Connecting: A short film that explores trends in UI, Interaction, & Experience Design — from connectingthefilm.com with thanks to siobhan-o-flynn for scooping this!

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ConnectingShortFilmApril2013

 

Description:

The 18 minute “Connecting” documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry’s thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming “Internet of things.” Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a “super organism” capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world. Available with Chinese, French, Spanish,German, Korean, Portuguese, and Japanese subtitles at on YouTube.

From DSC:
After briefly reviewing the Infographic: The intricate anatomy of UX design (from fastcodesign.com by Mark Wilson) which “attempts to tackle the relationship between UX and all other aspects of design,” two thoughts immediately came to my mind:

  1. To me, this is why intuition and a sense of keeping things simple (less is more) are so important.
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  2. It’s a miracle that things lined up so that someone like Steve Jobs not only had so many of these design-related skills, but also the business skills — and opportunities — to persuade others to bring those ideas to fruition. Had he not grown up where he did…and had he not been mentored by whom he was mentored…and had he not met those he met…I wonder…how many of his ideas would have ever come to fruition?
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Also see:

 

 

30 compelling examples of visual storytelling on the web — from dtelepathy.com by Jessica Moon

Excerpt:

Storytelling is a powerful approach that can, when done right, compel users to convert more effectively than what any amount of optimization, crazy visual callouts, or awesome interactive elements can do otherwise. Much like how we expect to see a moral at the end of a book, we expect to find a purpose at the end of a site with a storytelling experience. When the path to the “moral of the story” (or conversion point, to be more specific) is laid out clearly in front of our users’ eyes, the rest of the work lies simply in convincing them that the purpose is really worth grabbing on to… which is great since with storytelling, a user is normally in the mindset of learning more about what the story has to offer. So take a look at the examples below and experience how their visual storytelling compels you to continue scrolling down their pages!

From DSC:
I understand that Mr. George Lucas is going to express his generosity in donating the $4.05 billion from the sale of Lucasfilm to education.

Here’s a question/idea that I’d like to put forth to Mr. Lucas (or to the United States Department of Education, or to another interested/committed party):

Would you consider using the $4+ billion gift to build an “Online Learning Dream Team?”

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Daniel Christian -- The Online Learning Dream Team - as of November 2012

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 Original image credit (before purchased/edited by DSC)
yobro10 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

From DSC:
What do you think? What other “players” — technologies, vendors, skillsets, etc. — should be on this team?

  • Perhaps videography?
  • Online tutoring?
  • Student academic services?
  • Animation?
  • Digital photography?

 

Designing for context: The multiscreen ecosystem — from uxmag.com by Avi Itzkovitch

Excerpt:

To create applications and systems that are easy to use, it is crucial to understand the user and the context in which the app will be used. Understanding the context helps design systems that anticipate use cases at a relevant time of use. The more unobtrusive and transparent the experience is at the time of use, the better the design. This means the user does not have to think about the device he is using, changes in the environment, or changes in context, and can rely on great functionality and ease of use independent of his situation.

In traditional systems, the context of use did not change much. Whether the use was in the office or at a personal computer at home, the surroundings were similar and there was no need to adapt to different environments. In today’s world, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs provide different services in different contexts. These services are consumed by a variety of users and require different interaction models, use cases, and planning. For this reason, UX professionals should first design for the context of use in order to provide better experiences and ultimately enhance the intended purpose of the product.

Plasma First: Apple TV, SmartGlass and the New World of Multi-Screen Cloud Content – from forbes.com by Anthony Wing Kosner

Excerpt:

The future for web developers is big. 50 inch plasma screen big. After an intensive cycle of trying to figure out how to take desktop websites and make them look and work great on mobile devices (often by starting from scratch) the pendulum is swinging to the other end of the multi-screen spectrum—the family TV, the conference room monitor, the classroom SmartBoard.

Also see:

Beyond Siri - A report regarding the future of Virtual Assistants -- from VisionMobile -- June 2012

 

Contents

  • Virtual assistants: four generations in 20 years
  • The evolving VA technology landscape
  • The VA Competitive landscape
  • VA business models: Revenue share rather than paid app downloads
  • Leaders and challengers in the VA value chain
  • Beyond Siri: What’s in store in the VA market

Behind this report

  • Lead researcher: Marlène Sellebråten
  • Project lead: Michael Vakulenko
  • Marketing lead: Matos Kapetanakis
  • Editorial: Andreas Constantinou

 

From DSC:
Below are some items concerning the continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer — it involves the smart/connected TV as well as human-computer-interaction (HCI)-related items.  But this time, I’m focusing on a recent announcement from Microsoft. 

