All posts about
HCI

The study, planning, design and uses of the interfaces between people (users) and computers. (source: Wikipedia)

The Rise (And Fall?) of Corporate Design Education

Contrary to formal, institutional and state sanctioned design education, like colleges and universities (bachelor, master, and PhD).

“I believe in the power of design education to change people’s lives, to improve products, and to alter the strategic course of a corporation, for the better. I hope to see a resurgence of design craftsmanship training riding alongside design thinking training. I don’t think it’s impossible to teach craft, in a broad way, in an organization. But it will take more time and a different approach to training to realize the power of design as an applied discipline, and to recognize how important true competency of doing is for institutionalizing design and creativity.”

Jon Kolko a.k.a. /jkolko | @jkolko ~ The Modernist Studio

The business of UX strategy

HCI and UX connected to the business world.

“The majority of business versus UX design choices are influenced by a combination of market megatrends and sales distribution channels. Within this context, the trade-offs vary by industry. The design constraints placed upon an FDA-regulated mobile health solution cannot be compared to those of a chat app for teenagers that blocks parental access. However, the requirement for high-quality UX has become universal to achieve success across all distribution channels and industries. Therefore, every digital product or service requires a UX strategy that considers the business dimensions described here and more. Doing so optimizes for a high-quality user experience in conjunction with the best commercial outcome possible. Finally, it needs to be loudly emphasized: Even the most exhaustive UX strategy must be frequently revisited because the underlying market megatrends and constraints evolve continuously to disrupt the most carefully crafted plans of mice and men.”

Daniel Rosenberg a.k.a. /danielrosenbergux

What went wrong in Hawaii, human error? Nope, bad design

The ultimate consequences of bad design: Three Mile Island, Challenger, and now Hawaii.

“The author and eminent design researcher Don Norman examines how poorly designed software spread panic in Hawaii–and offers tips for avoiding such incidents in the future. (…) To me, the most frustrating aspect of these errors is that they result from poor design. Incompetent design. Worse, for decades we have known how proper, human-centered design can prevent them. “

Donald A. Norman a.k.a. /donnorman | @jnd1er ~ FastCo.design

Voice-Enabled Design: Will Drama Teachers Replace All Product People?

Always learn from adjacent disciplines. Unexpected connections are the best.

“I don’t think drama teachers will replace us all. But as product designers, we need the capacity to change our skillsets whenever it is needed. With visual UI shifting to conversations and voice-enabled interfaces, we can make our devices more inclusive and communicate with them more like with other humans. For these goals, learning new skills certainly pays off.”

UXstudio

The UX of AR: Toward a human-centered definition of Augmented Reality

Augmentation of the mind, not of ‘reality’.

“The challenge with tech-oriented definitions is that they tend to keep the tech at the heart of the matter and neglect the people, or end users. As a result, applications are driven by what kind of technology is available for an AR-enhanced project, rather than being driven by the type of human experiences we want to create through augmentation. To resolve this, we need to bring user experience more prominently into the AR conversation.”

Kieran Evans a.k.a. @kieranevans1 and Jes A. Koepfler a.k.a. @jeskak ~ UXPA Magazine

Does HCI scale? Scale hacking and the relevance of HCI

If you can scale, you can deliver at any level of abstraction.

“HCI has had a massive impact on the world through streamlining and enabling millions of interfaces on billions of devices. As we face the potential of a tenfold increase in the number of devices and their complexity, it is worth asking about the relationship between HCI and scale. Do the tools and research methods we currently deploy scale to the millions of future interfaces and systems, used by billions of people, across multiple contexts? In this article we outline how we see the challenge of scale. By scale we mean how technology is used in large networks of interconnected systems, with billions of users, across diverse contexts. How can we understand and design for this complex of interconnected uses? Put simply, does HCI scale?”

Barry Brown, Susanne Bødker, and Kristina Höök ~ Interactions XXIV.5

Usability testing of spoken conversational systems

Good old usability testing for brand new technologies.

“The philosophy behind usability testing for speech-enabled systems is shared with general usability practices, but many usability practitioners have little or no experience testing speech interfaces, and the specific techniques required for collecting valid and reliable data are not widely understood. Spoken language and conversation have a number of properties that should influence the methods used to test speech user interfaces.”

