October 7-10, 2012, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Session Details

Reach Out and Touch Someone: Marshall McLuhan and the Tactile Web

#UAD4 Usability, Accessibility and Design Track

102 C, Frontier Airlines Center


In his seminal work, "Understanding Media," Marshall McLuhan contended that media are essentially extensions of human senses: print is an extension of the eye, the phonograph and radio of the ear, and so on. McLuhan did not live to see the rise of the web, but he had already predicted that the sense being extended in what he called the "electric age" was that of touch. With the tactile interfaces of the iPhone and similar devices becoming increasingly common, the medium of the web is already becoming something that we touch, as much as we see and hear it. This presentation will examine the tactile potential of the web, and suggest some ways that institutions of higher education might be able to harness that potential.


Aaron Rester
Senior Manager of Electronic Communications, University of Chicago Law School

Aaron Rester built his first website in 1996, and has worked in the higher ed web since graduating from Oberlin College in 1999. He has worked at the University of Chicago Law School since 2007. He has presented at several conferences and been published in A List Apart and Link Magazine.