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IA Summit 2009 Recap. Jackson Fox UX Designer @ Viget Labs jacksonfox@gmail.com. What I learned…. Our understanding of human cognition has fundamentally changed. Is Interaction Necessary? (Karl Fast). Karl shared several stories:

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ia summit 2009 recap
IA Summit 2009 Recap
  • Jackson Fox
  • UX Designer @ Viget Labs
  • jacksonfox@gmail.com
is interaction necessary karl fast
Is Interaction Necessary? (Karl Fast)
  • Karl shared several stories:
  • People who organize photos with their hands are faster than people who organize photos on a multi-touch computing surface.
  • Skilled Tetris players are more likely to “over-rotate” shapes while playing the game than novice players.
  • Sighted children and blind children use the same physical gestures to communicate physical phenomena.
  • Each of these stories demonstrate the cognition is embodied, that there is a deep connection between mind & body (& environment). This is goes against much of the foundational theory that gave birth to classical HCI, which saw human cognition as a strictly rational activity.
  • Epistemic Action: There are two kinds of actions: pragmatic actions and epistemic actions. Pragmatic actions directly affect the world in service to our goals. In contrast, epistemic actions to explore the conceptual (and physical) world of the problem.
digital space the context problem andrew hinton
Digital Space & The Context Problem (Andrew Hinton)
  • It was really convenient that Karl Fast talked about embodied cognition, because it gives us a way to talk about the problem of context that Andrew Hinton described.
  • Actually, “situated action” is probably better, because what Andrew noticed is that digital spaces take all of the really useful context that we get from physical spaces and throws it away. What’s worse, they don’t give us anything new in return. We’ve just said that cognition depends (in part) on that context, so what we’re doing is making things really hard for ourselves.
  • A Simple Example





two problems for all of us
Two Problems (for all of us)

Karl Fast: In order to understand things, we need to use them, in order to use them, we need to find them, and in order to find them they need to exist. We’re pretty good at solving the existence & the finding problems. We need to get much better at the using and understanding parts.

Andrew Hinton: We lack a suitable language for context in digital spaces, and in those spaces in between the digital and the physical. We must begin to address these problems, because they’re only getting worse.

information architecture vs interaction design
Information Architecture vs Interaction Design
  • There was a lot of talk about a growing rift (feud?) between Information Architects and Interaction Designers, or at least between the IA Institute and the IxDA. UX Net sponsored a meeting that was likened to the meeting of the five families. The problem? Most people at the conference couldn’t come up with any reason there should even be any disagreement.
  • I think this sums it up best:

You are not your job title, you are what you do