Nate Archer - Beyond Responsive IXD13


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The rise of mobile has forced everyone dealing with web experiences to think beyond the desktop format. But, if we have learned anything from the recent push to mobile, we need to anticipate the future sooner rather than later; not only the next wave of formats, but everything after that. This presentation will talk about why we have to adapt to creating more flexible interactions for the immediate future and the coming wave of connected devices. It will look at the practical lessons learned from today’s best practices in responsive web design and think about how we can evolve and expand these to better handle the implications of a growing internet of things. The presentation aims to start a dialogue within the community and link web designers and more product oriented designers together, as there two worlds blur together.

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  • I lied!... This talk isn’t about responsive designI want to take a step back, Survey the build up to now …And try an address some of the key concerns when it comes to designing interactions across an expanding range of devicesShifting the discussion away from things like device and screen size to the experiences around our devicesSomething I think is relevant now and will become more relevant as technology grows
  • So first, let’s talk about technological changeIt isn’t a surprise to anyone that technology has changed a lot in the last couple of yearsAnd as interaction designers we have seen this change first hand
  • Designing experiences for the desktop web isn’t going a way anytime soon, BUT…The growth of devices has forced us to think about translating these experiences to more and more devicesAnd as we should all know, these new devices aren’t just expanding the range of screen sizes, but also introducing new behavior patterns that have emerged This has brought the concept of context to the forefront of many designer’s mind Where we once knew that our user was sitting in a chair at a desk using a mouse and keyboard, Now all bets are off
  • Both native applications and responsive designs hold tremendous value as tools for specific problems, but they limit the discussion to a narrow set of solutions Instead we need to think about the approach we take when designing interactions that can translate experiences between devices and contextPut it this way…Having a hammer and wrench is great, but not the right tool for every jobInstead we need to take a step back and not create a new tool, but instead build a manual that would help us fix the problem at hand and all future ones
  • To add further pressure to the situation, we are also seeing the primordial sludge of the future creeping into our everyday lives.While this photoof Steve Mann and the MIT wearable computer lab team from around 2000, once seemed like a distant future, new devices are emerging which introduce new variables into the digital ecosystem which we need to anticipate and understand sooner rather than later.
  • Some of these devices are already here!they bring interactions into the physical realmconsume and create content in new waysareeven more connected and intelligentgood at sensing and recording datalearn and have memorytake on new forms
  • we need to stop trying to just keep up with technology and new behaviours
  • And start riding this wave with smarter design decisions
  • How do we do it?How do we better meet the needs of today and proactively anticipate the future?How do we address interactions with connected, intelligent and even active participants?How do we create more integrated experiences that tie our connections together?
  • I want to introduce the notion of Flexible interactions:
  • What do I mean by Flexible interactions?For that I turn to the definition of flexibleInteractions that could be modified based on context and respond to users accordinglyI want to break this apart, in order, flexible interactions are modifiable, capture and understand changes in context and respond accordingly
  • What do I mean by Flexible interactions, Interactions that could be modified based on context and respond to users accordinglyI want to break this apart, in order, flexible interactions are modifiable, capture and understand changes in context and respond accordingly
  • Flexibility means being modifiable
  • Designed with the intention of being modified (anticipation)Presentation independent (Resilient on its own) interface agnosticStructured – to be fluid and modular Meaning is attached – meta data enables it to be knowledgeable about itself (independently) and communicate
  • Interactive elementsContentbut still not much context
  • Flexibility means understanding context
  • It has the ability to sense context changes and understand it. Big data?
  • It has the ability to sense context changes and understand it. Device - Location – coordinate, proximity etc.Locomotion – speed, movementImmediacy – time based anticipationIntimacy – knowing and learning about the userSound – noise levelsVisuals – light levels, cameraBehaviour – touch or interaction patternsAnd more?
  • Flexibility means responding
  • With a modifiable structure in place and the ability to sense changing contexts, flexible interactions can respond through Both… Form (Changing shape, order or content)and Function (Ability, memory, and behaviour)
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  • This approach is designed to help us think about designing interactions in the face of today’s issues while also addressing the challenges to come
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