Making Meaning in an Internet of Things
Beyond Responsive
Towards Buttonless Touch Interaction
Getting what you want
New Frontiers: the UX professional as business consultant

Stop Designing Apps And Start Designing Habits

Making Meaning in an Internet of Things

Presentation with Carla Diana – Smart Design

Something exciting has been happening to our everyday objects. Things that were once silent and static can now sing, glow, buzz and be tracked online. Some are constantly listening for sounds, sights and touches to translate into meaningful inputs. Others have the ability to learn, refining their behaviors over time. They can be connected to one another as well as the Internet. As people continue to interact with data in all aspects of life, they will expect their digital devices to deliver real-time, visualized, networked feedback. The WSJ envisions a roadmap where 50 billion devices could be connected to the Internet by 2020. Collectively, this “Internet of Things” will provide cloud-enabled experiences that can profoundly change many aspects of everyday life both in and out of the home. As designers, this presents a juicy opportunity to pioneer new territory in rich interaction, but it also can backfire, filling people’s lives with more frustrations over technology than ever before. In this session, the presenter will share stories from the front lines of designing interactive hardware/software products and ecosystems at the award-winning firm Smart Design. She’ll discuss challenges and highlight opportunities where the combination of physical device and virtual data can provide a more meaningful experience than either alone. She’ll describe frameworks for gauging the value that IoT experiences can have for people in their everyday lives. Finally, she will lay out a series of methodologies that can be used by designers and strategists when creating the future of interactive experiences.
Slide presentation

Nate Giriales ?

Keep in mind:

Information Overload is never fun

Life now, data later

Context is everything: Information delivered in peripheral vision

Play nice with others

When to now non the screen


  • Trying it out and making it fun,
  • Hack what’s already out there “my robots website”,
  • if this, then that
  • “breakout” arduino to breadboard
  • “Space crew”
  • Thing speak
  • cosm
  • bugswarm

Keep in mind whether your design is for 3G or wifi


Resources – smartinteracitonlab.com

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Beyond Responsive

Presentation with Nate Archer

The rise of mobile has forced everyone dealing with web experiences to think beyond the desktop format. But, if we have learned anything from the recent push to mobile, we need to anticipate the future sooner rather than later; not only the next wave of formats, but everything after that. This presentation will talk about why we have to adapt to creating more flexible interactions for the immediate future and the coming wave of connected devices. It will look at the practical lessons learned from today’s best practices in responsive web design and think about how we can evolve and expand these to better handle the implications of a growing internet of things. The presentation aims to start a dialogue within the community and link web designers and more product oriented designers together, as there two worlds blur together.

Native and Responsive
Devices are introducing new dimensions instead of running away from them, ride them
how? being flexible
1. Flexible interactions are easily modified to respond to altered context; anticipating change, supporting user needs and extending experiences now and into the future.
Good example: Twitter
MODIFIABLE : Anticipatory, Independent, Structured, Meaningful
2. Understands Context: Senses Processes
Device location, speed, motion, immediacy, sounds and visuals, behavior, intimacy, etc.
IE: Microsoft Research “Falcon”, which preloads 3 apps you will most likely use based on your location and past  experiences
3. Responds: Form and Function
Example: Photoshop for ipad
Start with the essence of the interaction and build up from there, sometimes wireframes are not necessary at first
NPR: Redesign CMS so content can be published on different media adaptable for new devices, not attached to a page, so that it would be scalable to future devices, apps, browsers/ display media.

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Towards Buttonless Touch Interaction

Presentation with Behzad Aghaei

“The use of graphical buttons has become commonplace in mobile touch applications. Despite their distinct usability advantages, buttons are a convention carried over from non-touch platforms and have become default tools for designers in touch environments. This convention can act as a barrier against innovation towards more natural gesture-based touch interactions. I will present an interaction concept that attempts to replace traditional buttons or tap interactions with gestures for list navigation and contextual actions. The purpose will be to inspire listeners to explore creative and usable solutions when designing for touch.”
There are conventions that have been carried from eons
We should take advantage of those conventions and explore new ways to create movement. Here are some notes I took:
– Touch, move around re-orient.
Good ones are designed around present physical interactions
IE: Photo app
Touch apps with small transitions
  1. Design interactions without buttons using the analogy of paper tabsIMG_4864
    On the very left of this photo, Behzad showed a way for the menu to pull on the information, and added a small feature similar to the locked iphone photo access feature, which gives out a bouncing feedback to indicate that the user should push up to activate the camera without unlocking the phone.
  2. Sheet Analogy: This is a page where the content is made look like an actual piece of paper by adding a small corner on the top right. The user is already accustomed to flipping pages, so it will be innate to them to want to switch pages by clicking or doing some swiping motion to go to the next pageIMG_4861
    On the middle graphic (photo below), there is a new interaction where the user can easily choose to “grab” the piece of paper, and drop it into a trash can if desired or be sent somewhere (top), I can see where this is great, when adding small warnings or confirmations for the actions, aside from that, I like this simple way of adding to the already saturated use of actions on the phones.IMG_4864

On the same note, Behzad proposes to eliminate cluttering and use the same small indentation on a simple screen to indicate the appearance of more options/menus.

