Fri 25 May, 2018, 11:50
With our addictive apps, sticky widgets, and blindly engaging interactions, we’ve created an era of distraction and fear. Novelty and disruption trump human connection—and these days, even factual truth. At the same time, there is a fast-growing movement towards mindfulness (that is, being fully engaged in the present moment) that offers us guideposts that point to how we can build for the world we want to live in–– by working with technology, not against it.
We're at an inflection point: will we allow technology to turn the world into a dystopian nightmare where machines replace reality, and data trumps compassion? Will enough people get fed up and permanently log off, so that even the positive effects of networks are lost altogether? Or will we align our work with our values, and use technology to design for better, more human connections?
Author and strategist Liza Kindred’s 20-year career in fashion and technology has explored both the challenges and benefits of (literally) weaving tech into our lives. She’ll offer a host of practical examples that illustrate an eye-opening framework of Mindful Technology design principles to guide us in how we make and use new technology. Learn how to create real insight, joy, and utility while still getting the job done.
Fri 25 May, 2018, 14:00
We’ve all been witness to both the delight and the disappointment that can happen when we let technology into the most personal parts of our lives. It can sometimes even seem that we serve the machines more than they serve us. (Are you listening, Alexa?!) There’s no doubt that ever-present technology has improved our lives, given us superpowers, and made us more efficient. But... at what cost?
Instead of designing for page views, it’s time to design for purpose, for calm, and for compassion. Instead of designing for engagement with interfaces, let’s design for actual engagement with the people and places we love. Instead of simply building better tech, in other words, let’s build for better human connection. As the bits and bytes settle into the most intimate spaces of our lives, our homes, and even our bodies, designers have new responsibilities and obligations. Fear, anxiety, anger, separateness, distrust? We can do better. This workshop will help you see the way out.
Your guide on this journey is Liza Kindred, an author and strategist who has spent two decades working with technology companies like Microsoft and Vodafone, fashion companies such as VOGUE Magazine and ASOS, and with publishers like Hearst and Time, Inc. Ten years ago, she began her own journey as a student of Shambhala Buddhism, and today is a meditation teacher who has developed a set of Mindful Technology values that offer a clear way to build (and use) technology in a way that supports a future based on human connection.
Explore techniques and product strategies to make technology more respectful and to create a world we can truly live in. You'll be freshly inspired about how we can use technology to design for the world we want to live in, today. To get there:
––We'll examine the growing backlash against both technology companies and against devices. Where are we today, and what got us here? What dangers are there to our businesses and livelihoods––and to ourselves?Learn to spot the design anti-patterns that steal time and attention, and understand the real damage they can do.
––Briefly, we'll explore what mindfulness is, exactly why it matters so much today, and take a look at why companies like Google, Intel and Nike–and celebs like Richard Branson and Kobe Bryant, are using mindfulness practices.
––We'll take a look at specific examples of devices, interfaces, apps, and wearables that get the job done while respecting the humanity of users. You still have clients or a boss to answer to; it's important to understand why mindful technology is more than a novel idea. It can be a method of design employed across a broad range of applications. We'll explore alternative design solutions that respect users while still delivering business value.
––Using the above examples as inspiration, we'll do quick sketches of ideas for how the technology that we work on (or use) could be modified to be more respectful of a user's time and attention.
––By taking a deep dive into our own personal fears about how technology can go awry in our lives (and the lives of those we love), you will come up with your own value system to help guide your work. Liza will explain her own set of Mindful Technology values.
––We'll take a look at the many "coping strategies" that people use to counterattack the negative effects of technology, and explore how we can design so that they don't have to. (As a bonus, you will leave with a plethora of ideas about how you, too, can tame your personal tech beast.)