HCI International 2015
Los Angeles, CA, USA
2-7 August 2015

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T11: User-Experience Design in Science-Fiction Movies and Television: The Past 100 Years of the Future

Monday, 3 August 2015, 09:00 - 12:30

Aaron Marcus (short bio)
Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California, United States



Participants in this course will:

  • Understand how science-fiction movies and television have/have not incorporated fundamental principles of user-centered design to achieve usability, usefulness, and appeal
  • Understand the development of science-fiction in the popular media over the past 100 years
  • Understand how to combine their professional knowledge to look at popular media


HCI in Sci-Fi Movies and Television will summarize and analyze the past 100 years of human-computer interaction as incorporated into science-fiction cinema and videos, beginning with the advent of movies in the early 1900s (Melies' "A Trip to the Moon," which was recently referenced in the recent movie "Hugo").

For many decades movies have shown technology in advance of its commercialization (for example, video phones and wall-sized television displays, hand-gesture systems, and virtual reality displays). In some cases mistaken views about what is usable, useful, and appealing seem to be adopted, perhaps because of their cinematic benefits. In any case, these media have served as informal "test-beds" for new technologies of human-computer interaction and communication. They provide ample evidence for heuristic evaluations, ethnographic enalysis, market analysis, critique of personas and use scenarios, and new approaches to conceptual and visual design.

The course will explore issues of what is "futuristic" and what is not, gender-role differences, optimism/pessimism, and user-centered design characteristics in more than two dozen films and a half-dozen television shows. Examples from China, India, and Japan will also be referenced.
Participants will be informally quizzed about their recognition of the media examples shown and their analysis of contexts, technologies, business models, user communities, and designs . Discussion with participants throughout the presentation will be encouraged.

Target Audience:

The tutorial is appropriate for:

  1. people who are new to the topic
  2. people who have some experience with HCI and/or SciFi
  3. people who have much experience with HCI

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Since 1982, Mr. Marcus has been President of AM+A. He has taught at six universities (Princeton, Yale, UC/Berkeley, Hebrew University/Jerusalem, Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, and the University of Toronto). In 1992, he received the National Computer Graphics Association's annual award for contributions to industry. In 2000, the International Council of Graphic Design Organizations (ICOGRADA) named him a Master Graphic Designer of the Twentieth Century. In 2007, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) named him a Fellow of for his work in cross-cultural design. In 2008, he was elected to the CHI Academy. In 2009, he received the UPA Service award for being Editor-in-Chief of UX Magazine for five years. He has given keynote plenary presentations ACM/SIGGRAPH 1980, ACM/SIGCHI 1999, UPA 2005/Montreal, and User Friendly 2012/Beijing. He is now a Master of the De Tao Academy in Beijing and is also an International Advisor to the Dragon Design Foundation, Beijing, China. He has published the previous content of this tutorial in an ebook: The Past 100 Years of the Future and edited an issue of UX magazine on this topic. He has given this presentation, constantly updated, as keynote lectures, tutorials, and workshops worldwide since 2011 about 10 times.

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