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Designing for Spacetime Building in
no-time... IxDA08 Savannah, Georgia N 32° 5' 0'' W 81° 5' 59'' DOPPLR 11.15 am Matt Jones DOPPLR DOPPLR Hello. I’m Matt Jones, and I’d like to talk to you... Where next? Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR When Dan
Saffer asked me to speak, I proposed a talk Where next? that was balanced between the speculative and the practical Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR But, during
the preparation, I suppose a little bit of my Where next? natural inclination towards the speculative emerged steadily. And here we are... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Where
next? DOPPLR Where next? DOPPLR Where next? First of all, a little context - I’m a cofounder and lead Where next? designer on Dopplr, which is a social tool for optimising travel. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Travel was,
after all, something that was special, exciting We started it about a year ago, and the idea came a little Where next? before that when we were all travelling a lot, and lamenting that it wasn’t the glamourous and stimulating Where next? experience it maybe used to be. Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR Now, for most
of us, it’s something quite di!erent. DOPPLR Could we do anything to make it a little better? We Where next? thought so. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR 22 DOPPLR We
wanted to engineer a little bit of this - cybernetic This growth in personal informatics I believe (with many others, as detailed in those books) will lead Where next? to many downsides - seen and unforeseen - but also a large upside, in the increase of serendipity serendipity. If you were at Molly’s talk yesterday you in the world... (poster from ICA exhibition 1968) would have heard a lot about Cybernetics... But Where next? serendipity? Where next?
“Serendipity is looking in a
haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer's daughter.” Julius Comroe Jr. DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR This is my favourite deﬁnition! Could we create a system Where next? that increased the happy little coincidences in your life as your travel through the world. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Dopplr
is really trying to use the sharing of information Where next?creating possibilities is a catalyst, as a catalyst to that end. DOPPLR DOPPLR Where next? Where next? Where next? ur focus Where next? use information you share as a catalyst to increase serend as letting you
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Each trip
is the central ‘social object’ of Dopplr... Here’s my trip page for Where next? IxDA08 - aggregated here are nice things like the ﬂickr pictures i’ve taken this trip, notes by me and friends of mine and stats about travel here. But the main thing to look at is the ‘Coincidences’ block - showing me the other people I share information with on Dopplr who are going to be here. Not such a suprise Where next? to me right now, but leading up to the conference it was nice to see names gather there... Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Here’s another
view - the city page for Savannah, Where next? Georgia. Here you can see trips people have coming up to Savannah and see if there are any tips for you while Where next? you stay here. None yet - but I plan to add some... Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR And ﬁnally
in the whistlestop tour - a very important Where next? view - your journal of activity on Dopplr, showing the ﬂows of information from you and your connections on Dopplr.next? be coming back to this. Where We’ll Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We’ve been
‘live’ a little over 9 months now - and the activity on the service Where next? has already blown me away. At the beginning of the year we generated our version of Google’s Zeitgeist feature, but instead of search terms we used trips - and the coverage of the planet our users have made in that time is amazing. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Raumzeitgeist 2007
Where next? DOPPLR In a play on Zeitgeist - ‘the spirit of the times’, we called Where next? it the “Raumzeitgeist” - or Spacetime Spirit... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR and
the past of an individual This diagram shows the ‘lightcone’ of the future is about the future, which you can’t Where we’re called Dopplr - alluding to the doppler effect as next? DOPPLR ‘observer’ - Dopplr is about what happens if you have this view - and take it social. The ability to remodel and optimise your travel plans based on those of automate (yet) DOPPLR others. That’s why Where next? next? Where things approach and recede from you. Where next? Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR I love
this - I took it some years back at a museum in Sydney, Australia. For me it Where next? sums up what we really do with computers most often... Make models of things so we can understand them better and moreover, spin them round, poke and prod them until we ﬁnd some optimal state. Where next? Where next?
Dopplr is for... DOPPLR DOPPLR
...ﬁnding the perfect line through the world. DOPPLR What a grandiose statement! But - there’s something in Where next? it I think... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR This is
a few panels from Grant Morrison’s “The Where next? Invisibles” which I always have in the back of my mind when working on Dopplr. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR If
we can perceive our past and our future in new ways howis about change our interactions? you can’t would that the future, which Where next? DOPPLR automate (yet) DOPPLR Where next? next? Where Where next? Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR There’s another
strand of thinking about spacetime I’d Where next? like to take for the rest of the session... And, again, it’s about changes in perception. Where next? Where next?
