With just weeks until the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival begins, the Session Spotlight blog is working hard to bring you information about the most interesting sessions and speakers in Austin this year. In this installment, we talk to Anjuan Simmons, a technologist who has implemented software solutions as an executive at Accenture, Deloitte, and Infosys. Simmons will bring his professional experience, as well as his love for Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise, to his session, “Star Trek UX|UI Rules for Phones, Tablets, and TVs.” He has spoken at SXSW Interactive three times previously on topics ranging from comic book user interface lessons to increasing diversity in technology. Follow him on Twitter @anjuan where he discusses his passion for technology, politics, and culture.
SXSW: What will "Star Trek UX|UI Rules for Phones, Tablets, and TVs" cover?
Simmons: My session will cover the design lessons provided by the fictional Star Trek LCARS (Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) operating system. We'll discuss the smartphone user interface lessons of tricorders, the user experience rules for tablets offered by PADDs (Personal Access Display Devices), and how the main screen on the bridge of the Enterprise provides amazing insights into designing interfaces for big displays. My session will also share “second screen” lessons about how devices of different sizes should work together to create a user experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.
SXSW: What type of people will enjoy this panel?
Simmons: The people who will want to attend this session are professional user interface and user experience designers who are looking for a fresh paradigm for doing their work. Also, fans of the Star Trek series who want more examples of how Gene Roddenberry's fictional world continues to impact the real world. Roddenberry's legacy has already influenced the naming of the Enterprise space shuttle, the design of the iPad, and Scanadu, the real world tricorder. This session will show how every designer can learn from Star Trek!
SXSW: Why should registrants attend this session? What can they expect to gain from the panel?
Simmons: SXSW registrants should attend this session because it will present real world examples of how Star Trek has influenced user interface and user experience design. This session will also show how designers can take these Star Trek implementations to the next level and include them in their own work.
SXSW: What is your favorite aspect of SXSW Interactive?
Simmons: My favorite aspect of SXSW Interactive are the accidental interactions. Some of my closest friends and colleagues were people I met sitting in the chair next to me at a session or at an after hours parties. SXSW Interactive is a place where leading edge ideas are shared, but it is also a place where lifelong friendships are forged.
SXSW: What is your favorite memory from a past SXSW?
Simmons: My favorite memory from a past SXSW was hanging out on a rooftop bar in downtown Austin in 2012, with a mix of old and new friends listening to music, eating food, and talking late into the night.
SXSW: What’s one thing that we wouldn’t know about you based on your official bio?
Simmons: I have visited six of the seven continents, and I plan to visit my seventh (Antarctica) before I'm fifty.
"2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Star Trek UX|UI Rules for Phones, Tablets, and TVs"