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Sunday, March 9 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Magic and Mental Models: Using Illusion to Simplify Designs

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As children, we're told the world is a magical place. Babies are delivered by storks. The tooth fairy harvests retired teeth in exchange for currency. Bunnies deliver candies in brightly covered baskets on a spring holiday. The world's adults use magic to explain away the complexity of life.In our work, confusing complexity is the natural result of an unchecked design and development process. Teams work hard, responding to customer requests through incremental improvement and feature enhancements, yet they often end up with a dismaying array of features that make users unhappy.In this entertaining presentation, Jared will share some of his recent research into the craft of professional magic. He'll demonstrate the parallels between the world of magical illusions and the world of digital design, comparing the similarities between professional illusions and some of today's top design techniques.In this presentation, you'll learn how:* Illusions performed by professional magicians follow the same design principles as your computer's file system* Designers can create specific mental models to eliminate perceived complexity* Simple design tricks can make designs seem to be faster than they really are* Whimsicality, attention, and functionality are essential elements to creating delightful experiencesYou'll see examples of illusions built into a variety of designs, including those from Microsoft, Flickr, Netflix, iTunes, and Facebook. Jared will also, possibly at his own peril, reveal the secrets from several magical illusions to show you just how the tricks were created and the effects are realized,giving you the ammunition necessary to build illusions into your own designs.

Sunday March 9, 2008 11:30am - 12:30pm
Austin Convention Ctr Room 9

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