Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.
Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?
All that is solid melts into air!!
So, we are at the beginning of a new year. I just read a list of dominating trends in information technology development. There was nothing really new on the list. I guess we all understand and can see that the “cloud” takes care of storage, that we are moving into the era of “streaming” instead of downloading, and that we will have internet connection everywhere and all the time.
With these trends, the rest is all about interaction! With ever present access and with streaming data and information, use becomes all a question of how will we interact with this world of bits.
So, my prediction of when it comes to the future of computing (not unique in any way) is that most of what we see as traditional computing issues (computation, storage, access, etc) are moved into the background and becomes invisible infrastructure and services. For the individual user, these services will not be interesting since they will be always there. For the individual, it will be vene more about the “thing” or the artifact that is the window into the infrastructure/services, that is, the interaction. Everything will be about interaction design, not just this year but every year from now on!!!
I’ve just begun following Whitney Hess – prompted by an interesting piece she did in Mashable. See it here.
The 10 things user experience design is NOT…
1. …user interface design
2. …a step in the process
3. …about technology
4. …just about usability
5. …just about the user
8. …the role of one person or department
9. …a single discipline
10. …a choice
I keep hearing of people being laid off – Designers are losing their jobs in the current downturn. So what do they do. I have a few ideas for things you can do as you wait for the economy to turn around:
1. Go back to uni and do a Masters degree. So you get to skill up, retrain, have fun and wait out the downturn.
2. Start a social innovation venture. I have a few ideas for this and have been talking to colleagues about doing a series of workshops to help interested people to get a venture up and running.
3. Start a Blog and write in your free time. In this way you can develop a byline and an online portfolio of thoughts – which will be useful when you go looking for work in time.
4. Do blue sky projects and post them online.
5. Retrain as a Social Innovator, Interaction Designer or Service Designer.
6. Become A Green Loans Home Sustainability Assessor. Follow this link to see more.
Now if any of these ideas appeal to you do comment and we can start a conversation.
Work at home opportunities or home based businesses will soar over the next few years. This is not just because people will have to work from home because they have been laid off – had to retire- or feel uncertain about the future. It is because this is the economic trend.
I saw charmr (you can say Charmr on youtube to watch the video) by Adaptive Path and was quite intrigued. I have students doing similar projects. This is ‘gadgets that help’.
I am in diabetes for a different reason – I want to change health outcomes for the, say, 40 million Indians and further 40 million chinese. In India and China health outcomes are really bad and amputation is routine. So I have been developing an alternative service model – alternative to the government’s health service model – that marginalizes the doctor and makes a nurse practitioner the primary carer. Then both India and China spend very little money on health care – so the model is user pays. In this sits the need for technology that has very low operating costs. This is the technology agenda.
I describe the above just to check – is anyone interested in this project?
Its 1991. I am sitting on the grass at the Katsuta factory of Hitachi. It a factory that makes TVs. And I am sitting with factory workers – one of them says he goes home late so that his son can record a TV program. Because he dosnt know how to program the VCR. We all have a laugh. Zannen!
Not many know how to record on a VCR. But kids do!
“Some 48% of technology users usually need help from others to set up new devices or to show them how they function. Many tech users encounter problems with their cell phones, internet connections, and other gadgets. This, in turn, often leads to impatience and frustration as they try to get them fixed.”
There are other interesting numbers in this report, numbers that should make all interaction designers around the world embarrassed. Numbers that show that there are a lot of angry and tired “users” out there. This is a sign of something we could label as a Grand Challenge for HCI and interaction design.
Would love to go to this event.
Interaction’09|vancouver will be held from February 5-8, 2009 in stunning Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in conjunction with Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Join several hundred Interaction Designers from around the world as we address the design of interactive systems of all types: applications (web and desktop), mobile, consumer electronics, digitally enhanced environments, and more. Start your year off with stimulating talk, fun parties, and smart discussions about our growing field.
Interaction 09 will feature three days of inspirational and tactical sessions geared at anyone who practices Interaction Design, as well as a day of pre-conference workshops.
Conference registration will open on October 6 and will include the full announcement of the conference program.