The good people at Chi Netherlands just posted video of my talk “Playing Well With Others: Interaction Design and Social Design for Augmented Reality” at the Web and Beyond 2010 here in Amsterdam in June. It’s couched as a collection of design principles for the oncoming category of social augmented interactions made possible by the new medium of augmented reality. But this talk is also a call to action for all makers of experiences for the emerging engagement space of everyware to focus on the human and the humane perspectives as we explore the new interactions made possible.
The outline of the talk is roughly:
Overview of augmented reality
Social interaction perspective on current AR experiences
Definition of ‘social augmented experiences’
Common interaction design patterns for AR
Social ‘anti-patterns’ limiting design of augmented experiences
Design principles for social augmented experiences
(The audio quality is quite good, and the cameraman captured most of the slides nicely — so this is a recording worth watching.)
This year’s TWAB featured several talks on augmented reality, ubiquitous computing and related topics; you’ll find recordings of these on the Chi Nederland Vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/chinederland
Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers for putting on such a well-run event!
I’ve posted my slides for the Where 2.0 panel “The Next Wave of AR: Social Augmented Experiences” organized by Tish Shute. After a review of the current state of augmented reality experiences in terms of the social interactions supported (using the metric of ‘social maturity’), it shares 9 principles for creating social AR experiences that people will enjoy and value.
Special points to those who spot the embedded April Fool’s joke…
Radio Johnny (brought to you by the good people of Johnny Holland magazine) just published an interview Jeff Parks recorded with me shortly before the New Year, discussing augmented reality, why it’s of interest for Experience Design, and some of the areas of likely development we’ll see in AR in the near future.
Hubris alert: I admit to having grandiose schemes to influence the evolution of an emerging medium, by consistently hectoring the world on the importance of tools for simple content creation…
UXmatters just published Playing Well with Others: Design Principles for Social Augmented Experiences, the latest installment of my column Everyware, which manages to range from Airplane II to zombies, all while continuing the recent focus on augmented reality and experience design. ‘Playing Well With Others’ suggests AR has two paths to follow as it evolves, and proposes some design principles for creating the social augmented experiences — experiences relying on augmented social interactions as the center of gravity — that lie along one of those two paths.
Here’s an excerpt:
With the exotic, mixed realities that futurists and science-fiction writers have envisioned seemingly just around the corner, it is time to move beyond questions of technical feasibility to consider the value and impact of turning the realities of everyday social settings and experiences inside out. As with all new technologies as they move from the stage of technical probe to social probe, this AR transformation will happen case by case and context by context, involving many factors beyond the direct reach of UX design. However, as a result of the inherently social nature of augmented reality, we can be sure the value and impact of many augmented experiences depends in large part on how effectively they integrate the social dimensions of real-world settings, in real time.
The first four design principles are:
Default to the Human
Enhancement Not Replacement
Build Real Bridges
Stay Off the Critical Path
Of course, this is just a starting list, and they raise almost as many questions as they attempt to answer.
Some of those follow-up questions include: what other principles are there?
Are there ‘anti-principles’ to be aware of?
What’s the best way to make these principles part of designing augmented experiences?
2009 was a big year for augmented reality, and there are many predictions that 2010 will be even bigger; with accomplishments coming in the form of new technologies, devices, business models, and ways of having fun. But even as we go about building this emerging medium, we’re still relying largely on old-media style centralized understandings of the production models, form, and content of the augmented world. What happens when we grasp the new social and interaction possibilities of augmented reality?
In the spirit of co-created social augmented experiences, we’re asking for audience contributions: in the form of simple scenarios that describe the future of social AR. What will it feel like? Who will you interact with? How will these experiences change everyday life?
Panel Summary (full description on the Where 2.0 site)
This panel will discuss shared augmented realities, considering some of the essential possibilities and challenges inherent in this new class of social augmented experiences. The format is presentation of a small set of scenarios (defined in advance, with audience input) describing likely future forms of shared augmented realities at differing scales of social engagement for discussion by a panel of leading practitioners in technology, experience design, networked urbanism, interface design, game design, and augmented reality.
Current augmented reality experiences put who you are, where you are, what you are doing, and what is around you at center stage. But we can already look beyond the first stage of interactions assuming a single user seeing simple arrows and tags indicating POIs, and begin to explore shared (multiuser/multisource) augmented realities.
These social augmented experiences will allow not only mashups, & multisource data flows, but dynamic overlays (not limited to 3d), created by distributed groups of users, linked to location/place/time, and syndicated to people who wish to engage with the experience by viewing and co-creating elements for their own goals and benefit.
Share your scenarios for the Next Wave of AR in the comments or elsewhere (tag nextwaveAR socialAR), and come to Where 2.0 and see the panel!
AR is more of a perspective and class of experiences than an instance of new technology, so I wanted to approach the subject from the specific perspective of user experience and interaction design. Reactions from the augmented reality community are positive so far; Claire Boonstra of Layar, and no less than the inimitable Tish Shute of UgoTrade, have all been kind enough to recommend it. Thanks to them and to everyone who’s tweeted and posted this one.
As we explore the role augmented reality will play in our gigantic experiment with everyware, we should keep in mind that the map is not the territory. But there is no denying an effective map will surely help point the way as you try to find your way around a strange new country.
What happens when *everything* is designable? When the boundaries between humanity, technology, and the larger environment disappear? Designing Post-humanity: Everyware In the Far Future, the latest installment of my column on user experience and ubiquitous computing in UXmatters, takes a look at these questions. Post-humans, ubicomp, and science fiction may seem like strange territory for user experience professionals, but by considering these kinds of futures today, we make many important decisions about who we will [all!] be tomorrow.
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.
First Fictions and the Parable of the Palace is the inaugural installment of “Everyware: Designing the Ubiquitous Experience,” a column exploring user experience and design in the era of ubiquitous computing. ‘First Fictions’ considers the profound design implications of foundational visions of ubiquitous computing imagined by technologists such as Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, and finds precedent for these sorts of techno-social futures in the poetic parables of Jorge Louis Borges.
“Everyware” will be a journey through the expanding wavefront of the ubiquitous experience as it impacts design, covering topics ranging from ubiquitous computing to near-field communication, pervasive computing, The Internet of Things, spimes, ubicomp, locative media, and ambient informatics.
I hope it’s as good to read as it has been to write. And keep the comments flowing!