TH

IXD14 LONDON REDUX

ART vs SCIENCE
Jake Causby
@jakecausby

E A
NN
OT
VE
AT
RS
ION ED

REPETITION OF TWO WORDS

The use of the words ART
and SCIENCE were prolific
at Interactions14, more so
than any other desi...
BERNARD LAHOUSSE

FOOD = INTERACTION
Bernard spoke of the
science behind flavours, and
how different foods that
contain th...
BERNARD LAHOUSSE

FOOD = INTERACTION
Eg: Almond, figs, pears,
cherries and chocolate all
have the benzaldehyde
molecule, m...
BERNARD LAHOUSSE

FOOD = INTERACTION
He also spoke of the
psychology of taste, and
how our other senses
affect taste. Touc...
KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF

L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O N
Klaus gave us an insigh...
KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF

L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O N
He was saying that we
n...
DAN ROSENBERG

THE DE-INTELLECTUALIZATION OF DESIGN
Dan Rosenberg
highlighted the fact that
there is a great deal of
“desi...
DAN ROSENBERG

THE DE-INTELLECTUALIZATION OF DESIGN
…Solutions design 

which is something that
could be dangerous or 

li...
CHRISTINA WODTKE

T H E E X E C U T I O N E R ’ S TA L E
Christina introduced the
concept of OKRs, the
process of defining...
CHRISTINA WODTKE

T H E E X E C U T I O N E R ’ S TA L E
Christina makes note of
the fact that setting up and
maintaining ...
STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES

HUMAN INTERACTIONS: PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL
Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes
spoke of how her
architecture ...
STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES

HUMAN INTERACTIONS: PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL
I love her analogy of space
being a living interface;
s...
GILES COLBORNE

THE LOST ART OF EFFICIENCY IN INTERACTION DESIGN
Giles Colborne gave us a
refresher on GOMs theory:
The sc...
GILES COLBORNE

THE LOST ART OF EFFICIENCY IN INTERACTION DESIGN
Lots of tiny improvements
in interaction time can
make an...
IRENE AU

BODY LANGUAGES OF INTERACTION DESIGN
Irene Au highlighted the
art of mindfulness, and
how yoga and meditation
ca...
IRENE AU

BODY LANGUAGES OF INTERACTION DESIGN
At one point she had the
whole room doing yoga.
!

She said other added
ben...
P E T E R B I L’ A K

TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES

Peter Bil’ak talked about
the ...
P E T E R B I L’ A K

TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES

But he notes the process is
no...
P E T E R B I L’ A K

TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES

Here’s a great example of
typo...
A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E

DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION
Antonio de Pasquale
revealed the scien...
A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E

DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION
He has devised a new
motion taxonomy w...
A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E

DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION
He then gives us examples
of how you c...
JASON MESUT

B R I D G I N G T H E P H Y S I C A L - D I G I TA L D I V I D E
Some guy called Jason
Mesut spoke brilliantl...
S O W H AT C A N W E TA K E
FROM THIS?
I S D E S I G N M O R E O F A N A R T, 

OR MORE OF A SCIENCE?
LET’S REFLECT ON HOW
W E O P E R AT E D AY T O D AY
• How much gut feel do we use?
• Is this based on experiences of succe...
Maybe we look a bit 

more towards SCIENCE to…

Maybe we look a bit 

more towards ART for…

SCIENCE

ART

•
•
•

DEFINE
U...
BERNARD LAHOUSSE

Like a painter if you know the chemistry and
physics of making colors and mixing, rules of
composition y...
DAN ROSENBERG

PHOTO SOURCE: 

IXDA WEBSITE

There is no one size fits all… Both are
needed and the balance is often conte...
STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES

PHOTO SOURCE: 

IXDA WEBSITE

For me, Science and Art are equivalent
to Flow and Beauty. Flow an...
IRENE AU

PHOTO SOURCE: 

IXDA WEBSITE

The question isn't “is design science or is it
art?” but “design is both a science...
CHRISTINA WODTKE

PHOTO SOURCE: 

IXDA WEBSITE

When people say art and science they
usually mean it will take gut instinc...
GILES COLBORNE

PHOTO SOURCE: 

IXDA WEBSITE

The common idea that science is not a
creative field is utter bollocks — thi...
KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF

If art is painting, sculpture, and poetry, there is
hardly any overlap with science. The sciences
deve...
DAVE MALOUF

Design is both art and science and 

that is what makes it great
T H E N A L I T T L E L AT E R S A I D …
PHO...
WELL WE WERE JUST A STONES-THROW FROM
AMSTERDAM’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT!

