donderdag, december 07, 2006

User Experience: the theme so far

I am just sitting in on the presentation of the featured speaker of today, Briant Cantwell Smith. He is talking quite philosophical, so far. It should get interesting, I hear from someone who has listened to Brian before. And after some more minutes, it becomes indeed interesting. Briant asserts that people are very capable of swichting their attention (they go up and down the 'attention stack'). After this we heard some interesting implications for software, and specifically Sakai.

Think about this one: "Systems themselves should not occupy our attention - except in times of failure." Most of the times this is not the case in our current systems. One other implication: "Interface should not (in the first instance) provide transparant access to the system". Another implication is that we should pay attention to holism, the overall structure. This is available by thumbing through a book, but not really in software most of the times.

Brian concluded with a conclusion for Sakai: "the experience of the Sakai user should be a) building a research station in Antarctica, or b) participating in philosophy master classes". To put it another way around: the Sakai experience should be anything from a learning system.

Earlier this morning the partner representatives came together and had their 'private' discussion with the Board in the so-called Sakai Foundation Retreat. I won't dwell too much because of the 'privateness' of the discussion. I will leave it that we discussed different subjects. One of them certainly was the room for improvement for the user interface (or the user experience). We also talked about improving our internal communications and external communications. You will see the actions coming sometime near you.

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