What Other Fields Could UXers "Steal" From?

29 Sep 2009 - 3:56am
4 years ago
24 replies
1534 reads
Vicky Teinaki
2008

Hi all,

(Shameless plug maybe, but I'd love to tap into the collective IXDA
intelligence ....)
I recently wrote a post about other fields UXers could 'steal' from
http://johnnyholland.org/2009/09/28/good-ixders-borrow-great-ones-steal/

I've love other people's insight into other fields and texts that UXers
would do well to be aware of. (For example, I know that there is some pretty
cool stuff in performing arts like labannotation, but didn't have enough
information to put it in). From the comments so far I've already found out
that Ithere is much to be had in behavioural economics!

Thanks
Vicky

--
Vicky Teinaki
Phone: 021 027 01410
Skype: vicky.teinaki
Twitter: vickytnz

Comments

30 Sep 2009 - 8:27am
morville
2010

There's an interesting discussion about stealing from architecture going on
here...

http://danklyn.com/blog/?p=495

http://www.archinect.com/forum/threads.php?id=92431_0_42_0_C

...I like this question from an architect:

"Does IA push any bounds beyond client concerns? Is there any artful or
conceptual pursuit in the discipline that's not based on solving the
immediate problem?"

Worth asking the same question about IxD? Cheers!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

30 Sep 2009 - 8:50am
Maria Cordell
2010

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Vicky.

I definitely think a bit of disciplinary cross-pollination of
ideas/concepts is worth exploring and exploiting. It's also a way to
keep from getting too wrapped up in our own stuff, and for getting
inspiration from other fields.

I'm thinking along similar lines, particularly as relates to
considering how time affects design, and how to think about and
account for it, in this presentation submission for Interaction 10:

http://interaction.ixda.org/proposals/presentations/interaction-design-for-the-fourth-dimension/

Would love feedback!

Best,

Maria Cordell
mcordell at gmail.com

On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 4:56 AM, Vicky Teinaki <vicky.teinaki at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> (Shameless plug maybe, but I'd love to tap into the collective IXDA
> intelligence ....)
> I recently wrote a post about other fields UXers could 'steal' from
> http://johnnyholland.org/2009/09/28/good-ixders-borrow-great-ones-steal/
>
> I've love other people's insight into other fields and texts that UXers
> would do well to be aware of. (For example, I know that there is some pretty
> cool stuff in performing arts like labannotation, but didn't have enough
> information to put it in). From the comments so far I've already found out
> that Ithere is much to be had in behavioural economics!
>
>
> Thanks
> Vicky
>
> --
> Vicky Teinaki
> Phone: 021 027 01410
> Skype: vicky.teinaki
> Twitter: vickytnz
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Maria Cordell
mcordell at gmail.com

IxDA Atlanta
http://ixdaatlanta.ning.com/

30 Sep 2009 - 9:32am
.pauric
2006

I see a significant amount of overlap in approach between the fields
of Systems Engineers and IxD. Specifically the orchestration of
multiple components within a complex system against a set of
requirements (inc functional and user)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_engineer
"Systems engineering (also known as Systems design engineering) is
an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how complex
engineering projects should be designed and managed. Issues such as
logistics, the coordination of different teams, and automatic control
of machinery become more difficult when dealing with large, complex
projects. Systems engineering deals with work-processes and tools to
handle such projects, and it overlaps with both technical and
human-centered disciplines such as control engineering and project
management."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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18 Mar 2010 - 10:39pm
Mathew Sanders
2009

Pauric I'm going to second your suggestion... I live with an chemical engineer (I think in New Zealand the term systems engineering never really caught on so the industry here, or at least the firm my flatmate works for, has strangely bundled this in with hemical engineering) and I nearly fell of my chair when he described his work -- there were so many parallels to interaction design!

Vicky you should come over for dinner sometime and quiz him! Laughing

1 Oct 2009 - 6:20am
Thomas Petersen
2008

I actually don't think architecture is such a great comparison when
you really start thinking about it.

One could might as well ask the architect.

"Does Architecture push any bounds beyond architects artistic
ambitions? Is there any usable or useful pursuit in the discipline
that's not based on solving the the artist ambitions, but in
providing proper usage of your building?"

Many architectural schools belong to the art department so they
create architects who come out thinking they are artist who should
create masterpieces and push the clients beyond the clients ambitions
(which most of the times also means budget).

They are like many visual designers caught between problem solving
and aesthetics.

But in the digital world, composition is death and the internet is
the realization of post-modernism. To lend from architecture would be
to move oneselves even further away from whatever service or product
we are designing. Some areas of architecture such as landscape
architecture are actually more important that the Frank Gehry types
(although I am a big fan of their work)

So if we are to lend from anyone it should be from areas, that don't
see their work as a monument to be admired from afar but as a an
environment to be actively used every day.

