IxD definition WAS Interaction Design for ESL Textbooks?

12 Sep 2007 - 7:36pm
6 years ago
35 replies
1791 reads
White, Jeff
2007

"I don't want to delve too deeply into semantic debate about the meaning of
"interaction," but when a customer is making choices (input) and a company
is responding (feedback), that seems to quack like the proverbial duck of a
designed interaction. "

That's an excellent point, and you're right of course. It is most definitely
an interaction. But this is plain vanilla business stuff to me. You could
easily design a business model, business process, customer service strategy
as well as the technology structure to support it w/o any notion of some of
the fundamentals of interface/graphic/interaction design: line, space,
color, shape, time, metaphor, etc.

As IxD'ers we have to stop somewhere don't we? Can we design the way our
government interacts with us? If so, I'm down.

Jeff

On 9/12/07, Patrick Grizzard <gamutant at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> Fair enough. I guess what I'm interested in is the assumption that
> "interactive" inherently means digital, technological, mechanical. This does
> seem implicit in the IxDA definition, and for the purposes of promoting IxD
> to technologists, executives, academics, etc. it's probably useful.
> On the other hand, it could be unnecessarily limiting, as I alluded to
> with the example of service design. I don't want to be constrained to
> designing a single digital artifact if it sits at the center of a larger
> network of offline services. I want to design all the processes and
> communication so that the technology artifact integrates with them
> seamlessly. I don't want to delve too deeply into semantic debate about the
> meaning of "interaction," but when a customer is making choices (input) and
> a company is responding (feedback), that seems to quack like the proverbial
> duck of a designed interaction.
>
>
>
> On Sep 12, 2007, at 4:04 PM, Jeff White wrote:
>
> An awesome book - I had a blast reading it. But, those words are organized
> on the page in a totally static way. They will never ever change unless you
> burn the page or something like that. It's totally up to the cognitive
> processes of the reader to digest the words and derive meaning from them, as
> with any printed work. There is no interaction there, at least not one that
> matches with what the IxDA has defined as interaction design. If you could
> touch a word and change its' position on the page, then yeah I'll buy that.
> But I don't think we've reached that level of technology yet. Or maybe we
> have and I just wasn't paying attention. :-)
>
>
>
> On 9/12/07, Patrick Grizzard < gamutant at earthlink.net> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Sep 12, 2007, at 1:51 PM, Jeff White wrote:
> >
> > Ha! Ok, I thought someone on this list would say something a lot quicker
> >
> > than this :-)
> >
> > So a book is interactive? I guess the argument there is that you
> > interact
> > with the pages, right? You grab them, turn them, etc. So does this mean
> > every single thing on the face of the planet is interactive and thus the
> > province of IxD'ers? That is not in line with the many recent debates
> > re:
> > the definition of design, IxD and the role of interaction designers.
> >
> > I disagree - the book is not interactive. Yes you could stretch and say
> > you're interacting with the subject matter via a book. But how does the
> > subject matter respond to your action? That is what IxD is all about,
> > no?
> > Action/response. I've never a subject matter respond to me when I read a
> > book about it.
> >
> >
> > Just to play devil's advocate for a moment: The subject matter of a
> > standard textbook might not respond in the way the feedback display of a
> > digital device responds, but does this mean that books are entirely passive
> > (without taking the opposing view, articulated above, that then EVERYTHING
> > is interactive)?
> >
> > Does an artifact have to blink or beep or change states in order for an
> > "interaction" to be said to have taken place? Take, for example, a work of
> > experimental fiction like Mark Danielewski's *House of Leaves*, in which
> > the typography and layout mirror events in the narrative (e.g. - as the
> > protagonist gets lost in a maze the text and its footnotes begin to merge
> > until the distinction between narrative and annotation becomes totally
> > confused.). The reader must flip back and forth to reconstruct the fractured
> > narrative and bring coherence/meaning to the story. How is this any less
> > "interactive" than reading the New York Time online?
> >
> > Setting aside the formal properties of print, what about the overall
> > experience of the class that the books is designed to facilitate? The
> > in-class activities and participation, homework assignments, study methods,
> > quizzes and tests, etc.? As designers of experiences, do these not fall
> > within our realm, at least to some degree? The company I work for is
> > currently trying to position itself to do more service design, focusing not
> > only on the design of the artifact that the user interacts with, but on the
> > overall experience and context within which that interaction unfolds. I'm
> > not sure I see how this is vastly different from designing a class
> > curriculum...
> >
> >
> > Patrick
> >
>
>
>

Comments

12 Sep 2007 - 8:30pm
Jeff Howard
2004

As UI Designers we have to stop with UI design. As Software Designers
we have to stop with software design. But as Interaction Designers we
have an opportunity to deal with a wider range of human interaction
problems. I welcome that challenge.

Can we design the way our government interacts with us? Absolutely.
That was the point of the US Postal Service project I worked on at
CMU. We spent six years not only changing the way people interact
with the postal system, but introducing a human centered design
culture into the organization itself. The Australian Tax Board is
reworking their tax system with the input of designers. In the UK,
designers are all over problems of public policy. These are all
deeply about issues of human interaction and it makes sense for
designers to be involved.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

12 Sep 2007 - 8:54pm
White, Jeff
2007

Well said. But really the skills needed to redesign things like how the
postal service interacts with it's customers, being more human centered, etc
could be totally exclusive from the skills needed by an interaction
designer. As a colleague of mine says "just be people". Be good to each
other, respectful, etc. This really is what you're talking about right? A
human centered approach to customer service, a human centered approach to
drive through fast food, name anything, and being human centered will make
that thing better. I really do believe that and I see what you're saying.
That's a huge reason I'm a fan of UCD - it just makes stuff better. And
design - it just makes the world a better place in my opinion. I drive right
by Walmart and hit Target purely for aesthetic reasons. I like design and I
like people.

