testing, students toy around with t-tests, Bonferroni corrections, and
Friedman’s non-parametric analyses of variance. Through serious play,
HML students have designed and tested some of the world’s first paper
computers; the first flexible smartphone; long-range, calibration-free
eye-tracking devices; spherical displays; pseudo-holographic cylindrical
video conferencing systems; and the like.
What is one feature of your lab you would not do without?
The cappuccino maker. The Apple museum comes in a good second.
What is one feature of your lab that you want and don’t have?
The new facilities, which were just opened in May, offer a wealth of
equipment and features that we have yet to explore fully. Students are
currently hogging the 3-D printer to build hardware for experiment setups, and are working on ways to integrate flexible displays into everyday product designs. Which means we could always use a few more
Describe how people interact in your lab.
HML researchers love serious play. They also love working together. All
student activity involves collaboration in groups of two or three. There
is an emphasis on sharing all ideas in the lab, and researchers support
and help develop one another’s visions for the benefit of getting stuff
done. Tight collaborations have led to strong bonds between students,
which typically last well beyond graduation. Groups of HML alumni continue to see each other on a regular basis for years to come, often spanning generations of students that graduated from the lab.
What is the one thing you see as most important about
what you do here?
The education of young minds in a field that can be loved only for
enhancing and bettering the lives of other people through invention and
understanding the human factors in design. And in the process, perhaps
positively influencing the design of a future world of more human-centered interactive everyday things. The students enjoy that; the postdocs
enjoy that. And, hopefully, so do future users. We like to think that we
are changing the world one prototype or study at a time.