Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Interaction Design

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Saturday 12th March 2011

  • How Print Design is the Future of Interaction

    by Mike Kruzeniski

    This session is about how the history of Print Design is becoming an important influence in the evolution of Interaction Design. As a craft, design for printed media has a rich history. Several generations of designers have pushed its boundaries in countless directions. It has been shaped over several hundred years as both a functional and aesthetic discipline, with a deep foundation of principles, practices, theories, and professional dialogue. In comparison, Interaction and UI Design is still a relatively young field. Its history has largely been driven by technology and functional goals. The dialogue around it has been centered on usability, which has been its purpose in the context of technological advancement. The visual language of UI has evolved from that standpoint: that it should evoke the familiar, analog experience of tools, buttons, knobs, and dials. That foundation has led to a very specific visual language in interactive experiences. In the past ten years however, the relevant technologies that support the design of Interfaces - displays, processing speeds, and rendering engines - have matured to a point that they provide a more capable canvas for design. Meanwhile, our culture has become visibly more comfortable with the technologies that surround it. These combination of trends are creating an important inflection point for designers. The aesthetic experience of the digital surface can now be considered and explored in a more sophisticated manner.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • How Progress Bars Change the Way We Live

    by Evan Jones

    Once upon a time slow connections begat the Progress Bar - bloated sites would taunt us with '15% loaded' screens. High-speed promised to kill the beast and free us from their tyranny but yet it lives! Progress bars are being used MORE lately to direct user actions. Look to Farmville and LinkedIn which push their users to collect 100% of their personal information. Incomplete progress bars are an itch that needs to be scratched. They carry the implicit language that declares 'You are here' but more importantly 'The end is in sight'. Game design motivates us through incremental, measurable progress towards a tangible goal but is this the way real life works? Is the progress bar's ubiquity in technology starting to affect the way we measure progress in meatspace? This panel will reach far across time and space to look at the story of progress bars, why they hypnotize us and what we need to do - slay the beast once and for all, or throw ourselves into its partially-complete embrace...

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • It's About Time: Visualizing Temporality

    by Joanna Wiebe

    Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. I agree about the banana, but I'm not so sure about the arrow. What is the shape of time? Our online calendars, clocks and other models of time often are designed with the understanding that time is a forward-moving arrow. This sounds logical to the Western, English-speaking scientific mind. However, not everyone conceptualizes time as a relentless hurtling forward. Some cultures understand time as a fractal, a spiral, a mandala, a cycle. And a child, playing with the same toy over and over again, lives in a single seamless moment from dawn to dusk. Visualizing temporality is a fundamental issue in interaction design today. For example, we are looking at a future where our work must be useful for both Eastern and Western audiences, who differ in time-oriented cultural traits such as long-term vs. short-term orientation. We also need to be able to provide tools to differentiate the personal, bodily-felt experience of time from clock time. We may want to expand our customers' perception of time, to invite them to stay in the Deep Present. Our beliefs about time and its passage profoundly affect the design of software and interactive media. It's time for interaction designers to understand deeply how our customers know time, whether as an arrow, a spiral or a squiggle. How people slice and dice nature into concepts is fundamental to designing tools people can use to successfully live on the earth, for a long time.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

  • Design Across Disciplines

    by Elaine Wherry, Matthew Robbins and Stephen Atkinson

    New technology brings broad experimentation and new design challenges. It takes years, if not decades, to establish an effective design vocabulary to discuss what "works" and "doesn't work." This panel asks established professionals in architecture, speech writing, and event planning to describe their creative processes and vocabularies and will compare them with the best practices in interaction design. This session brought to you by Meebo.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • The Music of Interaction Design

    by James Box and Cennydd Bowles

    While both music and design have theoretical underpinnings, they also share a certain ineffability. A musical masterpiece and an exceptionally crafted experience demand more than the simple application of theory. They also demand virtuosity. Designers must skilfully bring together clicks and gestures — the building blocks of interaction design — to form a meaningful experience. Although it's simple to describe these components, we often resort to vague shorthands like 'look & feel' to explain what happens at the experiential layer. Similarly, composers rely on formalised technique to write music; yet ask what makes a piece remarkable and the answer will be similarly nebulous. In this session, we will examine parallels between music and interaction design, including harmony, genre, rhythm, fashion and emotion. Along the way, we will learn how that which defies easy definition can elevate digital and musical works from good to miraculous.

    1. Why do some interactions and some pieces of music—even when they seemingly 'obey' all the rules—still feel wrong?
    2. What is it about music that provokes such a profound emotional response and how can designers learn from it?
    3. Why, despite all expectations, the overflow of information can actually be a rather lovely experience.
    4. Why does innovation actually feel bad?
    5. And finally, just what is 'The Brown Noise'?

