No Ideas But In Things

18 Oct 2006 - 8:28am
8 years ago
6 replies
1095 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

I'd been waiting until I had a fuller library of stuff, but since
Core 77 outed it yesterday, I should announce it here.

Inspired by Andy Clarke's talk at Web Directions about drawing
inspiration from the physical world, I've started a collection of
control panels, buttons, dials, handles, animations, icons, etc. It's
meant to be a source of new/old ideas for interaction designers. I
call it No Ideas But In Things.

http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/

I've just started filling out the collection, so it's far from robust
now, but hopefully one day...

Hope you find it useful and interesting!

Dan

Dan Saffer
book http://www.designingforinteraction.com
work http://www.adaptivepath.com
site http://www.odannyboy.com
project http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/

Comments

18 Oct 2006 - 8:33am
SusieComet
2006

Very nice Dan, Thanks!

Susan Patrick
User Interface Designer
The Midland Company
(513) 947-6072

"Design is a process - an intimate collaboration between engineers,
designers, and clients." - Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer

Dan Saffer
<dan at odannyboy.co
m> To
Sent by: ixda <discuss at ixda.org>
discuss-bounces at l cc
ists.interactiond
esigners.com Subject
[IxDA Discuss] No Ideas But In
Things
10/18/2006 10:28
AM

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

I'd been waiting until I had a fuller library of stuff, but since
Core 77 outed it yesterday, I should announce it here.

Inspired by Andy Clarke's talk at Web Directions about drawing
inspiration from the physical world, I've started a collection of
control panels, buttons, dials, handles, animations, icons, etc. It's
meant to be a source of new/old ideas for interaction designers. I
call it No Ideas But In Things.

http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/

I've just started filling out the collection, so it's far from robust
now, but hopefully one day...

Hope you find it useful and interesting!

Dan

Dan Saffer
book http://www.designingforinteraction.com
work http://www.adaptivepath.com
site http://www.odannyboy.com
project http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/

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18 Oct 2006 - 8:49am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Oct 18, 2006, at 7:41 AM, maya gorton wrote:

> o build out the collection, have people upload images to Flickr and
> give them a tag (eg, nitbit_handle) and pull those images into
> something like this automatically:
> http://emptyfield.com/underwood/index.html
> (this one pulls images into the pictobrowser automatically from a set,
> but you could get it to be for a specific tag instead)
>
> then you could have galleries of other peoples' contributions.
>

If you'd like to contribute, simply send me your image or movie, or
(on Flickr) you can simply tag your image noideasbutinthings and the
Flickr flash badge on the NIBIT home page will then display your entry.

Cheers,

Dan

18 Oct 2006 - 5:21pm
Mark Schraad
2006

This just may inspire me to execute one of those client-less design
research projects I have been meaning to do for years.

That being the documentation of the wildly inconsistent interfaces
for ATM/card reader check out units. The range of designs and the
inconsistent mix of hardware and software buttons goes way beyond
annoying, stumping even the most astute user. Some units make use of
the slide-thru card reader, some suck the card in - some of those
hold the card while others spit it out right away... All I can think
(having never worked directly on such a project) is that the security
and software sequencing must be absolute - requiring this awful mix
of interfaces.

At least some of the new models allow blind users to hear the display
interface.

Mark

On Oct 18, 2006, at 10:28 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I'd been waiting until I had a fuller library of stuff, but since
> Core 77 outed it yesterday, I should announce it here.
>
> Inspired by Andy Clarke's talk at Web Directions about drawing
> inspiration from the physical world, I've started a collection of
> control panels, buttons, dials, handles, animations, icons, etc. It's
> meant to be a source of new/old ideas for interaction designers. I
> call it No Ideas But In Things.
>
> http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/
>
> I've just started filling out the collection, so it's far from robust
> now, but hopefully one day...
>
> Hope you find it useful and interesting!
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> book http://www.designingforinteraction.com
> work http://www.adaptivepath.com
> site http://www.odannyboy.com
> project http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

19 Oct 2006 - 12:34am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

> Hope you find it useful and interesting!

Dan, thanks. Certainly interesting. I can't help noticing the focus
on monofunctional input devices (buttons, levers, etc),
electromechanical control panels and information graphics that for me
brings back memories of late-1980s Donald Norman views on interaction
(affordances, mappings, gulf of execution vs gulf of evaluation, and
strong notions of goal-driven-single-task use situations).

