HCIL BBL Speaker Series: Glitch Design & Interfaces

Event Start Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Event End Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 1:30 pm

Photo of Alex Leitch, UMD iSchool Lecturer

“When designing interfaces, there is an inherent tension between usability and learnability.” ~ Alex Leitch

Join the HCIL and speaker Alex Leitch for a Zoom discussion on how style and breakage play into this tension by encouraging and then undermining user trust, and how expert users may take greater ownership over devices by working with breakage to make unique interactions. We will explore the promises of the most common interaction design grammars and contrast them with familiar grammars of other types of screen-based interaction, examining the role played by game feel, and how a play-oriented perspective can decompose a skilled, planned experience into alternate, client-driven use cases. TL:DR; people find their own uses for things, let’s see how that works with screen-based experiences. Open to the public.


Alex Leitch is a technology consultant and artist whose work focuses on interaction design. As an artist, they have exhibited at the Toronto International Film Festival, multiple galleries, and installation festivals such as Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room, Ontario Place’s Winter Lights, and the Burning Man festival. In their developer role, Leitch has served as a technical lead or senior software developer on many web-based projects. They cofounded Site 3 Colaboratory, an art and technology makerspace in Toronto, Dames Making Games Toronto, and have been involved in a variety of Canadian not-for-profit arts and entertainment organizations. Alex teaches how to approach technology from a creative perspective.

The University of Maryland (UMD) Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) is jointly supported by the UMD iSchool and UMIACS. This is event is part of the HCIL weekly speaker series, held every Thursday during the semester.

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