I just think what you're saying is way way to broad for a definition of IxD.
There are tons of "things" out there - services, processes, any kind of
interaction imaginable, etc that are human centered and a "designer" never
ever had anything to do with them. A certain perspective, belief system,
personality and approach are necessary for a culture to be human centered. A
designer could possess these skills, a McDonald's cashier could possess
these skills, anyone on the face of planet could possess these skills.
Doesn't make them any kind of designer, just makes them a human.

I hope I'm making some sort of sense, and I'm enjoying this conversation.

Jeff

On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:30:39, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:
>
> As UI Designers we have to stop with UI design. As Software Designers
> we have to stop with software design. But as Interaction Designers we
> have an opportunity to deal with a wider range of human interaction
> problems. I welcome that challenge.
>
> Can we design the way our government interacts with us? Absolutely.
> That was the point of the US Postal Service project I worked on at
> CMU. We spent six years not only changing the way people interact
> with the postal system, but introducing a human centered design
> culture into the organization itself. The Australian Tax Board is
> reworking their tax system with the input of designers. In the UK,
> designers are all over problems of public policy. These are all
> deeply about issues of human interaction and it makes sense for
> designers to be involved.
>
> // jeff
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the improved ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

12 Sep 2007 - 9:55pm
.pauric
2006

Jeff W: "Doesn't make them any kind of designer, just makes them a
human."

I think this goes back to the 'everyone is a designer'.

"There are tons of "things" out there - services, processes, any
kind of interaction imaginable, etc that are human centered and a
"designer" never ever had anything to do with them."

Exactly. You can build something correctly through intuition or with
methodology. The profession of IxD is the latter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

12 Sep 2007 - 10:33pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Oy! One of the basic principles of IxDA is that interaction design is
not the sum total of what an interaction designer does, but rather is
a tightly defined discipline that works in unison with other design
disciplines to create a whole product (service, or solution). This is
the basis of our support for UXNet.

No one is limited by their central passion for interaction design
move beyond its boundaries, but that means that you are just doing
more than interaction design.

To make this less of an absolutist type statement, and give reason to
it, I think service and policy design are GREAT examples of why these
are NOT the same as interaction design. Service design deals with
elements that are way beyond the normal purview of an interaction
designer. There is no product. Nothing formative to be responsive.
There CAN be a human being, but that human is now something that can
be reformed to fit the context. It can be stylized (from jeans into a
suit), but it can't be reformed to be shorter, or taller, or fatter
or whatever. You can't change the placement of a person's eyes, or
their shape, or where the ears are, etc. to help elicit specific
actions as responses or instigations to create new responses.

The same is true of policy design.

What can be done is to apply design methods and practices towards the
design of those systems, but that is not interaction design. That is
just design.

If you are interested in Design as a big D, then that is great, but
don't go diluting the power of having a well defined and articulated
design discipline because you are moving beyond it in your practice.
Add it to your tool belt, but don't make it the pocket carrier.

-- dave
(ps. this is for you Andrei.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 12:46am
Jeff Howard
2004

From my point of view if all you're actually doing is UI design or
software design or interactive design that's fine. The world needs
those skills. The more the better. But don't co-opt the term
Interaction Design unless you're serious about recognizing a
meaningful distinction.

Interaction Design isn't just a grandiose buzzword you can use to
make more money at your old gig. Defining it down as UI design or
software design or... usability testing is more damaging to the
discipline than any so called "diluting" of the discipline through
an embrace of its potential.

I feel like most of the time the IxDA could be renamed the Interface
Design Association without anyone even noticing, much less caring.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 1:53am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 12, 2007, at 10:46 PM, Jeff Howard wrote:

> Interaction Design isn't just a grandiose buzzword you can use to
> make more money at your old gig. Defining it down as UI design or
> software design or... usability testing is more damaging to the
> discipline than any so called "diluting" of the discipline through
> an embrace of its potential.

How interface and software design got equated to "usability testing"
and then used as a means to threaten the integrity and future
potential of "interaction design" as a profession is about a far a
reach as I've read in some time.

For the record, interface design is bigger than interaction design,
not the other way around. Something I can actually prove by pointing
out the fact that the interface of any technology product cannot
exist on defining or designing the interaction component alone. The
success and impact of the interaction component is inherently tied
into and requires the synthesis of the interaction, graphics, icons,
taxonomies, layout, behavior, input/output handling, direct
manipulation, workflow definition, organizational models, etc.

Same goes for industrial design, which is also larger than
interaction design. For much of the same reasons but more having to
do with physicality of the product, traditionally speaking.

What I think people need to stop doing is confuse "broadening" a
discipline with diving "deep" into the fundamentals that exist at its
core. Can interaction exist as its own discipline within interface
and industrial design? Sure. Just the same as the way photography
exists as its own discipline inside the visual and graphic design
profession.

Does the fact that photography is a core component of modern graphic
design lessen how expansive, thrilling, and immersive one can explore
photography as both an art and a profession on its own? Absolutely
not. Being a photographer takes quite a bit of skill and a lot of
knowledge to become a professional, and I know plenty who are totally
fulfilled spending their entire lives understanding how light, the
human eye and emotional impact work in that profession. But even
though the concepts and the practice of photography can go very deep
and be explored in ways that cannot be done otherwise, that has
absolutely nothing to do with how photography serves its purpose as a
component in the broader graphic or visual design arena.

Graphic design contains photography. Photography does not encompass
graphic design, and that's not bad or wrong as photography can also
go deeper into things that can't be done with type or grid
composition alone. Core concepts in photography even cross over and
make a significant impact in an entirely different profession, like
filmmaking.

Interface design contains interaction design. Interaction design does
not encompass interface design, and that's not bad or wrong as
interaction design can also go deeper into things that's can't be
done with icons or taxonomies alone. Core concepts in interaction
design even cross over and make a significant impact in an entirely
different profession, like industrial design.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

13 Sep 2007 - 6:10am
Mark Schraad
2006

Andei, do you seriously believe this? The implication here is that
you must have an interface in order to have interaction? Interface
design is intrinsically tied to technology. Interaction is not.
Interaction goes well beyond both interface and industrial design, in
fact it goes well beyond technology or physical artifacts.

