Here are my collected thoughts on what I saw on the third and final day of Interaction 16. I had not been to an Interaction conference before this one and was not sure what to expect. Overall, the experience was pretty good. I found most of the talks to be insightful and I genuinely learned new things throughout the day. They did a good job of putting together the slate of speakers. It was refreshing to be at a professional conference and hear groundbreaking work happening in industry. I hope to attend another one in the future. So, without further ado, here's the rundown from Day Three:
Tricia Wang (@triciawang), an applied ethnographer who used to work for Nokia and now runs a human-centric data consultancy (Constellation Data), gave the morning keynote. She showed us why context is as important (if not more important) than content when designing. She also cautioned is that methods like big data and virtual reality, while they seem objective, are always editorialized by the designers who presents them. Unrelated to most of the talk, but interesting nonetheless, she taught us that chickens can be hypnotized by looking at a straight line:
Alper Çuğun (@alper), who used to co-run a gaming company called Hubbub, talked about conversational interfaces. I've been really interested in these lately so I found it very helpful. He showed an example of a conversational UI that they developed and gave a rundown of do's and dont's when designing for them. One interesting insight was that they found that kids will read a lot of text if they get it in SMS-sized chunks. He smartly called conversational UIs the "UI for AI" and cautioned that they are not perfect for every use case.
Josh Clark (@bigmediumjosh), author of Designing for Touch and Tapworthy, showed us how to consider magic when design UIs. He challenged us to make the technology recede in order to create "magical" experiences for people. He's a very engaging speaker; If you're at a conference where he is speaking, I recommend you attend.
The final keynote was by Cameron Sinclair (@casinclair) runs a group called Small Works who use design to improve the lives of refugees and the poor all over the world. Thy are doing some amazing things with very little. His most provocative statement was this: Designers are in the top creative and intellectual 1% of the world. If they are engaging in any form of charity that doesn't involve their design skill, they are wasting everyone's time. Here is a sketchnote from his talk: