Two-thousand and prate

Happy New Year

I’ve got a couple of speaking gigs coming up in the new year, and I’m getting down to thinking beyond the proposals I made for them, to what I’m actually going to, y’know, say.

I’ve spoken at conferences in the past, but the difference this time, which I’ve not experienced before is that I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone other than the company I co-founded.

It’s fast coming up on Dopplr‘s first birthday (I think MattB wrote the first lines of code at year ago tomorrow) and now it’s been getting a little bit of attention and serious usage, I’ve been taking a little bit of time to step back and look at the faults, the lessons and the next things to fix, improve, change.

Over new year in Tokyo with Boris we couldn’t help but discuss some of the design problems we’ve got and came up with what (at least, wandering around in the sunshine and cold, and far away from a computer screen, or even a whiteboard) seemed like nice solutions.

The stuff I think I’ve learned in the first year of doing Dopplr is going to be the core of my first talk at IxDA08 in Savannah in February, although as it’s going to be an expert audience, I’m also hoping to go into some more abstract territory that Boris, MattB, Tom and myself sometimes head into when we’re chatting over a Greggs Tea in the office.

I’m very excited about the event itself, which is the inaugural get-together for iXDA, with some awesome keynotes – but also to expose what I’ve been doing with Dopplr to probably the toughest audience I could dream of.

The other talk I’ve just gotten confirmed is on the design and user-experience track at Web2.0Expo in San Francisco this April.

Polite, Pertinent and… Pretty: Designing for the new-wave of Personal Informatics

There?s an explosion in what?s been called ?personal informatics?: services that surface information about you and your network to your advantage. I?ll examine how great UX design can maximise the benefits to all.

Primarily reviewing design decisions from the development of Dopplr.com, I?ll also draw on many other applications, devices and services from the cutting edge of personal informatics, to identify patterns and principles that work for power-users and newbies alike.

Privacy is often, quite rightly, the first concern of users, designers and developers ? but I?ll argue that some other ?P?s: Pertinence, Politeness and, yes? Prettiness are equally important for the adoption and success of such services.

The multi-disciplinary nature of creating great user experiences is taken to extremes in the nascent area of ?personal informatics? and I?ll touch on information visualisation, user-centred service-design, copywriting, geo-location, wayfinding, design for mobile, ubiquitous computing, video-games, ?spimes?, industrial design and even urban planning before we?re done.

Web2.0Expo’s audience I have no idea about, but I’m guessing it’s more oriented towards business people and developers / technical managers.

As you can guess from the blurb, I’m going to try and connect some of the stuff we’re doing with Dopplr to some of my favourite themes of the last few years, and stuff that I think is going on around the area more generally, including work by people like Tom, Adam and the Stamens.

I’m not sure it’s strictly “web2.0” but it’s what’s most exciting to me at the moment, so thanks to the organisers for feeling the same way! Currently, I’m ‘sole billing’, but I’m hoping to get some guest stars roped into the discussion.

I thought I’d write down what I want to do in order to make myself do it, and perhaps invite some wit and wisdom to inject also.

Hope to see you at one or both of them, anyway.

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