Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m back!

I feel I owe you (my unknown readers) an apology for my silence.

2016 and 2017 have been crazy and a lot has changed. List me list it out, for self

In the beginning of 2016 I switched jobs and tried home-officing.

I did a lot of traveling around Latin America and tried A LOT of new gigs with Product Marketing (Thank you Morrisville team!)

I did author two new papers – one for MobileHCI <3 and another one for HCI International (which I chaired in 2015).

I will try to post some of those accomplishments in more detail in the next few days. 🙂

Let me end this post by telling you some exciting news. I am a father now. My life has completely changed. My baby daughter was born in May 9th and she is flawless. I will do my best to take good care of her and love her with all my heart. I feel grateful

Cheeers!

 

They say “never meet your heroes”…

…well they were wrong.

This is a late-late post (this was in NordiCHI’14), but I just had to write something about it. Dr. Norman (chillin’ with me in the picture) is basically the icon for user-centered technology. The Design of Everyday Things (originally POET) is an awesome book and it changed the way I was doing my job.

drDON

Thanks Don, I hope we meet again!

Keeping up with 2014… oh wait..

I feel I have been out most of 2014. It was a full year and I feel justified on my absence from the blog.

Here is a list of checkpoints I should/will? narrate in the following posts:

  • Presented at Multimedia HCI (MHCI) in Prague, Czech;
  • Got Married <3
  • Honeymooned in NYC, Mexico (various cities) and Toronto
  • Presented at MobileHCI2014 in Toronto, Canada
  • Presented at NordiCHI2014 (met Donald Norman there) in Helsinki, Finland
  • Presented at ASSETS2014 in Rochester, NY
  • Presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2014 in Shenzen, China

Most of these presentations were related to non-verbal communications in mobile devices.

I will share more in the near future. Stay tuned 🙂

My pants saying “to go”

Non-verbal is all I think about these days. As some of my work is under revision, I will refrain from sharing too much at this point..

..But I really enjoyed visiting http://tldrwikipedia.tumblr.com/ (recommended by carlos rosas) and seeing this post

sweatpants

Clothing really communicates non-verbally.  🙂

I am hoping to associate clothing/wearable-computers/non-verbal communication. Maybe present new possibilities on this through design fiction.

cheers!

 

Human-Computer Interaction – Campus Party 2014 – M-Inclusion

Hello All,

It seems this is my first post this year. Sigh.
I will work on my posting rhythm, promise.

This was a talk I gave in M-Inclusion Panel at Campus Party. M-Inclusion is a Support Action, co-funded by the European Commission under the FP7, with the aim to create a cooperative framework between European and Latin American mobile solution developers and entities. The objective is to encourage the use and growth of innovative, user-oriented, and affordable mobile solutions in order to promote social integration among people at risk of exclusion.

They invited me to share some of the findings we collected from our experiments on Mobile HCI. Thank you Telefonica and Polytechnic University of Valencia for the event!

Campus Party 2014 – Brasil – Human-Computer Interaction – M-Inclusion

My rubber duck’s recorder.

On the way home after the first post on this blog, I was thinking that in a short while there is a huge chance that the things I write here will get embarrassingly obsolete. There is also a huge chance that the words I write here have not the same weight as they do in my head.

There is a code debugging method in programming called Rubber Ducking. Let’s say the programmer is trying to find what is wrong with his code. He has written the code based in a certain logic, which makes perfect sense in his head, and “there is absolutely no reason why it would not work”. After various line-by-line scanning attempts, him and a rubber duck, will have a serious sit down, where the programmer will tell the duck what is trying to do and how he is trying to do it. In details.

The process of speaking to an inanimate object will give the programmer the chance to listen to himself and perceive the dissonance between his actions and beliefs. And find the bug.

I wish this blog will be my rubber duck on the conceptual technology thoughts that rise while in reverie.

Paving the way for the short-film : branding

Hi.

I get very excited every time I see an argument that supports the idea of this short-film I’m working on.

Without mentioning what it is about, I want to start making sense of it by throwing here some posts found elsewhere to equip forthcoming debates.

Here is  why branding is an artifact of the past, by Brian Millar. In this post, he compares branding to “flat-earth theory” 🙂

Some important quotes (the bolding was up to me):

In Mary Poppins, we learn about Mr. Banks, the children’s father, and what he does for a living.

“He sat on a large chair in front of a large desk and made money. All day long he worked, cutting out pennies and shillings and half-crowns and threepenny-bits. And he brought them home with him in his little black bag.”

