Visiting UX Week 2012
Near the end of August, I had the great opportunity to attend UX Week in San Francisco. Adaptive Path did a top-notch job hosting the conference, now in its tenth year, which consisted of a few days of talks and workshops. An overarching theme of UX Week was designing for an experience across mediums and time.
One of my biggest takeaways was understanding how much of the user experience is conveyed in a brand’s promise to the customer. When this promise fails, the customer becomes upset. People expect a certain continuity, whether interacting on the web or in the store, and they don’t distinguish between the delivery channels. Rob Maigret demonstrated this in his talk “Cars, Castles, and Spas”. He anticipated the purchase and customization of his Porsche car to be just as luxurious on the web as it was walking into the dealer. When his web experience was unremarkable, he felt the Porsche brand had failed in its delivery. This sentiment of expectations within a service experience was echoed by several other talks, and central to a couple of workshops I attended.
The workshops I participated in got me excited for the Service Design class I would be taking when I got back to school. Both Starmer’s “Cross-Channel Delight” and Chris Risdon & Patrick Quattlebaum’s “Mapping Experiences and Orchestrating Touchpoints” covered how to synthesize your research data into an engaging, visible form. Both workshops had a brief research phase, and broad topics everyone could relate to, like dealing with insurance, and staying at a hotel. As a group, we pulled out our stickies and started scribbling away. Through sketches and notes, we highlighted touch-points, cataloged artifacts, and identified interactions. In Risdon’s & Quattlebaum’s workshop, we went so far as to create a visual map of how the customer felt on their journey through the service. I learned that by mapping out this interaction ecology – a sum of interactions supporting a singular narrative – we can see the opportunity areas for creating a good experience.
There are just too many thoughts and ideas to list here that sprang up from guest speakers and conversations that are influencing my thoughts on thesis. Starting back at SVA, thesis is at the forefront of my mind. I’ve defined my core – the intersection of healthcare and community – and understand that it relies on an holistic understanding of a person’s experience in the healthcare sector. I am very eager to apply the tools I learned at UX Week to the research I will be doing. I want to design for better experiences, and to see the opportunity in existing systems.
Project: Interaction on AIGA Design Envy
So much has been said about using technology to revive middle and high school education in America. But what about teaching technology? Or teaching design? As it turns out, it’s not just a way to spark education, but also a way to positively enact social change through disrupting social patterns and expectations.
Second-year Student, Michael Yap, “Most Innovative” in NYC.gov Hackathon
This weekend, second-year student, Michael Yap, participated in the NYC.gov Hackathon — hosted at General Assembly. The teams, which included designers, engineers, copywriters, photographers and product managers, sought to reimagine New York City’s web presence. Michael’s team members, himself included, were all members of IDEO and included designers and developers from Chicago, Boston and New York studios. The team won the award for “Most Innovative,” and was awarded a nifty trophy and enjoyed breakfast with Mayor Bloomberg this Wednesday. Congratulations, Michael! Read more in The Village Voice. See the video on NYC Digital.
Dead ends & flights of fancy lead to intriguing combinations & mutant products with itchy promise…
Matt Jones of the London design consultancy BERG co-hosted the Hopeful Monsters workshop during the IxD Summer Intensive program. The following is an excerpt from Matt’s blog post reflecting on his experience.
The two days started with thinking-through-drawing exercises we like to call “Hopeful Monsters” based around an exercise we’ve described on the blog before, and other drawing activities around generating ‘Inbreds and Hybrids’ that we were introduced to by our friend Matt Ward from Goldmsith’s Design faculty.
Initial thinking and brainstorming about cheap, ubiquitous, mundane technologies leads to fantastic leaps as the participants draw on the whiteboard.
As always there are dead ends and flights of fancy – but, as always – there are a couple of intriguing combinations and mutant products that have an itchy promise to them…
Continue reading Matt’s blog post at BERG London.
Alumnus Russ Maschmeyer in The New York Times
Congratulations to Russ Maschmeyer, whose thesis project, MOTIV, is featured in the Thursday, July 21 edition of The New York Times. MOTIV is an open source project that uses Kinect to give digital musicians direct control of emotional expression by interpreting their physical gestures in real-time. In “With a Wave of the Hand, Improvising on Kinect,” the writer uses MOTIV as a lead to a piece about the sustaining popularity of Kinect among programmers, researchers, hackers, and tinkers alike.
