Archive for April 2009


New Ubicomp Podcast & Everyware Column

April 25th, 2009 — 12:53am

Two quick updates on things hap­pen­ing other places.

First, the lat­est install­ment of Every­ware: Design­ing the Ubiq­ui­tous Expe­ri­ence (my col­umn for UXmat­ters) was pub­lished back in March. It explores the world of Ver­nor Vinge’s story Syn­thetic Serendip­ity from the expe­ri­ence design per­spec­tive. Vinge is justly reknowned as an SF author, but what makes Syn­thetic Serendip­ity worth read­ing closely is the dense col­lec­tion of ideas it shares: aug­mented real­ity, wear­able com­put­ing sys­tems, a network-based co-creation econ­omy open to all par­tic­i­pa­tion by peo­ple of all ages, the games vs. real­ity inver­sion, gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences in adap­ta­tion to tech­no­log­i­cal change, etc.

Mostly, I like Syn­thetic Serendip­ity as an entry point into the ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing space because it presents a pic­ture of the future from the view­point of an ordi­nary kid, who has ordi­nary con­cerns; go to school, play video games, stay out of trou­ble with friends.

In the com­pan­ion piece in draft now, I look much fur­ther ahead, explor­ing sce­nar­ios that con­sider what hap­pens when the bound­aries sep­a­rat­ing humans from the envi­ron­ment blur and dis­solve, and human­ity itself becomes an object of design.

Sec­ond, and related, Jeff Parks just posted the pod­cast of a group dis­cus­sion on ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing that he orga­nized at the IA Sum­mit in Mem­phis. You’ll hear me along with Jeff, Steve Baty, Will Evans, Matthew Milan, John Tir­mandi, Joe Sokohl, Todd Zaki War­fel as we share exam­ples, ideas, and ques­tions about the inter­sec­tion of user expe­ri­ence and ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing. Thanks to Jeff for mak­ing this hap­pen — it was a fun ses­sion, and I hope you enjoy lis­ten­ing as much as we enjoyed record­ing it.

Comment » | Everyware, Uncategorized, User Experience (UX)

Designing Frameworks For Interaction and User Experience: IA Summit Workshop Presentation

April 5th, 2009 — 11:05am

I’ve posted my slides and mate­ri­als from the Beyond Find­abil­ity work­shop Andrew Hin­ton, Livia Labate, Matthew Milan and I put on at the IA Sum­mit in Mem­phis recently.

This set of mate­ri­als addresses some of the most impor­tant ques­tions for prac­ti­tion­ers con­sid­er­ing a framework-based approach to design: why frame­warks mat­ter for user expe­ri­ence and inter­ac­tion design, what frame­works are use­ful for, and how you can work with them effectively.

Why *do* frame­works mat­ter? As I’m argu­ing, look around and you’ll see pro­found shifts chang­ing the struc­tural makeup of the dig­i­tal envi­ron­ment, the con­texts and bound­aries of the expe­ri­ences, and the role of pro­fes­sional designers.

For design­ers, very com­pli­cated and inter­est­ing prob­lems are on the way: think of Mike Kuniavsky’s work defin­ing some of the fun­da­men­tal con­cepts behind the ‘smart things’ that will inhabit this new design envi­ron­ment, such as infor­ma­tion shad­ows and ser­vice avatars. It’s plain that this world will require new tools, and I believe frame­works are part of that toolkit. (See my col­umn Every­ware: Design for the Ubiq­ui­tous Expe­ri­ence for ongo­ing perspective.)

And check out the slides for the rest of the work­shop :)

Noth­ing bet­ter than blues, bar­be­cue, and Build­ing Blocks!

Comment » | Building Blocks, User Experience (UX)

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