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Austin Forum - April 3 (Highlights)

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Published on Apr 16, 2012

Product Design: The New Interplay of People, Objects and Information
UT School of Information (iSchool) Panel: Dean Andrew Dillon, Diane E. Bailey, Randolph Bias

Designing a product well requires knowledge of the user and knowledge of the product-as-object. Advances in communication technology, including computational software, simulation tools and social media, place an increasing wealth of information in the hands of designers about users and objects. The challenge of modern product design is to harness that wealth of information.

This talk will cover issues in how to design successfully in an information-rich world by breaking the process into three parts: 1) understanding how users process information in information-rich environments; 2) understanding how we think of objects as they become increasingly digital and virtual via new technologies; and 3) understanding how users interact with physical and virtual objects. The panel will consider the broader implications for design as well as what happens when design falters in any one of these three areas.

Diane E. Bailey
Dr. Bailey is assistant professor in the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin, where she studies technology and works in information and technical occupations. With expertise in organizational ethnography, Bailey primarily conducts large-scale empirical studies, often involving multiple occupations, countries, and researchers. Her research has won best paper awards, a dissertation award, and an NSF CAREER award. Bailey holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dean Andrew Dillon
Dr. Dillon has been an active researcher of the human response to information technology for the last 20 years, graduating from the National University of Ireland and Loughborough University of Technology before being appointed Research Fellow at the Human Sciences & Advanced Technology Research Institute in the UK. He moved to Indiana University in 1994 where he developed and served as the founding director of the Masters in Human-Computer Interaction at the School of Informatics. He joined The University of Texas at Austin in January 2002 as dean and professor of the School of Information. Having published more than 100 articles and books on various aspects of human information behavior and design, Dillon serves or has served on the editorial boards of many leading journals such as the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Interacting with Computers, and the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Dillon holds a Ph.D. from Loughborough University of Technology and a B.A. and M.A. from University College Cork.

Randolph Bias
Dr. Bias has worked in industry for more than 20 years as a usability engineer, helping software developers make human-computer interfaces, including Web sites, user friendly. After stints with Bell Labs, IBM, and BMC Software, Bias co-founded an independent usability lab and consultancy. He came to the School of Information to research human information processing and human-computer interaction. He has written more than 50 technical articles about human information processing and is a Certified Human Factors Practitioner. Bias holds a Ph.D. in human experimental psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in psychology from Florida State University.

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