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Interaction as a Material


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Interaction as a Material

  1. 1. Thirty spokes are united around the hub of a wheel, but the usefulness of the wheel depends on the space where nothing exists. I’m an interaction designer. I sometimes work on objects (demos and kiosks mostly) that are inside some of the spaces you design. So I don’t do what you do. But here’s my hunch: if you don’t do it now, you probably will do what I do in the future. And even if you don’t do what I do, designing like an interaction designer will probably yield some new results for you.
  2. 2. Materials We spend a lot of time thinking about all the materials we need to use to craft an experience for our clients and attendees. And the constraints we work under. When we think of materials, we think of the wood, fabric, plastic, foamcore, whathaveyou--all the physical components of the space. But those are only part of the story.
  3. 3. This is from CeBit back in March. Six years ago in the film Minority Report, which was set in some twenty odd years in the future, this was science fiction. Now it is part of the fabric of the reality we deal with--you deal with--all the time.
  4. 4. This is not your father’s design. No it’s not. We need new tools to create new experiences like that one. We need a new material.
  5. 5. Interaction as a Material Dan Saffer, Kicker Studio And that’s what this talk is about. How to use interaction as a material in your work--and really, how to think and design like an interaction designer.
  6. 6. What is interaction? Although technology is often involved, Interaction is not a technology Not necessarily about “interactives” either It is a way of designing Interaction (Design) starts with behavior you design from the inside-out In other words, how does your space respond when people are in it? Most spaces are dumb, silent, unknowing. They are the same at night when the lights are out and no one is there, as they are when they are swimming with life. Thinking about interaction is how we make our spaces more responsive.
  7. 7. quot;An honest job of design should flow from the inside out, not from the outside in.quot; Henry Dreyfuss, 1955 So before you think about the other materials, consider the behavior you want to engender with the space. Start there, not from the outside in!
  8. 8. We mold clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes the vessel useful. Mitchell Mauk said yesterday that an exhibit is a frame, a backdrop for differentiating the client’s product. What would happen if we put aside, just for a moment, the backdrop. What if iy couldn’t use physical structures or carpeting or furniture or fabrics or signs or printed material. Could you do it?
  9. 9. Program What we’re talking about is program. Not computer program, but the architectural sense of it: human movement and the building’s use.
  10. 10. “Moments that Matter” Time + Space + Emotion Halo moments influence others, but pick the right ones! “Seredipity, not staging” Not every moment matters via IDEO’s Smart Spaces group.
  11. 11. INTERACTION = Communication Mediated by Objects and, yes, Spaces People to People One-to-one One-to-many Many-to-Many People to machines One to one: people. People are often your greatest resource in the space. One to many: demonstrations. Many-to-many: how do you connect the clients with the attendees? And, here’s the kicker, how do you connect attendees to each other?
  12. 12. Zones of INTERACTION ATTRACTION OBSERVATION ENGAGEMENT Attraction is where most people stop. “How can we draw them into our space?” Piazza del Campo. Tower as attractor. Apartments as observation. The ground as engagement.
  13. 13. Zones of INTERACTION ATTRACTION OBSERVATION ENGAGEMENT Attraction is where most people stop. “How can we draw them into our space?” Piazza del Campo. Tower as attractor. Apartments as observation. The ground as engagement.
  14. 14. ATTRACTION AFFORDANCE Microsoft’s surface.
  15. 15. SOCIAL interaction Not just one-way Culture of Participation Creating “Social Objects” People like the swag but they’ll remember the interaction They’ll “take with them” the social object even if they don’t take it with them Interaction is never just one way. It is a back and forth between two entities. Trends: Citizen journalism, Web 2.0 social networks and blogs, grassroots politics. How do you connect attendees in a meaningful way?
  16. 16. Doesn’t have to be a high tech solution either...although it can be.
  17. 17. Doesn’t have to be a high tech solution either...although it can be.
  18. 18. Metaphor as a Way of Designing I’m a big fan of metaphor. I find for myself it’s very hard to design anything unless there is some kind of box or framework around it. And metaphor is one way to do that. Humans are wired for metaphor, especially for abstract things. Time=Money for instance. It’s how we can make physical the abstract.
  19. 19. Bill Verplank demonstrated how fruitful the right metaphor can be in design concepting and ideation. Cow as metaphor for the project. Like food passes through a cow’s multi-chambered stomach, the end users experienced a multi-phase workflow. Some of what the client ingested (data, or “grass”) was converted into profitable output (actionable findings, the “milk and cream”).
