Bill DeRouchey

Conversations with Everyday Objects

People and technology interact with a language that we designers create and embed into our products. Everything from words, icons and color to sequences, hierarchies and features, collectively forms a language that people learn from experience and then expect to be reasonably consistent as they move from one product to another. Part of our challenge in designing interactions is understanding how people expect to communicate.

This presentation will examine products like alarm clocks, cell phones, washing machines and more, to see what people are seeing in their everyday lives. Let's learn from the successes and frustrations that people experience when they interact with these objects. Writers read. Painters look at paintings. Chefs travel. Interaction designers need to find inspiration in the everyday technology in our pockets, workplaces, and homes so that we can create things that people connect with, and not just use. This presentation will show you how.


As a writer, information architect and now senior interaction designer with Ziba Design in Portland, Oregon, Bill has been simplifying how people interact with products, websites and spaces for over fifteen years. Bill also writes about interaction design and user experience on his blog, History of the Button, where he addresses such esoteric questions as: What was the first button? Who invented the pause icon? And why does "pushbutton" translate to "easy"? From these explorations, Bill seeks to chronicle the evolution of how people and technology interact in anticipation of the design challenges of the content-dense, touch-surface future.


Download this talk: [MP3] [iPod Video]

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