Feb 5th, 2019: Workshop on Calm Technology at Interaction ’19 in Seattle

Smarter Humans, Not Smarter Devices: How to Design Calm Technology

Jonathan Brown and I are excited to announce a half day workshop during Interaction ’19 on Feb 5th, 2019, starting at 2pm!

Want to attend? Get tickets to Interaction ’19 here!

How can we design technologies that work alongside us, instead of against us?

The difference between an annoying technology and one that is helpful is how it engages our attention. Calm Technology is a framework for designing products and services that engage our attention in an appropriate manner. The aim of Calm Technology is to provide principles that follow the human lifestyle and environment in mind, allowing technology to amplify humanness instead of taking it away.

Participants will work in groups to solve a series of design challenges, including designing new products, ‘calming down’ a complex ones, communicating the principles of Calm Technology across an organization and team, and entering a product successfully into the marketplace.

Workshop Organizers

Amber Case
Amber Case studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds. She is the author of “Calm Technology” and “Designing with Sound” from O’Reilly books. She was a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a visiting researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media. In 2019, Amber joined the Institute for the Future (IFTF) as a Research Fellow.

Jon Brown
Jon Brown is a Digital Architect with SDLC Partners in Pittsburgh, PA where he designs novel interactions to improve outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. He is a veteran of MAYA Design and holds a Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.

Designing for Privacy in Mobile and Web Apps at Interaction ’14 in Amsterdam

Last week I spoke at Interaction ’14 in Amsterdam, a conference on interaction design and user experience. The conference was fantastic. There were a lot of speakers from many different fields tangental to interaction design, including cartoonist Scott McCloud and communication professor Klaus Krippendorff. These different perspectives ended up adding a lot to my talk as I developed it over the course of the conference. My topic was designing for privacy in mobile and web apps. I wanted to give a series of guidelines, some understanding of how privacy is socially constructed, and then provide a future perspective on how we can own our own data.

Practice privacy by design, not privacy by disaster!

Almost every application requires some gathering of personal data today. Where that data is stored, who has access to it, and what is done with that data later on is becoming increasingly important as more and more of our data lives online today. Privacy disasters are costly and can be devastating to a company. UX designers and developers need to have a framework for protecting user data, communicating it to users, and making sure that the entire process is smoothly handled.

This talk covers best practices for designing web and mobile apps with the privacy of individual users in mind. Privacy has been an even bigger issue with location-based apps, and we ran into it head-first when we began work on Geoloqi (now part of Esri). Designing an interface that made one’s personal empowering instead of creepy was our goal. The stories from our design decisions with our application will also be included in this talk.

Talk Slides

What was your favorite talk at Interaction Conf?

In June I’ll be speaking at Frontiers of Interaction in Florence, Italy!

This June, I’ll be traveling to Italy to talk about humans and technology at Frontiers of Interaction in Florence, Italy. It will be an honor to meet a great number of brilliant minds and learn new things. I’ll be back with a report at the end of June!

The leading Innovation conference in Italy.

What is Frontiers of Interaction?

Frontiers of Interaction was founded in 2005 to explore topics and ideas in the field of Interaction Design. In a very short time, it has become known as the leading Innovation conference in Italy.

Frontiers of Interaction is a hybrid show that attracts inspiring international speakers and Italian talents, creating a bridge between Europe and Silicon Valley (digital cultural “hot spots” around the world) .

  • Local and international speakers.
  • Multidisciplinary audience of managers, researchers and media professionals.
  • A passionate cream of the crop team of organizers.
  • The unusual format creates an immersive experience featuring music, interactive and artistic installations, demo sites and keynotes, and makes it an ideal venue for thinkers and doers, innovators and academics, early adopters and long-term geeks.


Florence, June, 20-21, 2011.

Want to meet me there?

You can register for Frontiers of Interaction here or follow @frontiersof on Twitter!