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Keyword: user experience

Complexity and Usability 2012

2012-05-10, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Complexity and Usability 2012

There was a time when software couldn't do much and was easily understood in full. What has changed and what has stayed the same? Software is supposed to accomplish more and be easier to use at the same time – is that an irreconcilable contradiction? Is there a "new simplicity", or does the path lead into a jungle of complexity?

From the UNIX philosophy, the personal computer revolution and the Web 2.0 up to recent smartphone apps, I examined the overall development of the interface complexity of software. Especially, I scrutinized the concept of "simplicity" critically. On the basis of these observations and incorporating theoretical knowledge from interaction- as well as game design, recent examples and models for constructively dealing with functional complexity were explained.

This talk took place in the HCI research colloquium.

Interaction design explanations conserved for posterity

2011-12-29 00:57:13

Im Sommersemester 2011 habe ich als studentische Hilfskraft die Veranstaltung Interaktionsdesign bei Prof. Oberquelle mitbetreut. In diesem Rahmen habe ich im (geschlossenen) CommSy-Raum der Veranstaltung einige Fragen schriftlich beantwortet, die den Veranstaltungsteilnehmern bei der Prüfungsvorbereitung aufkamen. Es wäre schade wenn diese Texte einfach verlorengehen, deshalb habe ich sie hier geringfügig aufpoliert und zusammenhängend wiedergegeben. Ob die Inhalte im nächsten Durchgang der Veranstaltung überhaupt noch relevant sind, das ist natürlich noch nicht in Stein gemeißelt. Trotzdem viel Vergnügen damit!

Tangible Media

Ich habe eben noch mal die MIA-Folien durchgeschaut und leider tatsächlich keinen Definitionsansatz dort gefunden. Auf S. 17 und 18 von MIA11-4.pdf gibt es Beispiele. Die Grundidee wird vermutlich durch Beispiele schon einigermaßen gut klar.

Interaction Design Project: Neverball

2011-08-16, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Interaction Design Project: Neverball

In the "Interaction Design" course of 2011 at the Dept. of Informatics, University of Hamburg, students for Human Computer Interaction, Informatics and Business Informatics took part in a project centered around the game Neverball. This video presents the results.

University of Hamburg, Dept. of Informatics

Music: Kevin MacLeod, CC-BY 3.0 "Wallpaper", "Cipher", "Slow Burn" (in order of appearance)

Modern HCI Visionaries

2011-07-13, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Modern HCI Visionaries

This is the last of three short talks that I've held for the Interaction Design course.

In this talk, I introduced three people who I consider to be visionaries (in a somewhat broad sense of the word) in the field of HCI. These three people are active in very different sub-areas of the field and have quite heterogenous backgrounds. Instead of reciting easily available biographical information, I opted to portray them using iconic quotations.

Layers of Mastery

2011-07-06, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Layers of Mastery

This is the second of three short talks that I've held for the Interaction Design course.

In this talk, I presented the Layers of Mastery framework by Daniel Cook, starting with a thought experiment on what might have happened if there had been any product designers a million years ago. I then doubted the suitability of user testing as an indicator for the optimal level of complexity of a software application and postulated that a lot of very successful (especially in the long term) software, like Microsoft Excl or Adobe Photoshop, does not cater solely to beginners, but also offers the complex functionality needed by advanced and expert users. I introduced the Layers of Mastery as an explanation for this phenomenon and explained them in detail. The talk culminated with a perspective that it is not beginner friendliness that makes a tool capable of greatness, but flexibility and utility.


2011-06-29, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg


This talk was held as the first of three accompanying short talks for the Interaction Design course.

I gave an introduction into the world of "gamification" and explained how people came up with the idea of enriching application software with playful elements. The content of this talk was limited, as it was meant to be a starting point for further individual research. The discussion among the audience concerning viable implementations and more examples worked well to complete the event.

Dealing with Complexity in UI Design

2011-03-11 16:45:04

OSNews has just published an article I've written on the subject of interface complexity:

Over the past few decades, the software that enables us to be productive with our computers has become increasingly sophisticated and complex. Today's UI designers are faced with the challenge of devising graphical user interfaces that are easy to grasp and use, yet still provide access to a wide range of features. Here are some ideas about the nature of GUI complexity, followed by a couple of thoughts on simplicity that might just surprise you.

It has already sparked an interesting discussion over there. If you're interested in these things and/or want to influence what my next article should be about, check out the comments on OSNews.

Christoffer/ephracis has already contributed a very insightful response -- recommended reading.

Concepts for reconciling complexity and usability in application software

2011-02-07, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Concepts for reconciling complexity and usability in application software

Abstract: Modern application software deals with rising expectations towards functionality as well as usability. In this paper, the relation between software functionality and complexity of graphical interfaces is examined and several ideas and methods for creating appropriate interfaces even for complex applications are illustrated.

This paper has been written for the accompanying seminar for the course Interactive Systems, though the idea for the topic was my own.

Complexity vs. Usability in Desktop Software

2011-01-15, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Complexity vs. Usability in Desktop Software

This talk, held in the "Interactive Systems" course, has been about complexity and usability in software. Specifically, I've talked about how requirements for functionality and complexity have changed and how they have influenced usability concerns. Additionally I showcased several methods and ideas for software developers and UI designers to constructively deal with increasing complexity and still keep the software usable and enjoyable.

Rethinking the Progress Bar

2009-05-06, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Rethinking the Progress Bar

This 5 minute talk was held in the Human Computer Interaction course by Professor Oberquelle.

It briefly discussed research conducted by Chris Harrison of Carnegie Mellon University. Specifically, I talked about how the relative speed changes in a progress bar affect its perceived overall speed, and what conclusions UI designers and programmers could make.