Big data, behavioural design and machine learning are technological trends that seem to make humans seem small. The news is full of stories of how easily people are fooled and how algorithms overtake human capabilities. This talk is about respecting ourselves more. Using examples from accessibility and technology projects, Alastair will discuss how we repeatedly ignore the extraordinary abilities and adaptability of humans in design and usability. With the complex design issues of augmented reality, virtual reality and technologies we haven’t yet imagined swirling around us, we need to anchor ourselves with compassionate respect and admiration for what it is to be human.
Alastair Somerville is a sensory design consultant. He provides expert advice on cognition and person-centered design to companies and public organisations who provide both physical and digital products or services. He facilitates workshops on sensory and emotional design for corporations and major conferences, including SouthBy Southwest (SxSW), UX Week, Interaction and O’Reilly Design. He is currently involved in cognitive accessibility projects for public transport in London and design for transcendent user experiences.