UX Week Keynote Speaker Amanda Dameron on Making Design More Human

If you’re a fan of Dwell magazine, you’re familiar with its unique take on modern architecture and design in the home. Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron is a passionate advocate for the philosophy of design exemplified by the homes, decor, and furnishings showcased in Dwell. In this interview, I talk with Amanda about that philosophy, the changing role of design in our culture, and her keynote at UX Week 2014 in San Francisco this September. Jesse James Garrett: One thing about Dwell that I think makes it distinctive among media entities that cover architecture and design is your emphasis on the real-world implications of design for people’s lives. Aesthetics are great, and everybody loves beautiful things, but I think that in a lot of design media, the emphasis on aesthetics becomes so overwhelming that it detaches from reality. Amanda Dameron: I think, especially in this visual culture in which we’re living, that objects and object appreciation verges into fetishism very quickly. Dwell has always thought to tell the story of the materials and the methodology that goes into a design object, going far beyond what it looks like. I think that you can’t assess the design simply by looking at an object. You really must understand the context and the techniques that go into actually creating it in the first place. Then it’s also about the experience with the object, how does it work within a life, how does it work in its relationship to the human being that’s using it. All of those things go into the way that we talk about design. JJG: Dwell is about 14 years...

Why the Core77 Conference is About User Experience

On June 19th, a relatively small group of people will gather at 501 Union street in Brooklyn, NY to present and discuss ideas that are defining our modern object culture. The Core77 Conference speaker line up includes, among others, a UX lead at Google X, a wearable technology designer and a guy brazen enough to suggest that putting a floating swimming pool in the East River would be a great way to clean it up. At first glance, this event may not look like a typical conference for an interaction designer, but at the core of each presentation, you’ll find a reverence for the human experience and the way we interact with the world around us. Each speaker is bringing their take on a problem to be solved or a possibility to realize based on current or future scenarios. At its heart, that’s what all UX and interaction designers attempt, isn’t it? Below are a few of the presentation summaries from speakers who will be at the Core77 Conference and why these are important topics for UX designers. You can get your ticket to this event here while they’re still available (only 200 seats for sale). The Integrated Technology Panel – Integrating Technology into our Daily Lives, at Two Levels At the personal and global levels, Ricardo Prada, UX Lead at Google X, and Becky Stern, Director of Wearable Electronics at Adafruit Industries, will discuss the huge potential, and possible pitfalls, of seamlessly melding new technologies into our everyday experience of the world. From balloon-based Internet access and self-driving cars to DIY, wearable electronics, the integration of technology into...