CS 5984
Design of Interactive Systems
Spring 2005
Class Announcements

Monday June 12 : DUX Deadline pushed back to July 1 DUX 2005 website Keep checking to see if it move again, but this is good news for those of you who did not have enough time to complete the submission previously.

Tuesday May 31: Real Soon Now Is Now.... DUX 2005 website now has teh upload kit, but the deadline is still June 15. Looking at the category choices for submissions, I would suggest either the long-format "design research" or the short format "sketch" since the other two categories are really more aimed at working systems.

Friday May 27: Real Soon Now.... About 25 years ago, technology writer Jerry Pournelle noted that marketing people wer promising releases of new hardware and software "real soon now". RSN came to stand for any vaporware. So it is in that vein that I note from DUX 05 chair, Richard Anderson, that there will inded be a DUX conference in San Francisco in the Fall. However, he all-but used that infamous phrase to say when the website with the formatting, uploading, and registration info will be on line....

My advice: think about doing user testing so that you can get a CHI paper out of your project.

Tuesday May 17: DUX Format. I have been assured by the DUX committee that the 2005 format and up-load site will be ready "real soon now". BTW: so far, I have only received Team Z's paper in electronic form.

Tuesday May 10: DUX Submission Dates. May 15 is the deadline for requesting mentoring. This would be a good idea for any team serious about their submission. June 15 is the paper subission deadline (I was confused by the mentoring deadline). However, many of you are leaving for other locations, thoughts, and climates very soon -- as am I -- so I want to get the re-writes done ASAP. As I say below, please send me a revised electronic (MS Word, preferred) at your earliest convenience.

Tuesday May 10: DUX Papers, Final Exams and Images. There has been a request to put the final papers on line for all to read. This is a great idea, so could the authors send me the electronic version ASAP, please? Thanks.

I have read most of the Final Exams and am impressed by the thoughtfulness shown in most of them. While I had to struggle with a couple of exams written by non-native English speakers -- I did not grade down for grammar or spelling errors, BTW -- I found many ideas and nuances to each team's design story that should be reflected in the DUX submission. I would encourage every team member to review contribute images and ideas totheir DUX submission.

And lastly, I want to replace the non CS 5984 image on our website index so I would like ONE really good image to represent each teams' project.

Friday May 6: DUX Submission Timing. All three projects are great and all will get a good grade for the reports. However, all of the reports need extensive revision in order to submit them to DUX. I will have marked-up the reports on Monday. Please turn in a revised electronic copy by Thursday so that I can make one pass through it and submit it.

Wednesday April 27 : VTURCS Fair . The undergraduate researchers in Computer Science will have a poster session in 1100 Torgersen from 5-7 on Thursday.

Tuesday April 19: Design Education Survey. Metropolis Magazine is conducting its annual survey on design education, focussing on research. Your input is solicited.

Sunday April 17: Sketch Problem 7 on line. I have augmented my arm-wave about doing a business plan with some on-line instructions. I can talk more about it on Modany and Wednesday, if necessary.

Sunday April 17: Digital Ground. Just a reminder to read Chapter 9 in Digital Ground. I'll handle the summary this time.

Saturday April 16: Thank you. I just wanted to thank Team Z for participating in the CyberArts show and to those of you who turned out to see it. It was all a great success. it was a good first pass at making the Team Z prototype work for real.

Sunday Apr 10: My Monday Schedule. We have a faculty candidate, Vivek Kwatra, speaking 10:00-11:00 in 655 McBryde. Therefore, my regular office housrs will start a bit later than usual -- 11:15.

More gear has arrived for the projects -- the printer and the camera. It would be great if someone could stop by and pick up their teams' stuff.

And I want to try to move quickly through the reading summaries today. Try to be very brief.

Monday Apr 4: Off to CHI. I will be in class today, but just a reminder that even though I am away the rest of the week, there will be class meetings and assignements to work on. Please refer to the website for instructions.

Monday Apr 4: Readings for Next Monday: (a) Prior to class, all will submit a ONE PAGE (about 4 paragraphs) summary and interpretation of their assigned chapter. The intepretation should be longer than the summary. Please submit the summary to the appropriate discussion thread in the class forum. [0.5 points

(b) Write one paragraph relating this chapter to an interpretation written in response to Section 2. (That is, part B or C from last week.) So please read the posted summaries again, focussing on the project interpretaions. Try to use ones interpreting YOUR PROJECT, if at all possible. If there is something you do not understand in an interpretation, please post a question about it; the idea is to get some dialog going on issues. Post this paragraph as a threaded response to this week's summary. [0.25 points x 3 = 0.75 points]

(c) In class, each student will briefly interpret their assigned chapter in terms of their team project. [0.25 points x 3 = 0.75 points]