  20. 20. SPACE AS AN OBJECT So let’s try this, and you should try this yourself when it comes time to design your next space. Think of the space you have to design as an object. I’m a device guy and I sometimes do the opposite: imagine the object I have to design as space. But for now, imagine your next space as an object. What does it look it? How does it interact?
  21. 21. Snowglobe. I love this as a metaphor for activity within a contained space. It’s beautiful, transparent, alive.
  22. 22. I also love this as a metaphor. A small container with layers, possibly many layers. But also space. Space.
  23. 23. Doors and windows are cut to make a room. It is the empty spaces that we use. Now that our space is an object, what can someone do with it? How does it work?
  24. 24. Participation What can I do here? Not “What can you show me?” Levels of Interaction from the casual to the in-depth Think Vega$, Baby, Vega$! Vegas has a level of games from nickel slots to high stakes poker. Barrier to entry is very very low. Should your space be like a Las Vegas casino? Probably not.
  25. 25. Adaptive Spaces Spaces are no longer static (if they ever really were) What if the space changed depending on how it is being used, and by whom? What data are your attendees generating that you can use? (Without them filling out a survey) The secret sauce: Sensors
  26. 26. Types of Common Sensors Pressure Light Proximity Acoustic Tilt Motion Orientation Sensors connected to computers allow you to collect data that is otherwise invisible and lost. With sensors, the invisible can become visible and shared.
  27. 27. With sensors, you can completely change a space. Who are my Wii players? The Wii transforms rooms into an amazing variety of spaces, and the game itself creates a “playing field” around it.
  28. 28. PROXIMITY ACTIVATES Let’s start with the easiest level of entry. When someone enters the space, just a casual wanderer, what can they interact with? What sensors detect their presence, and how to they respond to it? Don’t be obnoxious with this.
  29. 29. Computers don’t only have to manipulate flat screen displays. Danny Rozin’s Wooden Mirror.
  30. 30. Phillips Lighting Glowing Places combines plastic seating with LED strips and pressure sensors tomeasure the presence of people over time. Both the number of people sitting and the length of time they stay create lighting effects in the furniture. Many people sitting for brief periods of time result in more active lighting, whereas one or two people sitting for a longer period trigger mellow lighting.
  31. 31. MOVEMENT ACTIVATES Once you add in movement, the space can respond in other ways, tracking and recording pathways through your space.
  32. 32. iO’s SensitiveWindow detects the positions and walking directions of passersby to trigger the appropriate content, such as a full-screen movie created to surprise someone walking left to right.
  33. 33. Fukuda’s Automatic Door adjusts to the shape of the user as she approaches the door.
  34. 34. Golan Levin’s quot;Double-Taker (Snout)quot; project.
  35. 35. GESTURE ACTIVATES The more engaged people get in the space, the more you can ask of them to interact. This is where touchscreens and more interactives come into play. You’ve attracted them in, they have observed others using it, and you’ve hopefully provided some sort of attraction affordance. Now people can really dig into what you have to offer.
  36. 36. Bathrooms have become the most interactive space in common use today. They are the interaction design labs of the future, now. What they show us is the amount of lightweight, easy interactions that can be done with simple gestures.
  37. 37. Of course, not restricted to bathrooms. You can turn on a Mthmos Airswitch light by merely waving your hand slowly over the light. Users can make the light dim or brighten by moving their hand upward or downward.
  38. 38. Larger touchscreens invite this clustering around. The U.S. Library of Congress has a set of touchscreen exhibits that allow visitors to peruse its historic documents, such as the Declaration of Independence.
  39. 39. WineM. At this level, you can also think about what people carry with them, namely their mobile phones. You don’t need a specialized device like in this video. You can make good use of people’s own devices.
  40. 40. And you can really get into it with having multiple people playing with an interactive display all at once. This is a music making device called loopArenaMTC music device by sliding musical “agents” with your fingertip.
  41. 41. The best designs are those that “dissolve into behavior.” Naoto Fukasawa Look for those instances when you can add meaning and depth to what people are already doing. Certainly don’t ruin someone’s experience with an intrusive interactive, but find the moments you can enhance through connection, through interaction.
  42. 42. To make use of what is here, you must make use of what is not. Tao Te Ching All these quotes have been from the Tao Te Ching. Use the space between your beautiful walls, among the gorgeous furniture, and under your beautiful lighting. It’s all there for you to use. You need to activate the space in between by using what it affords to create meaningful, memorable interactions.
  43. 43. Thank you. http://www.kickerstudio.com dan@kickerstudio.com Kicker Studio http://www.kickerstudio.com