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The Future of Seamless Technology: Talking UX at Meetup’s Headquarters

antunes UX meetup2

As the Applico design team continues to build its presence in the NY Design and UX communities, I was recently able to sit on a panel at a UX meetup at Meetup‘s NYC headquarters.

The focus of the event I participated in was “Developing a Better World through Seamless Technology”. Joining me on the panel were designers from JW Player, Moment and Keen Home.

Early on, we were asked to explain what “Seamless Technology” meant to us individually. In my mind, Seamless Technology has three main components:

  1. It provides users with an experience that is not limited to a specific hardware, setting or context.
  2. It is able to integrate with other technologies enough to share/pull information that may be contextually relevant.
  3. It reduces the level of active involvement I need to perform tasks or find information, and it can adapt input criteria contextually.

We don’t need to look very far some examples that many of us use in our everyday lives. For the first component an example (that that I use exhaustively) is curating music into playlists on Spotify on my desktop and later enjoying it during my commute. If my Spotify music collection were only accessible through one interface, the product wouldn’t be nearly as valuable.

antunes UX meetup

Talking UX at Meetup HQ

The second component is another that is becoming increasingly prevalent in daily life. We can now enjoy theatrical versions of our favorite Internet videos, by pairing our devices to our televisions through Chromecast. Google Now recognizes key terms from emails such as Flight times, and provides dismissible reminders when they are most helpful.

The third component is found in examples like Nest, which recognizes patterns in users’ temperature changes. If you normally wakes up feeling hot in the middle of the night, the thermostat will eventually automatically lower the temperature itself, allowing for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Another example is products that get ported for an in-car experience, which usually have to rethink their interface so that drivers can operate without taking their eyes off the road. Products that incorporate voice control will have an edge in this space. Another familiar experience is paying bills through a mobile interface. Users don’t feel as much stress over remembering dates if they are reminded via push notification, and provided a quick route to a “Pay Now” button.

Of course, the collective wealth of experience amongst the panelists meant that I learned about a few new things myself. A particularly interesting UX concept that was discussed in detail was “Bodystorming,” which I haven’t had much experience with. Another panelist explained how designers shouldn’t think in terms of solutions to problems, but rather in hypotheses. This falls in line with the Pro-Testing attitude most UX designers have, but here it creates a methodology that doesn’t just champion validation through testing but requires it.

All in all, it was a great event and an opportunity to gain insight and network with others in the community. The UX Lab and Applico plan on continuing our relationship, and we hope to be involved in more meetups like these, so please stop by!

I’d like to thank the folks at the UX Lab for offering me the seat and for taking the time and effort to bring Designers and UX enthusiasts of many different industries and experience levels and bring them together. They remain quite active, and usually host a few events a month, that are worth checking out.

Interested in applying to Applico? Check out our job openings here!

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