As much as we might desire it, the future we face will not be predictable. We are living in a fast-changing and uncertain time––a disruptive age. And we are entering this new global order with a way of seeing and thinking better suited for a world now several centuries behind us. A world that could be explained in simpler terms, when you could expect and carefully plan for gradual shifts in the status quo.
by Erik Dahl
The products and services we design and deploy are embedded within a culture and not just a context. Culture is an important concept that is often overlooked by designers. We need to think beyond user's goals, needs, desires, emotions, context, psychology and principles of design; we need to start designing from a place of culture.
This talk explores how cultural understanding can inform design as well as how our designs impact the cultures that use them. I define culture in terms of design and build a framework designers can use to better understand culture and it’s implications on their design work. Designers will walk away from this talk with basic cultural literacy and the tools to incorporate cultural understanding into their design process. I will also show the impact the products and services we design have on cultures.
Ultimately, design (even if data and pattern driven) is subjective and we bring our own historical trajectory to our designs. Having a deeper understanding of culture will have a direct impact on what we bring to our design decisions.
More broadly, as a design profession we need to be expanding our discourse to include culture and cultural theory into our understanding of interactions, experiences and design.
The world has changed, but design, like so any other institutions, has barely kept pace. This discussion delves into three aspects of contemporary design that depart from 20th century modernity—without ignoring its inherent wisdom. This narrative journey playfully unveils major pillars of contemporary social thought applied to interaction design, touching on a wide array of topics from vampire movies and dance festivals to space aliens and horticulture.
by Michal Levin
Remember the days when there was just a PC? – A single form factor to consider when designing an application or web site. It was landscape format, mouse-interaction based, and with relatively high resolution.
Well, times have dramatically changed since then… Today, there are numerous desktop and mobile devices out there – in different shapes, sizes, technologies, resolutions, input methods, features, and more.
These also represent a variety of users, interaction models, behaviors, use cases, contexts, needs, goals, environments, etc.
So how do you design for all of these different devices? And even more interestingly – How do you design for multiple devices which are all part of a product ecosystem?
This presentation (with the help of Seinfeld and some Friends), will discuss the unique challenges interaction designers face when designing for an ecosystem of devices. It will present the unique considerations and complexities to take into account, and try to pave the way towards finding the right, delicate balance between consistency across the ecosystem and optimized UX per device.
by Kel Smith
Despite our growing potential to augment human capability through technology, the innovation curve sometimes leaves behind people who could most benefit. We’ll call this group the “digital outcasts” (a term introduced by researchers from the University of Sussex), and they ironically reside at the epicenter of today’s most exciting developments.
On a purely grass-roots level, digital outcasts are taking it upon themselves to improve and sustain their success in life. They are doing this through personally customized solutions that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Interestingly, their efforts then contribute mightily to the same technological landscape that originally neglected them. For such an important (and growing) demographic, this represents a cultural sea change of increasing significance.
Participants of this session will explore the significance of digital outcasts in the creation of such emerging technologies as mobile apps, video games, personalized robotics and virtual worlds. Emphasis will be placed on products and services in the health sector, with recent case studies spanning multiple therapeutic contexts: blindness/low vision, long-term rehabilitation, oncology, physical therapy, degenerative disease, cognitive disorders and opioid-free pain management. Practical examples will include such platforms as the iPad, Nintendo Wii, haptic interfaces, virtual prosthetics, text-to-speech functionality, eye-tracking, adaptive mobile devices and Second Life.
Regardless of channel – at some point in their lives, everyone gets older and must enter the digital looking glass. This presentation will emphasize the importance of embracing universal design principles throughout development cycles, thus creating ambient, barrier-free benefit to consumers of all abilities and backgrounds.
If you've ever shouted at a computer, you'll know that they can be infuriating colleagues. Since Asimov's iRobot we've recognised that human-computer relationships are beset by disfunction. Inconsistency and lack of ‘emotional intelligence’ are computers’ personality disorders. We have an opportunity to create context-aware interfaces with emotional intelligence. How can we do this and apply it today in defining and designing interactions?
