2010/2011 Fall to Spring Schedule

29 Sep 2010 - 1:39pm
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Benjamin Ho

Maine IxDA is pleased to announce the 2010-2011 Fall to Spring Schedule. We're trying something different this year.  Instead of having multiple, disparate topics, this year we are going to center our events around the theme of Ubiquitous Computing.   Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is:

"a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities."

By using this theme, Maine IxDA members are going to help out a local, non-profit organization to re-imagine how their users interact with their service. That organization is Portland Trails (portlandtrails.org).  We will explore how we can use technology to enhance the trail experience and how it can be represented online.

The end goal is to deliver a vision that Portland Trails may implement and to explore creative ideas and processes that can be used in your own projects.

So from now until early summer next year, all Maine IxDA events including the UX Book Club will center around this theme and project.

Here is what you will be looking forward to:

Monday, October 25, 2010 - Portland Trails kick-off.  A representative from the organization will be giving us the context we need to undertake this project by giving some history about Portland Trails and its many different uses.  We will also talk about various fun research techniques to document your experiences when you go experience the trails yourself.  Team up with other people too!

Location: Wycwah - 28 Maple Street, Portland, ME (upstairs)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - UX Book Club.  To immerse ourselves in the realm of ubicomp and to gain an understanding of interaction design in space, we will be reading "Digital Ground" by Malcolm McCullough.

"Malcolm McCullough offers an account of the intersections of architecture and interaction design, arguing that the ubiquitous technology does not obviate the human need for place. His concept of "digital ground" expresses an alternative to anytime-anyplace sameness in computing; he shows that context not only shapes usability but  ideally becomes the subject matter of interaction design and that "environmental knowing" is a process that technology may serve and not erode."

You can buy the book here:

Location: Wycwah - 28 Maple Street, Portland, ME (upstairs)


December - This month, we will have two events.  The first has yet to be determined, but it will cover the theme.  And because the holiday season is near, let's have a party at a local tavern!  Another post will be sent out closer to the event time for any suggestions for this venue.


Mid/Late January - Synthesis event and activity.  In this event, we will be taking a look at the research we've done exploring the trails and synthesize the data.  Our own, Kevin Silver will be facilitating this workshop.  Location and date TBD.


February - UX Book Club.  "Smart Things" by Mike Kuniavsky.

"Smart Things presents a problem-solving approach to addressing designers' needs and concentrates on process, rather than technological detail, to keep from being quickly outdated. It pays close attention to the capabilities and limitations of the medium in question and discusses the tradeoffs and challenges of design in a commercial environment. Divided into two sections, frameworks and techniques, the book discusses broad design methods and case studies that reflect key aspects of these approaches."

The book can be bought here: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Things-Ubiquitous-Computing-Experience/dp...
Location and date TBD.


March - Talk with Michael DeSouza (from Taptapas.com) on ubiquitous computing.  Here, Michael will be discussing their design and research processes and perhaps give us a demo of some of the iPhone apps they have produced. Location and Date TBD.


April - Design Workshop - This will be an all-day Saturday event where we will collaborate through sketching and prototyping.  We will also learn more about ideation and critiquing. Location and Date TBD.


Please note that the later dates are more flexible.  However, if some of you are not able to make it because of a date, we will gladly discuss moving it to accommodate you.  Just reply to this post or send an e-mail.


I hope everyone will enjoy this year's schedule as we have worked quite hard on this schedule.  If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to let any one of the local leaders know.


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