To watch the MOTIV, and all thesis presentations from OPEN IxD, the MFA Interaction Design Festival, take a look at the projects page.
New Faculty Welcome: Nate Bolt
We are delighted to welcome the program’s newest faculty member, Nate Bolt, who will lead a course in Research Methods. Nate is the co-founder and president of Bolt | Peters, co-author of Remote Research, designer of Ethnio, and creator of Beep Show.
After creating the User Experience department at Clear Ink in 1999, which included the construction of Natural Environment and Remote Observation laboratories, Nate began working with the team at B|P to conduct hundreds of UX research and design projects for Sony, Oracle, HP, Greenpeace, Electronic Arts, and others.
Nate speaks regularly in academic and commercial settings – SXSW, UX London, CHI, UX Week, U.C. Berkeley, and the Urban Libraries Council where he gave a keynote on the future of library user experience.
Interaction 11: Day Three
We have just wrapped up the last round of lightning talks here in Boulder and are on the home stretch before the final keynote in just half an hour. It was a great day here at Interaction 11 and although my fingers are not going to be able to type all of the nuggets of wisdom, insight, and ideas that were shared today, you should rest assured that there were many.
I wanted to write about a talk I just heard by Jason Bruges who runs his studio in the UK. As a visual designer who struggled to grasp the ins and outs of Physical Computing last semester, I have to admit that Jason Bruges’ work is some of the most inspiring I have seen in quite a while. It is a delicate balance of art installation, public interface, information visualization, and architecture. In light of our current class called Design for Public Spaces with Jill Nussbaum, Jason’s work is particularly relevant and interesting.
Jason Bruges Studio strives to use performance, architecture and public space to animate cities and give people new ways to interact with their physical environments. One such project, called Switched On London uses a series of intelligent digital luminaries installed along the length of the London Bridge that would respond and react to triangulated data from the blue tooth devices of motorists, passengers, and pedestrians as they crossed the bridge. These signals were interpreted into colored lights that moved along the sidewalk at the same rate and speed as the signal itself. Although somewhat difficult to visualize without the project video, you can imagine people’s response as they realized they were in fact controlling the pools of colored light at their feet. As they designed and documented the project’s implementation, Jason and his team were considering the power that design and visualization can have in controlling people’s movement through public spaces.
In another project Jason and his team were charged with revitalizing the experience on a dilapidated Sunderland subway platform. They used glass cubes to create a low res pixel screen, 450ft in length, that uses the movement of the four different trains that enter the station to trigger shadows of people to be projected on the wall.
These shadows, which were previously recorded and not based on real-time movements represented 60 distinct characters, each with their own set of behaviors and responses. Jason showed the flowcharts and diagrams that his team used to map these interactions and the complex system that had to be put in place in order for the trains to trigger these behaviors in each of the 60 characters.
He presented about twelve other projects, all equally fascinating, but I was struck by the opportunities and limitations that design for these kinds of public spaces give us. How do we make our interactions with public spaces not only more informative, but also more interesting? Does interaction designer’s work in this area inspire and delight users of passerby to engage with a part of their environment that they would not have otherwise? And how can these installations, performances, pieces of architecture or installations create new conversations around design that haven’t been had before?
I am leaving Boulder with all of these questions in the front of my mind and and eager to explore and approach these interactions in new ways. Onwards.
–Erin Moore, Class of 2012
Global Reporting Room Trailer
A collaborative platform for 21st-century journalism, Global Reporting Room asks, “In an age of digital media, how do we preserve / save / revive journalism by design?” Initiated by faculty Paul Pangaro and Claudine Boeglin, GRR hopes to bring together students, experts, practitioners and designers to help define and drive the future of journalism.
Film version is up, watch: Global Report Room the Film
Summer is winding down, and our thanks go to the remarkable Gene Liebel, Partner and Executive Director of Research and User Experience at HUGE, for closing out our Summer Lecture Series this year.