Thursday March 31: Readings for Monday.
(a) Prior to class, all will submit a ONE PAGE (about 4 paragraphs) summary and interpretation of their assigned chapter. The intepretation should be longer than the summary. Please submit the summary to the appropriate discussion thread in the class forum. [0.5 points x 3 = 1.5 points]

(b) Write one paragraph relating this chapter to something in Section 1. So please read the posted summaries. If there is something you do not understand in a summary, please post a question about it; the idea is to get some dialog going on issues. Post this paragraph as a threaded response to this week's summary. [0.25 points x 3 = 0.75 points]

(c) In class, each student will briefly interpret their assigned chapter in terms of their team project. [0.25 points x 3 = 0.75 points]

Monday March 28: Today's Readings (1): Interpretation of Project. A number of you have submitted chapter summaries but ommited the required interpretation of you project in light of the chapter. Please go back and include it.

Monday March 28: Today's Readings (2): Read the Summaries. If you have the opportunity, please read the summaries others have written in order to get a sense of the "big picture" of this section.

Wednesday March 23: Readings for Monday. In class today, I handed out copies of chapters from section one of the Idea of Design. If you were not in class, please come to my office for your assignment. There are two separate readings: the Introduction (my apologies for munging the copying and stapling) and a chapter. The chapters are randomized, just take one.

Monday March 21: A Class Like This One. It may come as a bit of a surprise, but there are not many classes in interaction design like this one at other universities. One of them is the just-completed CS 247 at Stanford taught by Scott Klemmer and Bill Verplank. You will see some similarities -- a required design notebook/sketchbook, situated projects, project themes instead of requirements, etc. One big difference is that there are 4 projects, not one (and they are on a quarter system which means they have only 10 weeks to do it all!) Scott Klemmer was a doctoral student at Berkeley when Maribeth Back and I taught the prototype for this class (and he sat in regularly.) Verplank (another former Xeroid, like me) has taught interface design and interaction design at IVREA in Italy.

Sunday March 20: Arts Fusion (4/15). As I mentioned at the end of class on Friday, if your projects are well enough along that they can "meet the public", I would like to see them on display/in action as part of Arts Fusion. The technology + art/design portion of Arts Fusion week will be in the first floor of Torgersen (how convenient for some of you!) on Friday April 15 from 5 to 9 pm.

Thursday March 17: Reading assignment for yesterday and a few weeks ago. I just received the latest issue of ACM's Interactions magazine. In it, Lars Erik Holmquist has a great article ("Prototyping: generating ideas or cargo cult designs?") that is relevant to my brief comments yesterday about the sometimes ambiguous ethics of demos and prototypes. I am assigning it after the fact; also consider it assigned for lecture 4.2 on representations.

Monday March 14: Two talks. There are two talk at the same time on Tuesday that may be relevant and interesting for this class: John Maeda of the MIT Media Lab (2-4 in Hancock Auditorium) and Ravin Balakrishnan "Interaction and Visualization Techniques for Next-Generation Displays" (2-3 in 3258 A.V. Williams Bldg)

Abstract Our computing environments are rapidly diversifying beyond personal space technologies like desktops, laptops, and PDAs to include shared, more public, displays of much larger sizes and capabilities. These include true 3D displays, tabletop and wall size displays, and in fact any surface onto which an image can be projected. In this talk, I will argue that if we are to effectively utilize such a diverse display environment, we must develop user interfaces that leverage the unique properties of each display. In other words, the de facto "solution" of taking the standard GUI operated with a keyboard and pointing device and sticking it on these new form factors is not likely to work any better than attempts at using reins to drive early "horseless carriages" did in the 1800's. I will discuss some of the challenges of designing interfaces for these environments, and present some research currently being developed in my lab that are beginning to address them. These include using rich gestural input and context sensing to enable more fluid interactions, as well as new visualization techniques for presenting information in a manner that is appropriate for each display. Through these examples, I hope to illustrate the vast potential for innovation in this fertile area of human-computer interaction, and to challenge and inspire others to work on addressing the many challenges that remain. Biography:

Ravin Balakrishnan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, where he co-directs the Dynamic Graphics Project (DGP) laboratory (www.dgp.toronto.edu). He is also a member of the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) (www.kmdi.toronto.edu). His research interests are in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interactive Computer Graphics, with a current focus on innovative interaction techniques, interfaces for next generation displays, information visualization, sketching interfaces, ambient and pervasive computing, and empirical evaluation of user interfaces including associated metrics and predictive models of human performance. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, while concurrently working part-time as a researcher at Alias from 1997-2001. He currently holds the Bell University Laboratories Assistant Professorship in HCI at the University of Toronto, and is the recipient of a Premier's Research Excellence Award. Further information, including publications and videos demonstrating some of his research, can be obtained from www.dgp.toronto.edu/~ravin

Friday March 11: Hit the Ground Running....Just a reminder that we return from break with a lot going on: your bill of materials is due on Monday, John Maeda talks on Tuesday, and you should begin in earnest building the prototype.

