The interface just left the desktop
given at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica
de Lisboa, Portugal. 26th September 2003.
For nearly fifteen years the focus of user interface design has been on desktop
interaction in offices and other 'work' environments. However, over the last
few years this has changed. The combination of the web and falling costs of
computers have meant that home markets and non-work uses are becoming the driving
applications. Mobile access and ubiquitous computing are also taking computers
away from desktops and into the everyday environment. Some of these changes
are merely about who and where systems are being used, but do not affect the
fundamentals of good interface design. However, there are more radical issues
that challenge our assumptions more deeply. This talk will focus on two such
Incidental interaction - The use of physical sensors in the environment (such as lights switched on by ultrasound sensors), means that users do always need to explicitly act in order to have effects on the digital world. We will see how the many of the forms of low attention / low intention interaction envisaged in the ubicomp arena challenge the fundamental assumptions of current interface design and theory.
Deconstructing experience - On the web users can constantly decide whether
to continue using one site or service or to choose another. Unless the web service
gives an experience that the user is happy with then they will vote with their
feet (or at least their mice). More widely user experience has become a buzz-word
for the new and more exacting expectations users have of their interfaces. I
will talk about ways in which experiences can be transferred between media using
the design of virtual Christmas crackers as an example.
Alan Dix 21/10/2003