PHOTO: FLICKR.COM/WEESEN
I THINK IT’S LESS ABOUT THIS

ART

SCIENCE

AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE, 

O R T H I N K D E S I G N S H O U L D B E O N T H ...
AND MORE ABOUT THIS
BETTER
GOOD
WEAK

INTUITION

SKILLS

THEORY

SKILLS

WHERE THEY ARE INDIVIDUAL SKILLS 

AND THE SCALE ...
AND IT DOESN’T STOP THERE

WRITING

SKILLS

O B S E R VA T I O N 

SKILLS

LISTENING

SKILLS

ETC

ETC

NEGOTIATION

SKILL...
W E A L L U S E A C O M B I N AT I O N O F
ALL OUR SKILLS WHEN MAKING
ANY DECISION.
!

THEY SHOULD ALL BE SHARPENED
HAND-I...
IT’S ART
IT’S SCIENCE
IT’S A BUNCH OF
OTHER THINGS TOO,
AND IT’S FUN!
IXD14 LONDON REDUX

THANKS
Jake Causby
@jakecausby

SPECIAL THANKS TO
•
IRENE AU
BERNARD LAHOUSSE
CHRISTINA WODTKE
GILES C...
IxD14 London Redux
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IxD14 London Redux

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Ten minute presentation that attempts to distill a handful of IxD14 talks down into 30 second snippets then questions what it means when people say design is part art and part science. Special thanks to the legends: Bernard Lahousse, Christina Wodtke, Klaus Krippendorff, Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes, Giles Colborne, Dan Rosenberg, Irene Au, Peter Bil’ak, Antonio de Pasquale, Jason Mesut and Dave Malouf.

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IxD14 London Redux

  1. 1. TH IXD14 LONDON REDUX ART vs SCIENCE Jake Causby @jakecausby E A NN OT VE AT RS ION ED

