User-centered design, as an approach, improved upon earlier frameworks that put the human after the computer (CHI, for example). Nevertheless, the portrayal of a target audience as "users," and their experiences as "content," flattens interaction into a passive act of consumption. The most exciting web sites evolve and adapt through their use by their fans (people, who I suggest we call "players"). It's player-generated content that makes Flickr fun and Digg informative. Paul will review some of the more interesting results from psychology on skill acquisition, motivation, and judgment and decisionmaking, viewed through the lens of interaction design with dynamic players who co-create their communities through their gestures and decisions.
Paul Sas directs market research at E*Trade. He is the current chair of BayCHI. He received a PhD from the Stanford Psychology department in 2000, where his research helped answer the question: "Since most people irrationally focus on low-priority goals, what situations encourage high-priority goal formulation?" While at Stanford, he interned at PARC in the User Interface Research Group.