Are you curious about music and automated composition? Please have a look at the survey (it is fun, you probably get some ideas, and you help us with our research):
In the news section on standard software in the Germany IT magazine IX a Forrester Consulting survey was quoted that provides some evidence that UIs matter. . The survey states that for over 80% of CIOs and heads of IT departments the user interface is critical when they make buying decisions. (photo of the article is from IX 2008-01)
The IX magazine is typically more technically oriented and I think little article underlines a trend that happens: people responsible in IT realized how vital the interaction between users and systems are. In my eyes optimizing the user interface is in many business applications the “low hanging fruit” to optimize efficiency and eventually ROI.
We currently run a survey on “Implicit Personalization of Public Environments” as part of a master thesis. The thesis looks at the technical realization of this approach based on Bluetooth and mobile devices with a focus on creating an acceptable solution with regard to users’ privacy. If you are interested in the topic and can spare 5 minutes have a look at our questionnaire on implicit personalization, there is a German version of the survey, too.
The questionnaire is set up on a server (http://onlineforschung.org) that offers free hosting for scientific/non-profit surveys.
While waiting in
KIA has done a survey (with over 2000 people) in the UK on decision making in the car. It appears that people use the time in the car to discuss major issues in their lives and that they make significant decisions during long journeys. I have not found the original survey from KIA but there are several pages that discuss the results, e.g. gizmag.
Some findings in short, people talked about/made descions: going on holiday (63%), buying a car (50%), moving (40%), getting a pet (26%), getting married (23%). The main reason for the car on a long journey being an effective environment for communication seems the fact the people are close together for a long time and no-one can walk away (41%). Also the fact that you have reason not to look the other person into the eyes, as you have to watch the street, was valued.
Thinking about it there it may also have to do with the function of space. A car puts people close together – in some case to intimate distances (up to 50cm) but defiantly to personal distances (50cm-125cm). There is a comprehensive overview by Nicolas Nova, Socio-cognitive functions of space in collaborative settings: a literature review about Space, Cognition and Collaboration (original reference to my knowledge is Hall, E.T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension: Man’s Use of Space in Public and Private. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.).
This survey made me think more about the design space “car”. Recently two of my students – Anneke Winter and Wolfgang Spießl – finished there master projects at BMW looking into search technologies and user interfaces in the car. It seems there are a lot of ideas that can be pushed forward realizing Ubicomp in the car.