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by Klaus Krippendorff
In his keynote, Klaus will distinguish four theories from the philosophy of language and elaborate on dialogical conceptions of how reality comes to be constructed. To him, languaging – the process of conversing in language – is a creative and fundamentally socio-cultural practice. Language does not merely describe, it creates realities in conversations and actions. Dialogical conceptions raise doubts in several common epistemological assumptions. Questioning them could open possibilities of seeing interaction design in a new way.
Three questions arise from these elaborations:
What of everyday languaging can (or already does) inform human computer interactions (HCI) within its algorithmic affordances. Are there limitations or unrecognized possibilities?
Beyond the individualist conceptions of professional HCI discourse, what might it take to enable interactions that facilitate the larger socio-cultural conversations, fundamentally altered by digital technology?
What does it take for the professional discourse of HCI to embrace everyday languaging.
There are no simple answers.
Klaus' only hope is to encourage conversations on what the discourse within the interaction design community does beyond its boundary.
Ours is a new and evolving discipline. Being largely technology based, the speed and growth of this medium puts increased pressures on education: specifically the tools and modes of expression are changing rapidly and the domains touched are expanding exponentially. Rapid technological change may imply that we as educators need to change as quickly as the field (e.g. the hand craft and tools skills) and it simultaneously implies a need to focus on the skills that don’t change (often process or head skills). While engineers focus on the technical (efficiency, reliability, compactness), it is designers that are mandated with a focus on the human and societal aspects (meaning, usability, delight). The expansion of technology into all aspects of society creates tremendous opportunities for designers as well as responsibility.
Teaching a whole person moves beyond expression skills of the hands, to teach the process, creativity and coping skills of the head. Ultimately these are skills throughout the career of a curious designer who is skilled enough to learn to adjust with changing needs (e.g. after acquiring a skill such as learning to learn). Designers are traditionally known for the craft of their heads and hands. With this increased societal scope, are also charged with enabling students to grow and mature as human beings who continually ground themselves in the world and inspire their hearts and souls toward an optimistic future and who in turn, inspire those of others. Ultimately, this is pragmatic, about closing the loop between what the world, in a deep sense, needs and what the designer, as a result, offers.
How we go about this is an experiment happening at a number of institutions around the world. This panel explores how we each are approaching the challenge of educating tomorrow’s designers.
by Fred Beecher
The demand for user experience designers has skyrocketed. Interest in UX as a career has soared along with that demand. Every UX designer gets asked how to get into the career, but the sad fact is that there’s no real answer to that question. Although demand is high, that demand is only for designers with 2-3 years of experience or more. There are simply not enough experienced designers to fill these positions, and this experience gap is a barrier to offering potential designers a consistent path from interest to employment.
I want you to help me change that.
Many have observed that design is a craft... How do you learn a craft? Education and practice. Apprenticeship is a model that fits that bill well, and during the summer of 2013 The Nerdery's UX team put it into practice. I want to share our program's successes and failures, our challenges and solutions, and some of the nitty-gritty details that made it go. The goal of this presentation is to make it easier for UX teams in other organizations to implement their own apprenticeship programs, which will ultimately make it easier for interested, talented, and passionate people to become UX designers.
One day, when people ask UX designers how to get into the field, I want us to be able to offer a simple answer: "Find an apprenticeship." Let's do this!
by Tash Wong
As designers, we like to pride ourselves on our ability to be empathetic and to know our users, but how does our intrinsic understanding of the way the world works hinder that ability?
As a graduate student in 2012, I set out to explore this idea. Given the still large gap between men and women working in our discipline, I chose gender as a lens to gain an understanding as to how our society encourages different modes of interaction in each of us, and how that might affect our decisions as designers and members of a team.
Over a period of 6 months, I discovered fascinating differences in the ways we use language and storytelling to communicate, as well as distinctive modes of approaching technology. Based on this research I developed a conversational framework called Think Bigger, Make Better to help designers articulate their own perspectives and to bridge the gaps with others.
