Dan Lockton

  • Dan is Assistant Professor and Chair of Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and founder and director of the Imaginaries Lab, a new research group. He is a researcher specialising in the links between design and human action, drawing on influences from a range of fields, brought together in the Design with Intent toolkit (2010). Dan is interested in questions of how we understand the world—institutions, the environment, cities, infrastructures, technologies and complex systems around us—how they, in turn, understand us, and what we do about it. He is also a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, London.



14:00 - 17:30


New Metaphors

How can creating new metaphors help us design new kinds of interactions and interfaces, and even understand the world differently?

Metaphors are central to lots of interaction design, but we don't always slow down to examine the metaphors we're using, and whether alternatives might offer something different — creative ways to understand data and the ways things work, new forms of (often more qualitative) interface, and new ways for people to interact with the systems around them. At a bigger scale, becoming fluent in strategic generation of new metaphors could help designers contribute to reframing societal and cultural issues, to enable new perspectives on global challenges from climate change to alternative economic systems. In the New Metaphors workshop at UxLx, we'll be exploring and creating novel metaphors and analogical links between ideas and phenomena in the world—cross-pollination between art and technology, human experience and interaction design. We’ll use a process of metaphor generation inspired by Gregory Bateson’s “syllogism in grass”, a poetic approach to logic, to generate ideas for different kinds of interface, and then mock-up these interfaces to enable a critical reflection on how they might help us understand the world differently, through making hidden relationships and qualities more experiential and expressable in new ways.

The workshop should benefit people with creative minds, whatever their formal position. It would suit interaction and user experience designers who have some experience in existing interface design, and/or visualisation and sketching, and/or paper prototyping. But beginners and more senior people might also get some useful insights through either bringing their own fresh perspective, or having their preconceptions challenged.



11:25 - 12:00

Auditorium I

Practical Jobs To Be Done: A Way Of Seeing

The concept of jobs to be done provides a lens for understanding value creation. It’s straightforward principle: people “hire” products to fulfill a need. 

For instance, you might hire a new suit to make you look good at a job interview. Or, you hire Facebook to stay in touch with friends. You could also hire a chocolate bar to relieve stress. 

Viewing customers in this way – as goal-driven actors in a given context – shifts focus from the psycho-demographic aspects to needs and motivations. Although the theory of JTBD is rich and has a long history, practical approaches to applying the approach are largely missing. 

In this presentation, I will highlight concrete ways to apply the jobs to be done in your work. This will not only help you design better solutions, but also enable you to contribute to broader strategic conversations.