An updated version of the presentation we did at the Euro IA summit, presented at the Polish IA summit in April 2011. For more information on Fjord, visit www.fjordnet.com or follow us on twitter @fjord
“Today’s multimedia machine makes the computer screen into a demanding focus of attention rather than allowing it to fade into the background.” Mark WeiserSunday, 10 April 2011In 1991, Mark Weiser (the ‘father of ubiquitous computing’) said...
“I hope we don’t end up in a world filled solely with slick, glowing rectangles” Timo Arnall image - The OnionSunday, 10 April 2011...20 years later, we’ve not really solved this, have we?Our day to day lives involve many interactions with objects, but most of our interactions with computing still happen through theabstracted world of what Timo Arnall calls ‘slick, glowing rectangles’.
UX is moving beyond the screen.Sunday, 10 April 2011However, we’re starting to see digital dissolve more into the physical world.Of course, people like Weiser have been talking about this for a long time now.But things are now starting to happen in the mainstream, here and now, which pose new challenges for UX. We think that in the next couple of years, UX designers are going to have the opportunity to design things that involve not just screens, but services and physical objects for the world around them.
What does this mean for design?Sunday, 10 April 2011Over the next couple of years, this stuff is due to hit the mainstream and will affect the work UX designers do on an increasing basisHere’s what we think this might mean for design...
Key design challenges.Sunday, 10 April 2011Here are a few of the key challenges we think UX designers will have to be prepared for, and some suggested ways to do thingsdifferently.We’re just working this stuff out ourselves... these are some of the issues we hope to be able to research over the next couple of years.These touch on bigger issues - they’re important for this but each is a huge topic in its own right
1. Device - service relationship gets more complex.Sunday, 10 April 2011Classic usability tends to focus on one user using one device and one service to do one task at a time.That’s increasingly not what’s actually going on. Our relationship with devices and services is getting more complicated.It’s really important to think not just about device, but service design: how your user experience works across multiple devices. The device is no longer the unit of experience... the service is.As embedded components come online, digital services will have to cope with increasing complexity in several ways...
3. New platforms for services.Sunday, 10 April 2011
Data overloadSunday, 10 April 2011More and more data is being produced in both the physical and digital space, and can be shared in near real time.How do we as designers leverage this huge amount of increasing complex data to help enrich the services we design, and aid us indesigning new forms of services?
4. Ensuring users retain control of their data.Sunday, 10 April 2011
“There’s a fine line between pervasive computing and invasive computing.” Victor RozekSunday, 10 April 2011Privacy management is much more than a bunch of tick boxes and security settings. It incorporates less tangible elements such asappropriate use and a user’s ‘comfort level’ etc.Many people already find managing privacy too difficult on Facebook and share things with people they didn’t mean to share themwith. It’s going to get a lot more complicated.
5. Interactions become tangible.Sunday, 10 April 2011
Thinking is physicalSunday, 10 April 2011Cognitive scientists now talk about ‘embodied cognition’*: the idea that the way we think is shaped by, and inseparable from, ourphysical experiences of interacting with the world. (Dourish, McCullough)For example, the idea that up is good and down is bad is rooted in your physical experience of living with gravity. “I’m feeling downtoday” is bad. Up (and fast) is good... “I’m feeling upbeat”. We say someone is ‘boiling over with rage‘ or ‘steam is coming out of theirears’: understanding anger through containment of liquids. These are English language examples, but the principles seem to beuniversal.Cognitive scientists would argue that this perception of up and down is a very fundamental basic level category or building block ofthought used to make sense of other, more abstract things.Embodied interaction seeks to make physical designs make sense to us through harnessing the way we understand the world throughphysical experience. At the moment, much tangible interaction work is happening in R&D labs...
7. Digital business models hit the real world.Sunday, 10 April 2011As the boundaries between the physical and digital world blur, we’ll see digital business models starting to appear in the physicalworld.Some of these may be more or less acceptable to users...
How can UX people get started?Sunday, 10 April 2011Everything we’ve talked about is happening now, somewhere.We think this is about to affect the work that many of us do, even if just in small ways.We’d like to suggest a few ways in which UX designers can start to think about this.
Thank you. @fjord firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com / @clurr Thanks also to Alex von Feldmann, Dom Quigley, Ann Light, Alfred Lui, Ji-Hye Park, Sam Crosland, Martin Charlier, Helen Le Voi PS: we’re hiring in LondonSunday, 10 April 2011