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...
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.
11th–15th March 2011