In March 2008 my two-month-old son Luca was diagnosed with AML, a rare form of childhood Leukemia. Immediately following his diagnosis we were admitted into Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where we would end up living in the alternate reality of pediatric cancer for a about a year. It has been an intense experience that has changed us in ways we are still discovering.
We spend a great deal of time thinking about and documenting design in two dimensions via sketches, flows, and wireframes, often for designs that are also rendered in two dimensions. We very often consider and incorporate three dimensional use and environmental information obtained via ethnography, contextual inquiry, and user studies. But we seldom evaluate or fold in the very real effects of a user’s relationship with design over time.
We live in a world where our ability to be connected and constantly available has changed in a remarkably short period of time, with profound effects on our behaviour. As designers, we are often asked to reflect this always-on state in the products, software and services we help to create.
Inspired by President Obama’s vision, government agencies have stepped on the accelerator and are opening up their agencies, data, and missions to the public like never before. With 305 million people in the US, that’s some lot of potential customers and users. And this audience spans different demographics, ethnicities, education levels, and levels of interest in government.
In this session Matt Cottam will present a recent project entitled Wooden Logic: In search of Heirloom Electronics. The project represents the first phase in a hands-on sketching process aimed at exploring how natural materials and craft traditions can be brought to the center of interactive digital design to give modern products greater longevity and meaning.
The tactile controls of an electronic, interactive product form its
most recognizable aspects, or “facial features.” Choosing which
controls to use and how they appear has an enormous impact on the
impact the product makes on first impression. The process of deciding
on your product’s facial features is tricky; a team must collaborate
closely across multiple disciplines to determine what controls are
needed, how they should appear and how they relate to the product’s
In the half-century since the first transistor was invented we’ve
seen radical changes in how humans interact with computers and digital
systems: We’ve gone from punch cards to text commands, from mouse
pointers to touchscreen gestures, from menus to voice recognition.
What all of these user experience innovations have in common is an
inexorable movement towards interfaces that behave more and more like
the way real humans have interacted with one another for millenia.