Design for Understanding

Half-day workshop with Stephen Anderson • Friday 9:30–1:00 pm

In all areas of life, we are surrounded by understanding problems: Shopping for a new TV. Choosing a healthcare plan. Making sense of a medical diagnosis. Understanding your 401k. We’re given far more information that we can process, but the tools to make sense of it all are stuck in the “computer-as-publishing-medium” era.

In short, we’re given information, but not understanding.

This half-day workshop looks at various ways you can help people make sense of confusing information. Bridging theory from cognitive sciences with plenty of practical examples, you’ll learn how to design rich, visual interactions that encourage people to play with and explore difficult concepts.

While practical data visualization and information visualization instruction will be offered, this workshop will also introduce a special focus the the human cognition and understanding side of things. Speaker Stephen Anderson will draw upon scientific research into information visualization, ubiquitous computing, and embodied cognition, showing how these fields provide invaluable concepts for designing systems to support understanding, problem solving, and sense making. In short, you’ll gain a deep—yet practical —understanding of how we learn through representations and through interactions.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Identify the 7 common problems of understanding, (and how to best solve each kind of problem)
  • Effectively use visual encodings to aid in understanding.
  • Design concept models that make sense of complex information.
  • Translate raw data into fun-yet-intuitive visual representations
  • Describe fundamental patterns of interaction
  • Identify and apply different interaction patterns useful for knowledge construction.
  • Recognize and use common visualization patterns

Target Audience / Level of Design Understanding

Anyone involved with the design or development of product experiences will find this information useful and relevant. No prerequisite skills are required.

About Stephen Anderson

Stephen P. Anderson is an internationally recognized speaker and consultant based out of Dallas, Texas. He created the Mental Notes card deck, a tool that’s widely used by product teams to apply psychology to interaction design. He’s also the author of Seductive Interaction Design, which answers questions like “How do we get people to fall in love with our applications?” and “What makes a deck of cards so damn exciting?”

Prior to venturing out on his own, Stephen spent more than a decade building and leading teams of information architects, interaction designers and UI developers. He’s designed Web applications for numerous technology startups as well as corporate clients such as Nokia, Frito-Lay, Sabre Travel Network, and Chesapeake Energy. His little off-time was devoted to exploring the relationship between playing cards and trading cards. And designing cards too, clearly.

Between public speaking and project work, Stephen offers workshops and training to help organizations manage creative teams, create interactive visualizations, and design better customer experiences.

Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Website: Poetpainter
Twitter: @stephenanderson

Author of:

Seductive Interaction Design
Seductive Interaction Design