Culture Hack Scotland 2012 liveblog

I’m live blogging again, this time from the opening of Culture Hack Scotland 2012 which is just opening with our first guest inspiration talk….

James Stewart, technical architecture for 

They created the Gov data alpha; replacement for directgov.
Tricky to talk about that here… My perspective is from London but be aware we are thinking hard about devolved presences and how that is handled.
Inside government – stuff the general public wants but not first thingEleasing 10 design principles informing what we’re doing. Trying to change very old organisations with very new tech.
1. Start with user need.
2. Do less.
3. Design with data – using request logs for data, regu,actions on what must be provided etc. we use Google Analytics and think about KPIs to inform how we do and improve this all the time.
4. Do the hard work to make it simple – what two or three questions do you need answers to to make the simplest solution for your users
5. Iterate. Then iterate again. We put out a release,get feedback, improve, iterate, blog the change etc.
6. Build for everyone – we didn’t think about accessibility at all on the alpha but we are now doing a lot to ensure all is accessible and it really helps in thinking about making things simpler.
7. Understand context. A lot of people are set in their ways but lots of others are frustrated with the system and want change. Finding those people can be really powerful. Building stuff fast makes a big difference, let’s people understand the benefit.
8. Build digital services – how do you connect up the User experience and the actual service, the thing they want solved. How do we use APIs and decoupling to do this.
9. Be consistent, not uniform. Up until now you had to learn the sites from scratch. We don’t want them to be the same but once you learn to use one you should be able to use them all.
10. Make things open. We are very open source. We put code on GitHub. And we had an early commit to flag up erroneous Scottish bank holidays etc. we want more interaction. – engage, correct us…if you do these things openly people are inclined to come and help you.
Finally note that we are hiring!
Over to i think Erin for the data…
We have split this into themes…
  • Archives – Glasgow Uni, Scottish Poetry Library
  • Content – Edwin Morgan poems, Macbeth marked up, Catarina child’s book, images from museum did art gallery
  • Listings – in Glasgow at the moment it’s the Glasgow international festival on visual arts and we have their listings, we have List, Skinny, edinburgh Festivals, Creative Scotland etc
  • Footfall data, carbon/energy use in Edinburgh
  • So lets talk data…. You could use the Richard dimarco images to chronologically track social and cultural change over time. Or you could combine the international listIngs with social media mentions.
  • Alex – I want to think
  • Sarah Drummond, award winner, has ideas next!
  • Kate Ho – we want to do something with a particular Edwin Morgan poem, stobhill, to make a computer game
  • Rory? We want an en mass party game/reading of Macbeth!
  • James – loads of collection data.. Want to build a what do I do today… Pick from various pairs of pieces when having done a few of those you get suggestions
And now…
Brigitta Zics, director of culture lab at Newcastle University
We do various projects which bring together HCI as well as art researchers, very different from social sciences! And we are around 100 researchers, always happy to hear from more!
We are all about art, design, technology, but also critical and reflective perspectives on that work. So I’ve been asked to talk about aesthetic design… Hci is very tech driven, design and interactive design and designers who try to bring this all together are also important.
I work on combinations of all of these aspects… I am an artist, I code, I’m interested in psychology as well. We can think of interaction as knowledge exchange. How does interactive work become aesthetics? I want to show some of my work here to illusate the concept. I’ve done some work on data visualisation called mirror space. People interact with an object and their facial characteridates plus data on the web created an image to reflect back.  Abouts body movement, not literal representations… This is about experience not beauty here.
One of the most inspiring things I found was an article in new scientist on a woman with locked in syndrome who knew she would lose all movement, even her eyes. So she came up with a way to communicate through her saliva. So if you imagine ph levels, she could say yes or no by having someone read the ph in her mouth and using her body in this way.
So we need to think about the user, not just cultural or social but also how we are acting, what are we doing, our physical selves. Interaction that rElates to that. So taking a sort of aesthetic ecologies type approach.
So my current project uses interaction with eye movement and screen and a heating and cooling system. So I think about monitoring the user, feeding back to them and engaging with them so I set up a sort of feedback loop here. A kind of cognitive mfeedback loop of interacting in an aesthetic way with the body.  There are some papers we have written on eye movement systems and aesthetics. And we are looking at emotional states and engaging on that level next really.
My message is to go beyond tech and thinking about people and abouT their imagination, and qualities that outlast technologies.
And with that the talk ends, the action kicks off… And the live logging pauses for some time….

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About Nicola Osborne

I am Digital Education Manager and Service Manager at EDINA, a role I share with my colleague Lorna Campbell. I was previously Social Media Officer for EDINA working across all projects and services. I am interested in the opportunities within teaching and learning for film, video, sound and all forms of multimedia, as well as social media, crowdsourcing and related new technologies.

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