Tuesday March 1: Update -- John Maeda in 2 weeks, not today. Sorry for the confusion...

Tuesday March 1: Great discussion yesterday. I am still rolling issues and observations from yesterday's discussion of DG Chapter 6 around in my head. I think we have finally reached "critical mass" on the topics in the book and can now collectively relate what McCullough is saying to things and situations we encounter. I trust that this will get everyone to push hard on their team's concept, too.

Tuesday March 1: Updated Website. I got started correcting spelling errors last night and ended up doing some minor restructuring of the website.

Tuesday: Feb 22: Bodystorming Prop(s). I have been asked by a few people about the props for the take-home bodystorming sketch problem. You have basically two options: use the props you made in class or use at-hand props. At hand props would be things like a block of wood, a blob of clay, your TV remote control, or even a hat (that would probably be hard to use, however). There is no need to make more props nor do they not need to be body-mounted.

Tuesday: Feb 22: Embodiment vs. Situated Action. I had a good question at the end of Monday's class: isn't embodiment just another name for Lucy Suchman's situated action. They do have much in common, but they are not the same. Suchman is fundamentally phenomenological -- that is, situated action only cares about what can be externally observed. It does not speculate on motivation or intent of users; embodiment does admit goal-directedness of behavior. (There are some more radical versions of situated action that says that "intent" does not really exist -- it is only a sort of personal delusion.) Another, lesser and related, distinction is that embodiment locates thoughts in action where situated action locates cognition (slightly different from "thoughts", of course) in the communications between members of a group. The big problem with embodiment, though -- and why I say it is only one element of the new paradigm of interaction -- is that there is not any sort of theory one can identify from it; there are only a series of well understood mind-body links (or correlations).

Tuesday Feb 15: Theory, Practice and your Design Journal. having passed the 1/4 mark in the semester, it would be a good time to think about how well your design journal is serving you. At this point if it were my journal, it would have preliminary sketches for the various sketch problems, notes about possible team project sites and problems, some observations linking the reading to the sketch problems and team project, smudges, reminders of errands that I needed to run, and some observations about how our team was working on the project. Linking theory and practice is hard to do -- noting when it happens and why it happened will be very useful for the final.

Friday Feb 11 : No Class Meeting Today. Just a reminder that I am away today. Use the time to prepare for the site and problem presentation on Wednesday.

Some thoughts about the presentation and the report:

Thursday Feb 10: Team X Down to only 2 Members. Team X needs a members; if you are not satisfied with the direction your team is headed or are having a difficult time adjusting to the majority's meeting schedule, then please talk with Al and Arul about switching to their team. Ideally, they should be adding a NE or SE, but I will relax that constraint for the sake of having a team.

If no one voluntarily joins their team, I may be forced to reassign someone to their team -- possibly even one each from Team X and Team Z.

Monday Feb 7: Observations from Sketch Problem 2. I was very impressed by all your sketches. Judging from the frequency, the bus shelter seems to be an interesting site to many of you.

I made notes to some of you to keep practicing your drawing. Mostly you need to do more right-brain (camera-like) drawing where you are not looking at the symbolic aspects.

Your journals should be overflowing with observations of the world. This is a good excuse to draw. If you see something that is interesting or an example of a different kind of interaction, try to draw it.

Thursday Feb 3: Team List. Thank you all for organizing yourselves into groups. We ended up with three teams. One team has only 3 members -- but if it work out I will allow it to continue without reassigning someone from another team. I am skeptical of large teams ability to get decisions made and work coordinated, but lets get through the first phase of work. It is possible that some re-arrangement may occur after the first presentation.

Team X

Team Y

Team Z

Wednesday, Jan 19: Team Formation. It is time to begin clumping together into teams. This is an iterative process, so be patient. Sometimes the first team you work on does not seem right. We will not finalize team lists until Wednesday Feb 2.

All teams MUST HAVE at least 4 members. All teams MUST HAVE members from at least 3 different catgories. This is to create more or less balanced teams.Considerations when putting together a team:

The category names are meaningless. The groupings are based around my interpretation of answers to various questions. If you want to change your self-description, just e-mail me since it is important for your prospective team mates to get a sense of you.

Tuesday, Jan 18: Reading Assignment. I forgot to say that there is a reading assignement for Wednesday. It is Horst Rittle's paper about tame and wicked problems.