How can computers work with teams of people? For instance, Belbin Team Roles tell us about how different personality types play specific roles on teams. What roles are suited to computers’ strengths? What feature sets and behaviours will make them coherent, consistent team players that human members can relate to? I'll show this is a tool that attendees can apply immediately.
I've interviewed professionals such as psychiatrists and negotiators to see how they apply emotional intelligence. For instance, negotiators adapt their behaviour to others’ stress levels. They don't tell an angry person to ‘calm down’ – they mirror their emotional level and ‘bring them down’. I'll show how we can already detect users’ emotional states and how to apply this knowledge. I'll propose techniques for attendees to discuss and apply.
The presentation will focus on stories, tips and discussion. But I'll provide plenty of references and reading recommendations for the audience to explore afterwards.
We often talk about emotion in terms of the user's experience. It's time computers got emotionally smarter. This presentation will give attendees tools to design interfaces that do that.
The National Leprechaun Museum.
A cultural project.
We explore and imagine the otherworld of Ireland with people in the museum. This is a rich environment and we worked with The Department of Folklore in UCD to deliver the project.
We aim for high quality engagement with an adult audience in a multisensory environment.
Culture as product, one that is consumed and created often at the same time and by the same people. Taking a journey through cultural identity, we approach from different directions using a variety of viewpoints and touchpoints. Developing, evolving and communicating the ideas
We will explore the 14 spaces we use in the museum and how these are designed to help people imagine the otherworld.
How we adapt to user experiences in a realtime environment. I will discuss this approach and how it has developed since we began the project.
Feed back and innovation, devising feedback capture systems, successes and failures, how these impact on changing the processes and the overall project.
Engagement and the expectation of enjoyment for all.
Overall I will explore the context of the topic, the design of the system, and the crafting of experiences. I will look at narratives both internal and external and how these continue to be shaped.
I encourage audience participation.
Mobile technologies are having a transformative impact on both healthcare access and delivery. The interaction design of a given product for healthcare may have actual life or death consequences. This presentation will highlight key examples of innovative designs for new smart phone and tablet software that helps people manage chronic diseases, quantify their health status, and connect to critical medical resources via remote health monitoring. Benefits of good health technology design for both clinicians and patients include better informed decision-making processes and efficiencies gained through well-organized and aggregated data sets.
Learning objectives include:
How to create powerful design processes to solve complex problems in medicine and healthcare.
How designers can best shape technologies to empower patients, physicians, and researchers.
How to effectively present modular, complicated, variable and voluminous data on mobile computing platforms.
Emerging designs that are serving as stepping stones in the convergence of healthcare and health information technology will be discussed. The presentation will include live demonstrations of outstanding mobile healthcare app designs and other new technologies being used by both patients and clinicians. The importance of interaction design will be emphasized in its critical role for bringing the benefits of mobile technologies to doctors, patients and the overall health care community.
by Jason Brush
The predominant aesthetic of user interface design since its advent reflects the ethos of modernist, Bauhaus-inspired architecture and design, shunning decorative adornment in favour of aesthetics determined by utile function. Meanwhile, many leading architects have moved past the principles that guided the seminal architecture of the modernist era — and still inspire interface design — to embrace aesthetic goals outside pure functional form; today's most influential, progressive buildings are complex structures that balance individualistic, conceptual and expressive goals with their functional purpose. Among the notable architects whose practice breaks with the conventions of modernism is Pritzker-winner Zaha Hadid. Her work — such as BMW's headquarters and the Guangzhou Opera House— is marked by a sophisticated connection between her buildings and their surrounding environment, often resulting in dramatic, fluid, organic forms that break from the functional simplicity of modernism.
This talk is an inspiring survey of Hadid's architecture practice from the perspective of the interaction designer, and uses her work to ask some key questions about the status quo of today's design aesthetic for interaction and what the future may bring: can interaction design evolve to achieve the types radical forms seen in Hadid's architecture? If not, why not, and is this a good or bad thing? If so, how so, and what obstacles do interaction designers face? What parallels between architecture and interface design are apropos, and which are not? What inspiring lessons can interaction designers take from Hadid's work to inform the evolution of their craft?
