Interaction Design is a young field dedicated to how people interact with technology, but people used to interact without technology way long before it. Kid’s street games are one example of what we call Vernacular Interaction Design. Those games have interaction structures that were designed by players themselves across many generations, accumulating a history of successive adaptations for local cultures. By playing those games, children learn how to behave across different social dynamics and, at the same time, update game’s representation of those dynamics by according new rules. But this tradition is under threat. Children are spending more time playing videogames than playing street games. That wouldn’t be a threat if they could adapt videogame rules by themselves, but currently most videogames don’t offer this possibility. Game companies do their best to update their titles, but because they need to operate under mass market rules, they can’t innovate much. This cultural stagnation is happening in many other areas of life, tough. Think about social networking, dating, working.
But Interaction Design can do something about it. Systems can be designed to allow emergent vernacular forms of interactions. Also, old vernacular forms can be revitalized by using them as inspiration for new forms, like Graphic Design did successfully with vernacular typography. This talk will present student works from Faber-Ludens Interaction Design Institute that used children’s games as inspiration for designing enjoyable work interactions.
As interaction designers, organizations are the context for our work.
And when it comes to the web and other digital channels, organizations are broken. We have a problem.
However great our interaction design chops are, we can't sustainably deliver great user experiences that achieve business goals without becoming agents of change. That's right: to do our work well, we need to help our organizations deal with the huge changes that the internet revolution has created. Management sticking their heads in the sand didn't work so well over that last 15 years.
That means we need to leave our comfort zones and step away from our digital tools, to talk to colleagues and clients about the problems they face. Call it service design, multi-channel user experience, or web governance: it comes to the same thing. Does the organization have the key areas of web strategy, governance, execution, and measurement covered?
In practice, design is the easy part—creating an organizational context for design is what separates the linchpins from everyone else. You’re probably an agent of change already. In this session we'll discuss the context for our work, and how organizational denial about change, silo-centric thinking, and poor governance and strategy lead to disappointing interaction design outcomes. We'll explore methods to deal with this problem, and share practical ideas for becoming agents of change within our organizations.
1st–4th February 2012