Innovation Encounter: Steve Tengler’s Day Out

–Steve Tengler is Altia’s User Experience Director. He chronicles his day at Innovation Encounter 2011.–

[7:00 am] The alarm. Ugh. On a Saturday? Really??

innenc1 [9:25 am]  Very cool. At first I thought this Innovation Encounter 2011 (hosted by Lawrence Tech University) was solely one local university, but I found out over breakfast that twenty-five (25) universities participate in the over-arching program and today’s contestants have traveled from a subset of that consortium. As the teams arrive from St. Louis, Chicago, Spokane, etc., I’m letting the coffee wash over my gray matter and fire-up the synapses. I obviously need to be “on my game” today as a judge.

[9:28 am] OK, I just realized I forgot my wallet this morning. Ugh. More coffee.

[9:40 am] Noah Webster of Leon Speakers, the sponsor for today’s event, took questions and provided cheerful answers. The beaming sunshine (which has been a stranger to southeastern Michigan lately) framed this inspirational start of the day. Bright. Innovation. We’re ready! I learned that several teams stayed up until 4am, so I might be well rested in comparison.
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Quick Stroll Down Memory Lane

–Steve Tengler is Altia’s User Experience Director. He’s also a proud Wolverine.–

Yesterday I happened to be on The University of Michigan’s engineering campus in Ann Arbor, MI, for the IBM Symposium, which was not only a great chance to how successful companies like General Motors and Visteon have used IBM’s tools (and Altia) to provide winning software solutions but it was also a chance for me to wander down memory lane. North campus! GO BLUE! It was a moment of pride until …

… I decided for laughs to try my old User ID in the campus computer. Yeah, yeah. I know: two decades have past. When I was last on North Campus, they asked us to try this new thing called “e-mail”, which my theatre-major girlfriend ridiculed by asking, “So wait, it’s a way for engineers to communicate? Hmmm … sounds geeky.” So, no, I wasn’t expecting my password to work, but I was expecting something better than this:

What the?!!?
What the?!!?

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Thoughts from #IUE2011

–Steve Tengler, Altia’s User Experience Director, just finished attending and presenting at the 2011 Internet User Experience Conference in Ann Arbor, MI. His initial reactions here.–

Dichotomy. What I found fascinating this week at the 7th annual Internet User Experience (IUE) Conference in Ann Arbor, MI, was the dichotomy between this gathering and a conference I attended earlier this year not thirty miles away. At the unnamed conference I attended a session based around the X-factor of various products, but the questions and discussion quickly diverged to the UX-factor (or User Experience Factor). While the executives only mildly schooled in user interfaces opined about UX being the new battleground of competitive differentiation, journalists scribbled copious notes.

At IUE this week, there were no notepads, Dictaphones or cameras, but the same conclusion about UX’s influence on product excellence came forward, and the informed opinions shared data and conclusions. So … in case you’re a journalist or executive who missed it, here are the lessons I learned during the exchange:

1. “Uniqueness is not the same as innovation.” This quote summarized a few of the presentations very succinctly. In other words, you can create something completely different from others, but completely undesirable … and the only way to avoid that expensive fate is User-Centered Design.
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WEBINAR: Guided Tour of Altia Design 10

Click to register now

In August, we released the latest version of our HMI development software — Altia Design 10.  This new release features some huge advances in productivity, effects and design management. In our upcoming one hour webinar, Brian Stewart, Altia Senior HMI Developer with seven years in the trenches with Altia Design, will  walk us through the new features, explaining how they will benefit you, your team and your next Altia user interface project.

Register now for an expert tour of these new Altia Design 10 features:

Navigator — This feature is the blueprint for your Altia projects.  Whether the design is your own or belongs to a colleague, Navigator lets you quickly explore and understand designs.  Get up to speed – fast!

Vectors — Not new, but improved support for SVG content!  Expand your artistic opportunities by including crisp, clean vector images in your HMI.  As a bonus, vector images take up less memory, so you can start shopping in the lower memory (and lower cost) hardware aisle.

The Blur Effect — Enhance your raster images with this new feature, by adding motion effects or combine with transparency for cool reflections on stationery objects in your display.

The Flash Object — This Altia Design add-on lets you import pre-existing Flash content into your user interfaces.  Add engaging media for splash screens, special alerts, seasonal offerings and more.

Classing Break down complex interfaces into manageable pieces.  Work in parallel and then merge separate projects seamlessly.  Apply changes to multiple objects at the same time.

Peter Abowd to Speak at IBM Symposium

On Wednesday, October 19, Peter Abowd, President of Altia, Inc., will be speaking at IBM’s Rational Systems and Software Engineering Symposium, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This event will focus on integrated product management and systems and software development – highlighting the IBM Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering.

In his presentation, “Secrets to Getting High Impact User Interfaces into Production Embedded Devices,” Peter will share Altia’s lessons learned over the last twenty years of helping embedded technology innovators build next generation touchscreen-based products. He will explain how user interface development tools can streamline and jumpstart the graphical user interface development process, giving development teams the capability to elevate their brands using secrets that market leaders have spent years to discover on their own.

Click here to learn more.

Altia President to Speak at IBM Rational Systems and Software Engineering Symposium

Peter Abowd to Discuss Secrets to Getting High Impact User Interfaces into Production Embedded Devices

On Wednesday, October 19, Peter Abowd, President of Altia, Inc., will be speaking at IBM’s Rational Systems and Software Engineering Symposium, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This event will focus on integrated product management and systems and software development – highlighting the IBM Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering.

Mr. Abowd will join speakers from a number of IBM Rational partners, including Rocket Gang, BigLever Software and INCHRON.

The symposium will feature sessions around topics including the core processes of requirements management, architecture and industry best practices.  In Mr. Abowd’s presentation, “Secrets to Getting High Impact User Interfaces into Production Embedded Devices,” he will share Altia’s lessons learned over the last twenty years of helping embedded technology innovators build next generation touchscreen-based products. He will explain how user interface development tools can streamline and jumpstart the graphical user interface development process, giving development teams the capability to elevate their brands using secrets that market leaders have spent years to discover on their own.

Mr. Abowd will provide a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience to the conference discussion.  As Altia’s President, he oversees strategic product development and the company’s growth in the global marketplace.  Before joining Altia, Mr. Abowd gained over twenty years of industry experience at both Visteon Corporation and Ford Motor Company. He served as Visteon’s Director of Embedded Software Development, overseeing the software development for all Audio/Infotainment, Driver Information and Climate Control products in North America and Europe. Mr. Abowd also developed Visteon’s Visualization and Simulation Laboratory for cross-disciplined development of Human Machine Interfaces utilizing model-based software engineering.

IBM’s Rational Systems and Software Engineering Symposium will take place at the University of Michigan – Pierpoint Commons in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

About Altia

Altia, Inc. is a software company that provides user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final product code. Altia also provides engineering services to support customer projects. The company was founded in 1991 and its customers include United Technologies, Ford, Chrysler, NordicTrack, Guidant, Star Trac, Hollister, Lockheed Martin and hundreds of other leading manufacturers. For more information about Altia’s products and services, visit www.altia.com or contact Altia’s corporate headquarters at 719-598-4299.