ixd14 london redux

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Ten minute presentation that attempts to distill a handful of IxD14 talks down into 30 second snippets then questions what it means when people say design is part art and part science. Special thanks to the legends: Bernard Lahousse, Christina Wodtke, Klaus Krippendorff, Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes, Giles Colborne, Dan Rosenberg, Irene Au, Peter Bil’ak, Antonio de Pasquale, Jason Mesut and Dave Malouf.

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ixd14-redux-jakecausby-annotated.key

A R T v s S C I E N C EI X D 1 4 L O N D O N R E D U X

Jake Causby @jakecausby

T H E A N N O TAT E D V E R S I O N

R E P E T I T I O N O F T W O W O R D S The use of the words ART and SCIENCE were prolific at Interactions14, more so than any other design conference Ive been to. !Sometimes they were used independently of each other, and sometimes they were used together in an attempt to indicate some sort of balance. !Here are some examples

ART &

!

SCIENCE

B E R N A R D L A H O U S S E F O O D = I N T E R A C T I O NBernard spoke of the science behind flavours, and how different foods that contain the same or similar molecule, despite possibly having very different flavours, can be combined and work well because of their molecular similarities.

B E R N A R D L A H O U S S E F O O D = I N T E R A C T I O NEg: Almond, figs, pears, cherries and chocolate all have the benzaldehyde molecule, making them go well together.

B E R N A R D L A H O U S S E F O O D = I N T E R A C T I O NHe also spoke of the psychology of taste, and how our other senses affect taste. Touching something smooth and fluffy can actually make things taste sweeter. Seafood tastes better near the sea, where we can hear the waves and smell the sea breeze. Colours can give us pre-determined assumptions about what flavours a food will have, causing disturbance if they dont match. !Bernard also spoke about the art of gastronomy, and how the science helps support that art.

P H O T O : @ M J B R O A D B E N T

K L A U S K R I P P E N D O R F F L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O NKlaus gave us an insight into the science of trying to define and understand language. !He said the importance of language is the difference between thinking and acting. !Language itself is not the outcome of thought, the outcome is what comes about after the language occurs. !The responses to language is what creates reality.

K L A U S K R I P P E N D O R F F L A N G U A G I N G R E A L I T Y, D I A L O G U E A N D I N T E R A C T I O NHe was saying that we need to methodologically approach design, but we cannot treat it as a natural science discourse for various reasons. Klaus struggled to fit his talk into 40 minutes, I dont know why am I trying to fit it into 30 seconds!

P H O T O : I X D A

D A N R O S E N B E R G T H E D E - I N T E L L E C T U A L I Z A T I O N O F D E S I G NDan Rosenberg highlighted the fact that there is a great deal of design scientific knowledge that is being largely ignored by most designers. !He argues that its not consumer design versus enterprise design, but rather product design versus solutions design, where product design is incremental and something that can be released early and iterated on versus

D A N R O S E N B E R G T H E D E - I N T E L L E C T U A L I Z A T I O N O F D E S I G NSolutions design which is something that could be dangerous or life-threatening and really needs to be designed backwards from the end goal. !He argues (contentiously) that designers should be much more educated and even certified to practice that type of design.

C H R I S T I N A W O D T K E T H E E X E C U T I O N E R S TA L EChristina introduced the concept of OKRs, the process of defining desired Outcomes and measuring Key Results. !Outcomes are qualitative and the Key Results are quantitative and must be time-bound and measurable.

C H R I S T I N A W O D T K E T H E E X E C U T I O N E R S TA L EChristina makes note of the fact that setting up and maintaining OKRs requires a combination of art and science to pull off well.

S T E P H A N I E A K K A O U I H U G H E S H U M A N I N T E R A C T I O N S : P H Y S I C A L A N D V I R T U A LStephanie Akkaoui Hughes spoke of how her architecture firm fly in the face of a traditional architecture approach, focusing on creating spaces that foster interactions instead of trying to design the interactions themselves.

S T E P H A N I E A K K A O U I H U G H E S H U M A N I N T E R A C T I O N S : P H Y S I C A L A N D V I R T U A LI love her analogy of space being a living interface; something you can evolve after the space starts to be used. To design this context for interactions it has to be

INCOMPLETE

IMPERMANENT

IMPERFECT

G I L E S C O L B O R N E T H E L O S T A R T O F E F F I C I E N C Y I N I N T E R A C T I O N D E S I G NGiles Colborne gave us a refresher on GOMs theory: The scientific calculations of the average time it takes to complete individual elements of a user process flow.

