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by Jonas Lowgren
What is a “designerly way of working”? In my view, the core elements of design are to investigate possible futures, to address all aspects of quality in parallel (think aesthetics and utility), to grow an understanding of the “problem” by developing attempts to “solve” it, and to think through sketching and other tangible forms of representation.
In interaction design practice, I find that a designerly stance based on the elements outlined above most often manifests itself in Exploring and Sketching.
Exploring as in assuming that there is a wide space of possible designs ahead of us, and we need to learn about its topology to know where the most promising directions are. Moreover, we can involve users in exploring the possibilities together, rather than merely asking them about the point in the space they currently inhabit.
The main vehicle for exploration is Sketching, where possible designs are materialized in ways that are specific enough to assess their qualities, yet lightweight enough to be disposable. Sketching interaction design comes with a set of particular challenges, since the essence of the sketched idea is nearly always in its temporal properties – how the interaction unfolds over time.
In this keynote, I will examine Exploration, Sketching and other designerly ways of working in interaction design practice, illustrate them by means of examples and assess them in relation to professional standards.
Gamification is the process of applying game design elements to non-game contexts in order to drive user engagement, influence behavior and improve the user experience associated with digital products and services. Over the past year, the practice of gamification has exploded, fueled by marketing hype, media curiosity and spirited debate. While much of the discussion has revolved around extrinsic reward mechanisms as a panacea for customer loyalty and engagement, the most important and effective motivational dynamics of games have been left on the table.
In this presentation I’ll cut through the hype and draw from the fundamentals of game psychology, double-tapping into the techniques game designers use to motivate, engage and guide players through a game’s lifecycle. In doing so, I’ll lay out a model for architecting user engagement, directing behavior and satisfying the needs of both users and business alike.
If you subscribe to the notion that interaction design makes an important contribution to the somewhat broader endeavor of systems design, then you will no doubt appreciate that many of the most challenging problems and perhaps rewarding insights may arise from considering systems – and their attendant interactions – at scale.
This presentation embarks upon a poetic thought experiment (suspending for a moment the more intractable human issues within our immediate sphere) in which we explore the essential tenets of a design challenge the scale and complexity of which the world has not yet seen: the design of a starship capable of interstellar travel. With very little meditation on the technical challenges this may pose, the presentation narrative focuses on the necessary evolution of human enterprise, including economy, governance and infrastructure that might be necessary for the actualization of such a proposal.
How do designers engage in the design of ever more complicated systems? By considering the starship and the extreme complexity it represents, this presentation hopes to stir debate around design priorities at the “policy” level and what strategies might exist for addressing the many extreme design challenges facing humanity, currently. Overall, this presentation is aimed at raising the interaction design community's awareness of the interconnected systems that may impact their day-to-day in a sincere, if somewhat whimsical, format.
by Angela Schmeidel Randall
While many professionals have years of experience in interaction design, it’s often limited to just one platform: the Web. In this presentation, Normal Modes will discuss creating great experiences on a variety of platforms.
After all, designing a customer experience is about more than web, mobile and social media. The problem is that other platforms — like kiosks, in-store displays, and IVR systems — are widely ignored. While designing the end-to-end customer experience includes popular experiences like mobile and social, there’s a world of other customer experience platforms that are currently left out of the conversation. Text messaging and voice messaging, in particular, are underutilized as communications platforms, and voice automation systems are routinely BAD (OK, really bad) experiences that few are addressing.
We’ll discuss how experience maps help identify all touch points in the experience lifecycle. With this information, we can monitor each touch point and identify points of failure, ambiguity, and opportunities for improvement. We’ll talk about how choosing the right tool at the right time to communicate with customers is an important aspect of creating the overall experience, but is currently limited by the inexperience of many interaction designer with non-standard platforms. We’ll also talk about some examples from each platform by companies who are doing it right.
In our role as consumers of services, as information bleeds into the physical world we face an increasing multitude of different environments, interfaces, and procedures which, from our perspective, all participate in one single activity: completing the goal at hand.
This is nowhere more visible than in complex activities requiring multiple, consecutive, or prolonged interactions: for example in dealing with the healthcare system, or when using any combination of public and private means of transport. These complex tasks have a potential to confuse, frustrate, and provide inconsistent user experiences as we try to make sense of things while using different combinations of websites, smartphones, real-time displays, street or shop signage, and traditional paper-based materials such as maps and timetables. This talk details the early stages in the design of a systemic, cross-channel approach to public transportation for the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, how gamification has been applied to the process to make co-modal travel strategies an enticing prospect for passengers and a key element in the city's vision for a sustainable future, and how bus stops have been refitted as active touchpoints in a larger, seamless cross-channel customer journey.
Questions the talk will try to answer are: What pieces of information are needed? What artifacts are necessary for a base system to work? How do cross-channel guidelines become effective (by providing third-parties with a competitive edge, a business advantage, a reduced time-to market)? What deliverables for cross-channel experiences? What benefits from gamification?
