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Polite, Pertinent, and... Pretty: Designing for the New-wave of Personal Informatics

Design and User Experience
Location: 2006 Level: Intermediate

There’s an explosion in “personal informatics:” services that surface information about you and your network to your advantage. Matt Jones will examine how great UX design can maximize the benefits to all.

Primarily reviewing design decisions from the development of Dopplr.com, Jones will also draw on many other applications, devices, and services from the cutting edge of personal informatics, to identify patterns and principles that work for power-users and newbies alike.

Privacy is often, quite rightly, the first concern of users, designers, and developers—but Jones will argue that some other Ps: Pertinence, Politeness and, yes… Prettiness, are equally important for the adoption and success of such services.

The multidisciplinary nature of creating great user experiences is taken to extremes in the nascent area of personal informatics and he’ll touch on information visualization, user-centered service-design, copywriting, geo-location, wayfinding, design for mobile, ubiquitous computing, video-games, “spimes,” industrial design, and even urban planning before we’re done.

Photo of Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Google Creative Lab

Matt Jones is interaction design director at Google Creative Lab in New York. He has been designing digital products and services since 1995.

Creative director for the launch of BBC News Online, he co-founded and designed Dopplr.com in 2007, a service for frequent travelers since bought by Nokia. Between 2003 and 2005, he worked at Nokia on areas as diverse as tangible and physical interfaces and the human experience of play.

Between 2009 and 2012 he was a principal at BERG, a design and invention company in London that has had projects exhibited in MoMA and products featured in Financial Times, Fast Company, Wired and Marvel Comics.

He studied architecture, and has been writing for fifteen years about interaction design at http://www.magicalnihilism.com, and has taught at the RCA, SVA and CIID.

Photo of Tom Coates

Tom Coates

Thington Inc.

Tom Coates works for Yahoo! Brickhouse where he develops new concepts in social software, future media and the web of data. His most recent project is Fire Eagle – a new location-brokerage system designed to make it possible for everything on the network to become location-aware.

He’s worked for many of the UK’s most prominent companies including Time Out, UpMyStreet and the BBC where he ran a small near-term R&D team exploring media navigation, annotation and distribution.

A regular speaker at conferences, Tom also writes extensively at plasticbag.org and runs the experimental online community barbelith.com.