DUX 2003 — One man’s experience, Day 2.

If you haven’t seen my thoughts on DUX 2003, day 1, you might want to read them first.

Here’s my breakdown of day 2:

I returned to the Palace the next morning hoping to meet some experiencedesign list members for breakfast. Alas, I arrived late (and later found out that no one showed up anyway) so I sat down for a breakfast of Irish Oatmeal and orange juice. The oatmeal was awesome!

Mark Hurst moderated the first session, which was a nice review of several design projects. I found Tim Brooke‘s presentation the most interesting, probably because Selena, who just finished her thesis on the wine (distribution) industry, had mentioned the project to me last year, so actually seeing it was cool.

It got me thinking about the sort of projects we tend to do in the IT department at Stanford. It would be nice to do more projects that help the staff of the University understand more about the state of the campus. The connection here being that Tim’s project helps vineyard managers understand the state of the vineyard. I can see a similar system for tracking, say the locations of activity, temperature, electricity usage, etc., as being very useful for planning the future infrastructure needs of the University.

The presentation list for “Session 1: DUX in Practice” follows:

  • Jesper Kjeldskov & Jan Stage, Designing the Handheld Maritime Communicator
  • Ellen M. Ayoob, Richard Grace, & Aaron Steinfeld, A User-Centered Drousy Driver Detection and Warning System
  • Eric Paulos, Connexus: A Communal Interface
  • Tim Brooke & Jenna Burrell, From Ethnography to Design in a Vineyard
  • Tom Brinck, Seunghee S. Ha, Nick Pritula, Kara Lock, Alfred Speredelozzi, & Mike Monan, Making an iMpact: Redesigning a Business School Web Site Around Performance Metrics

(I’ll link these to their respective papers as soon as they’re online.)

The next session, moderated by Hugh Dubberly, focused on research and collaboration techniques.

It was during this session that I began to loathe the conference format. Basically, each session had a number of presenters, each giving an 8-10 minute talk on their work, which was discussed further in their paper. I think it was Erin Malone who said to me, “I don’t go to a conference to get homework.” I completely agree. To be fair to the conference committee, I can understand why there were so many presenters. At least for the AIGA, one of the big reasons for participating in the conference was to build their library of case studies. They certainly achieved that goal, but at the expense of the conference experience.

My hope for future DUX conferences is that I’ll walk away from each session with a new, deep set of knowledge about a particular project or issue facing our community. In summary, I thought the sessions were weak, but the plenariers and the receptions were great!

Ok, I’m off track again. Back to my day 2 experience:

I found Jesper Kjeldskov‘s presentation most interesting, probably because I have a thing for public transportation. I also enjoyed Daniel Makoski’s presentation, though I think the idea of Purchase Modeling and Loyalty Programs is sleazy.

Bob Baxley‘s talk was pretty intriguing. I was especially interested in his model (I also have a thing for models), which was the subject of his talk. Afterwards, Maggie, Chad and Emma began deconstructing the model. I couldn’t really hear what they were saying, but when I thought about it, it does seem a bit flawed, if only in minor ways. For example, the arrow showing the order on which aspects of the interface get worked, seems to continue on forever, suggesting that the interface is never done. Also, areas that label the phases of the interface development get larger and larger, starting with structure, behavior and then presentation. I might argue the exact opposite—that more work goes into the structure and the behavior than the presentation. Maybe he discusses this in the paper, though if the presentation had been longer, I wouldn’t have to read it to find out. 😉

The presentations for “Session 2: Informing DUX” follow:

  • Daniel Makoski, Vacations or Groceries?– Purchase Modeling and Loyalty Programs
  • Anu Kankainen, UCPCD: User-Centered Product Concept Design
  • Brian Herzfeldt & Marc Rettig, Interaction Design Case: VasSol CANVAS
  • John Pruitt & Jonathan Grudin, Personas: Practice and Theory
  • Bob Baxley, Universal Model of a User Interface
  • Jesper Kjeldskov, Steve Howard, John Murphy, Jennie Carroll, Frank Vetere, & Connor Graham, Designing TramMate A Context Aware Mobile System Supporting Use of Public Transportation
  • Bob Zeni, Improving the Effectiveness of Election Workers in the Polling Place

Lauralee Alben moderated the third session which was host to the hands-down most entertaining presentation of the conference, by Aaron Oppenheimer and Heather Reavey.

