The 2018 IA Summit is a week away. It’s time to set your schedule and get ready for five days of learning how to face the challenges of designing and managing user interfaces and information environments.

This is your last chance to register and save with the discount code uxbooth.

Breaking Through the Screen: Design Research Methods for Virtual Reality

Joelle Fleurantin is an artist and design researcher obsessed with the relationship between bodies and screens, bodies and networks, bodies and embedded systems. Her talk will introduce sensory modalities as key to designing for VR and VR-specific design research methods including:

  • VR 5Es Experience model for bodies interfacing with a device.
  • Rapid prototyping methods that don’t require 3D modeling skills.

From the session description: “The digital environment is no longer bound to an increasingly flat screen, but can become an immersive environment within one’s home or remap the landscape of a dull daily commute. VR enables us to create new interfaces for complex information interaction and communication. Are we ready?

Most VR hardware and content remain attached to the idea of the Screen. Experiences and devices are usually built around and for a 360-degree view that emphasizes the visual sense above others. So, how do we truly break through the Screen? How do we approach architecting and designing for the full promise of VR? Does design research translate to the new digital space?”

Prototyping Information Architecture

Andy Fitzgerald is an independent digital experience designer with applied expertise in design research, information architecture, interaction design, and prototyping. He looked at how common methods for prototyping and testing information architecture tend to be either very abstract (like card sorting and tree testing), or mind-numbingly tedious (which you know if you’ve ever had to “”find and replace”” menu items in an InVision or Axure prototype).

He’ll demonstrate a method for building lightweight, medium fidelity prototypes that start with content and structure and easily model and test information architecture solutions early in the design process.

From the session description: “When designing information systems for human use, there’s no substitute for putting a contextually authentic experience in front of actual users and getting real, actionable feedback. This is especially true for the solutions we design as information architects: our categories, labels, and menus don’t “work” unless they work for our target audience.”

A Strategy for Ethical Design in the Attention Economy

Sam Srinivas has unique experience designing ethical products for purpose-driven companies. He leads design strategy for Arity, a technology company that focuses on making transportation smarter, safer, and more useful for everyone. He’ll show how to build and use a strategy to create meaningful and useful products for the world.

From the session description: “Business goals continue to pressure designers to capture and hold people’s attention. This race for attention is happening at the expense of an end user’s happiness and well-being. As designers, the responsibility is to improve the user’s experience but you may actually be harming it. This inadvertent trend is reversible. You can empower yourself with a strategy to build successful and responsible products.”

Can Being African Make You a Bad Designer? Cultural Bias in Design

Farai Madzima has designed banking apps used every day by people across Africa. Currently, he’s a UX Lead at Shopify in Ottawa. Previously, Farai led Standard Bank South Africa’s team of designers and researchers in Johannesburg. The session will look at cultural bias and discusses how to prepare, identify and adapt to the kinds of biases we can expect from team members, particularly those coming from non-western cultures.

From the session description: “The topic of creating diverse teams has been hot the last few years, as pressure increases to create products with less bias. However, as we cast our nets wider and bring in different perspectives into our design teams, what challenges can we expect in working with people from around the world and ultimately getting the benefit of their different views?”

On Designing a Safe Environment

Ramya Mahalingam is an experience design consultant. Ramya will draw upon social science research investigating the construct of safety and will investigate the concept of safety in both physical spaces and digital spaces to formulate a set of factors for how the concept of safety manifests in these spaces.

From the session description: “Approximately 51% of the world’s population is on the internet. As more people join this sphere of connectivity, the feeling of being safe within this space becomes increasingly threatened. The implications of having a vehicle to connect to 51% of the world could be incredibly positive. On the other hand, this level of connectivity and access to information could threaten someone and inflict harm — whether physical, psychological, or emotional. The internet can, and has become a space where some individuals feel unsafe.”

Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable

You may recognize the name Paul McAleer from our recent UX in 2018 series. Paul is a designer, writer, information architect, and fan of awesome things, and is leading diversity efforts for IA Summit in 2018. He’ll lead the Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable and provide an opportunity to participate in discussions and help shape the future of the IA Summit.

From the session description: “As we undertake diversity initiatives at IA Summit, it’s important for us to get feedback and have open dialogue with the community. We’ll discuss the current year’s approach, our long-term plans, and share information from our diversity survey.”

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