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • Designing iPad Interfaces - New Navigation Schemas

    by Lynn Teo

    With every new “form factor” comes a unique set of design conventions and interaction paradigms. The emergence of tablet interfaces such as the iPad marks a new chapter in digital design. How much of web navigation or smartphone conventions persist in this new world? And what are we seeing that's new? Are there specific wayfinding and browsing mechanisms that make for a satisfying and productive iPad user experience? Based on an assessment of 50+ iPad applications that run the gamut from utility/transactional interfaces to comic readers and other publishing apps, this presentation provides a focused analysis and assessment of navigation methods in a distilled format. Navigation schemas will be explored by interaction design themes, supported by examples, and recommendations on when best to employ them.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • People as Peripherals: The Future of Gesture Interface

    by Lee Shupp

    Xbox Kinect has demonstrated the commercial reality of gesture interface in the home gaming environment. Advancements in sensing and projection technology in mobile devices are potentially setting the stage for pocket-based Minority Report gesture interaction. Absent the limits of one-user/one-device two-dimensional hardware interfaces, what are the new possibilities for three-dimensional interaction with real and virtual worlds? What are users ready for and how might their expectations evolve? In this presentation, we'll talk about the current state of gesture and natural user interface, its most obvious applications, as well as its pitfalls and promise for consumers in the near and speculative future.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • The Future of Touch User Interface Design

    by Amish Patel and Kay Hofmeester

    Although touch user interfaces have been around since the 1960s, they did not take off in the consumer mainstream until 2007. The last five years have seen a widespread acceptation of touch user interfaces, and many mobile phone and PC manufacturers have launched their version of a touch user interface. However, all these user interfaces still feature a similar, somewhat limited touch interaction language. How will touch develop in the coming years? Will multi-user multi-touch become important? How does voice, stylus and even air evolve our vocabulary? Will 2D touch develop into 3D touch? This panel will discuss the possibilities, and make projections into the future. We encourage you to explore this and much more with us.. join the discussion!

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Developing Futuristic Multi-Touch / Multi-Screen Applications

    by Mark Miller, Daniel Dura, Jonathan Campos and Christian Cantrel

    Multi-Touch and Multi-Screen development is the next wave pushing us closer to what has only been possible in science fiction. This session introduces users to the world of Multi-Touch and Multi-Screen development by looking at not only the software behind this revolution, but the hardware required to run these innovative user interface experiences. We will explore handheld devices and beyond... think CSI walls 10'x6' and tables larger than the one in your Grandmother's dining room. Breaking the standard rules of what you can expect from technology; Multi-Touch and Multi-Screen is the future, and you need to be in the know. Accessing multiple screens while running a single application enables multiple user interaction from anywhere! Connecting the web, desktop, handhelds, and/or new user interface devices unseen by anyone. This session will address 1) What are some techniques to build Multi-Touch hardware? 2) What are some considerations when developing software for Multi-Touch / Multi-Screen applications? 3) Where are things going next?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Game On: 7 Design Patterns For User Engagement

    by Nadya Direkova

    How do you drive up user engagement? What game-like design patterns get your users to complete the sign-up, bring friends and come back? This session will expose the design patterns of engagement and incentives, including relevant metrics. Led by Nadya Direkova, Sr. Designer at Google and game designer, it will teach useful techniques that can drive up - and keep - your user base. You will leave with an arsenal of 7 design patterns to: design effective sign-up sessions and tutorials, promote virality, invite return visits, and apply game mechanics beyond points and bagdes. About the speaker: Nadya Direkova is Google’s local search designer and a game mechanics consultant - helping millions of users find knowledge and fun. She comes from the world of game design, having created fun games for Leapfrog and Backbone. She’s taught design at M.I.T. and spoken at IXDA’09 and SXSW’10.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

  • Interactive Patterns in the Mobile Space

    by Barbara Ballard

    This panel will discuss how companies can create best mobile mobile user interfaces, avoiding many of the pitfalls of poor design. Mobile user interfaces are not just squished down to fit the small screen, but require an understanding and application of technologies, users, and contexts of use to create the best possible interaction. Core principles for designing mobile interfaces will be discussed, as well as design patterns for use in mobile web sites and applications.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 5:15pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Our Devices: How Smart is too Smart?

    by Genevieve Bell

    We won't quote Moore's Law to you, but we can all agree that technology is evolving at a rapid clip, maybe doubling its efficiency something like every two years (okay we couldn't resist). As these newly-evolved smart devices hit the market, consumers are changing with them. We become more social, more chatty, more plugged in as a result. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips and we're able to access it faster with smaller and smaller devices. How is all of this information, accessibility and speed changing us? Are consumers doubling our intelligence every two years?

    As an Intel Fellow and Director of Interaction & Experience Research for Intel Corporation, Genevieve Bell currently leads an R&D team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers, and a range of technology researchers to create the next generation of compelling user experiences across a range of internet-connected devices, platforms, and services. She will drive user-centered experience and design across the computing continuum.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon H, Hilton Austin Downtown

Tuesday 15th March 2011


  • Adaptive Path: 10 Years Of Making Things Awesome-r [Cancelled?]

    by Jesse James Garrett and Laura Kirkwood-Datta

    Experience design company Adaptive Path launched at South by Southwest 2001 (on the rooftop of the old Waterloo Brewing Company!). Together, we’ve grown up, but we haven’t grown old. From the two guys who helped create a revolution (and some 4-letter neologisms along the way) -- learn how to continually revolutionize your own thinking and approach to your work.

    For 10 years now, Adaptive Path has maintained its position at the forefront of user experience. In that time, UX has emerged from the backroom to the boardroom, going from something that’s “nice to have” to an essential element of successful products and services. In this talk, founders Peter Merholz and Jesse James Garrett will chart where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we’ll get there.

    This talk will draw from Adaptive Path's experiences working at the vanguard of social media (such as helping Blogger after it was acquired by Google), pushing the boundaries of interaction design (coining the term "Ajax"), developing new user experience methods (such as sketchboarding), defining a new field of experience strategy (we need to work on the why and what, not just the how), and helping companies of all sizes truly embrace the power of user experience to deliver superior products and services to their customers.

    If you’re familiar with Peter and Jesse, you know this session will be light on B.S., heavy on substance, and we’ll probably disagree with each other at multiple points.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

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