Interaction14 – Food, Comics, and the UI of Nature

Interaction14 is off to a blazing start, and man if it doesn’t sound like a kaleidoscope of designers, thought-leaders, and crazy beautiful ideas. There’s everything from interactive skateboard ramps to talks about principles of user experience design learned from cats.

Exactly what kind of “conference” is this?

This year Cooper sent over a troop of people for inspiration, elucidation and to capture some of the creative spark that only happens when you put hundreds of brilliant people in a big room for 4 days. In between workshops, talks, and happy hours, they’ve been slapping together some pretty stunning sketchnotes for us local folks. Here are notes from 4 of the talks that went down on Thursday. See sketchnotes from Friday and Saturday too!

Comics and Visual Communication

Scott McCloud (@ScottMcCloud)

Sketchnote by Chris Noessel (@ChrisNoessel)

Comics and Visual Communication Big Idea:

One of the biggest themes that we’ve seen running through this conference is that design is more than meets the eye, or finger for that matter, it’s about relationships.

Our medium is not ink or pixels; it is the knowledge and experience of our readers [or users].

– Scott McCloud

Description of the Comics and Visual Communication talk

The UI of Nature

Zak Brazen (@brazenworks) & Wyatt Starosta (@wyattstarosta)

(If you’re a Cooper Parlor follower you might remember a suspiciously similar talk from these guys last September…)

Sketchnote by Kendra Shimmell (@KShimmell)

UI of Nature Big Idea:

Nature is WILDLY iterative. For a long time, nature has tinkered with and fine-tuned the systems of interaction between plants, animals, and ecosystems so that they all not only coexist, but thrive. As designers of interactive systems, we should learn from all nature and use its lessons and principles to inspire work that similarly benefit the people and communities it connects.

Description of The UI of Nature talk

Food = Interaction

Bernard Lahousse (@foodpairing)

Sketchnote by Chris Noessel (@ChrisNoessel)

Sketchnote by Kendra Shimmell (@KShimmell)

Food = Interaction Big Idea:

Food is influenced through interaction with and between our senses.

– Bernard Lahousse

Description from the Food = Interaction talk

Everybody Knows When You’re Talking to Your Mother

Chris Clark (@Clarko)

Sketchnote by Susan Dybbs (@Dybbsy)

Sketchnote by Chris Noessel (@ChrisNoessel)

Everybody Knows When You’re Talking to Your Mother Big Idea:

We want our lawyers to be happy, but we want our users to be happier.

– Chris Clark

Description from the Everybody Knows When You’re Talking to Your Mother talk


The Student Design Challenge has been chugging away under the guidance of Dianna Miller and our own Izac Ross.

No word on a winner yet, but here’s a quick behind the scenes glance of the finalists at work

Photos by @zhuli, @zaic, @almeerama, and @IXDASDC

This just barely scratches the surface of what’s going down at Interaction14. Check back tomorrow for more updates from Amsterdam!

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