Takeaways from Human Computer Interaction Design Seminar
This afternoon, Manav, Mason and I attended a HCI seminar
by Professor Daniel Fallman, hosted by Columbia University's Computer Science department. It is interesting to know how similar the design approach is for science and education. Data is good, but is it almighty? What makes a good human computer interaction (HCI) design?
- Design thinking is the KEY
Adopting the-state-of-art computer technology, the creation process of HCI is very similar to EdLab's design thinking discussions. He introduced the process of design HCI system with keywords such as “client needs”, “empathy”, “user-centered”, “prototype”.
- Purpose-driven design
Hopefully the graph at the beginning of this blog that I duplicated would be self explanatory. Design for different purposes requires distinctive focus. He illustrated his ideas with a few cases: The ABB Eye-Catcher project was an example of client-oriented case, while the voice harvest and homeless sleeping bag were more of research and exploratory design. More of their innovative ideas including those mentioned above can be found here. To keep the good work, there will be many loops through all these three focuses.
- Qualitative research is enormously valuable for HCI, but surprisingly he doesn't even use quantitative measures to evaluate the HCI system afterwards.
He emphasized on understanding user/client opinion by interview and ethnography, which makes perfect sense to me. Data mining adds researcher an edge to summarize large amount of raw data into insights. However, when it comes to client expectation and user experience, the value of qualitative research is irreplaceable. The discussions with relevant stakeholders helps conceptualize and challenge the design ideas. Without denying the value of quantitative measures, he argued that the volatile statistics may not reveal the value of product. In my opinion, looking for an appropriate measure was part of the knowledge creation. It may not perfect but people can still build ideas on your work.
- One of his well-written papers I could relate to Vialogues' product strategy in the long term is Why Research-oriented Design Isn't Design-oriented Research.
After all, I summarize his HCI recipe as purpose-driven design with a strong concept and in-depth understanding of stakeholders' needs. Surely, the excellent execution power of ideas (or wise trade-off) is the bottom line.