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Thinking with your hands

A talk by Karl Fast at Midwest UX 2011

About the Talk

April 10, 2011 10:10 AM

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Your hands are more important than you think. In UX, we tend to view the hands as a way of expressing intentions: press a button; move the cursor; make some gesture. But research on how people use their hands has established a deep and complex relationship between our hands and our minds. In short, our hands help us think.

What does this mean for designing the next-generation of digital objects? Touch surfaces are now common, and the near-future will bring a swarm of new interactive technologies that are deeply dependent on our hands. To design for these technologies, we need an enhanced understanding of how we interact with the world around us.

In this presentation, I will explore current research on how people use their hands and what this means for the future of UX design. I will place special emphasis on three topics. First, the notion of the embodied mind, which argues that the boundary of our mind extends beyond the skull. Second, what we know about how people use their hands to interact with digital information, especially multitouch surfaces. Third, emerging concepts and principles for guiding the design of interactive digital objects that depend on the hands.

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