Make Tools


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My keynote talk at the 2007 IA Konferenz in Stuttgart, Germany, I argued we need to create fewer final designed artifacts and more tools to help everyone design. The audio can be downloaded from here:

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Absolutely fantastic (and spot on) presentation!

    This is so important for designers (and business) to understand. Your slide on the number of programmers (5,000,000+) vs designers (720,000) was so telling. As we find ourselves designing for more and more devices and contexts I feel that if we don't have new and/or better tools costs (using existing tools) are rapidly going to spiral out of control for many companies.

    I'm also convinced that as designers we will largely need to create our own tools if we actually want something useable and fit-for-purpose.
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  • The audio is available here:<br /><br/>
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  • Make Tools

    1. 1. Werkzeuge (Tools) Victor Lombardi November 2007
    2. 2. Me <ul><li>I don’t want to educate for yesterday or today, I want to educate for tomorrow, so I’ve been thinking a lot about where the industry is going and how our roles are changing. </li></ul>
    3. 3. First, an Exercise <ul><li>What’s the hardest design problem you have? </li></ul><ul><li>Write it down. </li></ul><ul><li>You have 30 seconds. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Deutsches Museum On a recent visit to the Deutsches Museum in Munich…
    5. 5. Electric 3-Speed Hand Drill, Model GMAS C. & E. Fein, Stuttgart, 1903 I found as many as half of the artifacts on display were tools…
    6. 6. Taxonomy at the Deutsches Museum <ul><li>Kommunikation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informatik </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mikroelektronik </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telekommunikation </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Sender </li></ul>“ Terminal” Receiver
    8. 8. User Interface? Software?
    9. 9. Maybe the museum was telling me that our tools are not museum-quality yet
    10. 10. Is there a pattern in how other fields made progress?
    11. 11. Photography as Science
    12. 12. Photography as Profession
    13. 13. Photography as Everyday Tool
    14. 14. Publishing as Craft
    15. 15. Publishing as Profession
    16. 16. Publishing as Everyday Tool
    17. 17. Information Architecture as Craft
    18. 18. Information Architecture as Profession
    19. 19. Information Architecture as Everyday Tool Edit Navigation… Optimize Navigation… In the future, website owners will have administrative functions with intelligent information architecture options
    20. 20. Why Tools?
    21. 21. Because People Want Technology That Fixes Problems <ul><li>An email I received last week: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a technology that will allow us to give control of the content to our business owners and allow the content to be dynamic enough to support the dynamic nature of our content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><name deleted>, Software Architect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Services Company </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My reply: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, it’s called a designer . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Probably not the answer he wanted. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Because we won’t have time to design interfaces for all the technology yet to come <ul><li>Number of Microsoft Certified Professionals in the world 1 : 2,176,764 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Java programmers in the world 2 : 3,000,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Number of designers in the world 3 : 720,000 </li></ul>1. 2. IDC Report 3. Extrapolated from
    23. 23. Because we can build in constraints <ul><li>“ There is a wide gap between designers' articulation of constraints and designers' effective implementation of them.” </li></ul><ul><li>(We don’t do what we say we’re going to do. Ahem.) </li></ul>( Chevalier & Ivory)
    24. 24. Constraints like Principles…. <ul><li>Greenfield's principles of ubiquitous computing: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Default to Harmlessness </li></ul><ul><li>2. Be Self-Disclosing </li></ul><ul><li>3. Be Conservative of Face </li></ul><ul><li>4. Be Conservative of Time </li></ul><ul><li>5. Be Deniable </li></ul>
    25. 25. Because we already know what artifacts we want to design Still from the film Minority Report
    26. 26. Smart Board And because it’s fast becoming reality
    27. 27. Because better tools enable progress Excerpt from the film Sketches of Frank Gehry highlighting the software used to create his architectural work
    28. 28. Because we no longer wait for Microsoft and Apple to create the foundation <ul><li>“ The richness of rich Internet applications often exceeds that of desktop applications.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Dave Malouf, </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction Design Association </li></ul>
    29. 29. Because of the growing power of prototyping tools <ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul>Fidelity DRAWING TOOLS Axure, Intuitect, Fireworks…
    30. 30. <ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul>Because of the growing power of prototyping tools Fidelity DRAWING TOOLS Axure, Intuitect, Fireworks… CODING TOOLS Prototype,, Dojo…
    31. 31. <ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul>Because of the growing power of prototyping tools Fidelity DRAWING TOOLS Axure, Intuitect, Fireworks… CODING TOOLS Prototype,, Dojo…
    32. 32. <ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul>Because of the growing power of prototyping tools Fidelity DRAWING TOOLS CODING TOOLS
    33. 33. <ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul>Because of the growing power of prototyping tools Fidelity DRAWING TOOLS CODING TOOLS <ul><li>Programmers design </li></ul><ul><li>Designers “program” </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframes obsolete </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers can play too </li></ul>
    34. 34. Such as Thermo Demo of Adobe Thermo
    35. 35. Medicine Because when we can grow replacement organs, ambiguous information problems might become a bigger challenge than medicine
    36. 36. What Does All This Mean for Designers?
    37. 37. Our Process Will Change <ul><li>IA </li></ul><ul><li>Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Developer </li></ul>Now:
    38. 38. Our Process Will Change <ul><li>IA </li></ul><ul><li>Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Developer </li></ul>Very soon:
    39. 39. Our Process Will Change <ul><li>IA </li></ul>Designer Developer Eventually:
    40. 40. We’ll Give Up Control of the Interface 1987 1994 1997 Desktop Publishing WWW Google 2007 WiMAX “ Free” Hardware Digilarity Messy, but Productive Too many interfaces to design for
    41. 41. Roles <ul><li>Slow Design </li></ul><ul><li>A small minority will continue to make artifacts by hand in an artisinal fashion </li></ul><ul><li>Information Engineers Most of us will assemble tools to create new tools </li></ul>
    42. 42. Tools We Can Create Now
    43. 43. Adaptive Interfaces, Stephen P. Anderson
    44. 44. Put our search knowledge to work <ul><li>Zipfr </li></ul><ul><li>Report for the Current Month </li></ul><ul><li>Empty Results: 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Synonym Suggestions: 58 </li></ul>Create Best Bets Create Synonyms
    45. 45. Multivariate Testing for Designers (Riff on Google AdWords)
    46. 46. Simulate and test navigation (e.g. Transitional Volatility) <ul><li>4. Incorporate </li></ul>1. Predict 3. Reorient 2. Navigate
    47. 47. We already model perception pretty well… .mp3
    48. 48. Your Tool <ul><li>You know that problem you wrote down at the beginning? </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than solve this problem, how can you create a tool that helps everyone solve this problem? </li></ul>
    49. 49. Thank You <ul><li>Victor Lombardi </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>