G I L E S C O L B O R N E T H E L O S T A R T O F E F F I C I E N C Y I N I N T E R A C T I O N D E S I G NLots of tiny improvements in interaction time can make an incredible difference. !But sometimes it makes sense to actually increase the time if users expect it. !Eg: the Coinstar example where people actually trusted the machine more when it appeared to take longer to count the coins because they thought it was doing a more thorough job.

I R E N E A U B O D Y L A N G U A G E S O F I N T E R A C T I O N D E S I G NIrene Au highlighted the art of mindfulness, and how yoga and meditation can help achieve it. A major trait of great UX designers is undoubtably empathy. Mindfulness increases ones ability to be empathic. !She said true empathy goes beyond observation and synthesisation.

I R E N E A U B O D Y L A N G U A G E S O F I N T E R A C T I O N D E S I G NAt one point she had the whole room doing yoga. !She said other added benefits of mindfulness include the ability to be focussed, playful and be without fear when expressing thoughts and ideas.

P H O T O : I X D A

P E T E R B I L A K T Y P O G R A P H Y A T T H E I N T E R S E C T I O N O F D E S I G N , T E C H N O L O G I E S A N D L A N G U A G E S

Peter Bilak talked about the art and science of typography. !Designing a great typeface requires a deep understanding of language, technology and design

P E T E R B I L A K T Y P O G R A P H Y A T T H E I N T E R S E C T I O N O F D E S I G N , T E C H N O L O G I E S A N D L A N G U A G E S

But he notes the process is not complete until its been used, adapted and applied. !He created this cool app History Remixer that allows you to choose your own weights, accents, colours, etc, effectively creating thousands of possibilities. !I played with it for a couple of minutes to do this.

typotheque.com/fonts/history/remixer

P E T E R B I L A K T Y P O G R A P H Y A T T H E I N T E R S E C T I O N O F D E S I G N , T E C H N O L O G I E S A N D L A N G U A G E S

Heres a great example of typography on this poster designed by Frank Chimero.

A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E D E S I G N I N M O T I O N : T H E N E W F R O N T I E R O F I N T E R A C T I O NAntonio de Pasquale revealed the science behind Disneys 12 rules of animation.

A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E D E S I G N I N M O T I O N : T H E N E W F R O N T I E R O F I N T E R A C T I O NHe has devised a new motion taxonomy which divide different categories of UI transitions into 4 quadrants on 2 axis: passive and active on one scale and time and space on the other.

P H O T O : I X D A

A N T O N I O D E PA S Q U A L E D E S I G N I N M O T I O N : T H E N E W F R O N T I E R O F I N T E R A C T I O NHe then gives us examples of how you can map signature interactions onto this matrix and says we can use it to help devise our own signature interactions.

P H O T O : I X D A

J A S O N M E S U T B R I D G I N G T H E P H Y S I C A L - D I G I TA L D I V I D ESome guy called Jason Mesut spoke brilliantly about the divide between industrial and interaction design. !It had a lot of venn diagrams in it so I can only conclude that it must have been very scientific

P H O T O : I X D A

S O W H AT C A N W E TA K E F R O M T H I S ?

I S D E S I G N M O R E O F A N A RT, O R M O R E O F A S C I E N C E ?

L E T S R E F L E C T O N H O W W E O P E R AT E D AY T O D AY

How much gut feel do we use?

Is this based on experiences of successes and failures?

How much do we rely on data and research when making decisions?

Do we really understand our users behaviour or do we just think we do?

S C I E N C E

D E F I N E U N D E R S TA N D G A I N I N S I G H T S

A R T

I N S P I R AT I O N P O S S I B I L I T I E S O F

E X E C U T I O N

L E T S A S K T H E S E S A M E P E O P L E

?Maybe we look a bit more towards SCIENCE to

Maybe we look a bit more towards ART for

P H O T O S O U R C E : I X D A W E B S I T E

Like a painter if you know the chemistry and physics of making colors and mixing, rules of composition you have the potential of becoming a better painter, but it doesnt mean that you will make the best art.

B E R N A R D L A H O U S S E

P H O T O S O U R C E : I X D A W E B S I T E

There is no one size fits all Both are needed and the balance is often contextual to the problem you are trying solve. I also think there is a third dimension which is the craft of UX execution.

D A N R O S E N B E R G

P H O T O S O U R C E : I X D A W E B S I T E

For me, Science and Art are equivalent to Flow and Beauty. Flow and Function are the ones driving the creative process, but if the result is not beautiful, then it is not functional