UXCamp 2010 – Bad Blogger Back in Berlin

Why am I here? In the overall-until-I-die life sense it’s obvious – to fuck and reproduce. All these fools looking for a deeper meaning in life are wasting their time. You’re just here to reproduce and/or help increase the world population at a rate greater than those souls who are dying. Why complicate your head when the answer is simple, straight forward, and dialed into your DNA sex-drive/maternal/paternal instincts?

Oh, why am I in Berlin? Also an easy question to answer. I’m back in Berlin for the 2010 UXCamp Europe. It’s the premier gathering of UX/UI people in Europe, a venerable nexus of smart minded brains focused on developing user experiences in software and applications. In the past half year I’ve gotten interested in designing user interfaces and user experience strategies, partially because I want to develop Revolt from the Singles Table into an iPhone/Android app, partially cause I just find it interesting how humans interact with technology. I want to talk about the UX of books at the UXCamp. Books…you know, the things we read, with the words printed on paper that open up and can be put on shelves or burned? Books…those things that we are now reading on electronic devices like ebook readers or maybe an ipod, iphone, ipad, Android phone, or whatever. But my question is why?

What are the essential elements of the printed book user experience, which should be transfered to the ebook concept? This all started when I finished my first short story/micro novel titled Revolt from the Singles Table. I was thinking up spoken-word viral video marketing ideas for the book and then I was like, but what exactly am I selling? A printed book? An idea? I’m selling the book, which is just a container for ideas. Some books are turned into moving pictures, then the movie is the container for the idea. How does this all fit together when we design a mobile application, turn the printed book into a program which immerses the user/reader with pictures and sounds and words, which together better communicate the ideas contained within the book than a printed medium would be able to communicate.

Maybe I’m not really qualified to talk about this at this premier nexus for UX/UI people of the world – but one time I tried to climb a 6000m peak in Bolivia. Hyuana Potosi is billed as one of the easiest 6000m peaks in the world. However, it was my third attempt to climb a mountain and only the second time in my life that I’d been above 4000m. At the time I was living in flat-land Michigan and had little first-hand mountaineering experience. Now I live in Switzerland split my time between climbing/ski touring/mountaineering. In Bolivia I got up to about 5000m and told the guide I was finished. So why not put myself out there again and try to do something I’m not really qualified for?

I figure that, since I’ve written a book, read ebooks on my ipod and now want to market and sell Revolt from the Singles Table in printed and electronic forms, I can at least lead a discussion on the subject.