Bull Session

Exploring the Voice User Interface

December 11, 2014          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the rise of voice recognition and voice user interfaces. More so than any other interface type, the VUI has the potential to be seamless and "magical". We've all used Siri, and there are plenty of VUI's for car dashboards, but what's coming down the road? From a first take on the new Amazon Echo to the future possibilities of voice services, we share our thoughts on the landscape of speech recognition.

Bull Session

On Writing “Designing for Emerging Technologies”

December 4, 2014          

Episode Summary

In this, the 80th episode of The Digital Life, Dirk Knemeyer interviews Jon Follett on the process of writing and editing "Designing for Emerging Technologies". The book, published by O'Reilly Media and available on Dec. 4, 2014, explores areas of fast-moving technology in desperate need of user experience design — from the IoT to robotics, 3D printing to wearables, neuroscience to synthetic biology, genomics and more.

To put the book together, a collection of 20 essays from some of the tech industry's top thinkers, Jon spent 16 months working with design innovators, engineers, and scientists from pioneering companies like Adaptive Path, Autodesk, Essential Design, Fjord, Google, Intel, Involution Studios, MIT Media Lab, Normative and Rethink Robotics.

In this podcast, Dirk and Jon discuss some of the behind-the-scenes thinking and decision making that went into the project.

Bull Session

UX Maturity

November 20, 2014          

Episode Summary

What role should user experience play in your organization? The answer to this question depends very much on who and what you are. Say you’re a bootstrapped startup founded by experts in technical issues and sales. You should try to get free advice and help, or maybe trade some equity for UX design, or perhaps even rely on your own intuition until you can raise some capital. On the other hand, a large software company such as Oracle or Microsoft should make user experience a key focus and investment for every business unit, and have a strong advocate and visionary in the C-suite. Between these extremes lie many different models for deploying user experience appropriately.

In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss a user experience maturity model and how it relates to the current industry trend of taking UX in house.

It's News To Me

Design and UX News: Designing for Ecosystems

November 13, 2014          

Episode Summary

In 1980, Bill Gates famously wanted a computer on every desk and in every home. Now perhaps Microsoft would like a fitness band on every wrist and all your health data in the cloud.

With the release of its Health platform and fitness band into the already crowded fray, Microsoft is(again)staking a claim to your quantified self data, along with competitors Apple and Google. The battle for your body's health data has just begun.

On another front, the war for your living room is heating up, with Google Play now on Roku and the Amazon Fire TV stick premiering for a mere $19. Perhaps most significantly, even Walmart is getting in the game, with their Vudu spark streaming service.

In this episode of the Digital Life, we discuss the future of design for ecosystems — be it your body, your living room, your car or even your bathroom — as designers begin to consider how digital and physical products come together with the Internet of Things.