Interaction Design
Whether the designer is looking for new problems to solve or getting feedback on an existing idea, putting the idea in context requires someone who regularly experiences that context.

To understand how people at risk for diabetes manage their diet and exercise for a NWU health study, we held in-context interviews with individuals from the target audience. We took them to lunch and asked about how they chose what to eat, and later went to their homes to watch them cook a meal and ask about their kitchen and dining areas.

An abstract representation of the solution defines a broad space of potential solutions. These can be explored at length later, based on the needs of the client.

To examine how new technologies will affect municipal infrastructure in the coming century, my team and I created this lattice structure. We used it to catalog the functions a city's infrastructure must fulfill and then to cluster them by ranking the similarities, shared components, and synergies between each pair.

Key changes will be the use of ubiquitous sensors, distributed energy generation, and networked devices to increase the reliability, safety, and ease-of-access all municipal services and utilities.

More about Hyperconnected Infrastructure

Designers usually see and understand their designs before they’re embodied, but these are just hallucinations until they are shared with others. Prototypes bridge the gap between imagination and implementation by supportting communication about things that don't exist yet.

For the LOC project, we knew that revealing personal information on a large public display might turn away some users despite the inclusion of web-standard security measures. We tested a scale model of the interface in a public area and found that making the user's name and other unique identifiers small or invisible cleared up most user's apprehensions.