It’s a charming way to describe something that only a small child, and possibly Robert Mugabe, could ever believe: That you can make money by literally making money.

Yet many people seem happy to apply this Mary Poppins logic to branding: Brands are valuable, so you need to go to work to make brands. There’s a category mistake at work here. Money isn’t valuable because the paper it’s made of is valuable. It’s valuable because we all agree it’s valuable. Society creates that value, not the printing presses or the mints or the chaps in storybooks who cut pound notes out with scissors.

So we go to work to make things and do stuff that people value, and are willing to pay money for. Similarly, to build a brand your organization needs to do and say things that people find valuable.

But it’s consumers who create the value intrinsic in brands: We all judge companies by the things they say, the things they do, and how those two things match up.

Another one:

But the more we understand about the way that consumers make choices, the less brand thinking and traditional brand-tracking research make sense. Brand tracking often makes artificial distinctions for consumers that really don’t model the way we make a buying decision. They ask things like: Does A wash whites better than B? Which performs best on coloured clothes? They rarely give consumers an option that says, Meh. I just don’t care.

And this:

So the classic simplified branding model, where you make a promise, deliver on the promise, and then repeat the process, actually worked pretty well. Now the situation is a lot more complicated. Consumers don’t just form opinions in their own minds any more. Instead, we have conversations. And one vociferous consumer who, say, writes a song about your airline can earn a louder voice than the biggest brand can buy. So brands are even less of a property than they used to be.

It seems branding is overrated these days. Keep it somewhere you won’t forget 🙂

 

Arduino adventures #1

I am arduinoing.

It feels awesome. Ask anyone who’s been playing with it.

It kind of links to the feelings of hope I had when I first started programming. It’s been a long time, but when I was thirteen, fourteen, I know I wanted to make things. I wanted to go embedded. But then, algorithms, networks and databases came along, and, you know.. they are appealing, and you can go webbing with them, and they give jobs, etc.

But when you work with the process concept-design-code your whole life, you get used to thinking of solutions that will deliver on a screen, through software.. On a computer or on a phone.

Now I feel like I am allowed to think objects. I am free to think of tangible. It is so thrilling.

This is a reminder to self, so I will always remember the feeling of making my code move/blink/buzz/turn/sense/go.

 

We are all disabled #0 – Intro post.

I have told you the story about how I started to be interested in human-computer interactions here. I got deeply amazed about how accessibility problems (situations where the disabled strive to use a mobile phone) challenged me into thinking of alternative ways they (people and phones) could interact. I mean, how could one make a phone call without being able to speak? Or how can someone send a text message with no hands, or with no motor dexterity. The list goes on. A quick sit-down with a blind person could feed our innovators-hci-brain-cells with nitro.

Quick side note: I have very dear memories of me and my father watching bruce lee, jackie chan, van-damme movies, and it was always a cool part when the masters had creative (and painful) ways to teach their techniques. It was interesting how the blindfold fighting was a recurrent scene. I think it was supposed to enhance awareness by disabling the sight of the student. I think this relates well to creating alternative hci. See a classical example below on 03:18  :):

So, i kept going with experiments with mobile apps for the disabled. It felt both challenging and it was like the industry and the academia were not exploring it how it could (or should). Some ideas from our brainstorming sessions sounded so obvious and we could not find them implemented anywhere. We thought that maybe the it was a commercial/market thing, that accessibility would not be profitable enough for them to put a team of developers and designers together to work with it. After some time of reflection, we thought of many reasons to invest in accessibility, which we have been presenting in a lot of places, over the last 3 or 4 years.

But one of these reasons kept maturing and has taken over the way I think about hci. I realized that not only the disabled benefit from accessibility solutions. Think of someone trying to talk on the phone during that loud party. You will find yourself absolutely deaf (to the phone). Maybe this was an obvious example, but it is possible to stress these scenarios a bit further. Like when you are driving and you can´t (or you shouldn´t) look at the phone screen and you just have to blindly interact with it. Or this: Let´s say you are cooking and your hands are viscous, slimy, sticky, viscid, tacky, stringy, glairy, and you cannot hold your phone, but you do have to take that urgent call. How much of a handicap are you right there?

Anyway, we all have limitations and those should be the fuel of human x technology interaction innovation. Again,I keep thinking I am being so obvious here, but it gets tiring to see technologists getting self-amazed with their technically-wowing but humanless solutions. Really.