Intelligent Guides: Architecting systems for context-driven interactions
Presented at UX Ireland, November 2016.
Description from the UX Ireland site:
What if an actor could determine their own flow through a system? What if that system could dynamically create pathways to support free wandering, signposting just enough to enable discovery without direction? And what if the flow through the system was determined by the actor, but the system could create the most desired of all possible paths?
As designers, we can imagine a system where meaning can be derived by the alignment of data and context, based on the current interactions: a transient information architecture where the arrangement of things and the relationships between them is determined in the moment. A blueprint for free roaming. An intelligent guide. If this, then that.
But we only consider the experiential layer of a system that needs to understand and arrange data in response to those interactions. What we need is to architect a system that can use its knowledge of data relationships to create meaning at the point of interaction, because data only becomes information when you ask it to arrange itself.
And the way you ask it to arrange itself is by compiling a query that determines the data that is to be arranged and a context within which the arrangement makes sense. How do we architect the system so that it can determine the most likely linking of data? How do we architect the data so that the system can make sense of it?