There are alot of conventional physical interactions, that we can use to create new analogies in the virtual world


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Getting what you want

Presentation with Juan Cartagena – Juan@traity.com     @jc2go

Traity is simple: A personality test where people answer questions. However, users barely did what we expected them to do. This talk covers the mistakes we made, what we have learnt from them, and how we now lead users to do what we expect with our “dietary” approach to UX.


– Basically he started a startup, put up a nicely designed website, with very little visitors. Then started making small changes here and there, like changing icons, reducing the amount of buttons, adding more girl avatars, etc. to increase his visitors to 150%. None of what his business MBA had prepared him for.

Interesting and inspiring….

  1. Diet your product
  2.  Focus on one thing. –  Reduce funnels for end result.
  3.  Small changes and test changes.

Designers need to learn to communicate to NCOS, for example learning about metrics and solutions, answers

Closer connections to communicate. . Bottom line. Metrics.

Ways to track facebook stars and tracks.


Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 10.55.29 AMScreen Shot 2013-02-06 at 10.55.36 AM

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New Frontiers: the UX professional as business consultant

Presentation with Cindy Chastain

We talk a lot about cross-channel experiences and how to address these new challenges as designers, but what about using our design skills, our hard won knowledge and empathy for customers to help companies decide what products and services will help grow their business? While companies are coming round to the value of customer experience, they’re struggling to acquire the skills needed for creating and managing touch points as well as understanding and prioritizing needs. And when we’re talking multi-channel ecosystems, who’s better equipped to address this complexity than those who have the skill set to not only understand it, but to design it and guide how it’s built.

From optimizing the cross-channel customer experience, to creating new product and service extensions, we’re heading into a prime moment for bringing our toolkit into the business arena. This talk is meant to be both a thought starter as well as a lively group discussion around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company’s digital strategy. Using examples from my own experiences and input from a variety of seasoned practitioners, we’ll examine the challenges and map the opportunities across our own journey as UX professionals who are starting to think about what’s next.


Understand the customer’s problems collaboratively would lead to the best insights to get to a solution.

PERSON DELIVERING THE SOLUtions is not generally aware of the stakeholder’s lead

Often people have great ideas, but those ideas of where they need to go but those ideas are not always sythetized or connected

Having trust of  People who have worked at the company for many years have a good idea of what needs to change or where they can move. Facilitate those ideas out as a consultant.

Companies might have the illusion they are efficient, when they aren’t, so a consultant’s job is also made for them to see that they could improve in some other ways :
Example: A call center; a company might want to improve it to get through the calls more efficiently, instead of looking into the reasons why people are call and try to improve their experience instead, in order to reduce the amount of calls. to improve the efficiency

From the slide deck:

  • It’s about facilitating insight (supported by a design process)
  • It’s about people and their relationships.
  • It’s about teaching a company to fish.
  • The solution is not the service, the service is the path we can provide.
  • Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 12.38.25 PM
    A concise slide

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Stop Designing Apps And Start Designing Habits

45-minute presentation by Nir Eyal

I’ve constructed a framework for designing habit-forming products. The “desire engine” gives product makers and designers a model for thinking of the necessary components to create user behavior. Habit design is a super power. If used for good, habit design can enhance people’s lives with entertaining and even healthful routines. If used for evil, habits can quickly turn into wasteful addictions. The trinity of access, data, and speed creates new opportunities for habit-forming technologies to hook users and everything becomes more addictive. Companies need to know how to harness the power of the desire engine to improve peoples’ lives, while consumers need to understand the mechanics of behavior engineering to protect themselves from manipulation. More and more developers realize that their success hinges on understanding user behavior. I’ve used patterns collected from my 4 years in the gaming and advertising business and my year of research as a consultant and lecturer at the Stanford GSB, to create a tool, which should greatly improve the odds of success for a startup. For more, please see my blog at: http://www.nirandfar.com.
“habit is when not doing something causes pain”
“habit forming companies create the itch and then deliver the remedy”