DECO3200 – Introduction

July 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

{ This is a student blog for the subject “Human Computer Experience Studio” at USYD (the University of Sydney), taught by Dr Oliver Brown, Semester 2 2011. }

Hi, I’m interested in User Interaction and Experience Design, with specific regards to handling mass data (through such areas as information visualisation and context awareness).
– Han

Today the class watched an interesting talk from the conference “Future Everything“, by speaker Bill Thompson (a technology writer for the Guardian newspaper in the UK).


Bill Thompson covered many areas, the beauty of information visualisation, ubiquitous computing, the growing “space between the real and the virtual”, visual cognition and our (needed) adaption to digital tools as designers of the future).

Thompson made several themed statements in his talk (which I have personally expanded upon):

“As technology becomes more sophisticated it disappears from view, and becomes an invisible part of the environment that we inhabit.”

This has been witnessed in such maturing technologies as gesture-based input and has been witnessed in the predicted evolutions of other technologies (especially those involving artificial intelligence). However, technologies (more predominantly computer-science rooted areas) such as object and voice recognition, and virtual assistants (such as Clippy and Siri) often neglect the user experience (and testing) and become more like obstructions.

“Hackers are returning to the physical world after a “brief sojourn in the digital world”.”
This is definitely true, with the growing accessibility to various sensors, the age of the “internet of things” has become predominant through makers and dabblers.

“We are now developing computing technology that serves your purposes instead of you having to figure out how to work the technology.”
This is also true, whereas computers were once seen to only be usable by younger intellectuals. Such inevitable advancements like the GUI, cheapening of computer chips (and embedding into more everyday objects (microwaves,clocks)), multitouch gestures, tangible interfaces etc. have striven to make technology more accessible to the average consumer.

“When writing was invented, major changes took place to our relationship with information: similar changes are taking place today. “

Writing changed how we Delivered information, through scrolls, letters and so forth. Similarly technology has changed our pace and methods of communication.
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