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...
The social web is now a teenager –awkward, arrogant, snarky, fearless, experimental and open. She is shaking things up and having a major impact on our culture, social dynamics and etiquette. What are the new social dynamics and cultural impacts of all these tools and technologies?
This session will explore the emerging etiquette issues of our participatory hyper-connected world. What are the new rules? How are our relationships, culture and business assumptions changing? Do we understand the impact of this new relationship persistance?
- Do I have to ask before I post a photo of a friend online? Who has editorial approval?
- Am I required to respond to every inbound communication I receive or is “ignoring” an accepted response?
- Where is the line between encouraging participation and being just plain annoying?
- What are you doing mucking up my activity stream?
- What the heck is a “friend” anyway?
How do we design, build and manage these new spaces? What are the new rules of the online commons and the associated appropriate etiquette? This participatory session will ask attendees to contribute their own real world examples and will lay out a new framework for a new social contract. It’s our job to decide what we want our web teenager to be when she is all grown-up.
While we know, from a very young age, how to ask questions, the skill of getting the right information from users is surprisingly complex and nuanced. This session will focus on getting past the obvious shallow information into the deeper, more subtle, yet crucial, insights. If you are going to the effort to meet with users in order to improve your designs, it's essential that you know how to get the best information and not leave insights behind.
Being great in "field work" involves understanding and accepting your interviewee's world view, and being open to what they need to tell you (in addition to what you already know you want to learn). We'll focus on the importance of rapport-building and listening and look at techniques for both. We will review different types of questions, and why you need to have a range of question types.
This session will explore other contextual research methods that can be built on top of interviewing in a seamless way. We'll also suggest practice exercises for improving your own interviewing skills and how to engage others in your organization successfully in the interviewing experience.
From launching robots into space to discovering distant galaxies: how the public is hacking into open source space exploration. As technology shifts from a means of passive consumption to active creation, people are collaborating on a massive scale. Amateurs were once considered to be at the crux of scientific discovery, but over time have been put on the sidelines. Despite this, citizen science is witnessing a renaissance. Agencies such as NASA no longer have a monopoly on the global space program and more participatory projects are harnessing the power of open collaboration for exploring space on a faster schedule. Instead of complaining about where our jetpack is, we can now demand to figure out how to take an elevator to space. And, while you still can’t own a CubeSat as easily as an iPod, you can join a hackerspace and learn how to engineer one. We’re also able to discover new galaxies via our web browsers, as humans are able to make classifications that well-programmed machines can’t. If tinkering with spacecrafts is more your speed, Google Lunar X PRIZE is a competition to send robots to the Moon. But you don’t need to be a robotics engineer to participate – open source teams are open for anyone to join.
About the Speaker: Robert Brunner’s career as an industrial designer is deeply tied with the evolution of the high technology industry itself. The son of a development pioneer of the first hard disk drives built at IBM, the San Jose native pursued a lifelong fascination for high tech products as a designer after graduating with a degree in Industrial Design from San Jose State University in 1981.
Robert’s work has spawned numerous brand-defining designs during the past two decades. He founded Lunar Design in 1984 after working as a designer and project manager at several Silicon Valley companies. He subsequently went on to become director of industrial design at Apple Computer in 1989, where he established the internal design group and provided design and direction for all the company's products. In 1996, he became partner in the San Francisco office of Pentagram, one of the world’s most influential design firms, working with numerous Fortune 500 companies including Dell, Amazon, Nike and Hewlett Packard on strategic brand consulting and industrial design programs.
In 2006, alongside his tenure as a Pentagram partner, Brunner launched Fuego, a new concept in outdoor grilling. As Fuego’s chief industrial designer, Brunner is re-defining the rituals of outdoor cooking by embracing high levels of modernist design and utility. In 2007, working with Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine and hip hop icon Dr. Dre, Robert helped launch the Beats by Dr. Dre brand of headphones and created the popular Beats Studio line. In a relatively short time, Beats by Dr. Dre has become the most sought after brand in personal audio. Today, he and his team create the majority of Beats products on the market.
Robert left Pentagram in mid 2007 to found Ammunition, a design and development studio based in San Francisco. He leads his company as founder and creative director, focusing on communicating strategic innovation through product design, brand and surrounding experience. Ammunition’s current clients include Barnes and Noble, Polaroid, Kohler, Williams Sonoma and Adobe. Robert’s work has been widely published in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. His product designs have been recognized in numerous design and industry awards and reviews, and his work is included in the permanent design collections of the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco. His firm Ammunition has been listed in Fast Company Magazine’s top 10 innovative design companies list for 3 years running, and last year Robert was featured in the magazine’s list of top 100 creative professionals. Robert also has taught advanced product design at Stanford University.
Work is getting flatter. There’s no central server dishing out orders. It’s a peer-to-peer, co-evolving world. The team that flocks together, rocks together.
The future of work is not about dull routine, it’s about being more human. It’s about curiosity, exploration, flexibility and imagination.
Gamestorming is for people who want to design the future, to change the world, to make, break and innovate. It's a kind of Jedi-judo for inventors, explorers and change agents who want to engage the swarm, surf the infosphere and fan the creative hive to an excited state.
Gamestorming is a practice made of people, paper and passion. The enabling technologies are sticky notes, whiteboards, index cards, loose rules and fast action.
Gamestorming is a mashup of game principles, game mechanics and work. It’s about weaving energy and fast-feedback loops into your work, into your meetings with co-workers, into your design and development activities.
Gamestorming is the future of work.
Our panel of Gamestorming Jedi will infect you with the Gamestorming virus, so you can carry it back with you and unleash the contagion to the other nodes in your network. There is no antidote.
by Jeff Gothelf
Traditionally UX has been a deliverables practice. Wireframes, sitemaps, flow diagrams, content inventories, taxonomies etc defined the practice of UX Designers (IxD, UX Design, whatever, etc). While this work has helped define what an UX Designers do and the value the work brings to a business, it has also put us in the deliverables business - measured and compensated for the depth and breadth of their deliverables (instead of the quality and success of the experiences they design). Enter Lean UX. Inspired by Lean Product and Agile development theories, Lean UX is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light faster, with less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the actual experience being designed. This talk will explore how Lean UX manifests in terms of process, communication, documentation and team interaction. In addition, we'll take a look at how this philosophical shift can take root in any environment from large corporation to interactive agencies to startups.
11th–15th March 2011