Category Archives: Breakthrough Ideas

An Insightful Video about IxD Big Picture

I came across this great video commissioned by Bassett & Partners, talking about the future connecting world and how interaction design can contribute to it. Many mind-provoking throughts.

My take-aways from it are two points: (1) Embrace “natural” interactions – removing constrains and artificials; (2) Connections among things through sensors and cloud will lead to environment- and context-dependent future interactions. What is yours? Enjoy.

Connecting from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.


Connect the Digital World with the Physical World II: SixthSense by Pranav Mistry

I posted a blog sharing the idea of connecting digital world with physical world days ago. Today, I would like to extend that topic a bit, with this AMAZING talk, also from TED. Pranav Mistry, a PhD student from MIT Media Lab, demoed his invention called SixthSense with us. The behind idea is to seamlessly connected digital world with physical world, making the interaction more intuitive, and the way he fulfilled it is simple, clean, and yet brilliant.

I am sure you will say “wow” after watching this. Enjoy!

Connect the Digital World with the Physical World

How “human” can your mobile phone be? If you are thinking Siri as an example, check this TED talk out, it will surprise you.

This short video made me smile: I will definitely spend more time with my mobile phone if it is that sweet! The whole idea of improving hand held device nowadays is not only making them more reliable, faster, or smaller, but making them more user-friendly. So ultimately, how friendly can a device be? This TED talk pointed out a very good direction for us: bring digital experience more close to our physical experience. Just like you can now speak to Siri than just navigate through pushing some buttons, or you could flip over pages when you are reading books on iPad. Though the ideas in this talk are not so practical or necessary in some peoples’ eyes, I believe it is a right direction for UI designers to pursue: making the interactions with technology more intuitive.

However, another question we need to address at the same time is, to what degree should the digital world resembles the physical world in order to not be considered as “backwardness”? As we’ve adapted ourselves with the button “language” of digital world, even we’ve been enjoying the “high-class” sensation when we use the superb multi-touch screen, do we really want the feeling of the thickness of the books back?

I guess there is a lot of user research need to be done before any fancy new designs being carried out. Overall, making the technology more intuitive, more “human”, and more considerate in a clever way is definitely the future of digital tech design.

A Brilliant Way to Access the Historical Trend

I came across this interesting talk on TED today. Some Harvard and Google researchers used the data from Google Books to pull out 500 million words from 5 million books across the centuries, created an online interactive tool. Using this tool, you could take a glance of the trend of human culture history. They gave some really interesting examples with wise interpretations in this talk.

I love the idea of being able to grasp the trend of certain topic quickly. This inspiring me of making similar application using data from different area. For example, if data is pulled out from major social media, we probably could see Steven Jobs appeared with higher frequency among Oct. 5th, 2011, with a positive correlation of appearance of iPhone 4S. If data is pulled out from some major forum and blogs of interaction design, trends of using/referring of certain usability methods could be gained.