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The Interaction16 Redux in NYC

View of NYC from Bloomberg building

The featured photo is a view of NYC from 28th floor of Bloomberg building where The Interaction16 Redux took place on Saturday, May 14th (yesterday).

The event had 4 talks selected from the recent IxDA international conference in Helsinki:

  • Opening Keynote: Learning From Live Systems by Josh Seiden
  • Invisible Cities by Pablo Honey
  • Shallow Interaction Patterns for Deeper Human Experiences by Kieran Evans and Jes Koepfler
  • Closing Keynote: Magical UX and the Internet of Things by Josh Clark

I enjoyed all talks. Josh Seiden talked about the blend of Service Design, Lean Startup, and Lean UX methods into “Learning From Live Systems” approach and about a mix of software and human “concierge” services. Pablo Honey talked about invisible cities and how user experience designers can enhance the physical and digital spaces that we live in. Kieran Evans and Jes Koepfler demonstrated 6 shallow patterns that they applied in Extreme Event, a social game that teaches players about disaster resilience.

The last talk was very entertaining. I liked it that Josh Clark used his magic wand to try to light candles and shared a lot of interesting thoughts of how technology can be magic.

He also mentioned a product by Wayfindr, a non-profit organization that helps blind people navigate the world by using mobile devices. I am glad that Josh shared an example of a beneficial product that was actually used and tested by blind people and not an example of “smart” signing gloves that has been a hype lately (the product that failed due to no feedback from native signers which also upset many signing Deaf people).

The following are some good quotes from Josh’s talk:

Another thing I would like to note that as a deaf attendee I could follow presenters via verbatim live captioning – it was also in some ways “magic” to me (even though it was provided by a professionally trained human steno captioner). Event organizers tried to project captioning on one of 4 screens, but strangely (from what I understand) an Apple dongle for an iPad tablet (that I was using to read captions) was not compatible with their new iOS. At many events that I attend and speak at live captioning can usually be projected without problems and there are many different ways to project live captions. It was a bummer that projected captioning didn’t work out at that event, but at least the organizers tried which I appreciate.

Captioning benefits everyone – not only myself, but also many other audience members who may need to read captions for various reasons than just because of hearing loss – it can also help them if they miss or do not understand some words by listening only or are non-native English speakers or have a hard time understanding accents. Also, hearing loss is very stigmatized and those who have it would not ask for captioning access or are not even aware of this additional option to better understand presentations. Majority of them don’t know or understand sign language to benefit from interpreters. That’s why I encourage organizers to provide live captioning at their events as default without anyone asking for it in advance and to have it projected on another screen or monitor to allow everyone in the audience a choice to read it along with listening (or in lieu of listening) as well as to ask attendees if there are any other types of access are needed.

Here is what live captioning looked like (it could be viewed either on a tablet or projected on one of 4 screens):

I enjoyed the event very much and would like to thank IxDA NYC and Bloomberg for making it accessible via quality live captioning and sign language interpreting services and following my recommendations on quality communication access providers. I also used sign language interpreters to voice for me during Q&A and to communicate with people during breaks and networking part after presentations.

Do you want to learn more about how to make your events accessible? Do you want to hire me as one of your speakers? Contact me!

Published in Event

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