Recent Discussions

20 Jul 2004 - 2:12pm
11 years ago
1 reply
Andrew Otwell

Good Examples of Physicality in Web Visual, Design

> I am currently engaged in a Web application project for which the
> client would like to incorporate a certain degree of machine-like
> physicality in the visual and interaction design (e.g. "like iTunes").

This question is a little confusing. What is exactly meant by
"physicality?" It sounds like your client is saying "I want my web app
to feel like a desktop app." ITunes, although it has a metallic-looking
"finish", doesn't really do anything special in terms of a "physical"

20 Jul 2004 - 11:46am
Dan Saffer

Usability and Innovation (was Interaction design vs. Usability -> differences in competency)

I don't want to speak for him, but I think Nico's point is that people
tend to gravitate to what they are used to and usability is mainly
concerned with that: whether or not a product responds in an expected
way. If everything acts as expected, then many fewer innovations would
be made.,3605,1068590,00.html

BTW, Nico is chairing a panel on Beyond Human-Centered Design at DIS
(with Robert Reimann as a panelist).

20 Jul 2004 - 11:18am
Gerard Torenvliet

Does usability hinder innovation? (Was RE: ADMIN:)

Dan quoted Nico Macdonald who wrote:

> "Usability can be used to improve an innovation, but
> it can't drive innovation...Usability has come to dominate
> thinking about the design process...Too much user focus
> may be a barrier to innovation. Research is likely to tell us
> that users desire an improvement on something they
> already understand. Ask them if they would use a
> proposed innovation and they will say no - and then adopt
> it when they have seen its utility demonstrated.

20 Jul 2004 - 9:48am

ADMIN: (read this before posting) RE: Interaction designvs. Usability -> differencesincompetency


I am going to disagree with you here, moderate me if you will. While I agree that the focus is interaction design, this kind of title talk *is* important, since part of what we are trying to do is convince the "outside world" of the validity of our discipline.

20 Jul 2004 - 9:38am

Interaction design vs. Usability -> differencesincompetency

I beg to differ. Usability engineers are not de facto interaction
designers and vice versa.

User research such as usability testing (or user engineers, or whatever
other name we can think of...) is, without a doubt, imperative, but it
certainly is not (interaction) design. It identifies problems, but does
not, except maybe at the most detailed level, suggest adequate

20 Jul 2004 - 9:29am
11 years ago
2 replies
Dave Malouf

ADMIN: (read this before posting) RE: Interaction design vs. Usability -> differencesincompetency

Ok folks, if people are just going to flat ignore me I am going to be forced
to put the list on moderation.

did that get everyone's attention?

First off, we are not here to talk about titles. We have learned over and
over that title talk just angers people and gets everyone no where.

We are here to talk about interaction design as a discipline and NOT as a
title given to a person to describe their role. That being said we are not
going to discuss other discipline's titles either.

20 Jul 2004 - 6:46am
11 years ago
6 replies
Garrick Van Buren

Interaction design vs. Usability -> differences incompetency

Guaranteeing a project is useful, usable, and desirable is a
responsibility of the project team throughout the project. 'Usability
testing' late in the development process only tells the team what
they've done wrong. Usability is a component of interaction design and
as such needs to be developed and refined continuously. All three legs
of the 'design trinity' should be the responsibility of everyone on the
team throughout the development process.

I don't see an issue with a single person driving the usability and
overall interaction design of a given project.

20 Jul 2004 - 6:20am
Dave Malouf

ADMIN: RE: Interaction design vs. Usability -> differences incompetency

I think it is good to explore the boundaries of our discipline, but I want
to re-iterate one of our founding principles here that it is really
difficult to speak about people and the titles they carry. I'm sure there
are many usability engineers who have to practice interaction design as part
of their role, but that does not mean that usability and interaction design
are not distinct disciplines, which are part of a greater whole.

I would like responses to Dan's message (if any) take that point of view,
that Dan is talking about the discpline and not the people.

20 Jul 2004 - 6:03am

ANNOUNCEMENT: BayCHI event on Rich InternetApplications (8/10)

Well, if we're going to promote BayCHI events on here, Jeff Johnson is speaking at the BayCHI Usability BOF tonight. You can find the details on the BayCHI Web site, at:

I recently heard a BayCHI talk about the work they're doing at Laszlo Systems. Very interesting stuff. Sarah Allen, who's one of the panelists at the RIA event Dave mentioned, was one of the speakers.

20 Jul 2004 - 4:23am
11 years ago
10 replies
zayera at

Interaction design vs. Usability -> differences in competency

Hi folks,

I would like to discuss the issues, of Interaction design vs. Usability.
>From my perspective, since I am trying to fit into both "Shoes" I find it
very difficult to work in a Team, where only Usability Experts are around,
and noone representing Interaction design or a broader UX-perspective.

I have been thinking about why it is so?
Could it be that the "design-thinking" is completely uncomprehendable for
some Usability Experts?

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