Interaction South America 2012
I had the opportunity of participating of one more edition of Interaction South America. This year the event took place in Sao Paulo and opened the month of November bringing names like Massimo Banzi ( co-founder of the Arduino project), Dan Saffer (author of books on design) and Don Norman (ok, if you don’t know who Norman is, probably you won’t care about my post too).
Last year I wrote an “overview” (content in Portuguese) of the most important and significant topics of the event. This year I have to talk about not only what they said in the talks, but also what I said and the most important: what they said about what I said!
They talked about People and Creativity
Both in the Talks as in the academic cases, we could notice a strong focus on people. The talks were centered in understanding the human being, human needs and how to engage humans. And not just as a piece of study, but as the main subject for the validation of proposals and evolution of projects.
We also have been presented to several cases and projects full of creativity, showing us what was done using many platforms, which reinvented old medias. These new platforms enable users to expose their creativity in much easier ways (e.g. projects from Multitouch Barcelona, Mural.ly platform and others). Brilliant ideas that enable people to manifest their brilliant ideas.
I talked about Comuna
This year, we submitted our post-graduation conclusion project – Comuna – (content in Portuguese) and it has been accepted as an academic case.
During the academic session we felt the audience’s interest in the research process and a good reception of the final idea (a system that would make it easy to send “affection messages” and “emergency alerts” with geolocation data using our proposed device.
But we didn’t have to be stuck in the academic session. Happy hours and breaks are a great time to present ideas… And we did:
During the Happy Hour of the second day, we presented the idea for Robson Santos, a respected name in Brazilian UX field.
After the great and enthusiastic feedback from Robson, our friends suggested: “What about showing it to Don Norman?”.
Although it would be a challenge since Norman attention was so disputed, we tried.
So, what was already a great event for me became a very special and unique experience. With a lot of respect and attention, Norman heard our explanation about the project and gave us a simple and valuable feedback.
They said “Evolve the safety function”
Norman noted that our “Affection function” wouldn’t make the user that receives the message “feel” the affection from the sender. The “affection message” can be sent with just one click and it is received as a sound+light sign. In fact the initial idea was to make it easy to send and receive real affection, but as Norman said, “It is just one click, I don’t feel a particular affection with just this”. Although, he also said that the emergency alert could be a good idea to keep and evolve.
Very accurate feedback. Indeed, most of the opinions we received about the project were regarding the safety function with geolocation. Everybody loved it and a lot of people envisioned even more functions for the device.
So, having all this information in mind, our idea is to conclude the Comuna Project and focus in the emergency alert solution as a new product.
I am very thankful for the feedback we received, this sharing makes all the difference in the final result.
Not just for this project, but for every new challenge we face, it is important to keep in mind that the final result will be greater and have more creativity when we put *people* in the magic potion. People is the special ingredient!
And nothing could be better to end up than with this wise and precious Norman’s phrase:
“Technologies change, but people stay the same”
I know I have the ability required to work with any kind of technology that emerges, but my daily challenge (and joy) is to discover the small tricks and special behavior of each new user. That’s why I thank God for the job He gave me to do. ; )