I spoke with Heather at the end-of-conference and tried to dispel her concerns that her presentation offered too low a ratio of education to entertainment. I actually really liked the products (blenders) that resulted from their work. It was a great example of common sense design. What do I mean by common—sense design? Well, in my mind, the pinnacle of design achievement is coming up with the solution that, as soon as someone sees it, they think, “that makes so much sense!” That’s common—sense design.

Side note: Dena Fletcher and Annette Brookman’s presentation at last year’s CHI2002 / AIGA Experience Design FORUM was another great example of common—sense design.

I was also really happy to see Jane Wood’s presentation on the development of mobile applications to support the education of patients with breast cancer, since the Emotional Coding Lab, where I volunteer, is starting to code transcripts of breast cancer support group (online) chat sessions.

After a break, the final session of the day kicked off. Nico Macdonald moderated a panel that I thought was a complete bust. I found it impossible to pay attention to the first half of the thing because of all of the technical problems they were having getting the wireless net to work, so the people in the audience could participate using Hydra. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had brought my laptop?

The reception for the evening was held at the Cartoon Art Museum, which was awesome—especially the hate mail exhibit.

After the reception, I headed back to Treasure Island. I had to bail for my friend Heather’s birthday. Her band, Inspect Her Gadget was playing at The Stork Club, in Oakland. The show was good, the bar tender was strange and the barbies were plentiful.

…and that, my friends, was DUX 2003, day 2.

DUX 2003 — One man’s experience, Day 1.

I stayed at Treasure Island the night of the fourth. Waking at around 6:00, I showered and hopped on the 108 bus to the city at around 7:15. The 108 was packed, as it usually is—or so I’m told—and the local flavor was out in force. A man with headphones hooted at the women as they got on the bus. “Pretty lady going to work at school again!” Apparently, in addition to being rude, the headphoned man was a stalker. I prepared my evil eye, but the man was in the front of the bus and I in the back, so that day, he got away with the impropriety.

A few minutes later I disboarded the bus, into the Transbay Terminal, just a few blocks from the Palace Hotel. Arriving at the Palace, I sat down for breakfast.

There’s nothing like starting the morning with a well done Bloody Mary and believe me when I tell you that the Garden Court Restaurant in the Palace does them right.

Continue reading “DUX 2003 — One man’s experience, Day 1.”

Getting my DUX in a row

Only a few days until DUX 2003 and I’m excited!

Here’s my DUX schedule. Let’s meet up!

Thursday
9—12: Business and designing for user experiences, with Professor Sarah L. Beckman, Haas Business School
12—2: Lunch, no specific plans, yet.
2—4: Studio Tours. I’ve been to most of the places on the list, except Adaptive Path and the BiD lab, so that’s probably where I’ll go.
6—8: Opening Plenary and Reception

Friday
7:45—9: experiencedesign list breakfast, Palace Hotel (meet in the lobby).
9—11: Session 1: DUX in Practice I
11—Lunch: Session 2: Informing DUX
Lunch: ???
1:30—3:30: Session 3: Focusing on User-to-Product Relationships
3:30—5:30: Session 4: The Scope of UX
5:30—7:30: SIGGRAPH Conference Event

Saturday
7:45—9: AIfIA breakfast, Palace Hotel lobby.
9—11: Session 1: DUX in Practice II
11—Lunch: Session 2: Dealing with Constraints
Lunch: ???
1:30—3:30: Session 3: Organizational/Business Issues
3:30—5: Closing Plenary
5—7: Reception at Academy of Art College