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A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
So, here's a Vision Of The Future that's popular right now. It's a lot of this sort of thing. As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I'm a little skeptical of, given that I've actually tried them and the animators presumably haven't. But that's not my problem with the video. My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. This matters, because visions matter. This little rant isn't going to lay out any grand vision or anything. Before we think about how we should interact with our Tools Of The Future, let's consider what a tool is in the first place. I like this definition: A tool addresses human needs by amplifying human capabilities. That is, a tool converts what we can do into what we want to do. That's right! And that's great!

Why Microsoft's Vision Of The Future Is Dead On Arrival | Co. Design This just in: In the future, everything will be lushly luxurious, gleamingly clean, and digitally magical. Yup, it’s another corporate "the future of . . ." video, this time courtesy of Microsoft Office. This dazzlingly mounted production will spin your head with its vision of "the future of productivity"--the most salient feature of which is that, apparently, nobody uses Microsoft Office anymore. Sounds like a dream: Sorry if that’s harsh, but I’m with John Gruber: These spit-polished masterpieces of magical thinking are the tech-elite version of LOLcat videos. I’m going to get a bit more meta: I’m actually fine with corporations pouring scads of money into producing futurist concept videos (sidebar: I’m available!) This is the world that 99% of the users of Microsoft Office actually inhabit now, and it won’t be any different in a decade. What "future of" tech/design videos need is a little less Minority Report and a little more Alien.

In praise of impractical programming Although it’s become a cultural mainstay now, I still remember when I first saw that thick book — the one with the wizard on the cover — about a school for magic where wonders are easily conjured by those who know the proper spells. Of course, I’m talking about the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. There was that other book with the spells, but the “Wizard Book” sincerely claimed to teach magic. For the past few years, I’ve been working as a software developer in the newsroom, where perceptions of my kind have changed from novelty to a necessity. Recognizing this, some journalism schools now even require programming courses to teach students practical skills with databases or web frameworks. Learning to program is an important skill; learning how to be a programmer requires a far different type of course. But I was no more skilled at the practical work of programming; learning theory was the point.

Las visualizaciones de redes y su asombrosa complejidad Dicen por ahí que «existimos y luego somos redes». Y es que desde cierto punto de vista todo forma parte de una red. Ya sea una red de relaciones interpersonales, de referencias bibliográficas, de referencias intertextuales, de ecosistemas, de células, de economías, de personas... de casi cualquier cosa que te puedas imaginar. Internet, por ejemplo, es la red de redes, todas superpuestas o traslapadas o interrelacionas para funcionar como le conocemos. En internet cada protocolo forma una red, y todas conviven en sorprendente equilibrio. Pero como mencioné al principio, con el estudio de esas redes se ha establecido un conocimiento nuevo y emergente de las cosas del universo y sus relaciones, de su complejidad, del orden y el caos que nos rodea, de los mundos pequeños en los que sus miembros están solo a seis pasos de distancia. Ahora bien, lo que a continuación te presento son una serie de visualizaciones para apreciar de otra manera esas redes en las que todos estamos inmersos. Twitter

Bret Victor: Learnable Programming I think this article raises some brilliant points, and is very well written, but I also feel that it falls short of the mark Bret was aiming for. As he himself alludes to, most of what he is teach is not programming - it is individual actions. Just as being taught the meaning of individual words does not teach you to write, being taught what certain functions or statements do does not teach you to program. What is important is not spelling, but grammar - the shape of a program. His parts on Loops and Functions are better on this - the timeline showing loop instruction order is pretty awesome. In fact, my strongest criticism is in regards to his rebuttal to Alan Perlis: > Alan Perlis wrote, "To understand a program, you must become both the machine and the program." I'm sorry Bret, but Alan is right. In all his examples, very simple things happen, and never go wrong more than drawing in the wrong place.

Jason VanLue > Essays > Design For People "In 1847 an Englishman named Sir Henry Cole startled the Council of the Society of Arts by saying, “Of high art in this country there is abundance; of mechanical industry and invention an unparalleled profusion. The thing still remaining to be done is to effect the combination of the two; to wed high art with mechanical skill”. In short: make things that look great and function well. The history of design reveals the constant struggle to achieve this harmony of form and function. In the 1930's manufactured goods served their intended purpose (function), but they came off the production lines with a stagnant sameness (form)1. The following decades blossomed into the golden age of Industrial Design. “If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed. As designers for the digital space we need to remember to design for the other side of the screen. The question, then, is how do we design for people?

Openarch Builds House Of The Future, Filled With Gestural UI’s The "house of the future" video is one of my favorite genres of futurist marketing. Intended to put all this whiz-bang high technology into a comfortable context, it always reveals more about the time it was made than the time it depicts. When I came across Openarch’s demo video, I was all set to give it the kind of critical treatment that John Pavlus gave Microsoft, except there’s one problem. They’re actually building it. Openarch is a prototype house and it’s very much a work in progress. It mixes hardware and software elements, combining things like moveable walls, with Kinect-based gestural interfaces. "Our goal is to experiment, but for me the best way to do a real research is trying to build real things," says Ion Cuervas-Mons of Thinkbig Factory. Far from being a lifeless marketing piece, Openarch is a living laboratory. Knowing that Openarch is a testbed completely changes my attitude towards the clearly awkward interactions as depicted.

