UX Australia 2009

Meet your ancestors

Alex Wright

For most of us who work in the UX world, the Web is all we have ever really known. But whether we realize it or not, we all belong to a continuum of practice that stretches far back into human prehistory. For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been making tools to help them interact with each other and share their collective wisdom.

In this talk, writer and researcher Alex Wright will take us on a guided tour of the many ways people have collected and shared information over the years: from the earliest folk taxonomies to the origins of writing, books, libraries and early hypertext systems that in some ways surpassed the present-day Web. Along the way, we will look for promising ideas left by the historical wayside. By exploring the deep history of the information age, we can not only develop a fresh perspective on how we use our information-seeking tools today, but we can also find practical ideas for improving the user experience of tomorrow’s Web.

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