[EVENT RECAP] IxDA at IDEO : Embracing the Physical | Digital Divide
20 Jan 2010 - 3:23pm
We had a record-breaking turnout (140 people!) last Wednesday at IDEO
Chicago, host of our January event. The theme, *Embracing the Physical |
Digital Divide* spoke to IDEO and many design companies approach and
considerations when designing experiences that encompass both physical and
digital interaction. The night included sharing of two recent IDEO projects
as well as a show and tell of examples of successful physical/digital
solutions out right now.
The the first project, a collabaration IDEO had with a small company called
Bug Labs that creates modular, opensource toolkits for prototyping. Some of
the possible components include touch screens, gps, wifi, and motion
detection. The BUG tool kit allows everyone from businesses to students to
professionals to rapidly prototype solutions. IDEO collaborated with BUG
labs on a short 2-week open project, documented on a public project blog, to
explore an adaptable interface system that would enable a designer to
customize controls for their prototype as well as providing basic status
feedback that their prototype was working (power, connectivity, etc).
The second project, which has been more recently in the public eyes at CES
(the Consumer Electronics Show) was the myFord Touch project. Ford Motor
Company and IDEO collaborated closely on two major projects to conceive
signature interface elements for all future Ford vehicles launching in 2010.
The elements connect drivers with in-car technologies and let them stay
connected to their digital lives outside the car. Five key features were
reconsidered through extensive research, prototyping, engineering, and
robust interaction design, a fast, iterative process that helped to
accelerate innovation on Ford's development end, also. Wanting to induce
strong “vehicle love” among new Ford drivers—and deepen their devoted
customers’ brand adherence—a team of IDEO and FORD designers and engineers
focused on designing an interior information ecosystem that drivers would
find attentive, approachable, easy to use, and would allow them to keep in
touch with their busy lives.
The ambitious and ingenious prototyping effort included a dashboard removed
from a Ford Edge, a PlayStation 2 and projector that played the simulated
driving game “Gran Turismo 3,” the steering wheel and pedal set were created
by hacking several game controllers, game steering wheels, computers, two
screens (one of which was touch-sensitive), and various other objects and
mechanisms. While playing the video game, consumers were asked to change the
radio station, find tracks on their built-in music server, pick up phone
calls, and find the nearest gas station. All together, this created an
immersive experience that tested cognitive load while driving and led the
team to propose final design solutions that utilized steering-wheel levers
as primary touch points and created simple, spatial mapping systems for
complex, multi-layered information.
to keep those design principles front of mind for the designers and
engineers as they moved forward with signature human-machine interface and
projects that followed that.