SCS Special Seminar

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • ASA Conference Room 6115

The Needfinding Machine: Understanding Users with Interactive Devices and Designers in the Loop

Interactive physical systems present new opportunities for creating products that satisfy people's needs. These opportunities require designers and engineers to anticipate how future products such as autonomous cars, personal robots, and digital assistants will interact with users. In this presentation, I will discuss the Needfinding Machine, a method that lets designers use interactive devices to do remote user observation, interaction prototyping, and needfinding from anywhere with a network connection. I show two collaborations with practicing designers who used the Needfinding Machine to understand the interaction design needs for autonomous systems; 1) engineers and designers at Renault exploring currently available advanced driving assistance features and 2) human-agent interaction researchers at Spotify exploring in-car music assistants. I also discuss a current project focused on gathering real-world user-centered data for developing appropriate speech interaction for in-car agents. By observing and understanding people's lived experience, designers and engineers can create better interactions with future autonomous systems.

Nik Martelaro is a Digital Experiences researcher at Accenture Technology Labs. His work looks at how to design, build, and test systems that help designers create human-centered interactive physical products. He collaborates with industry designers to understand how new tools and methods improve design practice. Nik blends a hands-on background building steam engines, Baja cars, robotic furniture, and interactive device prototyping systems with a focus on understanding what makes for great interaction with everyday intelligent products.

Faculty Host: Jodi Forlizzi

Human-Computer Interaction Institute


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