Mark

On Sep 13, 2007, at 2:53 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> Interface design contains interaction design. Interaction design does
> not encompass interface design, and that's not bad or wrong as
> interaction design can also go deeper into things that's can't be
> done with icons or taxonomies alone. Core concepts in interaction
> design even cross over and make a significant impact in an entirely
> different profession, like industrial design.

13 Sep 2007 - 6:51am
Dave Malouf
2005

To Jeff:
WTF ... This organization has survived b/c we have always been clear
that IxD != experience design or usability or UI or ID, etc. etc. IxD
is IxD and nothing more or less. Why does that damage it?

Now it may be difficult for professionals to only do IxD, but that
does not mean that IxD is not on its own a strong and powerful
additional discipline as part of the whole of UX.

Your confusion thinking that we should just be UI to me really shows
a lack of understanding where the interaction and the form break
apart from each other b/c well I do IxD not for software but for
hardware and I'd be much more closely cojoined to ID than software
design.

Andrei ... (dum da da dum dah!)
Since IxD floats between many different mediums (software, 3-D form,
and architecture as examples) I'm not sure saying it the way you did
makes the most sense. IxD is not part of UI design, but I would say UI
design is the formative piece that is put into software product design
and ixd is the behavioral.

Where I will agree w/ you is that one of the issues about IxD is that
well, w/o form it is pretty useless thus giving strong weight to
either UI or ID which are the major form givers to IxD for most
practitioners.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 10:20am
andrew_hinton a...
2007

In the CMU example (for example) a process was used to arrive at a desired
result.
The process of UCD, however, is not exclusive to "Interaction Design" --
it's a tool,
used by many practices and practioners to solve various kinds of design
problems.
Information Architects use it, for example.

Equating a practice with its tools easily runs us into this problem of
scope-creep.
So does the semantic mistake of saying "my practice has the word X in it,
therefore
anything that the word X applies to is the domain of my practice!"
Information
Architecture runs into similar issues -- why if there's information
involved at all,
it must be something an IA needs to do! But then it turns out other
practices
have been working on those problems already. Not that IA can't add some
value,
but it didn't discover the wheel.

Same for IxD -- practitioners in this practice/field have learned some
excellent
skills and have valuable expertise. It's easy, then, when tackling jobs
that actually
solve more problems than strictly IxD related problems, to think "well
this must be
an IxD job and everything we're doing here is IxD!"

This equation of person, practice, and tools causes a lot of swirl. When
in fact
they are separate entities that can be related depending on context, but
are not the same thing.

If you want to nail down what IxD is, then look back and see what brought
it to be in the first place. What problem needed solving that existing
practices
didn't cover? That'll be the domain for IxD. The tools you use to solve
problems in that domain are used by many other practices, though. And the
people who
do the work likely are part of multiple practices, and IxD is only part of
what
they're doing on the job. Even if someone's title is "Interaction
Designer" they're
likely *practicing* in other practices besides IxD -- that is, they're
solving multiple
kinds of problems, not just IxD-domain-specific ones.

But all these practices are very organic, and they overlap heavily,
because
they're all hybrids, they're all conversations branching from other
conversations.

I've been puzzling over this challenge of how to define/describe
practices, disciplines,
professions, etc, for quite a while, since the IA community has struggled
with similar
questions. If you're interested, there's an article/deck I've presented
here and there
about it on SlideShare: http://urltea.com/1gk3

I get more into theory of how practices define and identify themselves,
and how
identity gets wrapped up in practice, in another deck here:

http://www.inkblurt.com/archives/503

(Couldn't get it to work as well on slideshare, but the PDF is only 3mb)

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

13 Sep 2007 - 10:25am
andrew_hinton a...
2007

My apologies for the crappy rendering of my emails -- I'm struggling with
Lotus Notes' weird line-breaking tendencies.

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

13 Sep 2007 - 10:31am
Dave Malouf
2005

Andrew, I think the distinction between practice and discipline is on the
right track.

I do think as a practitioner based organization though we need to be careful
about not alienating those people who really have their nose to the grind
stone vs. those who are more strategic in their work.

There are many people who "use" interaction design principles without ever
articulating it, and I think there is a power to being able to articulate
interaction design theory that can be applied to practice across all the
professional practices that use interaction design.

Interactive Designers, Product Designers, Industrial designers, architects,
etc. etc.

I believe that practices need to be about form-giving. Disciplines are not
so constrained.

But that being said there is a continuum of practices in what we now call
the IxDA community which I believe have a strong affinity towards each other
around that discipline that it seems very valid to maintain this community
around the discipline across all those professional practices. One could say
this is a horizontal organization with many different verticals represented.