  2. 2. REPETITION OF TWO WORDS The use of the words ART and SCIENCE were prolific at Interactions14, more so than any other design ART & ! SCIENCE conference I’ve been to. ! Sometimes they were used independently of each other, and sometimes they were used together in an attempt to indicate some sort of balance. ! Here are some examples…
  3. 3. BERNARD LAHOUSSE FOOD = INTERACTION Bernard spoke of the science behind flavours, and how different foods that contain the same or similar molecule, despite possibly having very different flavours, can be combined and work well because of their molecular similarities.
  4. 4. BERNARD LAHOUSSE FOOD = INTERACTION Eg: Almond, figs, pears, cherries and chocolate all have the benzaldehyde molecule, making them go well together.
  5. 5. BERNARD LAHOUSSE FOOD = INTERACTION He also spoke of the psychology of taste, and how our other senses affect taste. Touching something smooth and fluffy can actually make things taste sweeter. Seafood tastes better near the sea, where we can hear the waves and smell the sea breeze. Colours can give us pre-determined assumptions about what flavours a food will have, causing disturbance if they don’t match. ! Bernard also spoke about the art of gastronomy, and how the science helps support that art. PHOTO: @MJBROADBENT
  6. 6. KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O N Klaus gave us an insight into the science of trying to define and understand language. ! He said the importance of language is the difference between thinking and acting. ! Language itself is not the outcome of thought, the outcome is what comes about after the language occurs. ! The responses to language is what creates reality.
  7. 7. KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O N He was saying that we need to methodologically approach design, but we cannot treat it as a natural science discourse for various reasons. Klaus struggled to fit his talk into 40 minutes, I don’t know why am I trying to fit it into 30 seconds! PHOTO: IXDA
  8. 8. DAN ROSENBERG THE DE-INTELLECTUALIZATION OF DESIGN Dan Rosenberg highlighted the fact that there is a great deal of “design” scientific knowledge that is being largely ignored by most designers. ! He argues that it’s not consumer design versus enterprise design, but rather product design versus solutions design, where product design is incremental and something that can be released early and iterated on versus…
  9. 9. DAN ROSENBERG THE DE-INTELLECTUALIZATION OF DESIGN …Solutions design 
 which is something that could be dangerous or 
 life-threatening and really needs to be designed backwards from the 
 end goal. ! He argues (contentiously) that designers should be much more educated and even certified to practice that type of design.
  10. 10. CHRISTINA WODTKE T H E E X E C U T I O N E R ’ S TA L E Christina introduced the concept of OKRs, the process of defining desired Outcomes and measuring Key Results. ! Outcomes are qualitative and the Key Results are quantitative and must be time-bound and measurable.
  11. 11. CHRISTINA WODTKE T H E E X E C U T I O N E R ’ S TA L E Christina makes note of the fact that setting up and maintaining OKRs requires a combination of art and science to pull off well.
  12. 12. STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES HUMAN INTERACTIONS: PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes spoke of how her architecture firm fly in the face of a traditional architecture approach, focusing on creating spaces that foster interactions instead of trying to design the interactions themselves.
  13. 13. STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES HUMAN INTERACTIONS: PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL I love her analogy of space being a living interface; something you can evolve after the space starts to be used. To design this context for interactions it has to be… INCOMPLETE IMPERMANENT IMPERFECT
  14. 14. GILES COLBORNE THE LOST ART OF EFFICIENCY IN INTERACTION DESIGN Giles Colborne gave us a refresher on GOMs theory: The scientific calculations of the average time it takes to complete individual elements of a user 
 process flow.
  15. 15. GILES COLBORNE THE LOST ART OF EFFICIENCY IN INTERACTION DESIGN Lots of tiny improvements in interaction time can make an incredible difference. ! But sometimes it makes sense to actually increase the time if users expect it. ! Eg: the Coinstar example where people actually trusted the machine more when it appeared to take longer to count the coins because they thought it was doing a more thorough job.
  16. 16. IRENE AU BODY LANGUAGES OF INTERACTION DESIGN Irene Au highlighted the art of mindfulness, and how yoga and meditation can help achieve it. A major trait of great UX designers is undoubtably empathy. Mindfulness increases one’s ability to be empathic. ! She said true empathy goes beyond observation and synthesisation.
  17. 17. IRENE AU BODY LANGUAGES OF INTERACTION DESIGN At one point she had the whole room doing yoga. ! She said other added benefits of mindfulness include the ability to be focussed, playful and be without fear when expressing thoughts 
 and ideas. PHOTO: IXDA
  18. 18. P E T E R B I L’ A K TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES Peter Bil’ak talked about the art and science of typography. ! Designing a great 
 typeface requires a 
 deep understanding of language, technology 
 and design…
  19. 19. P E T E R B I L’ A K TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES But he notes the process is not complete until its been used, adapted and applied. ! He created this cool app History Remixer that allows you to choose your own weights, accents, colours, etc, effectively creating thousands of possibilities. ! I played with it for a couple of minutes to do this. typotheque.com/fonts/history/remixer