This presentation aims to identify and explain differences (and similarities) between how interaction design is practiced in the US and Europe. While Europeans have a rich depth of shared cultural references to draw upon amongst narrow groups, Americans tend to share broader, yet more fleeting, contemporary popular references. Shared references shape how mental models are formed, therefore these differences have an effect on how we create and communicate, ultimately influencing the design process as a whole.
Using anecdotes from their own experiences, the presenters, who practice in Europe and America respectively, will explore how shared references between users, practitioners, and clients influence design processes and practice internationally. Understanding how these differences can inform interaction design will be framed through the lens of cognitive theory and ethnography, providing foundational context for the discussion.
Attendees can expect to learn about unique cultural factors in process and practice that they can directly apply to their own work, regardless of the country or region where they practice. In addition to gaining a depth of understanding about the global interaction design community, attendees will expand their knowledge of methods for understanding representation and reference.
by Maggie Breslin
In healthcare, we owe it to people to share with them the best information we have about the probable course of a disease as well as the risks and benefits of treatment options.
by Thomas Kueber and Christian Drehkopf
In an ever more connected world we believe that not longer a single entity defines a true customer experience. Not a sole product's feature set, interface or service proposition defines it's real value for the people using it, but it's emplacement in a vivd ecosystem of transferable content, information and personal data. The experience is rather defined by the rules and regulations between the consumer's relevant products in a connected system with an designed overarching layer of tangiblized data. We therefore think that in the future the design of these exact touchpoints between products will be even more important for the consumer than a single interface entity.
Especially in the mobile world an application‘s behavior is determined by device capabilities, data connectivity, periphery accessories and software frameworks that live outside the actual product. Looking at Samsung's AllShare, Apple's iDevices and, more recently, at the attempts of the automotive industry, we see that the true power does not lie in the sophisticated design of the single product but in the transferability and seamless connectivity between screens, input devices and data processing services.
In this presentation we will analyze current experience ecosystems with an emphasis on mobile contexts. By looking into the building block of carefully designed ecosystems we line out guidelines and recommendations for designers to build better connected systems. This talk is especially for professionals in the experience industry, designers, managers and engineers as well as for everyone involved in the innovation and production process of digital and mobile products.
by Dave Malouf
This talk will carry from where Dave left off in 2009 when he explored the Foundations of IxD as criteria for coming up with a semantics for critiquing IxD. Dave will review these original theories and dive deeper into an area he only alluded to in the first presentation: Motion.
Motion has always been a part of interaction, but today more than ever, the types of motions we are being asked to do have greater scale and greater diversity and the very motions we employ are now central to how we differentiate the means of interaction and lead to new aesthetic and semantic phenomena as part of the total experience design.
The talk then transitions from the theoretical and outlines how this new understanding of motion as an aesthetic of its own requires us to shape the way we practice interaction design differently regardless of platform, but especially when we are working in areas where we are creating new interaction paradigms or working with immature ones.
Mobile user experience is a new frontier. Untethered from a keyboard and mouse, this rich design space is lush with opportunity to invent new and more human ways for people to interact with information. Invention requires casting off many anchors and conventions inherited from the last 50 years of computer science and traditional design and jumping head first into a new and unfamiliar design space.
In this talk, Rachel will provide:
Insight into how designers and UX professionals can navigate the unfamiliar and fast-changing mobile landscape with grace and solid thinking.
In-depth information on advanced mobile design topics UX professionals will spend the next 10+ years pioneering
Tools and frameworks necessary to begin tackling mobile UX problems in this rapidly changing design space.
What happens when you decouple design from the marketplace, when rather than making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable, designers use the language of design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds?
Once you start doing this you are effectively dealing with fiction and very different aesthetics come into play.
In my talk I will use examples from the Design Interactions programme at the RCA and my own studio to discuss aesthetic issues around crafting design speculations, such as engagement, ambiguity, suspension of disbelief, and different kinds of thought experiments (e.g.: counterfactuals, what if…, and reductio ad absurdum).
1st–4th February 2012