Design Shift: Tech vs. Humans
Part 3: Observations of the Human Psyche, Behaviour and Cultural Shifts


Tue 16th June, 2020


Live streamed via Zoom


This event is open - bookings are not available.

Design Shift Tech Vs Humans Part 3
Image by San San Truong

1pm every Tuesday in June

Well, nothing could have prepared us for the recent events of 2020, not only from major disruptions in our lives due to the pandemic but also the need to adopt technological innovation at a much faster pace than ever before. At the rising age of data science, digital platforms, automation, artificial intelligence, cyborgs and smart technology — are we losing touch with what it means to be human?

AGDA now brings Design Shift: Tech vs. Humans online — a weekly five part live webinar series with our presenter, San San Truong. We have prepared a line up of speakers with a view to learn what communication and technology companies, designers and thought leaders are practicing today to acknowledge humanity in the face of rapid technological change. Plug into their minds as we touch on some key issues each week to consider and explore their contributions of human-centric design for what might shape a better future.

Part 3: Observations of the Human Psyche, Behaviour and Cultural Shifts
Haifa Sekkouah – Product Design Lead at Zendesk
Tilman Dingler – Computer Scientist & Lecturer at Melbourne University

The way we act and behave is considerably different to the pre-digital era. There is a cultural shift in the way we communicate our interests, expressions and beliefs, for example — reacting with emojis, leetspeak, hashtags and comments on social media. As people have more say in what they read, react, purchase and behave, we have society that seems to represent a mass reaction. Therefore, it is important to study the potential risks of what we design and listen carefully to the human needs expressed through these interactions.

Serious concerns have been raised about algorithms and online platforms, manipulating opinion and decision-making. They force users into filter bubbles and create echo chambers which amplify people’s views, beliefs, and convictions. How is it that technologies that make us more effective communicators, workers, and citizens manage to compromise rational thinking?

Haifa Sekkouah starts the dialogue in understanding how our new found data mines and technology require ethics become part of our day-to-day process of design and education. She reveals some deep vulnerable areas of the human psyche and how we can influence behaviours via thoughtful interaction choices and product decisions.

Tilman Dingler illustrates how app designs and interfaces prioritise user attention exploit their users’ cognitive biases, make us misread facts and seduce us to shallow reasoning. Where market incentives and governmental oversight fail us, how can we rethink technology design to build and reinforce critical thinking skills? Tilman advocates a design shift from shallow user engagement towards interfaces that prioritise information gain over attention capture and instil better information processing habits in their users.

We identify some of the cultural shifts and human behaviour as a result of the technological products we design today. We explore human-centred design thinking, by gaining insights from Haifa Sekkouah, and Tilman Dingler. How do we shape a better future through design?

Portrait of San San Truong

San San Truong

San San Truong is a visual designer & consultant in UX/UI, based in Melbourne, Australia. Her varied background in creative strategy, branding, advertising and digital product design has always been based on an interest in understanding and empathising with the user to create effective results. As the AGDA Design Shift councillor for Victoria, this webinar event has been a passion project for her to illustrate the trends and opportunities for the future of design. She seeks to add value to businesses, end-users of products and the design community by realising the full potential of creativity, empathy and design thinking.

Portrait of Haifa Sekkouah

Haifa Sekkouah

Haifa is a Product Design Lead at Zendesk. Her background in advertising, graphic design and behavioural neuroscience has provided her with the ability to design across multimedia channels and platforms, focus on branding, designing with intent and intelligent user experiences to turn marketing investments into ROIs. Her experience as a creative designer has helped shape her expertise for UX as she had a natural inclination to understand user journeys, managing teams, steer the creative team towards a specific end goal, stretching creative boundaries within each identity to gain the attention of potential target markets and current users.

Portrait of Tilman Dingler

Tilman Dingler

Tilman is a Lecturer at the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. Before coming to Melbourne, Tilman was a Project Assistant Professor at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan and spent some time as a visiting postdoc at the MIT Media Lab. In between his Tilman worked in Industry as an engineer at Yahoo! Inc. and several startups. His research focuses on building cognition-aware technologies that support information processing and augment human cognition. In his recent work, he designs systems that help mitigate cognitive biases and engage users in critical reflection.