In my talk I will dive into these gendered differences and discuss how understanding these modes of interacting with the world can provide us with a framework to uncover new ideas, better empathize with users, and build stronger relationships between teams at work.
by Abi Jones
When handed an iPad in landscape orientation, users in a Poynter study swiped through photo albums horizontally 90% of the time. When handed the same interface in portrait orientation, users still tried swiping horizontally over 80% of the time. This interaction isn't random behavior. It is both learned and shaped by the design of an interface.
With the rise of gestural interfaces and ubiquitous computing experiences, users encounter systems with few physical affordances for interaction. Lately, designers have tried overcoming these barriers to use by offering multi-page instruction screens upon application startup, introductory courses for first time device users, and significant feedback for allowed and non-allowed interactions.
How do you introduce users to new gestures and ways of interacting without extensive help modules or person-to-person assistance? How do people discover that a four-finger swipe is an interaction with purpose, not an accident? Where is the sweet spot between an overly assistive interface and one that leaves the user grasping for a lifeline?
This talk reviews some of the latest assistance methods in touch, gesture-based and mediated interaction, with examples from the introduction and refinement of gestures in Google Now, the trials of complex photo editing on phones, Apple's hidden gestural language, early Xbox discoveries, challenges faced by the Google Glass team, and the almost-ready-for-use Leap Motion controller.
Interaction designers the world over often work at their desks solo, headphones on, working deep inside their own head. When they come out of their bubble to show their work, they're often surprised at the response. Cooper has solved the problem of the lone designer, by pioneering and perfecting the craft of interaction designers working in pairs.
Come one of Cooper's most senior designers discuss this practice and the ways that you can use pair design to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and morale in your teams, and even how to get the goodness (even if you're stuck being a sole practitioner).
by Peter Bil'ak
by Damjan Obal
Like Jonathan Gottshall said, stories are for humans like water is for the fish. We as humans have a desire, almost a basic need for stories, from our early days on. With stories we make sense of things, we relate, share values. With the new media types came several challenges for traditional storytelling and new labels arose. Transmedia storytelling, digital storytelling, intermedia. You name it. There are numerous scholars like Henry Jenkins or Ann Morrison tackling those challenges. But what really matters is that the stories simply do matter. They make us human.
In my short talk, I illustrate the journey about my personal experience with stories and storytelling and wrap it up with why we created Edgar, the place for digital stories.
In July 2013 I embarked on an epic journey to become a better storyteller. The motivation came when we started working on our startup EdgarTells.me which I co-founded. Our goal is to encourage and help people craft and share their stories. On the other hand, the mission I set for myself was: share one story a day, mostly about and from new, random people I meet.
In less than a month, I met dozens of interesting people, each with his or her own story. Even the most conventional, boring-looking people have amazing stories to share. And they are more than happy to share them, as long as someone asks them. It's not only for the fun and joy of those stories, it's also about learning from those individuals. And learning from each and every interaction. I argue that talking to those lovely people gave me more insight than 5 years of work done for my PhD.
Secondly, I argue that listening to such a diversity of stories made me a better listener and a more appreciative person. What this means is that I became a much better UX researcher. Mastering the art of listening is a known requirement for the UX professionals, but if you upgrade it with good storytelling you become a true master of interactions.
In my talk, I show simple, short stories I collected and try to demonstrate the emotional responses caught during my meetings with those individuals. My goal of the talk is to inspire people to listen, share and tell stories and embrace the power of storytelling.
Technological advances have allowed, in the last few years, a big step forward in the dynamic behaviors and interactions patterns that we used to do with software in the past. Motion is one of the key element of this change. It’s a core part of the next release of iOs7, it’s strongly used on the android platform and it’s also what breathes life into interfaces that are less skeumorphic and more animated and alive. But as designers, how can we imagine & sketch the way something feels & reacts? Starting from the basic of motion design, we’ll discover a set of “standard” motion patterns and how we can sketch & use them in a design project to increase affordance, to simplify complex interactions and to give a new dynamic brand identity to our products. We’ll discover also the different tools to visualize & prototype in motion for the different moments of the design process and how we can include them as part of the documentation process.
Today motion it’s just the unknown piece of the UX; tomorrow it’ll be the essential element for a first class experience.
