User experience, design, architecture, the future and some other stuff
This is solar powered lampion (created by Damian O’Sullivan) makes me happy. You can leave this outside – than later that evening use it for your lighting needs. This light is comprised of an array of 36 standard size solar cells (held together by an open spaced frame), each of which is connected to an LED bulb, which is fed by one rechargeable better. That was a mouthful.
I’ve just designed my first pair of shoes – Hallock Air made by Nike. This is a little old-news, but Nike built this online ordering mechanism and product line called Nike ID (Individually Designed). If you’re so inclined, you can go to the site (http://www.nikeid.com) and design your own pair of shoes. You can even put your own “ID” on them (see the second photo).
I started a new job with Microsoft a few weeks ago – which I briefly mentioned in my Coachella post. My title, UX Designer, is a little difficult to explain. To help my friends and family understand what it is that I do, I thought I would post some descriptive information. User experience design (as a discipline) is described in the following summary written by Kirk Knemeyer and Eric Svoboda (see the citation below).
“User Experience”, often abbreviated “UX”, is the quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design.
Originally used in reference to human-computer interactions – and still largely associated with those disciplines – the term is now used to refer to any specific human-design interaction, ranging from a digital device, to a sales process, to an entire conference. Perhaps due to its organic development and lack of formalization, “User Experience” may be defined by, and the responsibility of, very different departments from organization to organization: in some organizations, it is owned by marketing; in others, it falls under information technology (IT). Then, from a solutions perspective, some organizations base their “User Experiences” around the research and academic-based approaches of human-computer interaction (HCI); others treat interface and/or product design as the source for “User Experience,” while still others let marketing or IT drive it.
An early example of the use of the word “User Experience” is E.C. Edwards and D.J. Kasik’s “User Experience With the CYBER Graphics Terminal”. Subsequently, there are numerous other examples of “User Experience” in use through the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, largely restricted to the human-computer interaction communities and particularly in the context of user-centered design (UCD).
“User Experience” was popularized by Don Norman’s self-selected title of User Experience Architect at Apple Computer, Inc. in 1993. Because of Norman ‘s status as a thought leader in the HCI community, this unconventional title raised awareness of the term. By the mid-1990s, many technology companies used the term to represent a commitment to and focus on higher quality human-computer interactions as a key product differentiator. As the dot.com technology boom reached its apex in 2000, a variety of books that included “User Experience” in the title – almost exclusively focused on elements of web design – were published.
During its growth in the 1990′s “User Experience” suffered from confusion due to the popularity of two other, similar terms, “User-Centered Design” (UCD) and “Experience Design.” Over time, UCD has been further clarified as a specific process and approach to product design, while Experience Design has largely shifted to describe a hybrid design discipline that focuses on environmental and multi-sensorial design, particularly in the context of digital displays and installations.
In recent years, “User Experience” has transcended simple interactions within computing environments and is used as a qualifier for various on- and offline experiences, ranging from person-to-person interactions, such as customer service, as well as analogue products such as the automobile. Many companies today have “User Experience” teams and departments, and the term has assumed a broader meaning. An industry association, the User Experience Network (UXnet), is dedicated to furthering this emergent discipline. User experience has thus evolved from HCI to broader issues of customer satisfaction and competitive differentiation, suggesting that it will remain a pertinent issue for design and business in the future.
Knemeyer, Dirk and Svoboda, Eric (2005). Interaction-Design.org Encyclopedia: User Experience – UX. Retrieved May 25, 2006 from Interaction-Design.org: http://interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/user_experience_or_ux.html
Since 1988 I’ve been an Erasure fan. I’ve collected just about every 12″, 7″, mini-cd, CD, DVD, VHS and digital download I could get my hands on. Last night Maureen and I went to the Show Box (a local venue) to see an acoustic only show by the two person band. This is interesting because Erasure (Vince Clarke specifically) is known for their work with electronic music. Vince was one of the founding members of Depeche Mode and Yazoo. Erasure, although less known by the greater public, has sold over 14 million albums. This is an impressive accomplishment for any artist in any genre.
Personally I tend to find an artist and follow them around – go to a lot of shows – and be completely taken by the music. For example, I’ve seen the Dave Matthews Band 61 times. This was my 10th Erasure show – and quite possibly one of the best. It was so interesting to see them with a large acoustic band backing them up.
I just came home from a week in La Quinta California. My good friends Ryan and Brian traveled with me to see the Coachella Music & Arts festival. Two days of music where surrounded by several days of video games, high-fat foods, Makers Mark and a whole lot of inactivity. The vacation had been planned for several months – which ultimately took place at a perfect time. Just before leaving for my trip, I was hired as a user experience designer (on contract) at Microsoft. My new job starts next Monday (the 8th of May). The gods were on my side for this one – allowing me to take the trip just before starting what will probably be one of the most intense jobs I’ve had to date.
Back to the show – the festival included some of the best names in music. Artists attending included: Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Madonna, Common, Kanye West, Seu Jorge, Pheonix, stellastarr*, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tosca, Lady Sovereign, Massive Attack, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more (see the full lineup). We didn’t get to see everything we wanted due to overlap and timing, but of the bands we did see, several were very good. Daft Punk, in particular, was one of my favorites. Not only did their robot costumes make me happy, but their stage – which was completely covered in lights – was one of the best I’d ever seen. I took some video with my digital still camera – I’ll try to post it soon.