-- dave

On 9/13/07, andrew_hinton at vanguard.com <andrew_hinton at vanguard.com> wrote:
>
>
> In the CMU example (for example) a process was used to arrive at a desired
> result.
> The process of UCD, however, is not exclusive to "Interaction Design" --
> it's a tool,
> used by many practices and practioners to solve various kinds of design
> problems.
> Information Architects use it, for example.
>
> Equating a practice with its tools easily runs us into this problem of
> scope-creep.
> So does the semantic mistake of saying "my practice has the word X in it,
> therefore
> anything that the word X applies to is the domain of my practice!"
> Information
> Architecture runs into similar issues -- why if there's information
> involved at all,
> it must be something an IA needs to do! But then it turns out other
> practices
> have been working on those problems already. Not that IA can't add some
> value,
> but it didn't discover the wheel.
>
> Same for IxD -- practitioners in this practice/field have learned some
> excellent
> skills and have valuable expertise. It's easy, then, when tackling jobs
> that actually
> solve more problems than strictly IxD related problems, to think "well
> this must be
> an IxD job and everything we're doing here is IxD!"
>
> This equation of person, practice, and tools causes a lot of swirl. When
> in fact
> they are separate entities that can be related depending on context, but
> are not the same thing.
>
> If you want to nail down what IxD is, then look back and see what brought
> it to be in the first place. What problem needed solving that existing
> practices
> didn't cover? That'll be the domain for IxD. The tools you use to solve
> problems in that domain are used by many other practices, though. And the
> people who
> do the work likely are part of multiple practices, and IxD is only part of
> what
> they're doing on the job. Even if someone's title is "Interaction
> Designer" they're
> likely *practicing* in other practices besides IxD -- that is, they're
> solving multiple
> kinds of problems, not just IxD-domain-specific ones.
>
> But all these practices are very organic, and they overlap heavily,
> because
> they're all hybrids, they're all conversations branching from other
> conversations.
>
> I've been puzzling over this challenge of how to define/describe
> practices, disciplines,
> professions, etc, for quite a while, since the IA community has struggled
> with similar
> questions. If you're interested, there's an article/deck I've presented
> here and there
> about it on SlideShare: http://urltea.com/1gk3
>
> I get more into theory of how practices define and identify themselves,
> and how
> identity gets wrapped up in practice, in another deck here:
>
> http://www.inkblurt.com/archives/503
>
> (Couldn't get it to work as well on slideshare, but the PDF is only 3mb)
>
>
>
> ---
> Andrew Hinton
> Vanguard User Experience Group
> personal: inkblurt.com
>
>
>
>
> *dave malouf <dave at ixda.org>*
> Sent by: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>
> 09/12/2007 04:33 PM
> To
> discuss at ixda.org cc
>
> Subject
> Re: [IxDA Discuss] IxD definition WAS Interaction Design for ESL
> Textbooks?
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Oy! One of the basic principles of IxDA is that interaction design is
> not the sum total of what an interaction designer does, but rather is
> a tightly defined discipline that works in unison with other design
> disciplines to create a whole product (service, or solution). This is
> the basis of our support for UXNet.
>
> No one is limited by their central passion for interaction design
> move beyond its boundaries, but that means that you are just doing
> more than interaction design.
>
> To make this less of an absolutist type statement, and give reason to
> it, I think service and policy design are GREAT examples of why these
> are NOT the same as interaction design. Service design deals with
> elements that are way beyond the normal purview of an interaction
> designer. There is no product. Nothing formative to be responsive.
> There CAN be a human being, but that human is now something that can
> be reformed to fit the context. It can be stylized (from jeans into a
> suit), but it can't be reformed to be shorter, or taller, or fatter
> or whatever. You can't change the placement of a person's eyes, or
> their shape, or where the ears are, etc. to help elicit specific
> actions as responses or instigations to create new responses.
>
> The same is true of policy design.
>
> What can be done is to apply design methods and practices towards the
> design of those systems, but that is not interaction design. That is
> just design.
>
> If you are interested in Design as a big D, then that is great, but
> don't go diluting the power of having a well defined and articulated
> design discipline because you are moving beyond it in your practice.
> Add it to your tool belt, but don't make it the pocket carrier.
>
> -- dave
> (ps. this is for you Andrei.)
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the improved ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT. The information contained in this e-mail
> message, including attachments, is the confidential information of, and/or
> is the property of, Vanguard. The information is intended for use solely by
> the individual or entity named in the message. If you are not an intended
> recipient or you received this in error, then any review, printing, copying,
> or distribution of any such information is prohibited, and please notify the
> sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this e-mail from your
> system.
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

13 Sep 2007 - 11:11am
Jeff Howard
2004

Dave, I'm not advocating that IxDA should be only about UI Design.
I'm simply observing that such a title would better reflect the true
content of the list. Little of what we talk about goes beyond UI
Design or Software Design. But acknowledging what IS is not the same
as advocating what ought to be. I'd love it if we talked about
interaction design a little more.

Andrei, your point of view is different than mine but it helps me to
understand where you're coming from. I've never thought about
interaction design in quite that way.

. . .

In About Face 2.0, the authors discuss why they changed the subtitle
of the book from "The Essentials of User Interface Design" to "The
Essentials of Interaction Design." It's still a bit too much about
_digital_ products for my taste, but the spirit of the distinction is
on point.

>From the introduction:
"...It seems clear to the authors that what is discussed is this
book [2.0] is a discipline larger than the design of user interfaces.
The word _interface_ denotes a surface, and much of the design issues
that this book addresses go far deeper than the surface of a CRT
screen: They go right to the heart of what a digital product _is_ and
what it _does._ " [2003 xxviii]

My comment about the rhetorical sleight of hand that equates UI
Design with Interation Design reflects my suspicion that regardless
of what IxDA espouses, folks who do UI Design or Software Design or
maybe even Usability Testing for a living call themselves Interaction
Designers without understanding that distinction. I don't think that
co-opting the term is always motivated by cynicism (I had trouble
articulating it myself for many years), but it still serves to
obscure what interaction design actually can be.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 12:00pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 13, 2007, at 4:51 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> Since IxD floats between many different mediums (software, 3-D form,
> and architecture as examples) I'm not sure saying it the way you did
> makes the most sense. IxD is not part of UI design, but I would say UI
> design is the formative piece that is put into software product design
> and ixd is the behavioral.

I tend to equate "interface" and "software product." To me there is
not much of a distinction (at a practical, day to day working level
on the kinds of projects I see year to year). From that point of
view, we would seem to in agreement. The issue would then be why so
many seem to think interface design is so "small" or limiting when it
is clearly not.

When I say "Interface design contains interaction design" I know it's
a terrible phrase and is not communicating properly how I think about
this. So, rather than continue to try and communicate this at a
verbal level, I've drawn a diagram to attempt to explain better what
I mean from the previous comment.

http://www.designbyfire.com/images/disciplines.png

(This diagram is horribly incomplete and put together in a mere five
minutes, so please excuse it's incompleteness.)

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

13 Sep 2007 - 12:27pm
.pauric
2006

Andrei, I like your diagram. I do feel it captures pretty much the
essence of what it takes to build interfaces, devices, services.