You write that the intention is for the collection to be
inspirational to interaction designers. Could you elaborate a little
on how you think about inspiration in that context? For instance,
here are a few questions that come to mind.
Is a picture of an artifact in itself inspirational?
Would it be inspirational to discuss reasons for presenting it?
Does it matter whether the artifact illustrates "good" or "bad"
interaction design?
Would it be inspirational if the originator of the example tried to
identify the core idea (pattern, idiom, etc.) of the example?
Would it be inspirational to try and identify the qualities expressed
by the example?
Would stories about use be inspirational? Actual use, envisioned use,
does it matter?
How do you inspire designers when it comes to designing behavior?
Does the current focus of the collection reflect your view of where
interaction design inspiration is needed, or is it a matter of what
can be conveyed in static images?

Regards,
Jonas Löwgren

----
Arts and Communication
Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden

phone +46 7039 17854
web http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo

19 Oct 2006 - 9:49am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Oct 18, 2006, at 11:34 PM, Jonas Löwgren wrote:

>> Hope you find it useful and interesting!
>
> Dan, thanks. Certainly interesting. I can't help noticing the focus
> on monofunctional input devices (buttons, levers, etc),
> electromechanical control panels and information graphics that for
> me brings back memories of late-1980s Donald Norman views on
> interaction (affordances, mappings, gulf of execution vs gulf of
> evaluation, and strong notions of goal-driven-single-task use
> situations).

Partially, this is what we're surrounded by (and ignore) every day.
At least, this is what I am, living in San Francisco. It wasn't meant
to express a philosophy of interaction design.

>
> You write that the intention is for the collection to be
> inspirational to interaction designers. Could you elaborate a
> little on how you think about inspiration in that context? For
> instance, here are a few questions that come to mind.
> Is a picture of an artifact in itself inspirational?

It can be. It is for me, and, I'm hoping, others.

> Would it be inspirational to discuss reasons for presenting it?

I have been noting, when appropriate, what drew me to the object. But
sometimes, for me, the image itself is enough. The community has been
adding some commentary to some of the images as well.

> Does it matter whether the artifact illustrates "good" or "bad"
> interaction design?

You can sometimes learn more from bad examples than from good. But
I'm less concerned about that, since I expect none of these objects I
expect will be copied exactly. They are there to inspire, and from
even a bad example, you can gain insights that will help you create

> Would it be inspirational if the originator of the example tried to
> identify the core idea (pattern, idiom, etc.) of the example?

I could be, but I'm not overly interested in case studies, and only
somewhat concerned with context. I wanted examples that might work in
other contexts.

> Would it be inspirational to try and identify the qualities
> expressed by the example?

What do you mean by qualities? The characteristics?

> Would stories about use be inspirational? Actual use, envisioned
> use, does it matter?

Again, it could be, but I'm not collecting those. But some viewers
have been adding their own stories and comments to the images, which
has been interesting. For example, Jay's connect on the motorcycle
handle:

http://www.noideasbutinthings.com/ixd/2006/10/
motorcycle_hand_controls.html

> How do you inspire designers when it comes to designing behavior?
> Does the current focus of the collection reflect your view of where
> interaction design inspiration is needed, or is it a matter of what
> can be conveyed in static images?

The intention was that it would not only be a collection of static
images, but also animations, transitions, and other (short) movies of
movement. I simply haven't gotten around to putting those examples in
yet. They are much more challenging to find and record.

Dan

19 Oct 2006 - 10:06am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

On Thu, 19 Oct 2006, Dan Saffer wrote:

> On Oct 18, 2006, at 11:34 PM, Jonas Löwgren wrote:
>
>> Dan, thanks. Certainly interesting. I can't help noticing the focus
>> on monofunctional input devices (buttons, levers, etc),
>> electromechanical control panels and information graphics that for
>> me brings back memories of late-1980s Donald Norman views on
>> interaction (affordances, mappings, gulf of execution vs gulf of
>> evaluation, and strong notions of goal-driven-single-task use
>> situations).
>
> Partially, this is what we're surrounded by (and ignore) every day.
> At least, this is what I am, living in San Francisco. It wasn't meant
> to express a philosophy of interaction design.

This is how I view it too (and partly why I've been working on the History
of the Button). Every artifact around us was made by a person. Whether
they know it or not, they were designing. They had to make choices about
icons, lettering, positioning, form, etc. So looking at everyday objects
gives us a sense, a sliver, of how people understand objects.

And since objects will be increasingly "smarter" in the near future, we as
interaction designers need to understand the language of objects. Because
as objects become part of the everyware, interaction designers are the
natural community to figure out how that's going to work. It's
pre-thinking.

Or, it's also just fun to look at random objects. It makes us more
connected with the world we live in.

Bill
www.historyofthebutton.com

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