Design the Future
January 19–20, 2016: Training
January 20–22, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

Sense and sensor ability

Alastair Somerville (Acuity Design)
1:45pm Wednesday, 01/20/2016
Location: Fire House
Average rating: ****.
(4.45, 11 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

The problems of future design are not simply technical; they are social. Devices will be active as social beings (either through deliberate design or the projection of characteristics onto them by users). As devices gain both senses and characters through more sophisticated sensors and algorithms, we need to consider the role human senses play in how we communicate in social places that fluidly mix people and devices in digital and physical ways.

Alastair Somerville aims to raise participants’ awareness and establish the core skills to negotiate this landscape of senses, sensors, and sociability. Alastair will enable participants to explore the ways they make meaning through their own senses in order to understand what hyper-user-centered design means for wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Drawing on knowledge gained from accessibility projects and research, Alastair provides a framework of how our senses and emotions work and explores how this can be used in the design of interactions and conversations with new forms of devices. Participants will learn about the 9+ senses and their role in sensory cognition, information theory, and gesture design issues. Participants will also be exposed to personal emotional and sensational mapping and testing; sensory substitution and multimodal/post-screen user interfaces; and sensory augmentation and neuroplasticity. By the end of the workshop, participants will be familiar with core questions and issues for wearable and IoT user experiences and begin to apply this knowledge to successful future product design.

Alastair Somerville

Acuity Design

Alastair Somerville uses his experience with accessibility projects and research to inform new ideas of multimodal user experience for wearables and postscreen interaction. He is a specialist in sensory comprehension and haptic design.

Alastair works with museums and schools to develop inclusive interpretation, using novel ways of both designing and presenting information in tactile, visual, and audio formats. He has spoken and run workshops on sensory and cognitive design for wearable technology at conferences including SXSW Interactive (2014 and 2015), UX Lisbon 2015, ConveyUX 2015, and many smaller UX events in the UK.