Understanding Us

@dknemeyer dirk.knemeyer.com
Friday, February 3, 2012

I believe the next great frontier of human endeavour relates to how we understand ourselves and each other, and use that understanding to dramatically improve the quality of the world and our lives. Interaction designers should be centrally focused on these opportunities. The rest of my life will be spent contributing to these solutions.

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1992-1999: Studying and teaching, to become a philosopher 1999-2001: Ad agency, account side 2001-2002: Management consultant 2002-2004: UX agency, creative side 2004-2010: UX agency, entrepreneur 2010-forever: Improving the world thru creative production
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curious relentless introverted serious creative controlling caring loving impatient easily bored committed honest angry unsettled authentic
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Chapter 1 Magic

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“I would sooner believe that two Yankee professors lied, than that stones fell from the sky.” - Thomas Jefferson, ~1790

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“What, sir, would make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.” - Napoleon Bonaparte, ~1805

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“Rail travel at high speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” - Dr. Dionysius Lardner, ~1830

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“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try to find oil? You’re crazy.” - Professional drillers, 1859

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“No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free.” - Kaiser Wilhelm I, 1864

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“It’s a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?” (on the telephone) - Rutherford B. Hayes, 1872

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“(The light bulb is) good enough for our transatlantic friends...but unworthy of the attention of practical and scientific men.” - British Parliamentary Council, 1878

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“Man will not fly for 50 years.” - Wilbur Wright, 1901

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“We don’t know ourselves, we knowledgable people - we are personally ignorant about ourselves. And there’s a good reason for that. We’ve never tried to find out who we are how could it happen that one day we could discover ourselves?” - Friedrich Nietzche, 1887

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Chapter 2 Mystery

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What was the moment in your life that means the most to you?

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What was the most awful moment in your life?

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Why do we know the geologic make-up of other planets, but do not have the tools to sustain good relationships? Why do we study sciences we will never use, but do not take courses about understanding the self and the other? Why are at least four world powers planning trips to Mars, when we have gaping disparities between our citizens? Why do we invest so much in technologies to add to the quantity of our lives, while essentially ignoring the quality of our lives?
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Chapter Last Application

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“What is the essence of the problem?” - Marshall Ferdinand Foch

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Coding is to UI Design...

...as Human Understanding is to Interaction Design

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Sciences of Human Understanding

• Psychology • Sociology • Neuroscience • Endocrinology • Economics
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Interaction designers should lead this future.

• Make being a “user expert” core
to your professional identity

• Gain at least a survey level
keep learning

understanding of major fields

• Deep dive into something, and
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Thank you.
@dknemeyer dirk.knemeyer.com facio.com

Friday, February 3, 2012