To that end though, its a design engineering centric view of
Interaction production. You could in fact encompass the Interface &
Industrial spheres under a user centric view of the output. A more
holistic view of the end result, the Interaction the user has with
the product.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 1:13pm
White, Jeff
2007

"but it still serves to
obscure what interaction design actually can be."

I think it's clear from the points you've made that interaction design can
be just about anything. And that's where I think the idealistic definition
you seem to be suggesting loses value - for me and my perception of IxD and
the work that I do on a daily basis. That's just my two cents. But I like
the spirit of your thinking about doing things in a human centered way and
designing all types of "interactions". I just don't think that is
interaction design. I think a number of skill sets/professions could design
something like a CRM strategy every bit as effectively as an interaction
designer. We need to differentiate ourselves and saying we design every
human interaction feasible just doesn't do that.

IxD *can* or *could* be just about anything, and that level of vagueness is
what makes this train of thought kind of meaningless in my opinion. I think
the real question is what *should* it - and not just from a touchy feely,
blue sky, idealistic point of view. I need something realistic that delivers
value to me *now*. I like the digital product focus of the about face
2.0definition of IxD.

Jeff

13 Sep 2007 - 4:12pm
Jeff Howard
2004

I think that's a fair characterization of my point of view. Except
that I don't claim to have invented it. Carnegie Mellon's School of
Design has been evolving this point of view for Interaction Design
since the mid nineties. It isn't idealistic, it just isn't a lowest
common denominator approach. Designers around the world are already
making it happen.

Here's my own five minute diagram:
http://www.howardesign.com/exp/img/disciplines.png

I believe that executives and business consultants and policy wonks
can design interactions. That's demonstrably true. And some are very
good. But I don't concede that they can do it every bit as
effectively as we can. If that were the case then no one would make
jokes about filling out their taxes or standing in line at the DMV,
or waiting in call center hell to get their washer and dryer fixed.

It's the same argument programers were making about interface
designers twenty years ago and engineers were making about industrial
designers seventy years ago. Interactions are being designed already.
They can be designed well or poorly. Our job is not always to
supplant those who are doing the designing but to support their
efforts so that the results are more humane.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 4:24pm
White, Jeff
2007

I'm laughing out loud at your diagram. Awesome! :-)

On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:12:25, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:
>
> I think that's a fair characterization of my point of view. Except
> that I don't claim to have invented it. Carnegie Mellon's School of
> Design has been evolving this point of view for Interaction Design
> since the mid nineties. It isn't idealistic, it just isn't a lowest
> common denominator approach. Designers around the world are already
> making it happen.
>
> Here's my own five minute diagram:
> http://www.howardesign.com/exp/img/disciplines.png
>
> I believe that executives and business consultants and policy wonks
> can design interactions. That's demonstrably true. And some are very
> good. But I don't concede that they can do it every bit as
> effectively as we can. If that were the case then no one would make
> jokes about filling out their taxes or standing in line at the DMV,
> or waiting in call center hell to get their washer and dryer fixed.
>
> It's the same argument programers were making about interface
> designers twenty years ago and engineers were making about industrial
> designers seventy years ago. Interactions are being designed already.
> They can be designed well or poorly. Our job is not always to
> supplant those who are doing the designing but to support their
> efforts so that the results are more humane.
>
> // jeff
>

13 Sep 2007 - 4:57pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 13, 2007, at 2:12 PM, Jeff Howard wrote:

> Here's my own five minute diagram:
> http://www.howardesign.com/exp/img/disciplines.png

Watch out... I might have to retaliate! 8^P

Here's what I want to know Jeff... on your own website, which is
designed very well and gives a great nod to important of aesthetic,
you even list out the Interaction + Graphic + Information trinity,
and yet, you seem to call all that "interaction design" which I find
very weird. Even your labels and the organizational model you use
splits them out, but one of the groups repeats the title you give
yourself, which is "Interaction Designer."

http://www.howardesign.com/4.0/thework.php

So I guess what I wonder is, why do you do that? What's the internal
conversation going on there? Why are the three smaller groups labeled
as such and one of them repeats at a higher level, which semantically
seems to be either exclusionary or conflicting. To see one call
oneself an "Interaction" designer and then to see three categories
that all contain the equivalent amount of sample work where only one
category matches the title you have given yourself seems to me to say
that your portfolio only shows 1/3 of the work relevant to what it is
you think your do for a living.

But again... that's just my impression. Again, I'm curious. Why did
you organize your sample work that way and label those things as such?

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

13 Sep 2007 - 7:35pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Jeff, that is a borderline flame (Andrei please no retaliations, we
have learned from our administration what retribution gets us, we
don't need to copy it here.)

More directly ... What is the difference between interaction design
and design? Name me a design discipline that does not evoke some
element of interaction--fashion, interior, architecture, graphic,
etc. All have interaction involved in them at some level, but they
are still very well formalized disciplines and practices in their own
right. There are also whole schools of system design that have
formalized that practice. But why then is interaction design the
parent of all of these? B/c they all contain interactions?

You've basically drawn that interaction design is design which I
find to be an arrogance and a hubris which affords us no conversation
with those disciplines that have been around for centuries as opposed
to us who have only been named in what the mid to late eighties and
even then as a part and not as a whole of the puzzle.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 7:38pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Sorry Andrei, trade secret...

Ultimately, I designed a portfolio that would help me get to where I
wanted to be four years ago when I was an Interaction Design masters
candidate at CMU. Like any portfolio it was a tool for starting
conversations, not establishing doctrine.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 8:11pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Dave, I admit that my humor can be a bit dry sometimes, but are you
honestly critiquing this as a model of interaction design? Andrei is
circling the Earth like a demigod in the pantheon of the heavens.
Responsible for, I dunno, inflation or something. If you can't laugh
at the absurdity of the drawing, then you're just not having enough
fun in show business.

Those who contacted me offlist saw the humor in the exaggeration and
I presume recognized that it wasn't an attempt at an actual design
model.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 8:53pm
White, Jeff
2007

"...recognized that it wasn't an attempt at an actual design
model."

