

End-user development (EUD) helps to solve this problem. EUD is “a set of methods, techniques and tools that allow users of software systems, who are acting as non-professional software developers, at some point to create, modify, or extend a software artifact” . In particular, EUD enables end users to design or customize the user interface and functionality of software. This is valuable because end users know their own context and needs better than anybody else, and they often have real-time awareness of shifts in their respective domains. Through EUD, end users can tune software to fit their requirements more closely than would be possible without EUD. Moreover, because end users outnumber professional software developers by a factor of 30-to-1 , EUD “scales out” software development activities by enabling a much larger pool of people to participate.

The chapter was written by Margaret Burnett, professor of computer science at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University, and Christopher Scaffidi, assistant professor of computer science in the School of EECS at Oregon State University, and includes also a video conversation with them.

Read chapter

22 November 2011

Design for digital context (white paper)

Design for digital context
Fjord, the digital design consultancy, has just completed a white paper called “Design for Context: Understanding How User Context is Evolving”, looking at the background to context-sensitive design and current approaches, as well as providing high-level design recommendations for using context effectively and profitably.

The paper was developed as part of Fjord’s involvement with the three-year EU-funded research project SmarcoS.

“Designing and creating the best digital service experiences demands a clear understanding of user context.

Coupled with the rise of embedded technology, contextually aware design and technology is being utilised more and more to tailor and automate digital experiences.

This Fjord Report looks at the background to context- sensitive design, current approaches, and concludes with analysis and high-level design recommendations for creating digital services that use context effectively and profitably.”

Download white paper

(via Dexigner)

21 November 2011

Announcement: Dataviz workshop in Torino, Italy

Dataviz
On 12 to 17 December, the people of Better Nouveau plan Dataviz, an in-depth workshop on the visual representation of large datasets.

Better Nouveau is an independent design label and an innovation project initiated in June 2011 by ToDo, an Italian interaction design studio with a knack for setting up play dates between craft and code.

The six-day workshop, taking place in Torino, Italy, focuses on the visual representation of complex phenomena and large datasets.

“Over six days, you’ll learn to use the visual, node-based approach of NodeBox – an open-source data visualization tool – to create interesting and unique visualizations that evolve and react to varying inputs.

You’ll study how to capture, prepare, visualize and refine data, gaining insight in dataviz theories to the point you’ll start looking at data in a different way. By learning about the history of data visualization, you’ll discover how to create your own new and interesting designs for the future.

The final project will consist in a poster visualizing the data relating to a specified subject (we are currently selecting interesting datasets to be used during the week).”

10 November 2011

GEM, Nokia’s new concept phone

GEM
Nokia releases a new phone concept – Gem – which “revolutionizes mobile design by turning the entire handset into a touchscreen”.

Launched on the 25th anniversary of the Nokia Research Centre, the GEM device changes appearance from camera to phone or map according to the function selected by the user. It could even display advertising messages on the back of the phone.

The back and front are also interactive, making it possible to pinch and zoom the rear of the phone while getting a constant clear view of the image on the front.

Read announcement (with concept video)

10 November 2011

Smarter, better cyborgs

Grid fingers
Instead of augmenting reality, we should make technology more aware, argues Christopher Butler in this article for Print Magazine.

“Though an initial AR [Augmented Reality] experience can be thrilling, it quickly becomes clear, especially to visual thinkers, that AR is a misapplication of the technology currently at our disposal. AR is disappointing precisely because it is so visual.”

Read article

10 November 2011

Brief rant on the future of interaction design

The future of interaction design
Interaction designer Bret Victor has published his “brief rant on the future of interaction design“.

“To me, claiming that Pictures Under Glass [as in touch screens] is the future of interaction is like claiming that black-and-white is the future of photography. It’s obviously a transitional technology. And the sooner we transition, the better.”

Highly recommended.

3 November 2011

Digital product strategy, gamification, and the evolution of UX

Chess
Greg Laugero writes about two trends that have recently entered the realm of digital product development.

First is the incorporation of gaming concepts into products that seemingly have nothing to do with gaming.

Second, the importance of designing products that are not only easy to use but a pleasure to use.

Read article

25 October 2011

Games, Life and Utopia conference

Gamification
Games, Life and Utopia is a half-day event in Pottsdam, Germany on 11 November, that is all about gamification, serious games, learning and play.

It’s a conference for service and interaction designers, for social activists, for artists, for developers and geeks, and of course for gamers.

“Gamification has garnered a lot of attention in recent years – both from academia and industry. At the event Games, Life and Utopia we will explore the potential and the boundaries of this emerging field. We will discuss the latest research results and discuss applications, not only in games, but also as tools for behavioral change. Our speakers offer a range of different perspectives on the topic – from hands-on experience with their own gamification products to a critical position based on psychological research. We will examine the operational mechanisms of games and their wondrous capabilities to produce experiences of hope, interest, enlightenment, and fascination.”

The key event organiser is Reto Wettach, a professor in physical interaction design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam/Germany (and a former professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea).

20 October 2011

Cadillac User Experience (CUE)

Cadillac CUE
Last week, Cadillac launched its new “CUE” vehicle infotainment system.