Clockwork Contextual DOPPLR Predictable Interwoven
.0! Discrete Fuzzy DOPPLR 2 DOPPLR Until about 100 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton had given us a ﬁrm grip on the universe Where next? and how it worked. It was a majestic mechanism - clockwork, predictable, discrete and very neat! Albert came along and proposed something very different. His was a much more messy, subjective universe that we were tangled up in. It’s highly contextual, everything is deeply interwingled and fuzzy. In many ways, Universe 2.0! Where next? Sorry. Where next?
Contextual Interwoven Fuzzy DOPPLR DOPPLR
DOPPLR And those themes are the ones I see changing Where next? interaction design - at least my practice of it, especially now I’m doing Dopplr. I’d like to use each as ‘pegs’ from Where next? which to hang some examples. Where next?
Sketch by Matt Ward of
Goldsmiths College I really like this sketch of Matt Ward’s showing the stark difference between the contexts of consumption and production of most technologically-mediated experiences.
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Photo by
David Erwin And, likewise, I love this photo by David Erwin of myself, Where next? Michelle Chang and Fabio Sergio in Berlin. Devices, people and the city give a rich fabric of context for Where next? interaction designers to cut their cloth in. Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR So, if
you’ll forgive me a little sidetrack on context and Where next? mobile- it mystiﬁes me a bit when I see things like Edward Tufte’s speculative iPhone redesign. It seems to Where next? ignore the context entirely - fetishising dense displays of information... Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Photo by
David Erwin That would probably get one of us killed if we’d had it in Where next? Berlin... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR What I
believe but can’t prove (and the trend in the Where next? market seems to be working against me) Where next? Where next?
consumption And mobile devices’ increasing
tendency to devour our attention... (Don’t get me wrong - I think the iPhone is a breakthrough device, but it’s a jealous beauty when it comes to our attention, to be sure)
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Things like
this ﬂipping gesture to silence a call might be Where next? a possible future path. Cheesy and crappy though this video is - the idea that I can maintain a conversation and interactnext? Where meaningfully in the world with others is enormously appealing I think. Where next?
dopplrbot / mobile DOPPLR DOPPLR
DOPPLR </end sidetrack> We’re trying to pick at these patterns Where next? with streams of information that arrive in the right context at the right time, for instance our mobile version Where next? of Dopplr or... Where next?
Understanding the very small has
big implications DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR As I thought of the changes in our perception Einstein Where next? created, I couldn’t help but think of these guys - Heisenberg and Bohr, at the beginnings of Quantum Where next? Mechanics. And how our understanding of the very smallest components of physical reality have had very Where next? big implications on our perception.
“There’s plenty of room at
the bottom” DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR I think the same goes for the web, and this change in Where next? perception has led to very exciting thinking amongst those who are experimenting in ‘the room at the bottom’ Where next? as Feynman had it. Where next?
www.plasticbag.org/ﬁles/native/ Tom Coates Native to
a Web of Data DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Tom Coates of Yahoo’s Brickhouse advance products Where next? division sums up a lot of this thinking in his presentation ‘Native to a web of data’. He explains how thinking of a Where next? web of data sources rather than pages or sites changes the interactions we design and the products or services Where next? we build.
Matt Webb / Movement /
Snap http://schulzeandwebb.com/2008/movement/ DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Matt Webb of Schulze&Webb just in the last week Where next? published a tour-de-force in his talk about “movement” as the new paradigm to shape the web going forward. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR http://schulzeandwebb.com/2008/movement/ DOPPLR DOPPLR He
posits we are moving from a web of ‘places’ - pages Where next? and sites through a phase of the web as a kit of tools - to something more like a web of organisms or engines Where next? connected and fuelling each other. I think (and hope) he’snext? Where right! Interwoven.
