A few of us attended the Interaction14 conference in Amsterdam this February. The event was packed with tons of interesting people, and we had the opportunity to hear some thought-provoking talks and to attend workshops that got us inspired to approach projects in some new, interesting ways.
Luckily, many of the talks that were presented at Interaction14 are available in video form on the conference’s website. Since it could be tedious to go through all of these videos, we thought we’d share some of our favorites:
Stephanie Akkauoui Hughes shares how, as an architect, she doesn’t design for interactions but for the context of these interactions. This means designing a building or space with a focus on how people are actually living and moving through the space separately and together. By involving customers throughout the design process — while the design is incomplete, impermanent, and imperfect — we allow the context to emerge, and we can adapt our designs to facilitate interactions within that context.
As interaction and visual designers, we’re trained in the principles and theories that guide design. Irene Au’s talk encourages us to take that a step further and consider what facilitates focus, empathy and creativity. While we’ve always acknowledged these mindsets are essential, it’s her approach on unleashing these different perspectives is fresh and motivating. Irene has recommendations for different meditation and yoga practices that have proven to help bring out each of these qualities.
Designers often find themselves hemming and hawing over seemingly similar visual layout options. Should I make this font a little bigger, or a tad bolder? What about adding just a touch more padding around this button? Designer or not, you might wonder if all the thought that goes into these decisions really makes a difference. Through his demonstrations with food interactions, Bernard Lahousse helped us to see that, yes, these subtle changes can completely transform an experience.
When tackling new design challenges as a team, it’s important everyone understands the plan and is able to observe what is and is not working. In this video, Christina Wodtke shares tools and techniques, such as “OKRs” (Objectives, Key Results), that she uses to give teams direction and maintain accountability. She discusses valuable methods for keeping various team members up-to-date on task statuses, ensuring a more efficient process.
Video source: Interaction14