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Make It So: Apologizing for bad sci-fi UI

  • Chris Noessel
  • Sep 26, 2012
  • English

Interfaces in sci-fi serve a primarily narrative purpose. They're there to help tell the story of how a character disables the tractor beam, or hacks into the corporate database, or diagnoses the alien infection. But what would happen if we tried to build these same interfaces for the real world? Some would fare just fine. Most would need a little redesign. A few appear to be just plain stupid or broken. They couldn't work the way they appear to. That is, until you use the technique of apologetics to discover that in fact far from being stupid, they're brilliant.

Join Chris Noessel, co-author of the book Make It So: Interface Lessons from Sci-Fi (Rosenfeld Media, 2012) as he discusses this critical technique, shows how it works across several sci-fi interfaces, and challenges the audience to apologize for some "bad" sci-fi interfaces.


Chris Noessel

Managing Director at Cooper

In his day job as a Managing Director at Cooper, Chris designs products, services, and strategy for a variety of domains, including health, financial, and consumer. In prior experience he’s developed kiosks for museums, helped to visualize the future of counter-terrorism, built prototypes of coming technologies for Microsoft, and designed telehealth devices to accommodate the crazy facts of modern healthcare. His spidey sense goes off about random topics, leading him to speak about a range of things including interactive narrative, ethnographic user research, interaction design, sex-related interactive technologies, free-range learning, and, most recently, the relationship between scifi and interface design.

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