How do we talk about cool technologies in ways that make sense to new users? How do we talk about technology in ways that take account of the realities of those users? And how do the terms we currently use shape up? These are much bigger questions than whether an event is called BarCamp or Unsheffield – and it’s worth standing back and thinking about.
Dougald Hine takes a timely look at the language of disengagement and the uncool of technology.
Video games are the dominant medium of our civilization. So why are they not taken seriously? Why are they considered incapable of exploring serious issues in a meaningful way?
Philip Trippenbach examines the prejudices against one of the most engaging forms of technology.
However impressive a piece of technology is in terms of what it can help us achieve, its usefulness is inevitably limited by its usability. Good ergonomic and human interface design are critical for making software and physical technology solutions that are intuitive enough for people to just get on with effectively using, rather than battling with. TechnoPhobia understand that people drive the software tools they create; their approach to design and development is in absolute keeping with our theme of reducing the barriers to engagement for Future Users of Cool Technology. We’re more than just a little bit pleased that this local company is helping us deliver Unsheffield.
Okay, it’s rough to criticise the work of Alvin Toffler, nearly 40 years after he published ‘Future Shock‘. But while Toffler’s key premise – that the shift from an industrial age to a post-industrial, highly technology-mediated society would leave us all feeling rather disconnected and over stressed – may have some merit in terms of information overload, it’s perhaps not quite as stressful. We’ve certainly been living a more connected existence in technologically developed societies since the early 1990s.
Joanne Jacobs explores the evolution of technology into the contexts for engagement of Future Users.
So who are these Future Users we’re talking about? And what do we mean by Cool Technology? Why should the former care about the latter? And why should we care that they care about it? All these questions, and many more besides, are exactly the kind we hope to understand better at Unsheffield.