rethinking on elements of interaction design: beyond the descriptions
31 Jan 2009 - 4:52am
In thread http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=16346, there's
discussion on "elements of interaction design", which was a very
interesting at that time. After one and half year, it seems worth to
restart it, since new views comes from different practice&research
>From Reimann's IxD definition (http://www.cooper.com/journal/2001/06/so_you_want_to_be_an_interacti.html)
Interaction Design is a design discipline dedicated to: Defining the
behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems (i.e., products)
…and therefore concerned with:
1. Defining the form of products as they relate to their behavior and use
2. Anticipating how the use of products will mediate human
relationships and affect human understanding
3. Exploring the dialogue between products, people, and contexts
(physical, cultural, historical)
In "The Elements of Interaction
and http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/foundations-of as related stuff
), Dan gave a interesting description of "a powerful set of components
for interaction designers", as Motion, Space, Time, Appearance,
Texture, Sound. From the design practice,these elements can describe
or express the interaction design solution, but seems not in the
essential part. One evidence is that you'll find it's hard to explain
above interaction design completely.
But, by turning the statement into a question, like, What are the
elements of interaction design? or what are the building blocks of
interaction design?, it becomes very interesting. Starting from above
interaction design definition, the elements should be building
blocks of "behavior of artifacts, elements and systems", therefore
1. shape the "form of products as they relate to their behavior and use"
2. as the mediators for " human relationships and affect human understandings"
3. as dialogue implements "between products, people, and contexts"
So, elements can be reformat as (according to H.A.Simon's Sciences of
1. situated using needs, motivation(sets)
2. situated input
3. situated output
The designing of behavior finally fall into format as combination of
input/output interface design that afford situated using needs or
motivation. And "Motion, Space, Time, Appearance, Texture, Sound"
are the descriptors of input/output.
And input/output naturally consists the user interface
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_interface), which explains
essential result of interaction design is expressed as interface
What lays at the center of the dialog ( input/output) is the
"situated using needs, motivation", that defines how people use the
product (input/output), etc. From this point, the design research
finds it's root, human and his/her needs.
It's just a start (far from acceptable) instead of a conclusion, as
the community define & redefine the definitions of interaction design;
but it's definitely worth thinking and rethinking the foundation
elements. From this point, Dan do initial the great journey instead of
giving the final answer.