Unpacking the Myth of the Intuitive
Marketing from Apple, Nintendo, and other companies focuses on the promise of an intuitive interface, but what does that really mean and how is it achieved? Over the last few decades we've seen QWERTY keyboards give way to an incredible diversity of interfaces: mice, trackpads, motion wands, voice-based interfaces, cameras, touch screens, and even real instruments. These devices are regarded as increasingly "natural" or "intuitive", but this marketing-speak is ill-defined, unactionable, and potentially insulting to users; if they don't get it, are they "unnatural" or stupid? In this talk, I will explore the concept of the intuitive, using case studies from Engelbart's early work on computer-human interaction, Miyamoto's work for the NES and the Wii, and my own work at Harmonix on Rock Band and Dance Central. I will ultimately arrive at a new set of goals for interfaces.
Matt Boch is a Project Director and Designer at Harmonix Music Systems, guiding the direction of some of Harmonix's premier titles. Matt began at Harmonix four years ago, with a Visual and Environmental Studies degree from Harvard University. From 2007-2010, he worked as a hardware designer, developing the look, feel and functionality of Rock Band's iconic set of instruments. Matt then moved from the world of plastic guitars to the arena of game design when he began prototyping what would become Dance Central, utilizing his love for both music and dance. In his spare time, Matt is the lead singer for the Main Drag, a VJ and video artist, and makes video game remixes through his music project, AniGif.