harnessing technology's potential without beingharnessed to technology

20 Nov 2006 - 7:38pm
7 years ago
2 replies
262 reads
Mark Bardsley
2006

Maren wrote:

"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."

Maren,

That's a good question that I certainly struggle with. To some extent I
think the sky is the limit as far as interaction design is concerned (so
long as you stay within the monitor, keyboard, and mouse realm). Of course,
the sky is the limit if there is no limit on brilliant developers, their
time, testing, etc. Of course you need to eventually create something so
there is some balance to be factored in.

More to the point of your question though, here's what I do but in no
particular order/priority:

1) I subscribe to lists like this and follow the URLs to posts like Ziya's
that take you to websites that push the envelope. I think about the sites
from different perspectives such as: how did they do that?, why did they do
that?, etc. I also read blogs of those individuals who actively seek well
designed sites or sites that approach information problems in unique ways.
2) I look on my own for interesting sites that push the envelope and attempt
to explore what is technically possible.
3) When drafting new interfaces I think long and hard about how something
could be done better (balancing things out so that users can still figure
out how to use it etc.). I then talk about the approach with others to get
their perspective, including a developer or two to get the technical
perspective.

The more I think about it the more I feel there is no magic bullet for
staying abreast of what is technically possible in interaction design. I
would recommend always staying involved in discussions, orgs, personal
exploration, etc. In fact, I think that "a source" for this knowledge could
be risky because whoever or whatever maintained the source could potentially
end up skewing the information if even unintentionally.

Mark Bardsley
Senior Information Architect
Lux Group, Inc.

Comments

21 Nov 2006 - 1:19am
Dave Malouf
2005

> 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:

- snip -

I'll add to this Ajaxian.com, MonkeyBites, and uh Digg.com/view/technology
Oh Signal:Noise by 37 Signals is good, as is List A Part and Joel on
Software.

Have fun!

-- dave

21 Nov 2006 - 10:21am
Barbara Ballard
2005

> 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.

There are also a set of authors who have sufficient technical
knowledge but who are primarily designers. Certainly AJAX, a term
coined by a designer, has lots of stuff written in this genre.

I tend to do this sort of writing for mobile. Key examples:

What are all those pesky mobile markup languages (what is WAP anyhow?)
http://www.littlespringsdesign.com/design/xhtmlinfo/

What is Java ME?
http://www.littlespringsdesign.com/design/j2meinfo/

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-550-3650

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