  20. 20. P E T E R B I L’ A K TYPOGRAPHY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN, TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES Here’s a great example of typography on this poster designed by Frank Chimero.
  21. 21. A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION Antonio de Pasquale revealed the science behind Disney’s 12 rules of animation.
  22. 22. A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION He has devised a new motion taxonomy which divide different categories of UI transitions into 4 quadrants on 2 axis: passive and active on one scale and time and space on the other. PHOTO: IXDA
  23. 23. A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E DESIGN IN MOTION: THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTERACTION He then gives us examples of how you can map signature interactions onto this matrix and says we can use it to help devise our own signature interactions. PHOTO: IXDA
  24. 24. JASON MESUT B R I D G I N G T H E P H Y S I C A L - D I G I TA L D I V I D E Some guy called Jason Mesut spoke brilliantly about the divide between industrial and interaction design. ! It had a lot of venn diagrams in it so I can only conclude that it must have been very scientific… PHOTO: IXDA
  25. 25. S O W H AT C A N W E TA K E FROM THIS?
  26. 26. I S D E S I G N M O R E O F A N A R T, 
 OR MORE OF A SCIENCE?
  27. 27. LET’S REFLECT ON HOW W E O P E R AT E D AY T O D AY • How much gut feel do we use? • Is this based on experiences of successes and failures? • How much do we rely on data and research 
 when making decisions? • Do we really understand our users’ behaviour 
 or do we just think we do?
  28. 28. Maybe we look a bit 
 more towards SCIENCE to… Maybe we look a bit 
 more towards ART for… SCIENCE ART • • • DEFINE U N D E R S TA N D GAIN INSIGHTS ? • • I N S P I R AT I O N POSSIBILITIES OF EXECUTION LET’S ASK THESE SAME PEOPLE…
  29. 29. BERNARD LAHOUSSE Like a painter if you know the chemistry and physics of making colors and mixing, rules of composition you have the potential of becoming a better painter, but it doesn’t mean that you will make the best art. PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE
  30. 30. DAN ROSENBERG PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE There is no one size fits all… Both are needed and the balance is often contextual to the problem you are trying solve. I also think there is a third dimension which is the craft of UX execution.
  31. 31. STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE For me, Science and Art are equivalent to Flow and Beauty. Flow and Function are the ones driving the creative process, but if the result is not beautiful, then it is not functional either.
  32. 32. IRENE AU PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE The question isn't “is design science or is it art?” but “design is both a science AND an art, so how can we all get better at integrating the two?… how to get better at integrating the analytical and creative minds so that we switch between the two modes of thinking more effectively in order to create the best outcome.
  33. 33. CHRISTINA WODTKE PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE When people say art and science they usually mean it will take gut instinct and personal experience as well as data, research and logic. OKRs are powerful because they speak to us as humans with dreams as well as watching the bottom line.
  34. 34. GILES COLBORNE PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE The common idea that science is not a creative field is utter bollocks — thinking entirely new thoughts is clearly a creative activity. To be a rounded person, you should never assume that it is “versus”. You should always seek to be a complete human.
  35. 35. KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF If art is painting, sculpture, and poetry, there is hardly any overlap with science. The sciences develop theories of the world, art expresses the ideas and feelings of individual artists. PHOTO SOURCE: 
 IXDA WEBSITE Design is an undiscipline, one that should be able to question anything and be allowed to try everything. — “Design Research, an Oxymoron?” (paper)
  36. 36. DAVE MALOUF Design is both art and science and 
 that is what makes it great T H E N A L I T T L E L AT E R S A I D … PHOTO SOURCE: 
 PHOTO SOURCE: I XA VA ’W E B S II T T E R A V ATA R D D E S TW TE – If art is like masterbation – Then interaction design is like sex – And service design is like prostitution
  37. 37. WELL WE WERE JUST A STONES-THROW FROM AMSTERDAM’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT! PHOTO: FLICKR.COM/WEESEN
  38. 38. I THINK IT’S LESS ABOUT THIS ART SCIENCE AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE, 
 O R T H I N K D E S I G N S H O U L D B E O N T H AT S C A L E
  39. 39. AND MORE ABOUT THIS BETTER GOOD WEAK INTUITION
 SKILLS THEORY
 SKILLS WHERE THEY ARE INDIVIDUAL SKILLS 
 AND THE SCALE IS PROFICIENCY
  40. 40. AND IT DOESN’T STOP THERE WRITING
 SKILLS O B S E R VA T I O N 
 SKILLS LISTENING
 SKILLS ETC ETC NEGOTIATION
 SKILLS ETC RETENTION
 SKILLS
  41. 41. W E A L L U S E A C O M B I N AT I O N O F ALL OUR SKILLS WHEN MAKING ANY DECISION. ! THEY SHOULD ALL BE SHARPENED HAND-IN-HAND TO MAKE US M O R E A D E P T AT O U R C R A F T.
  42. 42. IT’S ART IT’S SCIENCE IT’S A BUNCH OF OTHER THINGS TOO, AND IT’S FUN!
  43. 43. IXD14 LONDON REDUX THANKS Jake Causby @jakecausby SPECIAL THANKS TO • IRENE AU BERNARD LAHOUSSE CHRISTINA WODTKE GILES COLBORNE KLAUS KRIPPENDORFF DANIEL ROSENBERG P E T E R B I L’ A K STEPHANIE AKKAOUI HUGHES D AV E M A L O U F
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