UW–Madison alumnus Zachary Kaiser has recently released a book with Bloomsbury Visual Arts called, “Interfaces and Us: User Experience Design and the Making of the Computable Subject.”
Kaiser earned his BS with the School of Education’s Art Department in 2006 and today is a faculty member of graphic design and experience architecture at Michigan State University. His research examines the relationship between technological interfaces and political subjectivity, with a current focus on metrics and analytics in higher education.
A preview of the book published on the Bloomsbury website explains: “We’re all familiar with smart TVs making suggestions on our future watching, real-world exercise data being transferred into stats and infographics on our workout apps, and turning up our home heating before we start our commute — but how does this world of technological interfaces affect our actions and perceptions of self?”
The preview continues: “When society relies on computer models and their interfaces to explain and predict everything from love to geopolitical conflicts, our own behavior and choices are artificially changed. Zachary Kaiser explores the harmful social consequences of this idea — balanced against speed and ease for the user — and how design practice and education can respond positively.”
In a story about his new book posted to the Michigan State University website, Kaiser says: “We all use things that have interfaces, but we don’t very often acknowledge what that interface may be doing as a whole. UX design is far too concerned with making things easy to use rather than being concerned with the end effect on society.”
Kaiser noted in an email to the UW–Madison School of Education: “I’m proud to say that this journey began, in many ways, in the Art Department at UW.”
Learn more about “Interfaces and Us,” here.