Quick thoughts from “Make it So”

Nathan Shedroff and Chris Noessel presented a talk about learning from science fiction interfaces. A couple insights:

  • Visual concepts are incredibly powerful at setting expectations for products
  • But they don’t even need to be visual to have an impact: audio and behavioral examples can similarly shift expectations. For instance, R2D2 only beeps and buzzes, and he’s an incredibly emotional and likable character.
  • The fidelity of your representation (especially how human-like it is) should be appropriate to the level of technology you have. Don’t show a realistic person if you can’t back it up with technology.
  • Pay attention to what bothers and impresses you while producing the concept–chances are those same constraints and opportunities would apply to the final product. For instance, while filming Minority Report, Tom Cruise had to take lots of breaks because his arms got tired operating the gestural interface.