From hearing particle collisions to discovering distant galaxies: how people are creating unexpected interfaces for open source space exploration and science.
Science should be disruptively accessible – empowering people from a variety of different backgrounds to explore, participate in, and build new ways of interacting with and contributing to science. There has been a considerable movement in the last several years to make science more open between scientific disciplines and to the perceived “public”. But simply making science open – by placing datasets, research, and materials online and using open source licensing – is only half the battle. Open is not the same as accessible. Often the materials are very cryptic or are buried deep within a government website where they’re not easy to find. It's not until someone builds an interface to these open datasets that they truly become accessible and allow for hundreds of thousands of people to actively contribute to scientific discovery.
While we have put men on the moon, mapped the human genome and found cures for various diseases that previously decimated humanity, the scientific, organized understanding of human motivation and behaviour largely remains the undiscovered country. It shouldn't and, if we have anything to say, it won't.
Join Dirk as he diagnoses why and how the essential, internal human condition has been left to wither while external, physical aspects of the world have been developed seemingly beyond the limits of human comprehension. Then, he will illustrate the immense opportunity that now lies before us to revolutionize how we understand ourselves and others, and what impact use of that knowledge can have on us as citizens, designers and marketers.
by Ryan Betts
The DNA of our industry is rapidly evolving. Devices are multiplying like a zombie plague; once immutable patterns are being challenged; interface conventions are changing at an incredible pace; all the while, our documentation is struggling to stay relevant. This constant flux is enough to make you want to quit and buy a farm. But one thing remains constant through it all: user experiences are forged in code. As UX professionals, we are learning, unlearning, and relearning things all the time. We do it to understand the needs of our users, keep abreast of changes in our field, and communicate effectively with our clients. Understanding code is no different. Whether you are wrangling big data, making objects smarter, or trying to design a more intuitive mobile interface, code literacy is an invaluable design skill. At last year’s conference, there was much discussion about what the material or medium of our profession is. This talk will explore the ways in which code is becoming more and more critical to the experiences we are designing, and present you with a framework that you can apply to your own practice to increase your code literacy.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
— Alvin Toffler, Rethinking the Future
Sculpture is often concerned with mapping the human body and locating it in relation to the world. Sculptors create objects that are meant to be seen, felt, walked around and directly experienced. Interaction designers, too, are concerned with creating and defining experiences for their audience to directly engage in. Why not see what the one can contribute to the other? Are there things to be learned from sculpture that can be applied to interaction design?
Through ethnographic observations, conversations with sculptors and sculpture aficionados, and an extensive literature review on art history, theory and criticism I have endeavored to answer those questions. Over time, I have identified six aspects of sculpture that are applicable to interaction design: context, multiple viewpoints, bodily empathy, physical parts, multi-sensory engagement and form. During the talk, I will introduce these aspects and use them to critically examine existing interactive artifacts and suggest ways to use them as design lenses.
by Julie Baher
It’s easy to get caught up in the detailed design of a product, but sometimes you need to step back and look at whether people are really adopting your product. This talk will describe how we’ve leveraged Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation model and concepts from Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm to craft a research plan that examines the “adaptability” of products.
by Jonathan Rez
By the end of 2011 more than 50M NFC enabled mobile devices are expected to be sold world-wide. Initially these will be used for contactless payments, transport ticketing and retail loyalty programs and vouchers, replacing physical plastic cards and paper coupons. Long term, mobile wallets will potentially store identity information. Seren is currently in the process of designing the mobile wallet experience for one of the world's leading global mobile network operator. Some of the interesting questions we are currently facing are based around users’ mental models, perceptions and expectation and the collision between real-world and virtual wallets.
During this session I intend to share some of the unique challenges we have had to tackle along the way. I plan to look at high level user-experience paradigms as well as specific interactions patterns and how they support relevant use-cases and the complex technological challenges.
by Lis Hubert
For those of us that like sports, and even for those that don’t, we can see many similarities between both athletics and interaction design to learn and grow from. We were told that being a jock would not lead to intellectual success in the real world, but it has been seen that being a sports junkie has helped individuals become even better IxDs than anyone could have imagined. In this session join a self proclaimed jock as she shares lessons from the field (pun intended). We’ll discuss how being a jock means understanding not only how to be a great teammate who understands different personalities and skill sets, but also how to be a great motivator, strategist and, at times, leader. Next, we’ll relate these characteristics to being the best designer you can by learning how to: work with others (yes, even those pesky marketing folks), motivate others, convince your teams and executives of your design rationale, strategize to see the best design solutions come to light, lead teams to success, and much more. These are the qualities that, learned from personal experiences as an athlete and a designer, have made people more effective in both realms.