Freaklabs - Open Source Wireless - Home Darwin trumps self-obsession in robotics - tech - 12 November 2011 THE Terminator, C-3PO and Maria in Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis. All are sci-fi visions of the future of robotics, and all are fashioned in our own image - with "brains", legs and hands. Yet real-world humanoid robots are nowhere near as capable. Indeed, despite remarkable advances across a range of technologies, robotics has begun to acquire the air of a field that has failed to live up to expectations. Now the success of a group of rebel roboticists suggests that, by copying our own image, humanoid robots and their creators are destined to fail. The robots that the rebels envisage look nothing like us, but are inspired by the theory that intelligence emerges from the body (see "Squishybots: soft, bendy and smarter than ever") . Crucially, the next generation of robots will not be designed as if by gods - in our image - but by using the principles revealed by Darwin. More From New Scientist Man with tiny brain shocks doctors (New Scientist) Could Earth survive the Sun's demise?

Learnable Programming Here's a trick question: How do we get people to understand programming? Khan Academy recently launched an online environment for learning to program. It offers a set of tutorials based on the JavaScript and Processing languages, and features a "live coding" environment, where the program's output updates as the programmer types. Because my work was cited as an inspiration for the Khan system, I felt I should respond with two thoughts about learning: Programming is a way of thinking, not a rote skill. Thus, the goals of a programming system should be: to support and encourage powerful ways of thinkingto enable programmers to see and understand the execution of their programs A live-coding Processing environment addresses neither of these goals. Alan Perlis wrote, "To understand a program, you must become both the machine and the program." How do we get people to understand programming? We change programming. Contents A programming system has two parts. The language should provide: Wait.

The 3 Future Waves In Design, And How To Ride Them As a product designer and a part of frog for nearly 20 years, I have seen our industry change quite a bit. But what I’ve experienced is nothing compared with the changing landscape I see coming. Our industry will have a choice to make: adapt, or be relegated to decorating the surfaces of the world. Our challenge begins with our history. Twenty years ago, computing was just coming into its own as a medium to which designers could usefully contribute. The first wave: Experience design Although designers have always sought to visually and conceptually draw a connection across a product line, we were free to approach each product as an individual design and engineering challenge. The modern design challenge is to define a great experience for a consumer comprised of a range of touch points, in various cases composed of interactions with several devices, retail experiences, personal contact points, software interfaces, physical mechanisms, data, and software intelligence.

Knowledge Base » Will History disappear, if we can “see” the past via Augmented Reality? By: Clyde DeSouza Augmented Reality, let’s us relive History What if we could harness Technology, to educate and stimulate the younger generation to value and cherish tradition but in a non text book manner, and thus impart education to them with help from the same devices that they seem hooked onto. In effect, hijack these devices in an interesting way, so as to break into a students “Digital Personal Space” which they are not so keen to give up that easily. – This is the key to the future of education – Taking History outdoors and bringing History to the present. (the old Berlin wall, and the site as it stands today) Harnessing Augmented Reality creatively, in Education: With advances in technology and the penetration of Smart Phones such as the Iphone and Google Andriod based phones, it is soon becoming de-facto for smart phones to have built in digital compasses, accelerometers, GPS and a camera. Apps – are the little bits of software that do all the magic on smart phones.

Arduino Buying Guide Arduino Buying Guide Let’s face it, there are a a lot of different Arduino boards out there. How do you decide which one you need for your project? With this table, you can not only compare features between all the different Arduino boards we carry, but you can also see why these differences are important. What is an Arduino? Let’s first talk about what an Arduino really is. All Arduino boards have one thing in common: they are programmed through the Arduino IDE. Why are they different? Some boards are designed to be embedded and have no programming interface (hardware) which you would need to buy separately. 1The miniUSB connector on the Arduino Fio is used for battery charging only. 2The LilyPad Simple Board does have one UART but the pins aren't broken out to pads. *The Arduino Leonardo has the same GPIO pin-count as the other “Uno” style boards but more of the pins play “double duty” as both analog and digital pins, thus the higher numbers. Glossary of Terms:

5 Tiny Computer Glitches That Caused Huge Disasters We've all done stupid things with computers at work. For most of us, this means facing the wrath of the passive-aggressive IT guy. But there are certain jobs where making the same mistakes can cost companies billions of dollars, and sometimes costs people their lives. For instance ... #5. The Tiny Mistake: Typos are a fact of life for anyone who spends time at a keyboard. Getty"Teh? The Fallout: Google is the only reason the Internet can be as big and fast as it is and still useable. The Register"My God, the dicks must have reached critical mass!" Of course keeping up with the reams and reams of content pouring online at any given moment is no small order. One of Google's programmers was adding websites to the malware registry when he accidentally entered "/" instead of a full URL. Look waaaaay up at the top of your browser screen, above all those toolbars, and you'll notice an Internet address. GettyOr what the f-word is to longshoremen. #4. Hulu.comRewatching Family Guy important. #3.

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