I think that goes without saying and your thinking Dave took it seriously is
just as absurd as him if he were actually taking it seriously. :-) Or maybe
I'm missing your humor.

I applaud your ability to amp Andrei up enough that he scoured your website
and appears to have done a somewhat lengthy analysis of your IA. But, this
whole thing is getting to the slap happy point for me and I'm getting a kick
out of it. Despite my cynicism and sarcasm, I am happy to be a part of the
IxDA. Happy Thursday.

Not that it really matters, but here is my bottom line. I think you're
thoughts about IxD are borderline nutso. Sorry for my bluntness, that's just
how I roll. It's crazy for anyone to think they can design any human
experience that involves interaction. It's hugely arrogant and self involved
to catapult yourself to that level, I think it's disrespectful, and I don't
think it provides any value to the profession of IxD as a whole. I realize
you and many others will strongly disagree with what I just said and I
respect that. I certainly believe that the students at CMU were wildly
successful at designing an entire process (i think the event planning
example shared last night) VS non-designers who were less successful. But I
also think about any group of intelligent individuals put under the
microscope to achieve a goal can do it, no matter what the collective skill
sets are. Maybe that's naive. I don't know. It seems very obvious to me that
IxD is not this gigantic omnipotent super god of touchy feely humanity stuff
that you and some other visionaries make it out to be.

Even if it were - you gotta crawl before you can walk. Why not put your
abilities towards the goal of establishing IxD in it's purest forms now?
That might lend more credibility to you as you strive to establish IxD'ers
to be able to do all these huge things in the future when we're all using
floating holographic interfaces like minority report :-)

I know you guys will all poke tons of holes in what I'm saying, but really -
what does this boil down to? We agree to disagree and that's more or less
it? IxD'ers will all benefit from the debate and the profession as a whole
will benefit from the diversity of viewpoints about the **definition of what
it is that we're supposed to be doing**??!! I really hope not. Seems like
we're on the same team here, working towards a somewhat common goal. Of
course we can't agree on everything, but heck, we can at least be in the
same ball park can't we?

If IxD is really about designing any type of process, thing, product, etc
that involves any level or type of human interaction, I want to know,
because I have lots of reading to do, and lots of waiting for subject
matters to respond to me. I want to see us as a group define that and work
towards it together. Maybe my perception of IxD is way off base. Maybe the
truth lies somewhere in the middle, or maybe one party is right and the
other mistaken. Can we figure it out? Please? :-)

I've said way more than my two cents, so I'll spare the list from my
rambling now. Rock on, IxDA.

13 Sep 2007 - 9:03pm
Mark Schraad
2006

If Andrei, Jeff, Dave and Pauric all agreed with me every time I said
something coming back would not be worth much.

On Sep 13, 2007, at 9:53 PM, Jeff White wrote:

> We agree to disagree and that's more or less
> it? IxD'ers will all benefit from the debate and the profession as
> a whole
> will benefit from the diversity of viewpoints about the
> **definition of what
> it is that we're supposed to be doing**??!! I really hope not.
> Seems like
> we're on the same team here, working towards a somewhat common
> goal. Of
> course we can't agree on everything, but heck, we can at least be
> in the
> same ball park can't we?

13 Sep 2007 - 9:06pm
.pauric
2006

Well, this thread went sour faster than a glass of milk left out on a
warm summer's day.

Not that this film answers the question of What is Interaction
Design?
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1079797626827646234

But it does mention the word Interaction within a Human/Machine
context more than any other I've watched.

If anyone does have 80 minutes to spend you might find a little
perspective within the context of the pov's put across previously.

And it also appears to have the cover of Dan Saffer's book at
59min44sec. Funny that.

p-eace

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 9:16pm
Jeff Howard
2004

I appreciate you laying it out like that Jeff. I'm comfortable with
the disagreement. It's inevitable really. Discussion lists are
terrible places to search for truth or to convince others. They're
more about multiple sides, talking at one another, and then moving on
to talk about other things. At IxDA we also do really good lists.

I'm not necessarily bothered by the lack of resolution. It's the
journey that's worthwhile.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

13 Sep 2007 - 9:25pm
White, Jeff
2007

Cool. Sorry for killing the conversation. I would like for more to come out
of it - I think the IxDA should be more than a discussion, but I do
appreciate the debate and I learn from it as well. I'm with you on the
journey, but I can see the other side as well - any kind of design is about
decision making and communication, and I wish we could be better at that,
especially within our own community.

On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 19:16:04, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:
>
> I appreciate you laying it out like that Jeff. I'm comfortable with
> the disagreement. It's inevitable really. Discussion lists are
> terrible places to search for truth or to convince others. They're
> more about multiple sides, talking at one another, and then moving on
> to talk about other things. At IxDA we also do really good lists.
>
> I'm not necessarily bothered by the lack of resolution. It's the
> journey that's worthwhile.
>
> // jeff
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the improved ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

14 Sep 2007 - 2:20am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 13 Sep 2007, at 14:12, Jeff Howard wrote:
[snip]
> I believe that executives and business consultants and policy wonks
> can design interactions. That's demonstrably true. And some are very
> good. But I don't concede that they can do it every bit as
> effectively as we can. If that were the case then no one would make
> jokes about filling out their taxes or standing in line at the DMV,
> or waiting in call center hell to get their washer and dryer fixed.
>
> It's the same argument programers were making about interface
> designers twenty years ago and engineers were making about industrial
> designers seventy years ago. Interactions are being designed already.
> They can be designed well or poorly. Our job is not always to
> supplant those who are doing the designing but to support their
> efforts so that the results are more humane.
[snip]

++

Adrian

14 Sep 2007 - 12:53pm
jamin
2007

Interaction design, as I said previously, and as you seem to agree, is
not everything. I don't think anyone is saying that it is.

But here's my version of your aforementioned conversation:

"What did you study in school?"

"Interaction design. I make interactions between people and people,
people and things, and things and things better."

