SXSWi 2012: Information overload, open bars and a mind-controlled skateboard

Exactly the brilliantly interesting shit-show I had been told it would be – a bit more rainy though.

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Notes from a few sessions survived…

Interfaces use 30 year old metaphor’s

This was interesting and something I need to look at a bit more. Buttons as UI elements are a hack. Necessary work-around 30 years ago. Touch interfaces should not abstract the interface but allow direct manipulation of objects.

  • Twitter on iPad uses a stack metaphor – no back button. You move the content slice by slice.
  • The information can be the interface.
  • But how do people discover them? Either use known patterns stored in muscle memory or give subtle visual cues.
  • Use occasional overlay to aid discovery (e.g. guided flow) but not as a learning guide. Then your UI has failed.
  • One step further: take the touch interaction to the desktop!
  • Why lists of file names and small thumbnails? Show pics with no white space.

Avoiding bullshit personas

Yes please…

  • Good personas inspire and guide innovation
  • No names, psychology, or broad habits
  • Stock photos and demographic info is for marketing segmentation
  • Focus on major distinctions across the personas
  • Random facts are not useful in any context
  • Look for surprises over trends

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