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR In the
last year there’s been talk of the web as a ‘coral Where next? reef’ that is both architecture and organism. I like that metaphor, and we often think of Dopplr as a very tiny Where next? part of the reef that tries to adapt to an ecological niche there... Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Dopplr is
designed for a web of data and movement Where next? a bunch of small pieces that we show in the right context at the right time, add some value to, and pipe to wherever you find it the most valuable next. That’s our role as an organism on the reef. Where next? Where next?
Designing a distributed, interwoven identity
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We don’t want to be a beautiful website, we want to be a beautiful part of Where next? the web. While the utopian side of us wants to make a web service you never have to visit the website of (because it’s delivering all of it’s value in a distributed interwoven and contextual way) we’re still trying to build Where next? a business and a brand - which means being recognised and enjoyed... Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR I think
tiny, dynamic behaviours like that in an identity Where next? become a strong DNA that can survive being fragmented and distributed across the internet and delivery Where next? platforms. Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We often
use a term we learnt from someone in the Hotel industry - Where next? “Delighters” e.g. the rubber ducky that he might put in a guest’s room on the 3rd day of their stay or the Beach Ball he might put on their bed if it was forecast to sunny. We’re always trying to create “Delighters” that can Where next? punctuate the experience of using Dopplr with joy. Where next?
As we know, Humans are
naturals at fuzzy. Software, not-so-much. Making things that are perfectly unambiguous to humans unambiguous to computers is the majority of our work I think. E.g. getting the right place name.
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We’re trying
to add fuzziness instead of take it away Where next? elsewhere. Like showing you that someone you might want to get in touch with is nearby to your destination Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR And we
want to add this helpful fuzziness in both time Where next? and space. Spacetime! Yay! Where next? Where next?
Play to ﬁnd the perfect
line DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We want to take this nondiscrete fuzzy approach further - to really turn this into a Where next? tool for ﬁnding the perfect line. And hopefully keep it delightful while doing so. Creating visualisations of your system that enourage this will be part of it. This is a diagram from Will Wright of ‘local maxima’ in a continuous landscape of fun... This was a design document, not a UI element, AFAIK. Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR But Bungie
let players see ‘Heatmaps’ online of where thousands and Where next? thousands of players of HALO3 died on different levels - allowing them to visualise strategies for the game. E.g. “Kills with the Gravity Hammer in Rat’s Nest”... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR MySociety Travel time maps
/ Stamen / DOPPLR DOPPLR This is some work by Tom Carden of Stamen for Where next? MySociety.org - a UK NGO that shows travel times into central London. I live in a tiny patch of green in the SE... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR This is
a little visualisation developed by Tom Carden for Where next? us, showing trip activity to various cities in their dopplr colours... Where next? Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR This is
a piece by Shawn Allen, also at Stamen - but this Where next? is for HIM - he created this as a tool to ﬁnd good and bad data in the cabspotting visualisation he worked on. Where next? Where next?
Actual Dopplr employees DOPPLR DOPPLR
hanging out People DOPPLR We’re pretty small, which after working in a lot of big Where next? companies, I’m loving. We’re developing in the same little room... Where next? Where next?
...by just having a continuous
discussion. Of course, this doesn’t scale so well... but we’re not sure we need to be that big if we’re part of the reef.
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR I really
loved Dan Brown’s talk - I ﬁnd that concept Where next? models are the things I tend to produce the most as both documentation, and ‘boundary object’ Where next? Where next?
That’s quite a good metaphor
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR Or ‘idea scaffolding’ as matt webb puts it. Drawing and Where next? drawing and drawing and discussing and discussing concept models is our main way of working I’d say. Where next? Where next?
Sculpting, not painting DOPPLR DOPPLR
DOPPLR We work through those concept models pretty Where next? immediately in code. Because it’s just different when it works and you can work it, like clay. Boris Anthony, my Where next? co-designer calls it ‘sculpting, not painting’ Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR We’re able
to prototype and test new features quickly, Where next? both because we’re so small and the way Matt and Tom have built Dopplr - features are ‘tags’ that we can attach Where next? to testers in our user community Where next?
DOPPLR DOPPLR DOPPLR And I’m
really happy to say we’ve just taken on Celia to Where next? help take this to the next level - she’s going to be working with our user community improve our design. Where next? Where next?