This discussion is designed to take even the most uncoordinated benchwarmer designer to All-Star status. You don’t wanna miss it!
by Abi Jones
In your head you've probably called your users a lot of names, but is ‘Hobbits’ one of them?
Thinking about your users as Hobbits can help you frame the use of your website or application and help you put yourself in the user's shoes. Uh, except they’re hobbits, so they’re not wearing shoes.
Thinking about your users Hobbits will help you by:
Establishing a path through the application
Creating a call to adventure (even if you work in online banking)
Showing how to overcome Frodo's (ahem, a user's) refusal of the call
Introducing a mentor (like Gandalf or Yoda)
Helping users overcome an ordeal (ordering pizza online counts), and
Returning as a changed person (ideally changed for the better).
After several years as a practitioner, you’re now managing other interaction designers… As a UX professional, you are naturally empathetic towards others, so your first goal is to be a good manager to each individual.
by Sami Niemelä
I this short talk, I will present 10 key findings from our work on designing services for the city of Helsinki
Much of user-experience design borrows from methods that assume users have discrete & identifiable goals. However, this assumption can seriously inhibit designing for real human behavior, which (as we will see) often has less to do with rationality than we tend to think.
by Katie Koch
In 2009 we began with a question: “Why isn’t anyone teaching interaction design to high school students?” We knew we wanted to take on this challenge, but we didn’t know how to create such a class. We approached the problem as we would approach any other design problem. We began by researching our “users” – students, teachers, principals and education experts – and developed a curriculum and methodology for teaching design to high school students.
Through our process of research and prototyping we began to understand what it means to be a teacher. In our classroom, we saw students learning new concepts in a continuous cycle of risk-taking and reflection. We discovered that the way we design the experience of a high school student in a classroom isn’t so different from how we design the experience of a software application user. A student’s learning cycle maps to the way we expect our users to adopt new behaviors in technology.
We’ll share the story of Project: Interaction, the after school program we created to teach design to high school students. Through the lens of our story we’ll show how the definition of interaction design extends beyond technology and how our tools and methods can translate to other practices where human-to-human connection is essential to the experience.
While the Web has evolved from flat documents to being fluidly ambient, we’re using the same user research and usability testing methods and techniques we were using in 1994. We know that conducting usability tests can tell us where people get frustrated. What will testing reveal about frustrations with interactions people have with other people online? When interaction is protean, how do you derive a task scenario? What are the success criteria?
So your client is excited and wants some of that “persuasive design” juice for his health application. And you did your homework! You read the books and blogs. You got yourself your “Mental Notes” deck and “Design With Intent” toolkit. And as you shuffle through the cards with their abundant patterns and principles to influence behavior – now what? Where to start? Where to focus? What part of the interaction to tackle? Which pattern to choose? And why?
Interest in design for behavior change has been growing rapidly in interaction design in the past years. In part thanks to that, we now have tools and libraries to inspire our designs. What we are lacking are focus and guidance in applying them. Usually, we get those from user research. But current research methods and deliverables arguably do not provide ready springboards.
This presentation introduces the Motivation Ability Opportunity (MAA) Model for consumer behavior, nicked from environmental psychology, as a tool to structure user research around a single behavior to be changed, and to guide subsequent design in prioritizing issues to tackle and choose ways to tackle them.
With practical examples from past client work, the presentation will lay out the model, the research behind it, methods and interview questions to fill it, and how to use it to guide design. Plus you get a handy handout! So the next time your client wants some of that “persuasive design” juice, you'll know “now what” to do.
Silver level sponsor, HUGE, would like to help us all take a well deserved break during day 2 of the conference in the afternoon. Kick your feet up, strike up a conversation, and enjoy a brew and some snacks to help you through the rest of the day.
by Amber Case
We are tool using creatures. Prosthetics touch almost every part of our lives. Until recently, humans have used their hands and bodies to interface with objects. Early interfaces were solid and tactile. Now, the interface can be anywhere. The best interfaces compress the time and space it takes to absorb relevant information, and the worst cause us car accidents, lost revenue, and communication failures. We increasingly live on interfaces, and it is their quality and design which increases our happiness and our frustration.
This speech will discuss how the field of anthropology can be applied to interface design, and how future interfaces, such as the ones employed by augmented reality, will change the way we act, feel and communicate with one another.
Topics in the speech will include:
Superhuman interaction design
Augmented and diminished reality
New and Invisible Interfaces
and other physiological effects of computing.
* Interfaces and objects as prosthetics and their effect on our nervous systems &8211; the extension of our nervous system into digital interfaces.
This year's conference also plays host to the inaugural presentation of IxDA's Interaction Awards, the first awards program recognizing excellence across the diverse practice of interaction design.
Come to the historic Round Room at the Lord Mayor of Dublin's residence, discover the award winners, toast to the finalists, and celebrate the accomplishments of our discipline.
1st–4th February 2012