IDEA 2008

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The “IDEA Conference”: took place in Chicago on October 7-9 at the Harold Washington Library Center.

The speakers pushed the boundaries of what it means to design complex information spaces of all kinds. We can all expand our practice by absorbing their experiences and ideas. In cooperation with the “IA Institute”:, we’re happy to bring you recordings of most conference talks. We hope you enjoy listening to nearly the entire conference via these recordings.

This conference addressed issues of design for an always-on, always-connected world. Where “cyberspace” is a meaningless term because the online and offline worlds cannot be made distinct. Where physical spaces are so complex that detailed wayfinding is necessary to navigate them. Where work processes have become so involved, and so digitized, that we need new processes to manage those processes. — from the “IDEA Vision Statement”:

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iTunes     IDEA Conference theme music generously provided by Sonic Blue

Micro-Interactions in a 2.0 WorldDavid Armano
We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each encounter no matter how brief is a micro-interaction that makes a deposit or withdrawal from our rational and emotional subconscious. The sum of these interactions and encounters adds up to how we feel about a particular product, brand, or service. Little things. Feelings. They influence our everyday behaviors more than we realize.

Vice-President of Interaction Design at Critical Mass, David Armano shares what organizations are doing this and how we’ll all need to re-think how brands are built and sustained in an ever-changing 2.0 world.


Micro-Interactions in a 2.0 World (v2)

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web 2.0)

CmapTools: From Meaningful Learning to a Network of Knowledge BuildersAlberto Cañas
Based on theories of meaningful learning and education, Co-Founder and Associate Director at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), Alberto Canas presents a software tool that allows users to collaborate in the construction of shared knowledge models based on concept maps, which are used worldwide by users of all disciplines and ages, from elementary school students to NASA scientists.


Linguistic User InterfacesChris Crawford
Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of digging through nested menus buried inside subpanes of dialogs, we could just talk to our computers in plain language? Sure it would, but computer scientists have long since proven that such “natural language processing” can’t be done.

Storyton Author and Inventor Chris Crawford describes a Linguistic User Interface, outlining how it’s impossible to create a LUI seperately from the digtial reality it reflects: the language and reality must be built up in a parallel process.

Chris illustrates this with Deikto, the LUI system he created for his interactive storytelling technology.


The Language of InteractionBill DeRouchey
We are interacting with technology in an exploding number of forms. “Traditional” computers, cell phones, pocket PDAs, game systems, gesture-based input, store kiosks and checkouts, and much more. How do people learn new technology? By subconsciously learning the language of interaction and applying that language when learning something new.

Bill DeRouchey, Sr. Interaction Designer at Ziba Design surveys everyday objects out there now to spot patterns and trends in what people are learning from devices and products.


The Language of Interaction

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ixd ixda)

Getting RealJason Fried
Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary. 37signals’ products include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard.

37signals also developed and open-sourced the Ruby on Rails programming framework. 37signals’ products do less than the competition — intentionally. Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. Elegance, respect for people’s desire to simply get stuff done, and honest ease of use are the hallmarks of 37signals products.


Aurora: Envisioning the Future of the WebJesse James Garrett
Co-founder and President of Adaptive Path Jesse James Garrett provides an inside look at the process of creating Aurora, a concept video depicting one possible future user experience for the Web.

Jesse talks about the technology trends that will shape the future Web, outlines the challenges of designing a future product, and takes the audience for a behind the scenes look at the creation of the Aurora concept video.


Aurora (Part 1) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo

Aurora (Part 2) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Aurora (Part 3) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Aurora (Part 4) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Emerging trends | Design thinking | Service innovationAradhana Goel
When we look through the lenses of society (how we connect), mobility (how to move) and sustainability (how we consume), we realize that the world has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Aradhana Goel, the Service Design Strategist at IDEO, discusses connections between these emerging trends, design thinking, and service innovation.
Download Aradhana’s presentation


Books and BrowsersDave Gray
The book as a form factor has been around for about 2,000 years, since Julius Caesar first decided to fold up a scroll, accordion-style, and mark the pages for later reference. In 1455, Aldus Manutius was the first to publish the portable paperback, and it has remained relatively unchanged since.

In an interactive format, XPLANE Founder and Chairman Dave Gray explores several questions about the future of the book and the web browser.


You are (Mostly) Here: Digital Space and the Context ProblemAndrew Hinton
Context. It’s everywhere. No, really, you can’t move without bumping into the stuff. But it used to be that we at least had a grasp of what context we were in at any given time. We were either here, or there. But technology has radically changed what it means to be “here” or “there,” and has brought some challenging design problems along with it.

Andrew Hinton, Lead Information Architect at Vanguard, discusses What does architecture even mean, when the walls are made of vapor? How do we map places that don’t behave like places anymore? And if you don’t know whether you’re here or there, then how do you know which version of yourself to be?
Download Andrew’s presentation


Digital Context CluesJason Kunesh
Experience design is evolving in both discipline and practice as more people communicate and engage with media. In this presentation Independent Design Professional Jason Kunesh examines working with patterns, diagramming and prototyping tools, code frameworks like Rails and Drupal and usability testing 8 year olds.

Jason also looks at the lessons learned and where he draws the boundaries between a firm’s design principles and the tenets of a particular.


Jdkunesh Idea2008

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: idea2008 ia)

Information in SpaceElliott Malkin
Artists and Information Architect Elliott Malkin discusses his new media projects installed in public space.

He covers several projects in this presentation including Eruv, a symbolic boundary erected around Jewish neighborhoods as part of the observation of the Sabbath completed in Lower Manhattan and New York city.

Elliott also talks about the research into the life of his great-grandfather, which led to his concept for Cemetery 2.0, an electronic device that connects gravestones to online genealogical databases.

Elliot also shares his most recent work, Graffiti for Butterflies, a technique for using ultraviolet light and street art to direct Monarch butterflies to food sources in urban areas.

Many thanks to Elliott for adding the audio from his presentation to the videos below. You can find the original source of these videos along with greater detail about each of these projects, on his web site.


The Eruv Projects, IDEA Talk, Part I from Elliott on Vimeo.

Cemetery 2.0, IDEA Talk, Part II from Elliott on Vimeo.

Graffiti for Butterflies, IDEA Talk, Part III from Elliott on Vimeo.

Mixing MessagesEdwina von Gal
The design of a park around a museum of biodiversity in Panama (designed by Frank Gehry) has inspired a number of collaborations and connections throughout Panama and, now the United States. The Park will be a living extension of the museum’s exhibits and the first step in an educational trail that will encourage visitors to explore Panama’s rich natural resources.

In this presentation, author and landscape designer, Edwina von Gal, discusses how this project has inspired her to become involved in other educational and applied projects in Panama, working with scientists, students, and local populations to explore sustainable alternatives in agriculture, architecture, and tourism.


One comment

  1. The range of speakers was impressive. All of the sessions were worthwhile, with speakers ranging from good to great – or extremly motivating like the one from Jason – I was almost also keen to ask ” You got a job for me?”. During the pre-conference, we worked together in teams, which was a good way to start to get to know the other attendees.
    Describing a professional conference is a lot like the well-knon tale of the blind men and the elephant. Which had also been mentioned also during the conference :-). So – for me – it was inspiring, bracing and motivating – or just awesome.
    Many people do work in isolation, and that is exactly why this conference was unique and so important to me.
    This community was perhaps the friendliest I have experienced at any conference. And never the less – thx a lot to all sponsors as well as the great catering 🙂 !

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