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Search results for 'Smart-Things-Ubiquitous'
8 December 2010

Interview with Mike Kuniavsky, author of “Smart Things”

Smart Things
David Bevans of Morgan Kaufmann Publishers interviewed Mike Kuniavsky, writer, designer, researcher and entrepreneur and co-founder of both ThingM, an electronic hardware design, development and manufacturing company, and Adaptive Path, and author of “Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (previously featured on Putting People First).

Dave Bevans: You can look at how technology works and what tools can work best, but what drives you to make them easier?

Mike Kuniavsky: “Easier” is a difficult question. I like to think of it as using technology in appropriate places. And I can think of it as creating technologies that help people live their lives better. What tools can we build to help people have happier and more productive lives? Part of that is understanding the appropriate places for technological interventions based on the available technology, and part of that is understanding the way to make those technological interventions appropriate to people and to what they’re trying to do. I think the combination of those things is what combines to form the concept of easier. Because when technology is easy to use, it means that it’s appropriate to the task and it’s sufficiently understandable to be able to be used for that task.”

Read interview

(via InfoDesign)

3 November 2010

Computational objects with information shadows

Smart Things
Mike Kuniavsky, writer, designer, researcher and entrepreneur and co-founder of both ThingM, an electronic hardware design, development and manufacturing company, and Adaptive Path, has written a new book: “Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (already previously featured on Putting People First).

In a post on Boing Boing, he delves into the topic of designing computational objects.

“Mainstream ubicomp is coming back. The success of Internet services on mobile phones demonstrates that networked products can stretch beyond a laptop browser. The prices for CPUs have fallen below a threshold where incorporating them becomes a competitively viable business decision. Research labs have developed new technologies for embedding information processing in virtually anything. New businesses, such as FitBit, and Green Goose are based on the fact that processing is cheap, and you can include it in anything.

The idea of a single general-purpose “computation” device is fading into the same historical background as having a single steam engine to power a whole factory, or a single electric motor to power every appliance in a house. As it fades, designers and developers have to learn to design smart things that serve the interests, abilities, and needs of people. We must create a practice of ubiquitous computing user experience design.”

Dave Gray, who collaborates with Peter Morville on the Ubicomp Sketchbook, discusses the information shadow concept Kuniavsky introduced, and links it to Bruce Sterling‘s spime concept.

“The information shadow is the information that’s associated with an object such as its name, number, position in space and time, and so on. [...] Information shadows allow designers to make objects simpler, to reduce the size of interfaces and reduce the display requirements of an object.”

4 May 2010

Smart Things – Chapters 3 and 6

Smart Things
After posting the first chapter of his new book Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (see also this earlier post), Mike Kuniavsky is now doing the same with chapter three and six.

The final book, he says, will be different and this is no substitute for it, but it’s a taste of what the book is about.

Read chapter 3: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4
Read chapter 6: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6

6 April 2010

The Middle of Moore’s Law

Smart Things
Mike Kuniavsky has posted a pre-print draft of the first chapter of his new book Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (see also this earlier post).

The final book, he says, will be different and this is no substitute for it, but it’s a taste of what the book is about.

Read part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4

25 March 2010

Book: Ubiquitous computing user experience design

Smart Things
At Lift France 09, Mike Kuniavsky spoke about Changing Things: Fab Labs, towards decentralized design and production of material products (link to 25 min. video).

Kuniavsky’s new book on ubiquitous computing user experience design is now finished and will be shipping in August.

Based on case studies, the book will show the evolution of products caused by ubiquitous computing. It also describes frameworks and processes, as well as giving practical advice on how to handle these unique design challenges.

Abstract:

The world of smart shoes, appliances, and phones is already here, but the practice of user experience (UX) design for ubiquitous computing is still relatively new. Design companies like IDEO and frogdesign are regularly asked to design products that unify software interaction, device design and service design — which are all the key components of ubiquitous computing UX — and practicing designers need a way to tackle practical challenges of design. Theory is not enough for them — luckily the industry is now mature enough to have tried and tested best practices and case studies from the field.

Smart Things presents a problem-solving approach to addressing designers’ needs and concentrates on process, rather than technological detail, to keep from being quickly outdated. It pays close attention to the capabilities and limitations of the medium in question and discusses the tradeoffs and challenges of design in a commercial environment. Divided into two sections ? frameworks and techniques ? the book discusses broad design methods and case studies that reflect key aspects of these approaches. The book then presents a set of techniques highly valuable to a practicing designer. It is intentionally not a comprehensive tutorial of user-centered design’as that is covered in many other books’but it is a handful of techniques useful when designing ubiquitous computing user experiences.

In shot, Smart Things gives its readers both the “why” of this kind of design and the “how,” in well-defined chunks.

  • Tackles design of products in the post-Web world where computers no longer have to be monolithic, expensive general-purpose devices
  • Features broad frameworks and processes, practical advice to help approach specifics, and techniques for the unique design challenges
  • Presents case studies that describe, in detail, how others have solved problems, managed trade-offs, and met successes

Mike Kuniavsky is a founding partner of Adaptive Path, a user experience consulting company in San Francisco. He has been developing commercial web sites since 1994, and is the interaction designer of an award-winning search engine, HotBot. He created the Wired Digital User Experience Laboratory and served as its chief investigator for two years. His design work and writing have appeared in many publications, including WebMonkey, ID Magazine, Wired, Step-By-Step Design, Inc., The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, and .Net (UK).