Just received an email from Thomas that the next Reboot is here. Release 9.0 is themed human? and promises to be another inspiring event. They have a new website up (running on the Dutch anyMeta) where I just added my profile. If you consider yourself a practical visionary and love the internet — make sure you’re there!
Gah! This is the first time Flickr introduces a feature I don’t like. Collections that can be nested up to 5 levels deep… An IxD’s nightmare — haven’t they ever heard of file piles being superior to hierarchies?
Er is volgens mij geen verband tussen de opkomst van web 2.0 en UX, het lagen van usability, UCD en UX vind ik onlogisch, UX is niet hetzelfde als XD, Morville’s honingraat wordt verkeerd uitgelegd en UX moet wél het doel zijn van ieder project!
Alexandra remains aggravated by RCA’s move to rename its IxD course to Design Interactions. I prefer having a narrow, exact definition of IxD (to prevent the IA effect) but at the same time want to be able to branch out into a wide range of areas.
O’Reilly discusses a new semantic web initiative, this one crossing wiki principles with a relational database. It’s a cool tech demo but the question remains if people are willing to invest time in keeping it up to date.
Over hoe Randstad energie steekt in een uitzendbureau in 2nd Life. Voorbeeld van hoe het ook kan: als bedrijf daadwerkelijk de interactie met de virtuele wereld opzoeken en waarde toevoegen in de wereld.
Another look at Freebase, Ziade has it right when he says: “the crux of it, […] is usability. For something to take off, it must provide some sort of immediate, conceivable value to the masses upon touching it.”
A movie of Sony’s new virtual world for PS3 players. Echoes of Second Life here; the demo leaves me wondering what the added value is of a virtual world that mimics the real one so accurately it becomes boring… Via Jacco.
There’s been a few posts from the UX community in the recent past on flow states (most notably at 37signals’s Signal vs. Noise). This got me thinking about my own experiences of flow and what this tells me about how flow states could be induced with interfaces.
A common example of flow states is when playing a game (the player forgets she is pushing buttons on a game pad and is only mindful of the action at hand). I’ve experienced flow while painting but also when doing work on a PC (even when creating wireframes in Visio!) However, the most interesting flow experiences were while practising martial arts.
The interesting bit is that the flow happens when performing techniques in partner exercises or even fighting matches. These are all situations where the ‘system’ consists of two people, not one person and a medium mediated by an interface (if you’re willing to call a paint brush an interface that is).
To reach a state of flow in martial arts you need to stop thinking about performing the technique while performing it, but in stead be mindful of the effect on your partner and try to visualize your own movements accordingly. When flow happens, I’m actually able to ‘see’ a technique as one single image before starting it and while performing it I’m only aware of the whole system, not just myself.
Now here’s the beef. When you try to translate this to interface design, it’s clear that there’s no easy way to induce flow. The obvious approach, to create a ‘disappearing’ interface that is unobtrusive, minimal, etc. is not enough (it could even be harmful). In stead I’d like to suggest you need to make your game, software or site behave more like a martial arts fighter. It needs to push or give way according to the actions of it’s partner. You really need to approach the whole thing as an interconnected system where forces flow back and forth. Flow will happen in the user when he or she can work in a harmonious way. Usually this requires a huge amount of mental model adaptation on the user’s part… When will we create appliances that can infer the intentions of the user and change their stance accordingly? I’m not talking about AI here, but what I would like to see is stuff more along the lines of flOw.
This great piece by Jones almost reads like a manifesto (or at least, I’d like it to be). Lots of good stuff here on hackers, playgrounds/sandboxes, gaming, flow and urban environments. Lots of parallels to my own fascinations!
Porter warns against using IA as an approach to design because it focusses on information not activities. I agree design should focus on user goals, I don’t agree this is why IA is dying. I think that as an UX design activity it will remain valuable.
Elaborate description of the Generation C trend that involves Content, Creativity, Casual Collapse, Control, and Celebrity. Basically people massively creating arts and crafts using cheap and abundantly available tools.
Simon Oliver discusses a presentation by Brian Eno and Will Wright on generative content. Really should take a look at this (it’s not clear what the long now angle is on this talk, though.)
Classic short film demonstrating similarities between inner and outer space. Had to look this up for a post I’m writing on Spore because it inspired Will Wright to design that game. Google must’ve been looking at it when creating Google Earth!