My list would include among others:
Industrial Designers, Engineers, Information Design, Motion Graphics,
Neuroscience, Manufacturing, critical theory, programming, landscape
architecutre, public transport planning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 7:01am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

Whoaa...

> So if we are to lend from anyone it should be from areas, that don't
> see their work as a monument to be admired from afar but as a an
> environment to be actively used every day.

Which, as far as I know, sums up pretty well the guiding values of
most professional architects, teachers of architecture and theorists
of architecture.

The "monument" mindset in/on architecture seems to be perpetuated
mainly by glossy magazines and coffee-table books (and the occasional
Art History scholar).

Best regards,
Jonas Löwgren

1 Oct 2009 - 7:30am
jarango
2004

On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 11:20 PM, Thomas Petersen <tp at hellobrand.com> wrote:
> Many architectural schools belong to the art department so they
> create architects who come out thinking they are artist who should
> create masterpieces and push the clients beyond the clients ambitions
> (which most of the times also means budget).

With all due respect Thomas, this sounds like an uninformed caricature.

The architects who you read about in glossy magazines are outliers.
Most practicing architects solve design problems for clients with real
constraints and tight deadlines/budgets, using well-developed
methodologies. There is much for us to learn from this field.

~ Jorge

1 Oct 2009 - 8:13am
Thomas Petersen
2008

Jorge

I am not talking about the glossy magazines. I am talking about the
architects who get taught architecture as if it's art.

The architects who would then go on to ask questions like:

"Does IA push any bounds beyond client concerns? Is there any artful
or conceptual pursuit in the discipline that's not based on solving
the immediate problem?"

As someone on archinect asked.

So with all due respect, I think a little less sensitivity regarding
what is written would be nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 9:10am
jarango
2004

On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 1:13 AM, Thomas Petersen <tp at hellobrand.com> wrote:
> I am not talking about the glossy magazines. I am talking about the
> architects who get taught architecture as if it's art.

Who are those architects?

I went through architecture school, and know other UXers who have as
well. I've been surrounded by architects and architecture professors
for the past 20 years. Your characterization of architectural
education, and of architects, does not match my experience or what
I've heard described by others. The "artistes"/divas constitute a very
small percentage of the population; most architects I know are looking
to design problems within real-world constraints.

> I think a little less sensitivity regarding
> what is written would be nice.

I think less hyperbole would be even better.

~ Jorge

1 Oct 2009 - 9:07am
Dave Malouf
2005

I'm going to jump back up to Peter's question and the answer is
"some".

The work of Fiona Raby and Tony Dunne of the RCA in London and their
entire department definitely see & teach IxD as an aesthetic cultural
insertion constantly evolving the relationship between human beings
and technology across form, space, and time through cognitive,
emotional, and social manipulations and dialogs.

I'd say most practicing IxDs are fairly narrow in their work lives.
But this is no different than architecture where you have Frank
Gearhy and you have the guy down the block who is designing the next
strip mall. What I would say about the strip mall guy is I think
while as Jorge put it, he's gotta design to reality, clients often
expect flourishes and other aesthetic add-ons with their fairly
functional strip mall. The flourishes are part of the budget.

THIS for IxD is usually relegated to the visual or interactive
designer, so most IxDs don't have a traditional background in
thinking about IxD in this way.

I think the few IxD programs (NOT HCI) that are out there are pushing
this notion. there are so few of them (us) out there though that it is
almost impossible for us to create any sort of message of critical
mass that can get beyond the usual "Should I use a checkbox or a
radio button?" type questions.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 9:35am
Dave Malouf
2005

gong back to Vicky's original question:
Dance, music, film, stage are areas that I look to for inspiration
and steal core motifs from.

Sequential Art (comics)

Economics

Instructional Design (or just education in general)

and well Art!

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 9:40am
Thomas Petersen
2008

"Who are those architects?"

Among others, the one I was referring to at archinect. Many architect
that I know see themselves as artists or philosophers before they seem
themselves as craftsmen.

I have worked with architects who tried to apply their thinking into
an online context. Wouldn't say it was exactly a success. It's just
two different animals.

"Your characterization of architectural education, and of
architects, does not match my experience or what I've heard
described by others."

Perhaps you can't see the forest for the threes? Perhaps I know
other architects than you. Perhaps you don't see your friends as
being artsy. None the less the issue is there.

So you don't find it telling that the glossy magazines show these
artsy architects if there is no one who thinks like that or are
interested in architecture like that?