Interaction designers do not need to be subject matter experts in
everything. They need to be able to quickly learn different subject
areas and collaborating with subject matter experts when necessary.

To assume that interaction designers can design everything themselves
is arrogant. Again, I don't think anyone is saying that.

But I stand by my statement that any interaction can benefit from
good interaction design. If that's a big statement, so be it. I
don't think it is, because that's what I do: apply interaction
design process and principles to every design project I encounter,
whether it be a single control, an interface, or a healthcare system.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

14 Sep 2007 - 1:08pm
White, Jeff
2007

Ok, I'm with you and Jack now, and I agree that interaction design thinking
can make things better. Here's my thing: what you and jack seem to be
categorizing as IxD skills or thinking are not IxD skills and thinking -
they already belong to other professions. Understanding people and
processes: user centered design. Laying out the content of a book so the
subject matter is easier to learn and remember: graphic design, information
design and user centered design.

IxD must be different IMO, or else we're just renaming other professions. I
like the foundations Dave put forth in his recent BA article. Designing a
healthcare system has nothing to do with: time, metaphor, etc. Have a CPOE
handheld device? Bring on the IxD, know what I mean?

On Fri, 14 Sep 2007 10:53:27, Jamin Hegeman <jamin at cmu.edu> wrote:
>
> Interaction design, as I said previously, and as you seem to agree, is
> not everything. I don't think anyone is saying that it is.
>
> But here's my version of your aforementioned conversation:
>
> "What did you study in school?"
>
> "Interaction design. I make interactions between people and people,
> people and things, and things and things better."
>
> Interaction designers do not need to be subject matter experts in
> everything. They need to be able to quickly learn different subject
> areas and collaborating with subject matter experts when necessary.
>
> To assume that interaction designers can design everything themselves
> is arrogant. Again, I don't think anyone is saying that.
>
> But I stand by my statement that any interaction can benefit from
> good interaction design. If that's a big statement, so be it. I
> don't think it is, because that's what I do: apply interaction
> design process and principles to every design project I encounter,
> whether it be a single control, an interface, or a healthcare system.
>
>

14 Sep 2007 - 1:15pm
Phillip Hunter
2006

Jamin > "Interaction design. I make interactions between people and people,
people and things, and things and things better."

Interaction designers do not need to be subject matter experts in
everything. They need to be able to quickly learn different subject
areas and collaborating with subject matter experts when necessary.

Jack > Just because I believe that an Interaction Designer can be of value
in most cases of human interaction, doesn't mean that I think I am king of
that domain. I can contribute-I don't need to own it.

I completely agree. After 14 years, I have more than passing knowledge of
certain aspects of the internal workings of banks, airlines, health and life
insurance, cable services, and mobile phone providers. I am quite confident
that I can learn what is needed for me to be helpful in many other areas
that I have no official studies in. I am also skilled at finding out who has
the best answer to open question and working out agreements between
conflicting needs. Yet, I would never want to run a bank, airline, or
health insurance company.

And yes, every single day of my life I come across interactions in the
office, at the deli, crossing the street, getting cash, calling a company,
etc., etc. etc., that I think I could improve in some small way by thinking
through the need, the actors, and the environment and applying my design
skills. Do I want to run the world? No (and you don't want me too) but I
can make it run a little better. Are these areas my "province"? In the
sense that I participate and that people I care about specifically and
generally participate, yes.

ph

14 Sep 2007 - 1:49pm
Patrick G
2006

"Understanding people and processes: user centered design." True. But
then what do you do with them? You re-organize them, you change them,
you design them so that people can interact with one another and with
things faster, more efficiently, more enjoyably, etc. And, for most
of us, we are doing so in conjunction with the design of some
artifact (physical, digital, or both), that provides the context for
those interactions. Jamin's description below ("I make interactions
between people and people, people and things, and things and things
better"), articulates this precisely, without being all-encompassing/
meaningless.

On Sep 14, 2007, at 2:08 PM, Jeff White wrote:

> Ok, I'm with you and Jack now, and I agree that interaction design
> thinking
> can make things better. Here's my thing: what you and jack seem to be
> categorizing as IxD skills or thinking are not IxD skills and
> thinking -
> they already belong to other professions. Understanding people and
> processes: user centered design. Laying out the content of a book
> so the
> subject matter is easier to learn and remember: graphic design,
> information
> design and user centered design.
>
> IxD must be different IMO, or else we're just renaming other
> professions. I
> like the foundations Dave put forth in his recent BA article.
> Designing a
> healthcare system has nothing to do with: time, metaphor, etc. Have
> a CPOE
> handheld device? Bring on the IxD, know what I mean?
>
> On Fri, 14 Sep 2007 10:53:27, Jamin Hegeman <jamin at cmu.edu> wrote:
>>
>> Interaction design, as I said previously, and as you seem to
>> agree, is
>> not everything. I don't think anyone is saying that it is.
>>
>> But here's my version of your aforementioned conversation:
>>
>> "What did you study in school?"
>>
>> "Interaction design. I make interactions between people and people,
>> people and things, and things and things better."
>>
>> Interaction designers do not need to be subject matter experts in
>> everything. They need to be able to quickly learn different subject
>> areas and collaborating with subject matter experts when necessary.
>>
>> To assume that interaction designers can design everything themselves
>> is arrogant. Again, I don't think anyone is saying that.
>>
>> But I stand by my statement that any interaction can benefit from
>> good interaction design. If that's a big statement, so be it. I
>> don't think it is, because that's what I do: apply interaction
>> design process and principles to every design project I encounter,
>> whether it be a single control, an interface, or a healthcare system.
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

14 Sep 2007 - 1:54pm
andrew_hinton a...
2007

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the way to figure out what IxD is
"about" is to look at the community's history and try to figure out why it
coalesced to begin with.

Why did people who now think of themselves as IxD Practitioners start
talking to each other? What problem wasn't already being solved by
existing practices?

Historically speaking, isn't there a story there?

