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...
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.
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.
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'?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11th–15th March 2011