Eating is a survival need for humans. Eating is a solution on its own. It is one of our internal energy source. It’s the base for our physical development. We have been developing tools and techniques to hunt, grow, produce and keep all sorts of food. We have a wide variety of solutions to enhance this primal need. And we did put on top of this activity a pleasure layer. We have consciously or not design solutions to prepare and present food, solutions to power up a basic recurrent task. Make it more appealing, interesting to renew, explore and reproduce. We usually are our own testers among our social groups. We eat because we need it and often because we love it.
Interaction design is problem solving. And we try to add on top on this cake an emotional human flavor to please people and engage them to accomplish tasks and progress in whatever they are trying to achieve (communication, social bound, work…).
With an experimental approach, we'll see:
— On which levels food and interaction professionals are alike,
— On which elements of the cooking practices we can leverage for interaction design,
— Principles and techniques applicable to teams, individual designers and clients,
— Details of the food industry that can inspire designers and if we can adapt them to our work.
This is an exploration to find out if we can call ourselves Interaction Chefs or at least be good cook for our users.
We've all had the experience – we open an essential site, or our favorite app and – everything is different. It might actually be better – but may not seem so in that moment as we're trying to accomplish a task.
How do we as designers prevent this from happening?
This brief talk will demonstrate how we can ease our customers into the new by communicating change to them. Through case studies, I will reveal best practices and methods to create communication strategies that can be employed before, during, and after an upgrade or redesign is launched. A short list of dos and don'ts will be provided that attendees can use in developing their own communications.
by Gaurav Patekar
Generally we wake up in the morning, go to the kitchen, make coffee, put the bread in the toaster and in some time the toast pops up. And that’s it! That’s all the interaction we have with the toaster.
But what if, one fine day, you wake up, put the bread in the toaster, and it suddenly wakes up and says “GOOD MORNING” in a voice good enough to brighten up your day. And when you are busy making coffee, asks you “WHY YOU DIDN’T USE ME YESTERDAY” in a voice that reminds you of an abandoned little puppy dog. Then if you make the mistake of ignoring it, becomes mad with rage and starts shaking to grab your attention. Or maybe on some other day, if it’s in a jolly mood, it tells you a joke while your toast is in the making. And if you wake up really early one day, it will be a little surprised and might ask you “WHAT’S THE MATTER! UP SO EARLY?”
That’s how I think things will become in a few years. Your toaster won’t be a passive object that just sits in one corner of your kitchen; it will have a character of its own. It will have moods, and it will know when you are around and it will make sure that you know how it is ‘feeling’, and will also try to understand how you feel and adapt its behavior according to that. And that will be the case with most of the devices around. Imagine working in a kitchen where all the devices understand a little bit of your personality, your preferences, and what you might like them to do or how you might want them to behave, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will try to please you all the time.
If we look at the way things are going we will realize that our modern devices are coming with inbuilt ‘brains’, ability to talk to other devices and sensors to sense the world around them. In this increasingly complex world of devices and things, it will become increasingly difficult to make sense of all this information, but what if you have devices, which have a character of their own, it will help you make sense of all this. Character is a mental construct of a person or an object, which we make in order to make sense of its behavior, it helps us predict its behavior and make sense of the actions it does. That’s why we assign a character to a person or an object- to make sense of their behavior.
Here, I am proposing a new generation of devices that won’t be just smart, intelligent and networked but they will have a personality of their own and will be anthropomorphic in their interactions, appearance and function.
Right now I am working on this idea where I am not just planning to conceptualize it but in next 2 months I’m going to prototype some of the devices and test them in real world situations to understand how people react to them. I am going to make a working prototype of the concept using various sensors embedded in the device and the device will have different modalities of interaction, the device will react through the medium of sound, body language and movement. I hope to present this idea along with a demo of the devices at the Interaction14 conference.
by Thomas Wendt
This talk is about finding the roots of design principles in seemingly unlikely places.
There has always been a tension between theory and practice, academia and industry, across many different fields. This tension is often a result of simple misunderstanding and the inability to see how each effort directly influences the other.