Susan L. Hura a.k.a. /susan-hura | @SpeechUsability ~ Journal of Usability Studies 12.4

Chatbots and the new world of HCI

HCI as an academic field is waking up, too.

“A potential revolution is happening in front of our eyes. For decades, researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction (HCI) have been improving their skills in designing for graphical user interfaces. Now things may take an unexpected turn—toward natural language user interfaces, in which interaction with digital systems happens not through scrolling, swiping, or button clicks, but rather through strings of text in natural language. This is particularly visible in recent developments in chatbots, that is, machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces to data and service providers [1], typically in the context of messaging applications.”

Asbjørn Følstad and Petter Bae Brandtzæg ~ Interactions XXIV.4

A history of Human-Computer Interaction

Know thy history.

“However, there was steady progress. It took longer than many expected, but we collectively built the world imagined by Vannevar Bush, J. C. R. Licklider, Douglas Engelbart, Ivan Sutherland, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and others. In the 1960s, a few engineers and computer scientists used computers. Yet a common thread in their writing was of a time when people in diverse occupations would use computers routinely. We’re there.”

Jonathan Grudin a.k.a. /jonathan-grudin ~ ACM Interactions XXIV.2

A visual vocabulary for concept models

Concept models reflect the target cognitive frames of a system or idea.

“Let’s start by agreeing that a concept model is a visual explanation. I want you to see things the way I do, so I draw a model made of words and pictures so you share the picture in my mind. What if I want you to understand that design tends to wander around exploring options, but don’t worry because eventually we’ll pick something.”

Christina Wodtke a.k.a. /christinawodtke | @cwodtke

From interactables to architectonic interaction

Architecture and interaction. And where is information?

“The fields of interaction design (IxD) and architecture are increasingly intertwined [1]. Architecture is to a large extent produced through the use of digital tools, and digital technologies are increasingly integrated with our built environment. However, these integrations themselves certainly have transformative effects. For example, as the drawing of buildings is primarily done with CAD technologies, the practice of sketching and drawing is also changed. The same can be said about computer-enhanced buildings. Through the integration of digital technologies into our built environment, one physical space can be designed to allow for easy reconfigurations of that space so as to serve many different purposes and activities. As such, digital technologies challenge a core idea in architecture—that the physical environment is hard to reconfigure—and further, that since the physical space both allows for and restricts the social space, it is important that architecture consider the design of the physical environment in relation to the social activity it is intended to support.”

Mikael Wiberg a.k.a. /mikael-wiberg ~ ACM Interactions XXXIV.2

The interface of Kai Krause’s software

Know your classics. Skeumorphism avant-la-lettre.

“Kai Krause was born 1957 in Dortmund. He came to California in 1976 with two friends. He worked as a musician for Disney Sound Effects. In fact Kai won a Clio Award for his sound effects in a Star Wars radio spot. Emerson, Lake & Powell bought sound systems from him and he is still working with Peter Gabriel today in order to fulfill his vision of visualized music as 3D sculptures.”

Matthias Müller-Prove a.k.a. /mprove | @mprove

Thinking beyond the interface

‘Insert crappy content here’. Filling empty boxes and minds with content. The Nurnberg Funnel.

“Designers have largely shifted their skill sets toward interface design, prototyping, and code. Are writing and art direction getting left behind? (…) But with designers increasingly focused on the interface, a fundamental problem has emerged. The emphasis becomes the design of the frame, and the content takes a backseat — an easily exchangeable placeholder that can be replaced with more or less anything. Layouts become filled with gray boxes and fake headlines.”

Paul Woods a.k.a. /paulthedesigner | @paulillustrator ~ FastCoDesign

Designing for disappearing interfaces

However you assemble them, you have to define them.

“The internet becomes something that’s omnipresent, instead of just something you click on. As everything around us becomes inherently more dynamic, user interfaces will become more and more amorphous in their boundaries. And just as the internet will in effect ‘disappear’, so will our interfaces. We’ll still use them, but we won’t perceive them as separate, limited, defined spaces. They’ll be something far more integral to our experience.”

David McGillivray a.k.a. /dmcgillivray | @David_McG