The name is an acronym that stands for Cadillac User Experience — the company’s refined and expanded approach to connected vehicles.

Electronista took an early look at the new system before it arrives in production vehicles.

“Most of the individual features in the CUE system are not technically new to vehicles, but Cadillac has worked to take inspiration from the latest mobile hardware and operating systems. The approach aims to expand connectivity and customizability, while also improving existing technologies.

CUE enables users to connect up to 10 devices, including Bluetooth-enabled phones, SD cards, USB sticks, and MP3 players. The eight-inch nav display and instrument cluster—a larger LCD—provide access to media content and other information such as e-mails, instant messages and Doppler radar. Like smartphone interfaces, CUE supports familiar multi-touch gestures.

The standard features can be found on a number of vehicles, however Cadillac’s interface presents customizable and arrangeable icons that only appear when proximity sensors detect an approaching hand. Capacitive sensors on a panel below the display eliminate the need for standard buttons, while haptic feedback provides input confirmation.”

Read article

Other reviews: Fortune / ChipChick

12 October 2011

dConstruct 2011 videos online

dConstruct 2011
dConstruct 2011, the 2 September event in Brighton, England, brought together leading thinkers from the fields of interaction design, mobile design and ubiquitous computing to explore how we can bridge the gap between physical and digital product design. Videos are now online.

Don Norman – Emotional Design for the World of Objects
Welcome to the world of atoms. The human body is part of the physical world. It savors touch and feeling, movement and action. How else to explain the popularity of physical devices, of games that require gestures, and full-body movement? Want to develop for this new world? There are new rules for interacting with the world, new rules for the developers of systems.
(longer abstract and audio)

Kelly Goto – Beyond Usability: Mapping Emotion to Experience
Addiction or devotion? The complexity of our relationships between connected experiences, devices and people is increasing. Stanley Kubrick once said a film “should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what‛s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later”.
(longer abstract and audio)

Bryan Rieger & Stephanie Rieger – Letting Go
Design (or if you prefer—user experience) is at a crossroads. In our globalized, hyper-connected world, users no longer need to wait for us to create experiences for them. As we debate the value of design thinking, the usefulness of the next API, or strive to craft the ultimate cross-platform experience—users are sorting this out on their own, using whatever service or technology is “good enough” for them at the time.
(longer abstract and audio)

Craig Mod – What Is the Shape of the Future Book?
What are the core systems comprising the future book? What are the tools that need to be built? As designers we will need to provide the scaffolding for these systems. The interfaces for these tools. Not just as surface, but holistically—understanding the shifting of emotional space, the import of the artifact, the evocation of a souvenir, digitally.
(longer abstract and audio)

Frank Chimero – Oh God, It’s Full of Stars
The relationship between digital and physical products is larger than if it exists on a hard drive or a shelf. It’s the tension between access and ownership, searching and finding, sharing and collecting. It’s a dance between the visible and the invisible, and what happens when we’re forced to remember versus when we are allowed to forget. How does this affect us—not just as makers, but as consumers of these products?
(longer abstract and audio)

Dan Hon – The Full Stack of Entertainment: Storytelling, Play and Code
Forget transmedia. Forget alternate and augmented realities. Forget multimedia magazines, tablets, phones and puzzling QR codes. Our challenge lies in figuring out the full-stack of entertainment, designed from the bottom right to the very top: for phones, physical objects—part of the Internet of things or otherwise—tablets and conventional computing devices, where art, code and design mesh together perfectly with directorial vision.
(longer abstract and audio)

Kars Alfrink – The Transformers
In this talk, Kars Alfrink – founder and principal designer at applied pervasive games studio Hubbub – explores ways we might use games to alleviate some of the problems wilful social self-seperation can lead to. Kars looks at how people sometimes deliberately choose to live apart, even though they share the same living spaces. He discusses the ways new digital tools and the overlapping media landscape have made society more volatile. But rather than to call for a decrease in their use, Kars argues we need more, but different uses of these new tools. More playful uses.
(longer abstract and audio)

Matthew Sheret – Pocket Scale
I punch in a keycode and enter the office. Three steps through the door I swipe my travelcard against an old wooden box, which starts spitting out a radio station based on forty million people’s answer to the question ‘What songs would a Joy Division fan like?’ The sexyfuture arrived yesterday, and it colonised my pockets.
(longer abstract and audio)

Kevin Slavin – Reality is Plenty
Lately, Augmented Reality (AR) has come to stand for the highest and deepest form of synthesis between the digital and physical worlds. Slavin outlines an argument for rethinking what really augments reality and what the benefits are, as well as the costs
(longer abstract and audio)

11 October 2011

Embodied interactions: in touch with the digital

Embodied interaction
Fabian Hemmert will be one of the keynote speakers at Interaction 12. In this article on Johnny Holland, he reflects on “recent developments in the research field of Human-Computer Interaction [that] point to emerging styles of interaction that make use of our very abilities as human beings, putting us directly in touch with the digital world.”

In particular, he looks at three series of prototypes that illustrate what ‘Embodied Interaction’ is – in the different physical and social spaces that we live in.

Read article