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Interaction 10: Day Three

From mobile apps to the responsive city, Eric St. Onge recaps the final day with Day Three’s highlights.

The historic Trustees Theater at the Savannah College of Art and Design on Day 3 of the Interaction 10 conference.

The historic Trustees Theater at SCAD

I started on the third and final day of Interaction 10 with a presentation from Jeff Blaise, who talked about designing interfaces for mobile devices. He was able to use some of his experiences as a designer at Sapient to give some helpful advice on the process of designing and developing mobile apps. After that, I went to see Peter Morville discuss the Future of Search. Peter recently published a new book called Search Patterns, and he used examples from his book to demonstrate some of the behavioral and design patterns that have appeared in user interfaces for searching. He also talked about how he thinks that we’re going to see more multisensory forms of searching in the future, including better visualizations for search, audio search, and image (and video) searching. He ended his talk by describing his idea that search should to act as a microscope, a telescope, and a kaleidoscope. Next, I went to see Rob Nero demonstrate his TRKBRD project. In the process of developing an idea for his thesis project at Malmo University, he used Arduino to develop a trackpad that sits on top of his laptop’s keyboard: a “trackboard.” The project was a good reminder of the Physical Computing course I took last semester, but it was also fascinating to see the social effects of what can happen when you publish your work in progress. I look forward to seeing his thesis work on stacked input devices. After a lunch break, I went to see Gretchen Anderson of Lunar talk about the importance of facial features when designing products. She demonstrated how the first things you notice about an object can strongly communicate what you think the potential of that object can be. You can design these “facial features” into products to create a good first (and continuing) impression. Finally, the last keynote speaker of the conference was Dan Hill. Dan writes the blog City of Sound and works as a designer at Arup in Sydney, Australia. He spent much of his talk sharing some of the “civic-scale” visualizations he’s designed, which hope to move some of the private data about infrastructure and city usage out into the public. He showed many examples, including graphics showing water usage, wi-fi in libraries, public transit systems, and responsive architecture, among many others. I found the talk very inspiring for thinking about ways to make invisible data visible, and ways to improve the design for public spaces. And that was the end of the conference. After three days of big ideas, fried chicken, and sweet tea, I was on my way back to New York, and on my way back to homework. After the amazing experience this year, I definitely hope to attend Interaction 11 next year in Boulder, Colorado.

Thanks to the students for covering the conference! We’ll see you again in Boulder.

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