Focusing on select thinkers, I will show how many of the most ‘practical’ user-centered design principles and methods are grounded in the most ‘theoretical’ of fields: philosophy. With emphasis on phenomenology, the study of being in the world, the presentation will examine the direct application of theory to practice by taking concepts from the phenomenological tradition and mapping them to practical outputs. The goal is not simply to illustrate connections but rather to fully examine these connections in hopes to illuminate new ways of thinking about how design affects and is affected by the most basic aspects of human existence.
An example would be helpful here. In the 1950‘s, Martin Heidegger, probably the most famous and influential of the phenomenologists, articulated what we now know as user goals. He believed that modern technology has a special place in human existence because we do not simply interact with it, we interact through it. His famous example of a hammer illustrates that we use the hammer in order to drive a nail for the sake of building a house. Technology, then, is a means to accomplish a larger goal. In the act of skilled hammering, the hammer becomes invisible and the user is focused solely on driving the nail. In a more modern context, we can think of typing an email. In the act of typing, the user is focused on the context of the email, not on the keyboard. Their attention shifts to the keyboard only when it ceases to work properly or they misspell a word.
While this view might seem like common interaction design knowledge, its origin in Heidegger’s work points to associations with a number of other related concepts. For example, Heidegger developed comprehensive theories of intentionality, space and spatiality, relationship to objects, and technological interaction.
The main goal of this presentation is to trace design principles and practices back to their philosophical roots in order to gain new insight on how they complement one another. I believe that interaction designers, UX professionals, information architects, etc. can benefit from a more well-rounded knowledge about how their day-to-day work is influenced by theory. The more we know about why design principles exist, the better equipped we are to implement them.
by Arlene Birt
Social and environmental sustainability are complex and daunting topics. Convincing people to adjust their behavior in order to adopt more sustainable patterns is a challenge – to say the least.
When the goal is to help audiences understand the deluge of data available, communicating the context is of high importance. And this has a lot to do with establishing an emotional connection between individuals and information.
Data that is designed to tell a story can create a strong connection between high-level, abstract sustainability concepts and the daily, individual actions of consumers.
This presentation will provide a visually-rich overview of practices in the visualization of sustainability data based on my experience with public art installations, multinational clients, and in education. Key practices include: Layering information, presenting positively, letting audiences make their own decisions, enabling interaction and providing access to supporting data.
Specific experiences and examples from interaction, information and communication design will illustrate each point. One such project is the ‘Bicycling Counts’ interactive data installation. This project counts passing bicycles and, in real-time, visualizes each passing cyclist in terms of individual and collective financial savings. Inspired to celebrate the collective impact of cyclists, the bicycle counters ‘show’ what the data from passing bicyclists means in terms of environmental, financial and individual social impact – in real-time animations. The project has been installed in Malmo, Sweden and Minneapolis, US.
As an information designer, public artist and ‘visual storyteller’, I am fascinated by the ways in which we are endlessly tied to the world through everyday actions. Small, seemingly inconsequential objects and experiences populate our lives, and yet the intricate life stories of these objects are hidden from the eyes of their present user.
In my work as a ‘visual storyteller,’ I seek to visualize the narratives behind the ubiquitous objects that we interact with; to help individuals connect emotionally to the specific social and ecological-sustainability impacts that these interactions have on the world.
Recent psychological research makes a distinction between the experiencing self and the remembering self. Events that are experienced more negatively than others (similar ones but longer or more intense) can nevertheless leave a better memory.
This disassociation between experience and its memory is relevant for human-computer interaction. What constitute a positive or negative experience(as measured by observation or usability evaluations, for exmaple) does not necessarily translate to a corresponding positive or negative memory of that experience (as captured by surveys or other forms of memory retrieval of that experience).
The distinction is not purely academic, since both experiences have implications for user behavior. What users experience at the moment of interaction and the sentiment reaction that it produces affect aspects of the product cycle (e.g., service and support) different from those impacted by the memory of that experience (repeat buying behavior, loyalty).
The presentation describes the research and findings in Psychology and Behavioral Economics, the aspects of the interaction experience that affect its memory (peak intensity, recency, retrivability), and how those translate to HCI.
