Stephann Makri Stephann Makri

Serendipity by Design? Physical, Digital/Interactive, Human

Abstract: We often interact with digital information environments to find useful information. But sometimes useful information finds us unexpectedly, propelling us in new and exciting directions and spurring knowledge creation and enhancement. We might encounter information serendipitously when looking for information on something else, when we are not looking for anything in particular, or when we are not looking for any information at all. In this talk, I will discuss serendipitous information encountering, and designing for it, in relation to the OzCHI conference theme: physical, digital, interactive, human. I will present a 'process of serendipity‘ that emerged from my empirical research, discuss the oxymoron of 'designing' serendipity and present strategies for 'seeking' (and designing for serendipity) in digital information environments.

BIO: Stephann is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at City, University of London and self-proclaimed 'prince of serendip.‘ His research focuses on understanding how people find, interpret and use digital information and feeding this understanding into design. His work on serendipity in digital information environments has featured widely in the media, including in the Sunday Times, BBC and ABC Radio and Readers Digest.

Donna Spencer Donna Spencer

The Current State of Design and Design Education

Abstract: In 2006 I gave the industry keynote at OzCHI. I lamented the current state of user-centred design, expressed concern that there weren't enough skilled practitioners and suggested we should be focusing more on design and less on user-centred.Twelve years have passed. UCD is now HCD and design is being sold as the way for businesses to get ahead. Let's look at what's happened between then and now, the current state of the design industry and what might happen next.

BIO: As a service designer and user experience designer for 20-ish years, Donna solves problems and designs great experiences. She has worked with a wide range of client types, including government, telecommunications, insurance, retail, not-for-profit, higher education and many more. Recognised internationally as a leading UX practitioner, Donna is a regular conference speaker, has written three books: on information architecture, card sorting and writing for the web. Donna also teaches workshops, mentors startups, and writes articles.

Cathy Marshall Cathy Marshall

Archiving Social Media: Why Users are Wrong and the NSA is Right

Abstract: Fifteen years ago, the primary locus of activity for our personal digital stuff was on our computers. Then along came social media—with the accompanying notion that sharing is saving—followed closely by the Panopticon created by omnipresent smart devices. Soon everything had shifted precipitously. Some would say, “How did we ever wait for the subway (or sit in class) before we could watch videos on our phones?” Others would say, “I liked TV better before it could watch me back.”

Studies have revealed that most people lack the requisite skills to keep their widespread digital belongings safe. Optimists claim that the context offered by large-scale, socially intertwined online stores is invaluable in reconstructing personal narratives and in controlling our identity. Meanwhile, events in the news have demonstrated that social media can be used against us as well as on our behalf; people have grown wary of posting emotionally resonant or otherwise valuable material online.

So what should be done? Participants in our studies have expressed an abiding squeamishness about institutional efforts to archive social media platforms like Facebook. Social media is not only viewed as private and vulnerable to violations of basic ownership principles, but also as essentially ephemeral and lacking long-term value. At the same time, Information Science researchers have argued about the impossibility of archiving social media at scale; some have proposed alternatives to conventional notions of permanence. Should we archive Facebook? I'll argue why the users might be wrong this time, and why the NSA might be right.

BIO: Cathy Marshall has spent much of her career as an industrial researcher at places like Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, and Xerox PARC. She is currently a writer, a feral researcher, and an adjunct professor in Computer Science at Texas A&M University.