Design Research Conference (day 1)
Well, technically day 2. But the first day was a half-day of workshops that I would’ve have to pay for (my fees were waived for the presentations!), so that doesn’t count.
I missed a lot of really interesting presentations in the morning as we struggled to figure out a way to get our research prototype up and running before lunch. The problem was that the demo didn’t work properly on any other laptop other than mine…so much for cross-platform code.
Speaking of which, I helped build a human-computer interaction prototype that aids as a conversation started in events such as the DRC. Participants would fill out a survey with several conversation starting prompts. During breaks (such as a cocktail hour or lunch), an interactive table shows the responses of participants in the vicinity on little post-it notes on the screen. Several different cluster views highlight similarities (and differences) and hopefully start conversation between attendees.
Anyway, several hair-pulling hours later, we found a way to hook my laptop to the old, short throw projector underneath the table. I got the ok to go listen to the last couple lectures of the day and then watched people interact with the table during the cocktail hour/social right after.
There’s something really delighting about seeing people interact with something you put countless hours of work into building. Especially when they have no clue how it works. It’s just magic :D