"The "artistes"/divas constitute a very small percentage of the
population; most architects I know are looking
to design problems within real-world constraints."

I am sure they do. But the question is still what they see themselves
as. Artist or craftsmen.

"I think less hyperbole would be even better."

How can it be hyberbole by writing "many schools" it is many
schools that have architecture as part of the "faculty of arts"
which obviously will affect how things are taught.

And it is many architects who think of their field as more art than
craft. That does not mean all do, just that many do and those are the
ones I am referring to.

Claiming that they are few is simply against my experience. Sorry.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 9:33am
Dave Malouf
2005

Expanding on this a bit more, I think that Bill Derouchey's and my
presentations at From Business to Buttons this past June also
represent thinking applied to IxD from other design disciplines that
speak to a more artful, humanistic, less-scientific and more
aesthetically grounded perspective.

http://businesstobuttons.com/stream

(I also highly recommend the Garr Reynold's [Presentation Zen fame]
opening keynote. Next time you speak at a conference, imagine
following this guy who basically does Jobsian-like presentations [and
teaches it for a living]. Intimidated much?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Oct 2009 - 10:09am
aschechterman
2004

The diverse field of medicine . . . from years of listening and learning
from, and designing for thousands and thousands of patients, their families,
providers, and the surprising range of systems of care:

- Medicine (especially Internal Medicine, Neurology, Geriatrics,
Obstetrics-Gynecology, Gastroenterology)
- Medical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
- Social and Community Psychology
- (ditto for Film, Sequential Art, Urban Planning)

Andrew Schechterman

aschechterman at gmail dot com

www.Linkedin.com/in/andrewschechterman

On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 1:35 AM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Going back to Vicky's original question:
> Dance, music, film, stage are areas that I look to for inspiration
> and steal core motifs from.
>
> Sequential Art (comics)
>
> Economics
>
> Instructional Design (or just education in general)
>
> and well Art!
>
> -- dave
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46168
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

1 Oct 2009 - 10:37am
Traci Lepore
2008

I've been writing a column for UXmatters for over a year now called "Dramatic Impact: Theater and the Creative Process of Design" in which I've been exploring analogies and metaphors that can be derived from theatrical discipline to provide new perspective and enhancement to UX Design for innovation, and empathy. Probably in a similar vein to Dave's comment about his work helping to speak to a more artistic and humanistic perpsective. Here's a link to a list of my columns which range from talking in general about what place theater really has in design to more specific topics such as leadership and direction of creative process and character develpment for personas. http://uxmatters.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&Template=default&search=traci+lepore

Traci Lepore
Graphic Designer
traci106 at hotmail.com
617-821-2156

1 Oct 2009 - 11:04am
pdxWebDr
2009

Yes, I would definitely say Psychology.

Also, I'm reading Designing for People by Industrial Designer Henry
Dreyfuss and have found a wealth of insightful similarities.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Oct 2009 - 12:30pm
Jaanus Kase
2008

Cooper keeps talking about how producing software and experiences is
not so different from producing movies.
http://www.cooper.com/journal/2009/03/feedback_loops.html

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Oct 2009 - 4:00pm
dirtandrust
2008

I have to say I get a lot of inspiration from motorcycle design.
Ducati is a big example, however it's the relationship between user
and machine that seems so refined and perfectly researched that
intrigues me.

The motorcycle and rider are useless without each other - it's a
symbiotic relationship. This is how I design software now, with the
idea in mind that the software isn't manipulating the user, nor is
the user manipulating the software.

The goal is the road/destination (or just the trip itself) and the
software is the motorcycle.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Oct 2009 - 5:16pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Can we be more specific with this thread?

I can find inspiration or tacit information to inform or inspire my
interaction design from almost anything that human beings, touch,
use, think about, or conceive of explicitly or implicitly. All design
is a no braining as well as art, science, humanities, social science,
and technology (aka applied science).

So when we say "steal", can we be more specific?

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Oct 2009 - 5:35pm
Vicky Teinaki
2008

Hi all,

Thanks for the discussion so far - there have been some great suggestions,
and I''ll put a summary and linkthrough to here on the original post when I
next get the chance.
Cheers Dave for trying to pull back the discussion a few times - the
specific thread was what other non-UX disciplines (i.e. where people are
doing research as well as doing) had theories and knowledge we could tap
into.
(Though someone is welcome to split this thread off!)

>From the thread so far:
@thomas - the comments here are exactly the reason why I thought the post
was a good idea, as Peter shows, there's a lot of thinking going on that
we're not aware of when we see the coffee table books.
@traci - thanks for mentioning your series! I'll definitely add that in
@andres - medicine - sounds fascinating. Are there any specific
resources/people that you know of?

