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The Things We Used to Touch

1a9b9f147b2f853187ed1d7b947dd8e9?s=47 Jordi Parra
November 15, 2011

The Things We Used to Touch

As we move towards digital services, we are slowly leaving behind physicality in our lives. We are becoming more dependent to computers and smartphones. Digital music, books and other publications are not consumed the way they used to be and this is bringing new challenges to us as designers.

Industrial design is embracing all these new opportunities, but are we really doing a good job in making our lives easier? This talk is a reflection about how everyday objects have changed over time and how we used to do the same tasks in the past.

Design by Fire, Utrecht 2011

1a9b9f147b2f853187ed1d7b947dd8e9?s=128

Jordi Parra

November 15, 2011
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  1. The things we used to touch JORDI PARRA — IDEO

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011
  2. hello! Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Hello everyone, it is a

    pleasure to be here. My name is Jordi Parra and I’m interaction designer at IDEO Chicago. So far, today we’ve had talks about data, service design, our process… but I want to talk about tangible interactions. For me, interaction design is about industrial design, products, its digital side, and how we use them.
  3. we are a young discipline, we all have di erent

    stories Tuesday, November 15, 2011 I’d like to take some time to talk about how did I end up doing what I do. We’re a very young discipline, in fact, there are not so many schools teaching interaction design programmes. Most of us are self-learners with different backgrounds and stories. In fact, five years ago I was designing machines like this. I studied mechanical engineering and not happy with that, quit my job and moved to Sweden to do more design…
  4. we are a young discipline, we all have di erent

    stories Tuesday, November 15, 2011 I’d like to take some time to talk about how did I end up doing what I do. We’re a very young discipline, in fact, there are not so many schools teaching interaction design programmes. Most of us are self-learners with different backgrounds and stories. In fact, five years ago I was designing machines like this. I studied mechanical engineering and not happy with that, quit my job and moved to Sweden to do more design…
  5. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Back in the days, I was

    lucky enough to have a geek uncle. When I was 11 he let me use his Amiga3000 and his old pc. I was born in the 80s and still remember how we used to spend a lot of time just browsing on Yahoo and Geocities… That was in the very early days of the web. pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calanan/3644077049/ http://www.w3c.es/Presentaciones/2011/0303-OpenWebPlatform-MA/#(9)
  6. 1994! Tuesday, November 15, 2011 At that time, people like

    this guy saw the opportunities coming ahead of us. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. His background was electrical engineering and computer science, and there he was, creating one of the first online services out there. People like him started shaping our discipline purely by intuition… picture: http://www.answers.com/topic/jeff-bezos-large-image
  7. 1993 Mosaic 1994 Amazon GeoCities 1995 Netscape eBay Yahoo 1996

    … Tuesday, November 15, 2011 … and of course, the web took off and it got the attention of designers, engineers, companies…
  8. new medium, new tools Tuesday, November 15, 2011 The web

    was made for/by computer science people, but at some point, it opened up to designers and artists too. Vector graphics and the possibility of smaller file sizes, 8-bit color, the cd recorders becoming more affordable… all these combined were the sparkle that got people with not so technical backgrounds to experiment and play with it too…
  9. Artists and designers Engineers Tuesday, November 15, 2011 At that

    time, the few people doing stuff for the web were the engineers and computer scientists that knew what they were doing and the artists and designers who wanted to experiment with it on Flash or Director.
  10. Artists and designers Engineers Product Design Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Industrial design, however, wasn’t part of the equation yet…
  11. a tv was just a tv, a phone was just

    a phone, a radio was just a radio… Tuesday, November 15, 2011 The products we used to use everyday didn’t join the party, yet. picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dasprogramm/6015301145/
  12. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 In 2008, the number of things

    connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on earth. Smartphones, computers, alarm systems, window controllers… the digital space got so much momentum that it is crossing the line of the physical world. Computers and phones aren’t the only devices that are connected anymore. source: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ cisco_50_billion_things_on_the_internet_by_2020.php
  13. things are getting a bit messy Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    And in a way, things are getting a bit messy. I think this scene explains part of it by itself… Scene from “He’s just not that into you” from http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=E7GgBlLxwH4
  14. Books Newspapers and magazines Music Pictures Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    I’m not gonna talk about social networks today, but in a way, it is quite similar. I want to talk about how online are taking over traditional media. Books, magazines and newspapers, music, pictures… all of them are losing physicality. But is it because of a need or is it because we are a technology driven society?
  15. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Matt Jones, designer at BERG Longon,

    called this the New Negroponte switch. Nicholas Negroponte predicted that services that used to be wireless would become wired and viceversa. Similarly, Matt Jones pointed out how hardware companies would feel the necessity to become service providers, and service companies would come up with products to extend their reach… Matt Jones talk: http://www.slideshare.net/schulzeandwebb/the-new-negroponte-switch
  16. context/space memory Tuesday, November 15, 2011 We are transforming products

    into services. If we step back a little bit, it is important to understand how we make choices, how we used to organize all that stuff that is becoming digital… In a bookshelf, we remember the arrangement, the size, the color of a book… the spatial context of the room itself helps us remember where is that book we placed somewhere. picture: http://samuelrich.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/bookshelf.jpg
  17. visual memory Tuesday, November 15, 2011 The same used to

    happen with mixtapes. With so many brands and colors, we didn’t even have to read the label to guess what was in each of them. Our visual memory is very powerful. But nowadays, most of our interactions are done on a text input field, a search box. But what happens when we don’t remember the exact work of what we are looking for? picture: http://revoltvideo.deviantart.com/art/Cassette-Desktop-70738041?offset=20
  18. NO CHUNKING 8 4 0 1 1 6 9 CHUNKING

