Toward Human-Centered Algorithmic Personalization

Toward Human-Centered Algorithmic Personalization

Jarno M. Koponen Personalization algorithms influence what you’ve chosen yesterday, what you choose today and what you’ll be choosing tomorrow […its] image of us is like looking yourself in the funfair’s house of mirrors […it] caricaturizes us and creates a striking gap between our real interests and their digital reflection. Because of the personalization gaps and internal paradox, personalization remains unfulfilling and incomplete. It leaves us with a feeling that it serves someone else’s interests better than our own.

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The Bit Planner: a wall mounted LEGO time planner

Designed by  Clara Gaggero and Adrian Westaway – former designers at Vitamins and founders of  Special Projects (a product design and invention studio based in London)  – and Duncan Fitzsimons,  The Bit Planner (2013) is a wall mounted time planner made entirely out of LEGO.

A companion software application was originally scheduled for 2014 but never released. According to the concept, users could have taken a photo of the planner to synchronise the events to an online calendar.

Find out more on the project page.


Role-playing Interactions and Micromoments

In this 3 years old article, Stephen P. Anderson (@stephenanderson)  focuses on the idea of interaction as conversation or micromoments.

He writes: “Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting.

These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It’s these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked.

In practice, it’s more common for designers to focus on UI elements, the information being asked for, or the content being published to the page. We often lose sight of the conversation—the “volley” if you will—between person and device. Consider the following example.”

Read more.

Stephen P. Anderson is the author of Seductive Interaction Design (2011)


Social signifiers – train station (empty track)

Don Norman: from affordance to social signifiers

Published in ACM Interactions, volume 15, issue 6 (and later in Living with Complexity), this article is an interesting take on affordance – one of the founding topic of HCI.

Moving from (ecological) psychology to (social and cognitive) semiotics, Don Norman reflects upon the idea of “social signifiers” – the trails, clues, or other people behaviours.

At the core of his proposal there is a new scenario where our interaction with systems is shaped by situations, experience, and people rather than simple objects.

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CUBE – a smart home device

Cube is an intuitive, tangible interface for smart homes. By touching, lifting, tilting and turning, Cube allows users to adjust technological appliances such as lighting, temperature and music using a single interface. Cube replaces the devices we employ daily to control our smart homes with one aesthetic, tactile device, thereby providing a bridge between our emotional, human needs and our digital surroundings.

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Field of Hope: Theme Installation of China Pavilion at Milan EXPO 2015

“The Field of Hope” is an immersive lighting installation of 2015 Milan EXPO China Pavilion. It is designed by Tsinghua University team led by new media artist Danqing Shi.

Consisted with 30,000 metal “straws”, this “field” covers the whole exhibition area and merges with the architecture. Each straw has an LED tip with a diffuser functioning as one 3-dimensional pixel. Viewing from above those pixels form a large motion images floating on top of a wheat field.

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Doug Engelbart: keyset, mice and men. Complexity in interaction design.

Doug Engelbart: keyset, mice and men. Complexity in interaction design.

In 1968, during what’s come to be called “the demo of all demos”, Doug Engelbart introduced – among others – a chorded keyboard – a five-button peripheral to be used as input device instead of keyboard.

In a recent episode of 99% invisible, Roman recalls the story of that invention conceived to shape the future of our experience with computers and than abandoned because the future was too complicated, not easy to be used and so not marketable.

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Punto Zero: light and sound live performance by otolab

Punto Zero by otolab is a lights and spatialised sounds’ performance that traces a circular sign in the area in which it is represented.  The performance aims at an immersive sensorial experience where the synchronized interaction of light and sound substitutes the environment surrounding the audience. The public stands within a circle composed by 24 lights facing inwards (indoor version) or outwards (outdoor version) and 8 sound sources.

The interaction between light and sound is clearly referable to the perceptive qualities of the sound (such as intensity, position and speed) and it develops from initial simple correlations to complex and structured ones, defining a proper sensorial grammar. Along this journey defined by the movement of sound and light the immediate surroundings dissolve into the architecture of light surrounding the audience, distorting and reshaping its perception of space.

The installation will be presented at Terraforma 2015 festival (Villa Arconati, Milano)

Find out more.

Using game mechanics for field evaluation of prototype social applications: a novel methodology

In this paper, Amon Rapp, Federica Cena, Cristina Gena, Alessandro Marcengo and Luca Console present “a novel methodology to evaluate a social media application in its formative phase of design. Taking advantage of the experiences developed in the Alternate Reality Games, we propose to insert game mechanics in the test setting of a formative evaluation of a prototypical social system. As a use case, we present the evaluation of WantEat, a prototypical social mobile application in the gastronomical domain. The evaluation highlighted how the gamification of a field trial can yield good results when evaluating social applications in prototypical status. From a methodological point of view, gamifying a field trial overcomes the cold start problem, caused by the absence of active communities, which can prevent the participation of users and therefore the collection of reliable data. Our experience showed that the gamification of a field evaluation is feasible and can likely increase the quantity of both browsing actions and social actions performed by users. Based on these results, we then are able to provide a set of guidelines to gamify the evaluation session of an interactive system”.

Download the research.

Sydney Opera House: Living Mural

“A global animation project by Universal Everything, collaborating with over 20 different animation studios worldwide to create a living mural on one of the world’s most iconic buildings.
Embracing emerging technologies, Universal Everything’s process always starts from drawing. The hand drawn techniques seen in this film are akin to the early pioneers of animation Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Walt Disney.
Using these timeless techniques mean this film could have been existed in 1920, albeit with a 21st century twist – bringing our influences of global pop culture, modernist graphics and physics simulations into a playful exploration of this iconic building.”

Found on FastCoDesign.