Breaking Out of the Future Trap
Whose job is it to imagine the way that technology functions in society? Over the past century, science fiction has played a crucial role in imagining what the future looks like and what devices / technology make each imagined future possible. As science fiction itself has shifted from the fringe to mainstream success, it has led to “creative capture” in the design world. Certain ideas from science fiction have grown so big that they’ve actually restricted the ability for technology to break out of pre-imagined platforms. Take, for example, Star Trek’s tricorder or Minority Report’s gestural interfaces. For this talk, I will present research findings on who is doing “the new imagining” in the digital space, and how doing so requires reimagining not only the future of technology but how current technology can be used.
In her present life, Yashoda Sampath performs user experience research for Huge, making sure that the voice of the user is represented at all stages of the design process. Apart from managing user experience projects, Yashoda has also conducted traditional market research with challenging groups such as troubled high school students, breast cancer survivors, and high level corporate executives.
In her many past lives, Yashoda has worked for the British government, an environmental design agency, political campaigns, a really terrible rock band, and an international newspaper. All these jobs have one common thread: Yashoda gets to ask a shitload of questions about why people behave the way they do.