Technology that feels right

Friday November 17, 2006 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall

Speaker: Gitte Lindgaard

Topic: Technology that feels right

Synopsis:

Usability is the term we have long used to describe how ‘intuitive’, ‘easy to learn’ or ‘easy to use’ a particular software application is, but most efforts invested in this area have concentrated on supporting cognitive work tasks to increase human productivity. In more recent times, it has become increasingly obvious that the aesthetic, emotional side of interactive technologies play a far more important a role in supporting work tasks than hitherto assumed and acknowledged. If we assume that each of us has a certain amount of energy at our disposal to devote to our work tasks, we can argue that the extent to which a given technology irritates or gets in the way of working efficiently reduces that amount of energy, and that therefore, it affects our ability to work effectively and efficiently. From that point of view an interactive system that ‘feels right’ for the task is likely also to have a calming influence and, that way, to improve our performance. These are the issues addressed in this talk.

Speaker’s Profile:

Professor Gitte Lindgaard is currently Director of the Human Oriented Technology Lab (HOTLab) and a full professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University. She was the Principal Scientist and Head of the Human Factors Division at Telstra Research Laboratories, Australia. After a stint as Director of a private consultancy, she joined Carleton University in 2000 where she is responsible for building and expanding ties between academia, industry and Government in Canada in research and HCI training. She was Chair of CHISIG (Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group) of the Ergonomics Society of Australia (ESA) during which she founded the OZCHI conference. She is an adjunct professor and a research associate at several Australian Universities and a Fellow of the HF&ESA. She represents Canada on the IFIP TG13, Human Computer Interaction, and she deputy editor of the journal ”Interacting with Computers”. Her research interests include Human Computer Interaction, especially in multimedia/multimodal systems, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and human decision making in medicine. She has published extensively in scientific journals, from user interface design, task analysis, human judgement and decision making to pleasurable design and usability.