Designing Web 2.0: Here Come The Anthropologists

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Just as early computer interfaces were complicated and non-intuitive, most Web 2.0 tools today are socially awkward. The added complexity of designing not only for the human-to-computer interaction but also for human-to-human interaction is a real challenge. As the purpose of the software shifts from manipulating data to interacting with other people, the designer must create solutions that are not only intuitive from an interface perspective, but are also appropriate from a social and cultural perspective. Getting web 2.0 tools ‘right’ requires ethnographic methods, multidisciplinary teams, and iterative design processes that stretches the definition of interaction design.

Drawing from recent projects with multinational clients as well as internal initiatives to improve IDEO’s own collaborative capabilities, Gentry will share insights about the emerging world of social interaction design.

IDEO, ranked in 2009 as one of the top 10 most innovative companies by Fast Company, is a global design consultancy that focuses on creating impact through design. With clients ranging from small startups to Fortune 50s, the firm has extensive experience helping organizations become more innovative.

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Gentry Underwood

Orchestra, Inc

Gentry’s is co-founder and CEO of Orchestra, Inc., a new startup that’s currently in hush-hush mode (but is focused on social/mobile software).

Prior to founding Orchestra, Gentry specialized in social software design and strategy for IDEO. He head the Knowledge Sharing department, which designs and deploys tools that help IDEO collaborate internally world-wide, and he worked with IDEO’s clients to design effective software for groups and communities.

Ge has a BS in Symbolic Systems and Human-Computer Interaction (Stanford University), an MA in Psychology (Santa Clara University), and an MS in Community Research and
Action (Peabody School, Vanderbilt).

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John Vasko
11/19/2009 1:37pm EST

This is great information. Really learned something new and will be taking a look at more of Gentry’s content.

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