Gene used examples from HUGE’s impressive body of work, which includes IKEA, JetBlue, CNN, and About.com to discuss data-driven interaction design and how to use analytics. From eye-tracking for websites, merits of Google Analytics, to the power of simplicity, the lecture was a sweeping review to how user driven data analytics can help design firms today. Turnout for the event was our most popular yet, with the 60-some people in the audience extending a lively Q&A session well after the lecture wrapped up.
We look forward to advance thought-provoking conversations for our fall programing. Stay tuned for a schedule of guest lecturers who inspire and delight to begin our new season in our visiting lecturers and the Dot Dot Dot series.
Cupcakes Rule the Day
Students celebrated Tamara Giltsoff‘s birthday at the end of the week-long seminar, “Designing for Good,” with cupcakes and chocolate galore. The seminar investigated the social responsibilities of a designer, and how much impact they can have using interactive technologies to spread ideas.
Video: CreativeMornings with Allan Chochinov of Core77
Last month, the department had the honor of hosting CreativeMornings with Allan Chochinov. Thanks to SwissMiss for organizing the event, the wonderful Roland Lazarte for filming, and all those who made it out despite the snow storm and school closings for some inspiration in early AM.
Liz Danzico on Jazz, Improv, and Lessons Therein
From its roots, to present day applications adopted by leaders in the arts, design, and online communities, to improv’s effect on the present day information consumer, Danzico points out that improv is, “in fact, a structure. As loose as its name suggests, its very constraints liberate participants. These constraints, and the potential freedom, are what make improv rich for designers to examine.”
Alex Wright on Museums 2.0
In a recent Times piece entitled “Online, It’s the Mouse That Runs the Museum,” Alex Wright discusses the effect of social media on museum web initiatives. As one powerful example, Wright talks with fellow faculty Jake Barton on the curatorial process for the Make History 911 memorial website.
Make History is perhaps the most notable recent example of a museum tapping the collective energy of Web users to help build its collection. While museums have been experimenting with the Web for years, these projects have often consisted of little more than an exhibit photo gallery or online guestbook. In recent years, however, the rise of social media has given Web users the technological wherewithal to play a more active role in shaping the direction of museum collections.
Twitter Reading Recommendations
Earlier this year, we presented reading recommendations suggested by our faculty. Today, we present a different kind of reading — a potential Twitter reading list. Below is only a small sample of those @svaixd has come to follow. With the growing number of Twitter users, we look forward to finding more to add to our list.
All Day Buffet: @alldaybuffet Energy toward changing the world through creativity and business.
Core77: @core77 Content for industrial designers and design enthusiasts alike.
Design Observer: @DesignObserver Writings on design and culture. Edited by Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, and Julie Lasky.
frog design: @frogdesign Global innovation firm that helps create and bring to market meaningful products, services, and experiences.
GOOD: @GOOD A collaboration of individuals, businesses, and NPOs pushing the world forward.
iA: @iA Tweets from and information architect, UX designer, and founder of iA Inc and Webtrendmap.com.
Kicker Studio: @kickerstudio Product design consultancy specializing in consumer electronics, appliances, touchscreens, kiosks, devices, objects with screens, and robots.
Pew Internet: @Pew_Internet The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.
Zappos: @zappos The voice behind Zappos.com, Tony Hsieh, CEO.
An Event Apart Chicago 2009
An Event Apart, the “design conference for people who make websites,” will take place October 12-13 in Chicago this year. Founded by Eric Meyer and faculty member Jeffrey Zeldman, the “intensely educational two-day learning session brings together twelve of the leading minds in web design for non-stop inspiration and enlightenment.” Among the speakers this year will include Jeffrey Zeldman and fellow faculty member Jason Santa Maria.
- Visit the Official An Event Apart Website
- Visit Jeffrey Zeldman Presents the Daily Report
- Read a quickfire Interview with Jeffrey Zeldman from net tuts
Not all updates belong in the curriculum, and the Interaction Blog is where we talk about news and events around interaction design far and wide.
- Meet the Summer Instructors - Carla Diana
- Meet the Summer Instructors - Jodi Leo
- Meet the Summer Instructors - Noa Younse
- Meet the Summer Instructors - Hilla Katki
- An Internet of Things Network for the Data Sensing Lab
- Willa Tracosas selected as a 2013 KPCB Fellow
- Students do GOOD by Helping Organize the Voices of Single Moms
Read more in the Archives.