Theory

How smart does your bed have to be before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?

Posted in 1990s, Theory, Ubicomp and Internet of Things, Visionary on November 7th, 2014 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Rich Gold, “How smart does your bed have to be, before you are afraid to go to sleep at night?” Ars Electronica, 1994

Can a house built with modern computer technology still be expected to work ten years from now? Do you currently have any ten-year-old computers in your house? Do you expect your children to live in your house? Your children’s children? Your children’s children’s children? Will your smart house still be smart then?

Do you consider living in an intelligent, fully computerized house to be work? Will there be computerized forms you have to regularly fill out to keep it working? Will you have to perform regular maintenance on it? How does this differ from work? Do you take vacations now from your house, say to simple cabins in the woods? Will you take vacations from your smart house to, say suburban houses?

If a smart house decides that it doesn’t like you, can it leave and find another employer?

How Bodies Matter: Five Themes for Interaction Design

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Cogniton, Theory on May 7th, 2013 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Klemmer, Scott, Hartmann, Bjorn, and Takayama, Leila, “How Bodies Matter: Five Themes for Interaction Design,” 2006.

This paper presents five themes that we believe are particularly salient for designing and evaluating interactive systems. The first, thinking through doing, describes how thought (mind) and action (body) are deeply integrated and how they co-produce learning and reasoning. The second, performance, describes the rich actions our bodies are capable of, and how physical action can be both faster and more nuanced than symbolic cognition. The first two themes primarily address individual corporeality; the next two are primarily concerned with the social affordances. Visibility describes the role of artifacts in collaboration and cooperation. Risk explores how the uncertainty and risk of physical co-presence shapes interpersonal and human-computer interactions. The final theme, thickness of practice, suggests that because the pursuit of digital verisimilitude is more difficult than it might seem, embodied interaction is a more prudent path.

No to NoUI

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Interface Design, Theory on March 18th, 2013 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Arnall, Timo, “No to NoUI,” 2013.

Invisible design propogates the myth that technology will ‘disappear’ or ‘just get out of the way’ rather than addressing the qualities of interface technologies that can make them difficult or delightful.

Intentionally hiding the phenomena and materiality of interfaces, smoothing over the natural edges, seams and transitions that constitute all technical systems, entails a loss of understanding and agency for both designers and users of computing. Lack of understanding leads to uncertainty and folk-theories that hinder our ability to use technical systems, and clouds the critique of technological developments.

As systems increasingly record our personal activity and data, invisibility is exactly the wrong model.

The Best Interface is No Interface

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Inspirational, Theory on February 7th, 2013 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Krishna, Golden, “The best interface is no interface,” 2012.

It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, only truly improve with a major overhaul.

There is a better path: No UI. A design methodology that aims to produce a radically simple technological future without digital interfaces. Following three simple principles, we can design smarter, more useful systems that make our lives better.

The Robot-Readable World

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Inspirational, Robotics, Theory on March 18th, 2012 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Matt Jones, The Robot-readable World, 2011

Computer vision is a deep, dark specialism with strange opportunities and constraints. The signals that we design towards robots might be both simpler and more sophisticated than QR codes or other 2d barcodes.

Our Misguided Focus on Brand and User Experience

Posted in 2000s, Inspirational, Theory on March 3rd, 2011 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jon Kolko, “Our Misguided Focus on Brand and User Experience” (2009)

Interaction design is the design of behavior, positioned as dialogue between a person and an artifact. A person commonly doesn’t talk to an object; they use it, touch it, manipulate it, and control it. Usage, touching, manipulation and control are all dialogical acts, unspoken but conversational. Conversation is only a metaphor for interaction, but it’s a useful one. Many of the same ways we “read” an actual, spoken conversation have parallels in describing and discussing interactions between people and things. Consider:

  • Both conversations and interactions have flow, and often have a beginning, middle, and end;
  • Both conversations and interactions act as intertwining of multiple viewpoints. In a conversation, the viewpoints come from people; in an interaction, viewpoints are embedded in an artifact by a designer;
  • Both conversations and interactions act as both methods of communication and methods of comprehension; participants both contribute to, and take from, the activity;
  • Ultimately, both conversations and interactions serve to affect behavioral change in participants.

This is powerful, as it describes an implicit way of extending a designers reach – and personal point of view, or message – into the masses. It is this mass distribution of dialogue that describes culture; we build culture through our objects, services and systems, as we define behavior through interactions. This is of equal prominence to the claim of “designing experiences”, yet leaves open the potential—the need—for the people (pardon, the consumers) to actually participate and contribute in a meaningful way. The things we do in the design studio have grand significance in the world. Our design decisions – even small, detailed, nuanced design decisions – resonate for years, and usually in a phenomenally large scale.

Semiotics in Product Design

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on November 17th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Sara Ilstedt Hjelm, “Semiotics in Product Design” (pdf) 2002

Where The Action Is

Posted in 2000s, Non-Fiction Books, Theory, Ubicomp and Internet of Things on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Paul Dourish, Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction (2004)

Digital Ground

Posted in 2000s, Non-Fiction Books, Theory, Ubicomp and Internet of Things on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Malcolm McCullough, Digital Ground: Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental Knowing (2005)

Thoughtful Interaction Design

Posted in 2000s, Non-Fiction Books, Theory on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology (2007)

Places to Intervene in a System

Posted in 1990s, Articles, Inspirational, Theory on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Donella H. Meadows, “Places to Intervene in a System” (1997)

Regarding “leverage points” in a system.

Designing for Interaction: Building a Vision for Innovation in Interaction Design

Posted in 2000s, Presentations, Theory on October 7th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Chris Bernard, “Designing for Interaction: Building a Vision for Innovation in Interaction Design” (2008)

Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis

Posted in 2010s, Articles, Design Research, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jon Kolko, “Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis” (2010)

Toward an Articulation of Interaction Esthetics

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jonas Löwgren, “Toward an Articulation of Interaction Esthetics” (pdf) (2009)

Technology First, Needs Last

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, “Technology First, Needs Last” (2009)

The Long Nose of Innovation

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Bill Buxton, “The Long Nose of Innovation” (2008)

Seams and scars, Or Where to look when assessing collaborative work

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Anne Galloway, “Seams and scars, Or Where to look when assessing collaborative work” (pdf) (2005)

Understanding Experience in Interactive Systems

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Jodi Forlizzi and Katja Battarbee, “Understanding Experience in Interactive Systems” (pdf) (2004)

Insanely Great, Or Just Good Enough?

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Inspirational, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Dan Hill, “Insanely Great, Or Just Good Enough?” (2004)

Emotion and Design: Attractive Things Work Better

Posted in 2000s, Articles, Interface Design, Theory on October 5th, 2010 by Dan – Be the first to comment

Don Norman, “Emotion and Design: Attractive Things Work Better” (2002)