Maria Cordell - Interaction Design for the Fourth Dimension

28 Feb 2010 - 9:49pm
4503 reads
Bill DeRouchey

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.

As important as any other dimension, time is a key design ingredient in an interactor’s relationship with a product, service, or system. Temporal considerations enable us to explore how a design’s usability may vary or degrade over time–especially as changes inevitably occur in a user’s context, point of view, and experience level. Taking a long term, temporal view lets us plan not only for known, near-term needs, but for a natural evolution that must be supported.

Science and various technical disciplines have been wrestling with time for, well, a long time, and a rich set of concepts and techniques await exploration, adaptation, and perhaps outright appropriation. This presentation will consider temporal concepts from physics, mathematics, business, and even landscape design to seek insights that enable us to deliver designs that meaningfully and usefully evolve with their users.



Maria Cordell is Principal User Experience Architect at Macquarium in Atlanta. In a career that dates way back, Maria has led and produced numerous successful enterprise software and Web design projects–from corporate Web sites to enterprise-class rich Internet applications and desktop apps–for companies in telecommunications, industrial wireless data transmission, retail sales, terminal server optimization, and optical physics. Maria holds an MS in Information Design and a BS in Physics, both from Georgia Tech. She’s an avid photographer, auto racer, gardener, and amateur radio operator, and the main instigator behind IxDA Atlanta.

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