Imagine Cup Semi Finalists

Me along with a classmate (Vignesh Ramesh) participated in the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup student design competition in the photography section. We made it to the second round – the semi finals.

The challenge here was to use one of the 8 UN’s Millenium Development Goals to create a story using 12 photographs only.

We focused on the issue of attaining universal primary education and in particular told the photo story of educating the girl child in rural India.

Here is the presentation.

Educate the Girl Child

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<Please do not use the photographs without permission>

My talk at Ignite

The talk at Ignite Bloomington went well. I liked the participation of the audience in smiling together with me. Here is the presentation that I had used. Please note that most of my presentations are void of too much texts, and I speak more. I truly believe that I have the audience attention better that way.  One audience member later summed up my talk in his blog post,

“Kshitiz shared the lessons he learned from research in rural India. The slides were pictures of people from rural India and were the most interesting slides of the show, as they were the least ‘Powerpointy’.”

Here is a that ‘non-powerpointy’ presentation, though I confess I did use Power Point to make it!

Kshitiz Anand Ignite Bloomington Presentation

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CHI 09 Updates

Here’s an update of the remaining things I noted at CHI Boston 2009 conference. I think it was a truly enriching experience.

I attended a few sessions on Mobile applications, on User Experience and on Application of Design in the Developing World.

There was a consensus on the call for HCI and User Experience to expand itself and reach out to communities where it had not been so successful. From what I felt, people are ready and willing to (budget permitting) to collaborate with researchers and local people who have a strong understanding of the locality and at the same time be an expert in HCI / UI / UXd/r. As I previously mentioned India did feature a lot during the presentations along with Africa. In fact in one session all the presentations were done in India. In Karnataka to be precise! Groups from universities in UK, Microsoft Research, and Nokia presented their works done in India on user research. There was a call for the expansion of the applications made for the mobiles for varying purposes. The UK group called for the role of Participatory Media in Community Development and its approach.

There were again some studies on voice based UIs, Text based UIs, and Rich Multimedia UIs. However one interesting thing was the focus on Semi-literate users. This was interesting as it allowed for the expansion of the UIs from the text only to graphics included. Rich multimedia UI was tried out, and there was a few projects done by people on iPhones (which I was not too impressed by). A person from UNICEF’s Innovation Division, in a panel discussion asked the HCI community for a 5$ mobile phone with easy interface to reach out to the millions in developing nations. I think that’s an interesting challenge.

There . . . → Read More: CHI 09 Updates

Presenting at Ignite Bloomington

My short talk titled, “Research Strategies for Designing for Social Impact” was selected to be presented at Ignite Bloomington event.

Ignite is a night of presentations on a variety of topics, with a twist. Each presentation has 20 slides, that automatically advance after 15 seconds. It is a worldwide movement, and Bloomington is hosting its first on April 16th at 6pm.

This inaugural edition has some amazing speakers and it should be fun.

I am excited to be sharing my pictures and talking more about my project. It was a challenge to put together the presentation, but at the end of it, I think people will like it.

CHI 2009 Day 1

I am recently attending the CHI conference at Boston.

I strted my day of multiple interesting sessions with the there is this bunch of people at Stanford’s Computing Science Department (the guy who presented was Neel Patel) who are collaborating with college students in India (Dhirubai Ambani Institute) to come up with voice based user interfaces. Their paper won an honorable paper mention (one amongst the 32 that were given this honor, out of the 694 that were accepted). They have implemented the system in Gujarat and working with farmers and testing the usefulness of touchtone based interactions versus speech based interactions. I thought it was pretty interesting stuff.

The prime focus as we know at CHI is Methodologies. I noticed that there was lot of focus on the presentations on NUMBERS. Almost all presentations (except the Nokia one) was full of data. Perhaps this was a way to stress on the process. However something that was missing was the Human element in the presentations. I definitely would have loved to see more papers with actual users talking or actual users feedback than just numbers. Also although I did not come across any interesting new methods so far, people were interested in exploring (and are infact exploring) in research and application of the existing methodolies to new domains.

So, some of the papers also are exploring for children as a potential user group. So there were issues of education being discussed and also panel discussions on children. How could one design digital games as an educational tool for rural children, based on analysis of 28 rural children outdoor games, was another interesting paper. (This is being centered at U C Berkley) Though was a little dissappointed at the presentation. Perhaps will understand better when I read the paper.  This . . . → Read More: CHI 2009 Day 1

HCI Design and Agile .. where does it head to?

I came across this interesting presentation the other day on Slideshare. Human-centered design meets Agile Development View more presentations from Maria Giudice. Often I wonder where is all this heading. While some believe that the two are definitely going to cross paths in the near future, there are a few who think that this might not be the case. Lets go through the presentation and decide for oneself. I think that the possibilities are exciting!