Spark Talks

February 7, 2017 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM

Spark talks kindle new perspective on our work. These three talks offer big ideas in a small package: eight minutes on a concentrated topic that will change your thinking.

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W. 18th Street, New York, NY 10011

Seamful Gestures
Jiaojiao Xu, Interaction Design Intern, TEAGUE

We’ve been creating in air gesture inputs that mimic the inputs with a surface, such as clicking on a touchpad, or pointing by a mouse, but forget about there is no natural surface in air. The lack of seamful physical affordance challenges the fundamental interaction models we are familiar with when having a piece of hardware in hand.

How can we make gesture inputs in air seamful and intuitive? What are the principles we can think about when exploring gesture inputs in air? In this session I would like to introduce my approach of seamful gestures.

Mayo Nissen
Pace Layering of Interconnected Layers
Mayo Nissen, Associate Creative Director, Frog

I want to reconsider the idea of pace layering and shearing layers - a concept developed by Frank Duffy and Stewart Brand in the late 20th Century - for the context of interaction designers practicing in 2017. The core idea of pace layering is that any building consists of several layers, which evolve at different rates of change – from the site, which changes at a geological pace, to the space plan (years) and stuff (days, weeks, months).

How does this idea, so grounded in the design of the built environment, function as a lens for seeing and a frame for more effective action when we are working in a world where "digital" is woven into the very fabric of our lives, and we apply our craft to networked services, data-rich systems, products bursting at the seams with sensors, and humans with ever-evolving needs, desires, and expectations? A world where the “layers” are increasingly interwoven, interrelated, and interdependent. As we strive to design the latest interactions, products, and services, how do we best think about the tension between the pace of change exhibited by the different scales and contexts we touch and work within?

Sarah Mitchell
Connected Hardware Eats Unicorns for Breakfast - Why Your UX Skillz May Not Be As Important As You Think
Sarah Gallivan Mitchell, Product Owner, Faraday Future

The new frontier of connected hardware is here! So let's grab those UX toolkits and get designing, right? Well, much of what you learned working on web and mobile just isn't so important here. Even if you're a unicorn.

Topics include

  • The “hard” in hardware - Iteration just got harder
  • Quality, trust, and the junk drawer - Micro interactions can't save you
  • Balancing products between the every man and the explorers - Kickstarter vs reality

While a solid user-centered design practice is of course always an asset, the connected hardware space is full of new contexts, considerations, and caveats. This talk will share stories and lessons to help every designer navigate it better from the start.