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Workshop on Designing Calm Technology

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The difference between an annoying technology and one that is helpful is how it engages our attention. Calm Technology is a framework for designing ubiquitous devices that engage our attention in an appropriate manner. The aim of Calm Technology is to provide principles that follow the human lifestyle and environment in mind, allowing technology to amplify humanness instead of taking it away.

The terms Calm Computing and Calm Technology were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea behind Calm Technology is to have smarter people, not things. Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.

This workshop covers how to use principles of Calm Technology to design the next generation of connected devices. We’ll look at notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead.

- Use principles of Calm Technology to design the next generation of connected devices.
- Design appropriate notification systems into both physical and software products
- Communicate the principles of Calm Technology to your across your organization and team
- Use methods of Calm Technology to design technology for generations, not seasons.

Who is the workshop for?
This workshop is for anyone that actively builds or makes decisions about technology, especially user experience designers, product designers, managers, creative directors and developers. Attendees are encouraged to have some background in user experience design and look at http://calmtech.com/ or Designing Calm Technology before the workshop.

Published in: Design
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Workshop on Designing Calm Technology

  1. 1. caseorganic.com Workshop on Designing Calm Technology calmtech.com Workshop by Amber Case | Research Fellow Harvard Berkman Klein Center Civic Media @ MIT Media Lab @caseorganic caseorganic@gmail.com
  2. 2. caseorganic.com 50 billion devices will be online by 2020. -Cisco
  3. 3. caseorganic.com Sound good?
  4. 4. caseorganic.com Consider…
  5. 5. caseorganic.com The "Smart" Watch
  6. 6. caseorganic.com The "Smart" Fridge
  7. 7. caseorganic.com The Dystopian Kitchen of the Future
  8. 8. caseorganic.com Interruptive Technology
  9. 9. caseorganic.com Connected Animals
  10. 10. caseorganic.com The new Schrödinger's Cat Failure forces humans to ‘manually’ feed ravenous pets
  11. 11. caseorganic.com PetNet is not held responsible for any service failures: Source: http://readwrite.com/2016/08/01/petnet-shows-happens-iot-fails-dl1/
  12. 12. caseorganic.com We need a Calm Technology
  13. 13. caseorganic.com XEROX PARC: mid-90s Mark Weiser John Seeley Brown
  14. 14. caseorganic.com
  15. 15. caseorganic.com “A good tool is an invisible tool. By invisible, we mean that the tool does not intrude on your consciousness; you focus on the task, not the tool.” Mark Weiser -- 1993
  16. 16. caseorganic.com A person's primary task should not be computing, but being human.
  17. 17. caseorganic.com Principles of Calm Technology
  18. 18. caseorganic.com I. Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary
  19. 19. caseorganic.com A Tea Kettle
  20. 20. caseorganic.com II. Technology should inform and create calm
  21. 21. caseorganic.com III. Technology should make use of the periphery
  22. 22. caseorganic.com Calm technology makes use of our peripheral attention, allowing us to be aware of more things with less cognitive overhead. Empowering the Periphery
  23. 23. caseorganic.com 1. Haptics vs. auditory alerts (haptic compass) 2. Light status vs. full display (on/off) 3. Positive or negative tones (home electronics) 4. Transparency (inner-office windows) Create ambient awareness through different senses
  24. 24. caseorganic.com Weather Status Lighting Hue Lightbulb connected to a weather report @aaronpk 2014
  25. 25. caseorganic.com LUMOBack Smart Posture Sensor Buzzes you when you exhibit poor posture.
  26. 26. caseorganic.com IV. Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity
  27. 27. caseorganic.com • 1500 times faster When automation goes right 3Scan: 1500 times faster than humans
  28. 28. caseorganic.com V. Technology can communicate, but it doesn’t need to speak
  29. 29. caseorganic.com The Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner :)
  30. 30. caseorganic.com 1. Machines shouldn't act like humans 2. Humans shouldn't act like machines 3. Amplify the best part of each Design for people first
  31. 31. caseorganic.com VI. Technology should work even when it fails.
  32. 32. caseorganic.com
  33. 33. caseorganic.com VII. The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem.
  34. 34. caseorganic.com Street Lights Toilet Occupied Sign
  35. 35. caseorganic.com VIII. Technology should consider social norms
  36. 36. caseorganic.com Restorative Normal Enhancing Fear-inducing Accepted Invisible Technology and Invisiblity
  37. 37. caseorganic.com Exercises
  38. 38. caseorganic.com Place* - Relation - History - Identity *Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (1995), Marc Augé
  39. 39. caseorganic.com Non-place Modern Urban Society
  40. 40. caseorganic.com
  41. 41. caseorganic.com
  42. 42. caseorganic.com
  43. 43. caseorganic.com Project #1: Design a place in a non-place. 15 min
  44. 44. caseorganic.com I. Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention II. Technology should inform and create calm III. Technology should make use of the periphery IV. Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity V. Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak VI. Technology should work even when it fails VII. The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem
  45. 45. caseorganic.com Project #2: Pick a Doctor’s Office Or Hospital Experience and Design it to be calm (15 min)
  46. 46. caseorganic.com Calm Technology allows people to accomplish goals with the least amount of mental cost
  47. 47. caseorganic.com 1. Haptics vs. auditory alerts (haptic compass) 2. Light status vs. full display (on/off) 3. Positive or negative tones (home electronics) 4. Transparency (inner-office windows) Create ambient awareness through different senses
  48. 48. caseorganic.com Project #3: Design a product or service that uses Ambient Awareness to deliver information (15 min)
  49. 49. caseorganic.com Thank you very much! Amber Case calmtech.com Calm Technology from O'Reilly and amazon.com!

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