Who: Dennis Wixon, Microsoft Surface User Research Manager and HCDE Affiliate Professor
Topic: Predicting the Past: The Discovery of the New User Interface (NUI) for Microsoft Surface seen in Historical Terms
When: 12:30-1:20 pm, Friday, January 8, 2010
Where: Loew Hall, room 216

Abstract: The past is prologue but the future is not inevitable.

The new user interface (NUI) represents a paradigm shift in human computer interaction (HCI). That shift is best understood in terms of the history HCI, traditional but radical theories of human emotion, and overview of the evolution of scientific thought. This talk explores these themes and enumerates the principles that drive the design of Microsoft Surface. The talk will examine the history of HCI in terms of a set of underlying principles which drive NUI design. We will also analyze the James Lange theory of emotion its relation to game design and to the NUI. Finally a unique and integrative review of the evolution of root metaphors of scientific thought helps put the evolution of interfaces into a broader historical context and serves as a basis for predicting the next revolution in HCI. The goal of this presentation is to provoke radical thinking.

Bio: Dennis Wixon currently serves as user research manager for Microsoft Surface. Over the past twelve years Dennis has managed research for MSN, Microsoft Home Products, and Microsoft Game Studios. Dennis previously worked as a usability manager at Digital Equipment Corporation, where a number of important usability methods such as Usability Engineering and Contextual Inquiry were developed. His primary interest is innovative research methods for more usable, useful, and exciting designs that lead to commercial success. In addition, Dennis has been an active member of the human factors community for many years. Notably, in 1982 he was one of the five founding members of the Greater Boston Chapter of the ACM SIGCHI and was General Co-Chair of the SIGCHI 2002 conference. He has served as Vice Chair for Conferences for ACM SIGGCHI and has been a member of the SIGCHI executive committee. Wixon has authored over 50 articles, book chapters and talks on HCI and co-edited the book Field Methods Case Book for Software Design with Prof. Judy Ramey of the University of Washington.

Wixon holds a PhD. in social psychology from Clark University and has published numerous psychological journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

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