Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Design Engaged mini-presentation: Wabi-sabi, User Experience and Web2.0

I haven't spoken much yet about this year's edition of Design Engaged that I attended in Berlin in early november. I'll use this post to do that, as well as publish my mini-presentation about Wabi-sabi, User Experience and Web2.0 that I gave there.

I appreciate it immensely that I got invited to Design Engaged again this year, even though I don't consider myself the big-thinking, innovative designer that the conference seems to be full of.

This is also the reason why I volunteered to give a presentation during one of the breaks, instead of the main program. Unfortunately I was scheduled in the very first break, when every one wanted to meet & greet; I only spoke to one or two people about my presentation (subsequent break-presenters were given some time just before the break to announce their work).

However, I have no bad feelings. My presentation was half-baked (like that of many others present) and I wanted to see if others could strengthen my ideas around the topic. It also spoke of "Web2.0", which seemed to be a curse-word for many (I had to give Molly Steenson the argument-reversing "Hasselhoff" badge from our in-conference game Squabble, to make her talk in favour of the whole concept). And being there, with that bunch of smart thinkers, was reward enough!

What was the topic of my presentation? Well, I was inspired by a post by 37Signal's Matt Linderman, called Wabi-Sabi's simplicity. As he says's in the post:
It’s interesting to see how much this ancient Japanese philosphy relates to the world of interface design and programming.
When I looked into the ideas behind Wabi-sabi I couldn't but agree.

So I started mapping the ideas behind Wab-sabi to both a user-centered development cycle (research, design, evaluate) and the principles of designing for Web2.0. This lead to a diagram that I gave the title "Wabi-sabi as a user-experience design approach for Web2.0":

Diagram showing relation between Wabi-sabi and Web2.0
I am open to feedback on the mapping.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Here we go again: off to Berlin!

This is soo going to sound like I'm always going from one conference to the next, but after SIGCHI.NL's HCI Close to You, the first EURO IA summit in Brussels and this weeks's Adaptive Path workshop with associated Amsterdam IA Cocktail Hour, I am once again about to leave home: I am flying to Berlin to attend and enjoy Design Engaged 2005.

Three full days in the company of some of the smartest thinkers of the web will no doubt both be tiring and energizing. For me, this year there is even more to pay attention to than last year: the backchannel is now official (and not just for Apple users only) :-)

Last year, pictures of the conference were put on Flick within minutes. What will it be this year? GPS drawings are out, NFC RFID is one acronym too many, so just maybe it will be tea...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

When in Rome: Italian IA Summit!

As I'm typing this entry, I am also chatting with Emanuele Quintarelli who is almost single-handedly kicking off an Italian IA community, or so it seems.

He just uploaded the files for the website that promotes an event he and Luca Rosati are organizing, and I encourage interested IAs to have a look (although it helps if you speak some Italian; the site is currently in Italian only):

Italian IA Summit
The first Italian IA Summit

Even if you don't speak Italian, these lines must sound familiar: "Classificare, organizzare, strutturare informazioni on line con metodologie, tecniche e competenze specifiche" and "Promuovere la comprensione, la coscienza e la cultura dell'architettura dell'informazione in Italia".

This event will be held on February 24th, 2006 in Rome, Italy and I'm sure it will be as exciting as the first German IA day and maybe even the first European IA Summit we had earlier this year. Hmmm, it makes me wonder why we never had a (first) Dutch IA event...well, apart from the Amsterdam IA Cocktail Hours of course; they are a kind of mini-summits every other month :-)

Anyway: if you're interested in presenting in Rome in February, contact the organizers and let them know. I know I will!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Happy World Usability Day!

Today is World Usability Day.

In my view, this article on the BBC website, is the best introduction to usability I have read so far. I think I'll send it to my parents :-)