Screen view and other observations from the SVA MFA Interaction Design Lecture Series last night

SVA MFA Interaction Design Lecture Series at White Rabbit Map

north side of white rabbitsouth side of white rabbit

(Left Image: North View) (Right Image: South View)

Last night (Wednesday Jan. 14th, 2009) I took in the third in a series of SVA MFA Interaction Design Lecture’s. The previous two lectures that I took in at White Rabbit were pretty good. I can’t say enough how much I like the idea of the series (though not the name DOT, DOT, DOT – isn’t there already a magazine called that?), not just for the people that are presenting but having SVA’s newest program getting a lot of those in the industry together in a low pressure setting to hang and talk. I’m not going to review the four the people that talked last night but instead mention a couple more conscious and unconscious things I noticed during the four presentations.

For the second talk I was a bit late in coming so I was stuck to the back of the talk. Unfortunately the sound was only coming from the front and there were a lot of people in front of me so it wasn’t the most engaging experience. It was my fault that I was late so I had no one to blame but myself. One of the simple yet smart things that the lecture series has done is send out an e-survey afterwards. For that survey I made a simple comment that those at the back couldn’t hear. So, I was really happy to see that they put a second screen in the back of the room with extra speakers. By doing that they really made the room a much better venue for everyone that was there to hear and see the talks.

I sketched out a quick map from memory that’s def. not to scale but it illustrates where I was in respect to everything going on. The images sort of help show my viewpoint though the image on the left looks worse then what I was actually able to see. What was interesting though, for the first of the four presenters more people were interested in looking in the direction of the speaker with less viewable space of both the screen and the speaker while they would have had an easier time looking to the back (north direction) screen. I’m still trying to decide whether that was a conscious or unconscious thing people were doing. For the subsequent speakers more people drifted their view position to the better viewpoint (north). Either way I thought it was a good fix and fascinating to observe that people at first still felt the need to look in the direction of the actual person talking even if their view wasn’t optimal.

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  • A

    I was there last night too, great talks. I wasn't able to make it to the first two, but I'm glad they added the screen and speakers to the front. That's where I was sitting.
    BTW – Love your blog.

  • Chet

    I like that you were able to postion yourself between the two screens yet close to the bar. If you ask me you already know what it takes to perfect interaction.