The presentation is delivered in ways that entice customer participation by illustrating the Psychological experiments on which the presentation is based, involving the audience in retrieving memories from life experiences and how faithfully they represent the experience as it happened.
Our lives’ are full of choices, and the number of choices we get slammed with every day is overwhelming. Especially as the human experience increasingly moves into the digital space – e.g. digital ads heralding four different must-have services. The days of having a small set of options have gone the way of the dodo, and sadly, this isn't for the betterment of mankind. Modern products need to pull out every trick to get their product in front of consumers, and getting their attention isn't the hard part. It's what follows that gets challenging…getting someone to buy a product?
Understanding the anatomy of a choice is crucial to surviving the new world of product design. If designers, developers and product owners can better understand how choices are made and, more importantly, why they get made, they will be better equipped to disrupt the market. This talk explores the complexity of making choices and how an environment built for choice leads to a better customer experience.
by Dan Brown
Every workplace has That Guy. You know the one I mean: the guy who obstructs the process every way they can. (To be clear, That Guy can be a man or a woman: obstructive tendencies do not discriminate.) They're not being malicious, but they say things like this:
“It just won’t work, and I can’t tell you why.”
“You’ve described the problem accurately, but there’s no way to solve it, clearly.”
“You can’t do that. You have to stick with the standards.”
“You’ve adhered to the standards, but you clearly can’t solve the problem using only the standards.”
This isn't the only situation designers face. They have stakeholders showing up late in the design process. They work with other designers who selectively ignore constraints or scope. They encounter developers who don't take the time to provide meaningful feedback. These situations lead either to passive aggression (team members utterly ignoring the problem) or aggressive aggression (team members arguing around the problem without progress). Neither approach is productive.
In this session, Dan Brown talks about some basic techniques for dealing with conflict. As a participant, you will discuss ways for dealing with three common situations (perhaps you’ve faced them):
Excluded from planning: Designers don't get to participate in planning the project, and find themselves stuck with unreasonable milestones.
Inconsistent expectations: Project participants and decision-makers change their tune from one meeting to the next.
Lack of a decision-maker: The project doesn't have a single point of contact for making decisions, causing the team to spin out when a final call is required.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to recognize different conflict situations on a project. They will have specific new techniques to redirect the conflict productively. They will understand how these basic techniques extend to a range of situations.
Evolution works in a surprisingly similar way to backtracking algorithms. A backtracking algorithm keeps a record of the path it has taken to get to its current state. That role is played by DNA in evolution, which is a memory of what has worked successfully in the past. In the early stages of evolution the only source of change was mutation which was a very hit-and-miss source of change, usually resulting in failure. However, once sex evolved there was a new very rich way of combining genes to try out new combinations in the algorithm, which speeded evolution up greatly.
Once true memory evolved, organisms no longer had to depend on hard-wired mechanisms to survive, but could base their actions on past experiences as well. Once language evolved in humans all of a sudden people didn't have to depend on their own experiences to survive, but could use other people's experiences as well.
Development of writing and printing created yet another form of memory that allowed experiences and ideas to survive after your death (just as your genes survive in your children after your death).
This led to what are now referred to as 'memes': a linguistic analogue to genes in DNA. Just like genes, memes get spread out through the population, and the more successful memes ("beans are a good source of protein") have a greater chance of survival, than unsuccessful memes ("if you are ill you should drain some of your blood off"). In fact you can regard a conference as the equivalent for memes that sex is for genes. Actually maybe it's more like an orgy. But I digress.
Memes have allowed humans to repair themselves (medicine, glasses), protect themselves (create buildings, cities), and extend their abilities (telescopes, satnav, flying like gods through the sky, albeit often in rather cramped surroundings with terrible food.) And to create computers.
From this point of view computers can be seen as a product of our genes, just as birds nests (for instance) are a product of the genes of birds.
And as if to complete the circle, researchers have recently announced the ability to store vast amounts of information using DNA: 2.2 petabytes per gram.
So since memes have become just as important as genes for survival, this means that it is just as important to have ideas as to have babies, and this may explain why we tend to revere exemplary producers of memes from previous generations (Plato, Mercator, Edison, ...)
But what happens when our computers start having better ideas than us?
5th–8th February 2014