However, I have to disagree that, given this announcement, Microsoft will now rule the living room — or at least I surely hope not. Why do I say this? For several reasons.

1)  How long has Microsoft Office been around? Years and years, right?  If you think that Microsoft should control your living room, I ask you to show me how I can quickly and easily insert some audio-based feedback with one easy click of a record button within Microsoft Word.  Go ahead and check…such a quick and easy method is not there….still…and it’s almost 2012.  (BTW, here are some resources on this if you’re interested in seeing how this could be done, but you will quickly notice that this is not a streamlined process — and it should have been so years ago.)

2)  Performance/not doing what it’s supposed to do.  My Dell PC running Windows 7 still can’t even shut itself down half the time.  It just sits there with wheels-a-spinnin’ at some point…but not powering down.  I’m not sure why this is the case, but I never have had trouble with this simple task on my Macs.

3)  Regarding troubleshooting Microsoft’s solutions, an entire support industry has been built on supporting Microsoft’s software — go to a local bookstore and see how to get MS certified on some particular package/application/service — none of the books are thin.

4)  Security has never been Microsoft’s strong point.

Bottom line:
I think you get my point.
Microsoft has a loooooonnnnngggg way to go in my mind before I want their products and services controlling my living room.

With that said, I do congratulate Microsoft on being more innovative and forward thinking with the Xbox announcements mentioned below. I just hope that items such as usability, user experience, security, and streamlined interfaces  are high on the list of their priorities/deliverables.

Disclosure/note:
I do use PCs with Windows a significant amount of the time and they do a nice job with many items.  But if I were to assign grades to Microsoft, usability, performance, and security are not items that I would give A’s to Microsoft on.

 


Microsoft XBox

Upgrade: The Xbox 360 Slim game console.

Also:

From DSC: Expectations, today, are getting hard to beat

Since Apple’s event yesterday, I’ve heard some conversations on the radio and reviewed several blog postings and articles about Apple’s announcements…many with a sense of let down (and some with the usual critical viewpoints by the backseat drivers out there who have never tried to invent anything, but who sure like to find fault with everyone else’s inventions and innovations).

It made me reflect on how high our expectations are becoming these days!  It wasn’t enough that iCloud is coming on 10/12 (and who knows the directions that will take society in). It wasn’t enough to introduce some serious software-based innovations such as Siri (which bring some significant advancements in the world of artificial intelligence) or AirPlay for the iPhone.  It wasn’t enough to enter into the multi-billion dollar card industry with their new Cards app for the iPhone.  Wow…tough crowd.

What might these announcements — and expectations — mean for education? 
Well…I can see intelligent tutoring, intelligent agents, machine-to-machine communications, the continued growth of mobile learning, learning from the living room, the initiation of programs/events caused by changes in one’s location, continued convergence of the television/computer/telephone, continued use of videoconferencing on handheld devices, cloud-based textbooks/apps, and more.


 

Siri on the iPhone 4S -- October 4, 2011

 

 

 

9 Essential Resources for User Interface Designers — from Mashable.com by Kelli Shaver

Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO "effective immediately"

 

From DSC:
I want to post a thank you note to Mr. Steven P. Jobs, whom you most likely have heard has resigned as Apple’s CEO. Some articles are listed below, but I want to say thank you to Steve and to the employees of Apple who worked at Apple while he was CEO:

  • Thank you for working hard to enhance the world and to make positive impacts to our world!
  • Thank you for painstakingly pursuing perfection, usability, and excellence!
  • Thank you for getting back up on the horse again when you came out of a meeting with Steve, Tim and others and you just got reamed for an idea or implementation that wasn’t quite there yet.
  • Thanks go out to all of the families who were missing a dad or mom for long periods of time as they were still at work cranking out the next version of ____ or ____.
  • Thanks for modeling what a vocation looks like — i.e. pursuing your God-given gifts/calling/passions; and from my economics training for modeling that everyone wins when you do what you do best!

Thanks again all!

 

 

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