Thanks
Vicky

On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 4:16 AM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can we be more specific with this thread?
>
> I can find inspiration or tacit information to inform or inspire my
> interaction design from almost anything that human beings, touch,
> use, think about, or conceive of explicitly or implicitly. All design
> is a no braining as well as art, science, humanities, social science,
> and technology (aka applied science).
>
> So when we say "steal", can we be more specific?
>
> -- dave
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46168
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Vicky Teinaki
Phone: 021 027 01410
Skype: vicky.teinaki
Twitter: vickytnz

3 Oct 2009 - 9:00pm
Cwodtke
2004

All practices are ripe for theft. To be a great designer means being alive
in the world, to pay attention and to learn form everything human. Popular
culture, such as reality games like Top Chef could teach us
about experience, detail, passion. Architecture goes back to Rome and to
dismiss it is arrogant. Vitruvius has plenty to say to us.
http://www.slideshare.net/jlfraser/rome-sweet-romeBut even a modernist like
Corbu can inspire; I got some amazing ideas this morning about navigation
because of his work. http://www.eleganthack.com/?p=2740
As for medicine, if you haven't read Atul Gawande's work, you are missing
out. Extremely easy to apply to our field, especially his book Better.

Personally I have been inspired by all these and odd things like poetry,
phenomenology, mythology, critical theory and cooking. Life is rich!

On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 3:35 PM, Vicky Teinaki <vicky.teinaki at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Thanks for the discussion so far - there have been some great suggestions,
> and I''ll put a summary and linkthrough to here on the original post when I
> next get the chance.
> Cheers Dave for trying to pull back the discussion a few times - the
> specific thread was what other non-UX disciplines (i.e. where people are
> doing research as well as doing) had theories and knowledge we could tap
> into.
> (Though someone is welcome to split this thread off!)
>
> >From the thread so far:
> @thomas - the comments here are exactly the reason why I thought the post
> was a good idea, as Peter shows, there's a lot of thinking going on that
> we're not aware of when we see the coffee table books.
> @traci - thanks for mentioning your series! I'll definitely add that in
> @andres - medicine - sounds fascinating. Are there any specific
> resources/people that you know of?
>
> Thanks
> Vicky
>
>
> On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 4:16 AM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Can we be more specific with this thread?
> >
> > I can find inspiration or tacit information to inform or inspire my
> > interaction design from almost anything that human beings, touch,
> > use, think about, or conceive of explicitly or implicitly. All design
> > is a no braining as well as art, science, humanities, social science,
> > and technology (aka applied science).
> >
> > So when we say "steal", can we be more specific?
> >
> > -- dave
> >
> >
> >
> > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46168
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Vicky Teinaki
> Phone: 021 027 01410
> Skype: vicky.teinaki
> Twitter: vickytnz
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

3 Oct 2009 - 11:39pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

I find inspiration from Brunel. Perhaps it's because I lived a long
time in Bristol, but Brunel was an engineer who also produced works
of beauty. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is probably his most famous
example. As beautiful as it is, it is hardly ever closed for repairs
unlike the more modern bridges in the area which is surprising that
it was opened in 1864. He also designed other great works such as
Temple Meads and Paddington railway stations (and the whole of the
Great Western Railway), the Menai Suspension Bridge, the SS Great
Britain, the Great Eastern, Maidenhead Railway Bridge.

I like the idea of being able to produce a classic design that is
used by many people every day for many decades.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5 Oct 2009 - 4:13am
Anonymous

A few years ago I organized a panel at a software developers
conference on exactly that thread.

Our panel included:

* An architect, who designed houses (or additions) that
people could move through comfortably, according to
THEIR life style

* A furniture designer, who designed chairs (and other
furniture) that fit people's bodies, that were
ergonomically sound, and they related to the decor
of a space

* An interactive exhibit designer, who designed media
and teaching scripts for school children to learn
about the marine environment.

Our theme was learning about user requirements. Much of the target
audience had never thought about this at all. They dealt with data
requirements -- not with people.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A r t h u r F i n k Listening, Consulting, Coaching
Common Sense Business Advice

arthur at arthurfink.com 207.615.5722

Blog www.arthurfink.wordpress.com
Consulting www.arthurfink.com
Coaching www.insightandclarity.com

5 Oct 2009 - 2:23pm
Dan Saffer
2003

I did a presentation a few years ago called New Sources of Inspiration
for Interaction Design that deals with this (very broad) topic:

<http://www.slideshare.net/dansaffer/new-sources-of-inspiration-for-interaction-designers
>

Dan

Dan Saffer
Principal, Kicker Studio
http://www.kickerstudio.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

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