harnessing technology's potential without being harnessed to technology

20 Nov 2006 - 5:16pm
7 years ago
2 replies
617 reads
Maren Costa
2006

Hi All,

Long-time reader, first-time "post-er." Here's my question for all of you:

As interaction designers for the web, we need to at least *understand the capabilities* all of the latest and greatest technologies (e.g., ajax) so that we can use that knowledge to inform our designs and ensure that we are always designing to maximum technological potential. For those of us who don't happen to be equal parts programmer and designer, how do we best stay abreast of rapidly changing technologies and their implications/potential for interaction design without getting bogged down code?

The difficulty is finding a source for this knowledge.

I often find it hard to ask developers because they are 1] notoriously busy, and 2] so technically savvy that they often have trouble putting things in layman's terms. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips/strategies/sources--something akin to clif notes, or "web-tech-for-poets"--for how to stay on top of technology's implications/potential for interaction design?

I'd love to hear about your ideas, classes, books, blogs, whatever, that help you quickly learn *what it can do* without necessarily knowing how to do it.

Thanks!

~Maren

maren m costa . lead senior ui designer . www.amazon.com . maren at amazon.com

Comments

21 Nov 2006 - 1:12am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Nov 20, 2006, at 2:16 PM, Costa, Maren wrote:

> I'd love to hear about your ideas, classes, books, blogs, whatever,
> that help you quickly learn *what it can do* without necessarily
> knowing how to do it.

Here's a couple of "generalist" blogs/sites I follow for web-centric
IxD tech knowledge:

http://www.basement.org
http://www.thinkvitamin.com
http://www.digital-web.com
http://www.techcrunch.com
http://looksgoodworkswell.blogspot.com/
http://radar.oreilly.com/
http://www.readwriteweb.com/
http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/
http://blog.webreakstuff.com/

Enjoy...

Dan

21 Nov 2006 - 12:09pm
Josh Seiden
2003

This is an interesting question.

In addition to arming ourselves with information about that which is
possible, I also think it's important to spend some time dis-arming
ourselves by considering that which we've never seen, that which is likely
to be difficult, that which is clearly impossible, and most important: that
which is *desirable.*

There's a Cooper Axiom that I like very much: "Reality bats last." The idea
is that you don't need to advocate for reality--it will advocate for itself
in the end. This means that--especially early on in your process--it's good
to think about what is desirable without adding the constraint of possible.
Later on you can think about what's possible.

What is possible and what is desireable--our job is to find the intersection
of these two spaces. If you only ever look within that which is possible,
you never create the opportunity to do better. Often times, when you define
what is desirable, you suddenly find that new things are possible.

Thanks for posting Maren.

On 11/20/06, Costa, Maren <maren at amazon.com> wrote:
>
> Hi All,
>
> Long-time reader, first-time "post-er." Here's my question for all of you:
>
> As interaction designers for the web, we need to at least *understand the
> capabilities* all of the latest and greatest technologies (e.g., ajax) so
> that we can use that knowledge to inform our designs and ensure that we are
> always designing to maximum technological potential. For those of us who
> don't happen to be equal parts programmer and designer, how do we best stay
> abreast of rapidly changing technologies and their implications/potential
> for interaction design without getting bogged down code?
>
>

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