In my own head it seems to go like this:

Once upon a time, there were complex devices for experts or specialized
users. And then there were consumer devices that weren't very complex, and
were inherently pretty straightforward to use. (Of course there were the
complex things for consumers, but they rarely lasted, or needed hired
technicians to do the complex stuff. )

Then the personal computer (and digital personal device) revolution
exploded -- and leading the charge were people who practiced a kind of
hybrid of engineering and design, making complex, arcane devices into
things that regular people could learn to use more easily as consumer
devices became a bigger deal.

Seems to me the vanguard ship of this regatta was the personal computing
design culture (Moggridge / GRiD Compass; Tognazzini, Raskin / Apple
[yes i know there are many I'm missing here]).

Is it any accident that these figures are so prominent in this community
-- could even be seen as grandparents of a sort -- and that it was Tog and
Moggridge who in the last 4-5 years have really pushed "Interaction
Design" as the name of this community?

Like many newer practices (sociobiology, psycholinguistics, etc), isn't
Interaction Design a hybrid of other, earlier practices, that coalesced to
solve the new problems created by trying to make very complex, powerful
devices for personal consumer use?

If that's the generative domain for this community, then why not describe
it as such?

Are you afraid you're limiting yourself by saying that? Honestly, do you
really think that you're hurting your career possiblities by "limiting
yourself" to "improving the interactive experience of complex, powerful
devices for personal consumer use"????

If you try to describe this practice much wider than that, you run the
risk of losing any meaning at all.

Jeff White wrote:

"IxD must be different IMO, or else we're just renaming other professions.
I
like the foundations Dave put forth in his recent BA article. Designing a
healthcare system has nothing to do with: time, metaphor, etc. Have a CPOE
handheld device? Bring on the IxD, know what I mean?"

(ps: my apologies if my lines aren't breaking right in some mail readers
-- if anyone can tell me how to get Lotus Notes to do it correctly, I'm
all ears.)

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT. The information contained in this e-mail message, including attachments, is the confidential information of, and/or is the property of, Vanguard. The information is intended for use solely by the individual or entity named in the message. If you are not an intended recipient or you received this in error, then any review, printing, copying, or distribution of any such information is prohibited, and please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this e-mail from your system.

14 Sep 2007 - 2:22pm
jamin
2007

Andrew said:
>Are you afraid you're limiting yourself by >saying that? Honestly,
do you really think >that you're hurting your career possibilities
>by "limiting yourself" to "improving the >interactive experience
of complex, powerful >devices for personal consumer use"????

I don't see this as a discussion about career possibilities. But I
do find your definition limiting and inaccurate. What do you say to
interaction designers who are already practicing in spaces that do
not involve complex, powerful devices for personal consumer use?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

14 Sep 2007 - 3:03pm
andrew_hinton a...
2007

The 'devices for personal consumer use' was poor wording on my part. What
I was really meaning was, essentially, making interactive things that are
inherently complex more intuitive and comfortable to interact with.

I just think that, historically, it wasn't as big of a priority to the
marketplace while complex interactive devices were mainly for specialized,
expert, or limited use. I do think that the personal computer design
revolution (especially out of the Bay Area culture) drove it as a
priority, partly as a philosophical imperative (populist ideals about
getting power of computing into individuals' hands) and a market necessity
(people will buy more of them if they're not so hard to use).

To focus on the main point I was trying to make -- understanding the
nature of the practice by looking at its generative history -- is it
inaccurate to say that this practice, and the community that cultivates
it, grew out of that story? The Moggridge, Tognazzini, et al story?

I know there were other traditions, other practices, that this one drew
from, but isn't it a hybrid of earlier practices that arose to meet the
challenges of highly complex and powerful products suddenly being in the
hands of millions of non-expert, untrained users?

If not, fine, I'm wrong about the history, but whatever the history is, it
had to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is the clue to how to
identify IxD's unique value as a practice versus other practices.

I shouldn't have equated one's career with the practice, though, because
it's counter to everything I usually try to say about this stuff, which is
that the practice is just one of many that most of us have to be familiar
with to get our jobs done. Identifying *too* heavily with just one slice
of it can get us into trouble. It's okay, and very natural, to identify
with a slice -- we like being able to name ourselves something -- but
getting too wrapped up in it causes us to start thinking everything's a
nail, just because our favorite tool is a hammer.

As someone who primarily identifies as an Information Architect, it's very
easy for me to start seeing *everything* as an IA problem. I've fallen
into that trap before, as have many of my peers. Only to find that I'm
treading on the toes of people in other practices/fields who have been
working on that stuff for years. That practice may bring value to the
work, but it doesn't make it "IA Territory".

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

Jamin Hegeman <jamin at cmu.edu>
Sent by: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
09/14/2007 08:22 AM

To
discuss at ixda.org
cc

Subject
Re: [IxDA Discuss] IxD definition WAS Interaction Design for ESL
Textbooks?

Andrew said:
>Are you afraid you're limiting yourself by >saying that? Honestly,
do you really think >that you're hurting your career possibilities
>by "limiting yourself" to "improving the >interactive experience
of complex, powerful >devices for personal consumer use"????

I don't see this as a discussion about career possibilities. But I
do find your definition limiting and inaccurate. What do you say to
interaction designers who are already practicing in spaces that do
not involve complex, powerful devices for personal consumer use?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

----------------------------------------------------------------------
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT. The information contained in this e-mail message, including attachments, is the confidential information of, and/or is the property of, Vanguard. The information is intended for use solely by the individual or entity named in the message. If you are not an intended recipient or you received this in error, then any review, printing, copying, or distribution of any such information is prohibited, and please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this e-mail from your system.

14 Sep 2007 - 3:43pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

>
> Here's my own five minute diagram:
> http://www.howardesign.com/exp/img/disciplines.png
>
> // jeff

Two things:

1. this is funny, even if ad hominem.
2. this is encouraging to Andrei (hopefully and as far as I can tell) as his
position is tremendously helpful to the rest of the "globe".

Oleh

Syndicate content Get the feed