Digital Simplicity: Usable Personal Ubicomp

 James Landay, Intel Research Seattle & University of Washington

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University November 19, 2004

There are many indicators showing that people feel technology is speeding up and complicating their lives. In response, many individuals reject certain computing and communications technologies when given the choice (e.g., for use in their homes). Current research in ubiquitous computing has a tendency to fall into this same trap. Purveyors of these technologies tend to force customers into a Faustian bargain: "take this complex technology into your personal life and you will now be able to do these new functions: A, B, & C". The Digital Simplicity project tries to instead offer a different value proposition: "take this simple technology into your personal life and we will make the activities A, B, &, C you are currently doing simpler." In this talk I give an overview of the technical, design, and applications research we are carrying out to make Digital Simplicity a reality.

James Landay is Associate Professor in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, specializing in human-computer interaction. His current research interests include Automated Usability Evaluation, Demonstrational Interfaces, Ubiquitous Computing, User Interface Design Tools, and Web Design. He is also the Laboratory Director of Intel Research Seattle, a university affiliated research lab that is exploring the new usage models, applications, and technology for ubiquitous computing. He is a founding member of the University of Washington Design & Usability Brainstorming (DUB) Center.

Landay received his B.S. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990 and M.S. and Ph.D. in CS from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His Ph.D. dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He is also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker.


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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