Our Picks for Interaction13

With less than one week remaining before Interaction13 kicks off right here in Toronto, we put together a quick rundown of some of the talks we are looking forward to at this year’s conference.

Myplanet will be in attendance for all four days of Interaction13 festivities, covering as much ground as possible. I will be making the rounds, along with Myplanet’s Creative Director, Erik von Stackelberg. Together we are aiming to absorb as many new ideas as physically possible from the jam-packed schedule, connecting with old friends and making new ones along the way.

Monday January 28

The first day kicks off with a keynote by Ravi Sawhney on the satisfaction of designing for social impact. Soon after, Dan Saffer will be giving a talk on “Microinteractions”, the subject of his forthcoming book. While Saffer has been blogging and discussing this concept for a while, it will be intriguing to hear his most recent perspective.

Afterwards we are both looking forward to Johanna Kollmann & Martina Schell’s presentation, “Lean Startup In Design Consulting: Lessons Learned”. As an organization who has integrated many lean effort into our process and workflow, we’re curious to learn how other organizations have done the same. Also on Monday, Myplanet alumnus Calvin Tennant will be giving a talk on “Moving Past the Navbar”, explaining how we can design interactions that don’t rely on the ubiquitous navbar.

Tuesday January 29

Tuesday will get a little busier. We’ll be kicking it off with the morning keynote “Data & Human Experience” by Jer Thorp. Next up, we will be learning what interactive game narratives can teach us about the UX design process in a presentation by Dr. Timothy Garrand, followed by Josh Cothran’s talk on merging personas with Myers-Briggs theory.

The afternoon brings us to an interesting sounding talk by Sara Cantor Aye & George Aye about designing interactions between kids and food, as part of a project to redesign a public school cafeteria. Closing the day with the evening keynote is Microsoft Windows Phone design team Director Albert Shum with his talk “Connecting: Emerging Themes for Interactions”. This talk will connect learnings from a diverse collection of organizations Shum’s team interviewed, including, Doblin, Nokia,, Arduino, Twitter, Stamen and Frog Design. Capping the evening is the presentation of the top winners from 2013 Interaction Awards at the Steam Whistle Brewery.

Wednesday January 30

Hopefully everyone will still have lots of stamina by day 3 to take in “How to Design Social Experiences”, the morning keynote by Facebook researcher Paul Adams. This will be a good segue into a back-to-back series of talks gazing into the future of connected devices. First is Carla Diana’s “Making Meaning in an Internet of Things”, followed by my own presentation, “Beyond Responsive”. Hope you can make it out to my talk, where I will connect the struggles of designing for today’s multi-screen world to the future implications of networked objects.

Later, I’m very curious to hear from Behzad Aghaei, who will explain how we can approach buttonless touch interaction and from Cindy Chastain, who will be examining the UX professional as business consultant. During lunch, conference guests can take in a movie screening of "Design & Thinking", a documentary directed by Mu-Ming Tsai.

Wednesday evening is an off-site toss-up between the Coroflot Connects event at the Gladstone Hotel and Steve Portigal’s workshop, “Skill Building for Design Innovators”, hosted by ToRCHI, the Toronto region’s Computer-Human Interaction group.

Thursday January 31

The final day of the conference will kick off with the second annual “Great UX Debate”, a chance for designers to bust out their high school debate skills on a range of industry hot topics. Derek Vaz will continue the debate in his talk “Bury the wireframe”, arguing instead for interactive prototyping.

For conference-goers who missed the day-long workshop the previous Sunday, Dave Malouf and Haig Armen will recap the “Interaction Design Education Workshop” for those wanting to participate in this initiative. Later, Jan Moorman explains how we can measure User Delight using the Kano Methodology, a theory developed by Noriaki Kano which classifies customer preferences.

Last but definitely not least, John Bielenberg of Project M will present what is sure to be an inspiring talk with the intriguing title “Rubber Ducks and Hockey Gloves (Or, how to jump the ingenuity gap)”. Those unfamiliar with Bielenberg and project M should investigate further and learn about their “think wrong” philosophy.

That’s it folks, the end of conference. Actually, it’s just the end of our blog, but you get the idea. If you will be at Interaction13 be sure to say “hi!” to Erik or myself. If you aren’t one of the lucky few making the trek, or short commute to Toronto, be sure to follow our live-tweeting during the conference to stay in the loop.

Written by

Nate Archer

Nate Archer

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