I aim to shape products, interfaces and services that mediate meaningful dialogues between people, systems and their environments within everyday life.

Posts tagged ‘reflection’


The Finish Line

After some intense weeks of late nights and hard work, the Stanford Human-Computer interaction course I took through Coursera has come to an end. This was a great way to motivate myself to work on my own personal project and after 5 weeks of immersing myself in the whole end-to-end design process, from user research and observations all the way to learning jQuery Mobile for my design implementation and conducting user evaluations. I came out developing a prototype for a mobile biking app designed to encourage and guide urban exploration. It’s still in a very rough stage at the moment and I’ve gleaned some valuable feedback from user evaluations that will require some big design changes. This has become a pet project that I intend to carry on after the course.

This course offering was an experimental launch for such a design course in an online format so there were some hiccups and a few things that could be improved on, but overall it was quite successful. I especially enjoyed the peer assessments for each assignment as it allowed you to see what ideas other students were working on and to receive constructive criticism and feedback for your own project. Professor Scott Klemmer was a great instructor and he plans to offer it again later on with improvements based on feedback and what they had learned from this first round. So, if you’re interested in HCI or UI design or even if you’re familiar with the concepts already, it’s worthwhile to try this course out.


UX Book Club: Thoughtful Interaction Design

This month’s Toronto edition of the UX Book Club focused on Thoughtful Interaction by Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, who take an academic and theoretical approach to discussing the field and practice of interaction design. Most of us at the meeting found the writing to be a bit dry and that it jumped from one thought to the next without diving deeper to expand into details of the topic.

We had the pleasure of having one of the authors Erik Stolterman join us via video conference for an engaging Q&A and discussion session. The discussion covered topics such as: how thoughtfulness and reflective thinking makes one a better design practitioner, reflection in action versus reflection on action (the words of David Schön), explaining a rational design process to a junior designer is not what you actually DO, good design versus efficient design, and the importance of making a good case for the design process.

Related to the field of interaction design specifically, Stolterman brought up these interesting comments and ideas for further thinking and reflection:

  • interaction design does not have a long tradition as other design fields such as architecture or industrial design so it ends up borrowing a lot of theory, language, and  studio/critique techniques from other design areas, yet because interaction design is more future thinking and is constantly changing, is has become more open/collaborative, theoretical, and intellectual-based than its other design counterparts
  • future work will shift from software to the physical world of products and spaces – what kind of material will we be working with in 10 years?
  • ethical considerations come into play in how will we influence public and society as a whole; in designing the future world and its behaviours, norms and activities we must consider a social- and cultural-specific context
  • “deception of the small steps” refers to continually adding more interactivity slowly into our daily lives. So where will these small steps eventually take us? And what are “natural” and acceptable changes?