IxDA Limerick

Talk: Failing gracefully – the importance of failure in interactive systems

Date:11 May 2015, 7pm

Venue: Abbey Suite, Absolute Hotel

Talk abstract:
Computer systems fail. Whether as a result of hardware or software issues, or user error, failures happen. When creating interactive systems for use in public places these failures can have a SUPPORTING LOGO 150dpi COLOURserious impact on the user experience. To combat such failures many software and hardware companies employ rigid, detailed testing regimes. However, in many areas of interactive systems design such testing is significantly rarer. In areas such as human-computer interaction research, interactive art, computer music performance and interactive public displays we often design, create and deploy interactive systems for use by members of the public, but do so with minimal testing and often no thought towards what happens if part of the system fails. In this talk I will discuss the importance of failure in the design of these systems and the impact it can have on how users feel about the systems themselves. I will provide examples from a range of systems developed for areas such as musical performance, classroom education, museums and the arts. From these examples I will discuss how we can take failure into account when designing interactive systems, so that we can feel more confident that systems will not fail, or that if they do they will do so in a graceful manner that minimises the effect on the user experience.


Mark T. Marshall

Mark T. Marshall is a researcher at Sheffield Hallam University. He has a background in Human-Computer Interaction, and his research has focussed on the development and application of novel interface technologies to new domains. His work has included the creation of new interfaces for areas such as museums, medicine, education, music performance and interactive television. Dr Marshall has a PhD in Music Technology from McGill University in Canada and (Montreal, Canada), and an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Limerick (Ireland). He has collaborated with artists, musicians, designers, scientists and educators on a range of artistic and research projects exploring new ways of interacting with technology.








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