Thanks to new computing technologies we currently see an increase in the number of applications beyond the desktop or mobile screen and a transition of information design into the physical space. With the ubiquity of new sensors we can now record data that was previously invisible, and – using new display technologies such as wearable projectors and urban screens – create in-situ visualisations that provide us with insightful information about ourselves or our environment. While these developments present exciting opportunities to digitally redesign the built environment, they result in new challenges for the future of UX as a practice.
The talk will discuss some of these challenges in the context of a case study, where we designed and evaluated a public display embedded into the house facade showing the household‚ energy usage. The visual design of the display was developed through several iterations, using game mechanics and information visualisation techniques. To overcome the complexity and costs associated with evaluating large displays in the wild, we introduced chalkboards as a new prototyping material. The chalkboard displays were installed on five houses in a Sydney neighbourhood and updated daily for a period of seven weeks.
In the talk I will discuss the usefulness of this new technique regarding design feedback and participant engagement as well as other lessons learned from the study. I will further give an overview of other projects from the emerging area of urban computing and media architecture that weave digital information into physical space.
The talk will provide insights into:
Emerging scientific areas that might soon hit the mass market
Low-fidelity prototyping and evaluation techniques for an urban context with the potential to inspire current UX practice
Challenges that we might face as UX practitioners in the not-to-far future.
Slides - http://www.slideshare.net/martintomitsch/weaving-digital-information-into-physical-space