Last year at the stellar Interaction 10 conference, I was having Scotch (or was it bourbon?) with the local leads of the Pacific Northwest chapters of the IxDA, and wondering how we could bring some of the flavor of some of that conference back to Seattle.
After 6 months of ongoing dialogue amongst the Seattle and Vancouver IxDA local committees, as well as communicating our vision with AIGA Seattle and Interact, I'm very excited to announce the following one-day mini-conference! It's our hope that this will be a yearly event that serves as a local prelude to the Interaction conferences and provides a place for local designers from various design and development disciplines—not just those who work in UX—to affordably gain hands-on skills in a fun workshop setting.
We've intentionally limited the number of attendees to 100 to ensure an intimate experience for everyone involved. I highly recommend registering now. Details are below.
Seattle Make-a-Thon 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Microsoft Building 43 Meeting Rooms,
Exploring how to craft interfaces that utilize gestural and touch interaction
The Make-a-Thon is a one-day event for working and student designers where we’ll explore the tools and methods that interaction designers use to create interfaces utilizing gestural and touch interaction. This event is open to all designers, including those who may not typically design for interaction but wish to broaden their conceptual toolkit.
Make-a-Thon attendees will be able to select and participate in three 2-hour workshops on a range of topics, such as:
• Arduino for Designers: An Introduction
• Gestural Ideation
• Conceptual Models in Interaction Design
• Prototyping Interaction with Video Scenarios
• Really Agile Design
• Understand It, Solve It, Sell It
• Interaction Design for Social/Mobile Innovation
Over the course of the day, participants will be able share what they learned in their workshops with a passionate group of designers and developers looking to push the boundaries of their craft.
Workshops will be led by designers from Cisco Systems; frog design; Hornall Anderson (HAX); LiFT Studios, Vancouver; Pulse Energy; Teague; T-Mobile Concept Center; and the University of Washington Division of Design, Interaction Design.
Registration cost: $80 before October 15; $120 until the event. Registration fee does not include hardware for Arduino workshops—see below for more details. Registration WILL include lunch and refreshments.
This event is sponsored by Microsoft Expression, FILTER, Teague, and Hornall Anderson.
"Arduino for Designers: An Introduction"
Led by Richard Puckett, frog design
This workshop is an introduction to the Arduino, one of the most popular hardware prototyping platforms available today. No need for prior electronics experience; we’ll walk you through all the basics, from the process of setting up your first Arduino program to sending hardware sensor data to an application on your computer. The course will be based around the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino (see link below), an inexpensive package that includes everything you’ll need to start prototyping. While we won’t have time to get hands on, you’ll receive information and content to take away that will help speed up your tinkering at home. We will step you through:
• A quick overview of Arduino hardware and some common sensors.
• Setting up your Arduino and getting it connected to your computer.
• Writing, installing, and running programs on the Arduino.
• How to use a breadboard to connect sensors for input.
• Reading sensor input and showing interaction via simple hardware.
• Overview of sending sensor data to an application on your computer.
Computers, hardware, and sensors are not provided; if you want to follow along, please bring your own setup. You can purchase the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino at www.sparkfun.com
Led by Prarthana Panchal, Microsoft, and Joyce Chou, T-Mobile Creation Center
Mobile device usage is rapidly evolving beyond touch interaction with a screen. With increasing amounts of information complexity, we won’t be able to rely on fixed input methods. The next big challenge in mobile user experiences is about designing for interactions that break out of the screen. Kinetic UI explores the intersection of the mobile GUI and physical input methods. This workshop will provide techniques for designing for kinetic experiences and will walk you through our process from exploration to final concepts. We will look at the possibilities when you leverage physical gestures to design UI, without the constraints of a small-device screen.
"Conceptual Models in Interaction Design: Designing Interactions Based on Experience, Expectations, and Explanations of Users"
Led by Axel Roesler, University of Washington
Don Norman introduced mental models to design audiences in his 1986 book The Design of Everyday Things. Based on our experience in interacting with the world, mental models are internalized explanations and expectations that guide our actions and interpretations as we interact with artifacts and people.
In human-computer interaction and cognitive science, conceptual models form the knowledge base of expert systems. They instruct automated processes and tell an interactive system what to do. Often considered as “smart” technology, instruction-based adaptive systems are part of virtually all computerized products today. Good design in such an interactive system is achieved when the system does what a user expects — when the designed system's conceptual model matches the user's mental model.
We will explore techniques to uncover the prospective users’ mental models of an envisioned design — and how to translate users' explanations into concrete design concepts that match users' expectations, yielding interactions that are useful, useable, and meaningful.
"Prototyping Interaction with Video Scenarios"
Led by David Sherwin, frog design, and Aaron Rincover, Cisco Systems
When exploring interactions that transcend singular devices and form the basis of device ecosystems, wireframes just don't cut it. Much of the interactions you're looking to define and refine are evoked through motion, sound, haptics, and other variables that can't be easily documented without "dancing about architecture." In these situations, it's often most effective to create video scenarios that describe how an interaction would happen out in the real world. And these scenarios are useful not only for explaining ideas to your clients—they're an effective way of prototyping interactions to see if they make sense and feel real.
Over the course of this workshop, we will explore the various flavors of video scenario that you can create, depending on the design problems you're seeking to solve. Then we'll spend the balance of our time working in small teams to create short interaction vignettes describing how a novel, future-looking application would behave across devices through a set of use cases. We recommend that attendees bring a computer for quick video editing and a mobile device/camera for creating videos on the spot.
"Really Agile Design"
Led by Brian Monzingo, Adam Kumpf, and Matt Wolfe, Teague
Sometimes you need to see an idea—and fast. Put away your sticky notes and whiteboards because real designers make. Through rapid design, simple prototyping, and guiltless forking, you will practice brainstorming by making. Designers will work side by side to model exemplary interaction ideas.
"Understand It, Solve It, Sell it"
Led by Chris Monberg and Zak Menkel, Hornall Anderson Experience Lab (HAX)
Rapid prototyping has become something of a buzzword in the world of interaction design. People write books about it, design tools for it, and rightfully so: we need to constantly be looking for shorter paths between idea and execution. Hornall Anderson will lead a process oriented workshop on how to approach, solve, and then present concepts. Too often we try to win approval by presenting the deliverable or the technology, when what we’re dealing with is a very human problem. Your client already knows their business. Would any person on the street be able to see the value in the solution you’re presenting?
"Interaction Design for Social + Mobile Innovation"
Led by Haig Armen, LiFT Studios, and Chris Stone, Pulse Energy
The evolution of mobile devices and affordable broadband connectivity give us, as designers, an incredible opportunity to design for real-time and even long-term behavioral change. Leveraging the platform as an advanced interconnected social ecosystem provides us with the direct contact that’s often needed to make a lasting impact.
This workshop will include an intense lineup of participatory design exercises that will touch on a series of methods for designing compelling user experiences. The focus will be on social responsibility with the intent to affect change at a behavioral level. You will work in teams to execute a design brief that aims at breaking people from a particular set of habits by providing alternatives that result in far-reaching, beneficial effects.