    840 11 69 Stina Jonsson, http://psychomimicry.com Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Our short term memory can store around 7 items, but our brain does tricks like “chunking” in order to perform better. “We are already starting to treat the web as an extension of our memory and this tendency is likely to increase as we develop and define cloud computing” Stina Jonsson There are ways to help our minds work better on the digital space.
  19. NO CHUNKING 8 4 0 1 1 6 9 CHUNKING

    840 11 69 Stina Jonsson, http://psychomimicry.com Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Our short term memory can store around 7 items, but our brain does tricks like “chunking” in order to perform better. “We are already starting to treat the web as an extension of our memory and this tendency is likely to increase as we develop and define cloud computing” Stina Jonsson There are ways to help our minds work better on the digital space.
  20. “The Apartment”, 1960 Tuesday, November 15, 2011 We’re moving away

    from the model of different objects, different functions. If we look at this office in 1960, most of the objects have been absorbed by the computer. Calculator, typewriter, calendar, rollodex (which in a way is the most basic and easy to use database)…
  21. We’re in a transitional time: Book — Digital book —

    ? Tuesday, November 15, 2011 So, who’s deciding on our behalf? Going back to Jeff Bezos, he probably had a vision when he started Amazon, but is he really solving a need? Are we designing what people need or just what we’re capable of doing?
  22. What are the cornerstones of the experience we want to

    keep? Why would I buy a digital file if as soon as I pay for it it has lost its monetary value? What is going to happen with book signing events, second hand markets…? How do we borrow or share? Tuesday, November 15, 2011 The decisions companies like Amazon take really affect our life. These are some reflections that Simon King had while discussing about “The Future of the Book” Related links: http://www.asfarasicantell.com/2010/10/future-of-the-book/ and http:// vimeo.com/15142335
  23. People have developed sophisticated skills for sensing and manipulating their

    physical environments. However, most of these skills are not employed in interaction with the digital world today. Hiroshi Ishii “ ” Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Technology is now becoming accessible, the same way the web became easy to grasp to us… Hiroshi Ishii is one of the pioneers in tangible interfaces. His vision is that the fact that we take advantage of digital computing, doesn’t mean we have to move away from physicality. He often uses the metaphor of an iceberg, the water being the digital part, the top being the physical… I’m personally interested in exploring this area, because we’re better at managing objects we can touch. MIT Tangible Media Group The tangible user interface and its evolution http://www.organicui.org/?page_id=38
  24. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This is not something new. This

    is one of the first TUIs, the Marble answering machine by Durrell Bishop (1992): http://design.cca.edu/graduate/uploads/pdf/marbleanswers.pdf
  25. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 The Reactable, an electronic musical instrument

    with a tabletop Tangible User Interface that has been developed within the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  26. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This radio prototype by Teague is

    another example of how magical can be interacting with a radio. Why do we need a screen? Teague radio: http://vimeo.com/11368501
  27. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This is the Spotify Box, a

    prototype of a standalone device to use Spotify without the need of a smartphone or a computer. The idea is to bring the physicality back to digital music without having to deal with screens, in a more analog way. More information about the project at: http://blog.zenona.com and http://vimeo.com/ 21387481
  28. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This is the Spotify Box, a

    prototype of a standalone device to use Spotify without the need of a smartphone or a computer. The idea is to bring the physicality back to digital music without having to deal with screens, in a more analog way. More information about the project at: http://blog.zenona.com and http://vimeo.com/ 21387481
  29. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This is the Spotify Box, a

    prototype of a standalone device to use Spotify without the need of a smartphone or a computer. The idea is to bring the physicality back to digital music without having to deal with screens, in a more analog way. More information about the project at: http://blog.zenona.com and http://vimeo.com/ 21387481
  30. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 This is the c60 Redux, a

    similar project from IDEO to create playlists in a tangible way by placing albums on the top surface of the device.
  31. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Sifteo cubes are 1.5-inch blocks with

    full-color displays that sense their motion, sense each other, and wirelessly connect to your computer. Sifteo opens up completely different ways of interaction. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF0NOtctaME
  32. Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Some of the previous projects are

    not mainstream products, not yet, but with the arrival of NFC to our devices, there will be room for more physical interactions: These bluetooth speaker by Nokia can be paired by touch.
  33. Let’s build stu Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Now that we

    are getting used to apps for everything, we find the magic again in the small tasks we used to do outside of our screens. And that doesn’t mean we have to go backwards, but the starting point doesn’t always have to be a display. The same way the web was divided at the beginning, when engineers and designers were completely apart, it is now time for us to work together: service designers, product designers… We should be even more multidisciplinary, because the way we interact with the stuff we design doesn’t only stay in our laptops or phones, it becomes part of our physical and digital lives. So… we’ve got the tools, now it’s only about doing more stuff together. Thank you!
  34. Thank you! @zenona — hello@zenona.com — http://zenona.com Tuesday, November 15,

    2011