inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #101 of 117: Ari Davidow (ari) Tue 17 Oct 06 14:14
    
An earlier comment by Dan really interests me, "The Open Source community 
is going to need some designers in it". It's certainly true in the 
abstract sense. I wonder if there are any extant projects where the coding 
team involves an experienced and/or trained designer of some appropriate 
sort? I can't think of any, but my experience is shallow.

It is true in my experience that open source projects tend to have 
ill-conceived, poorly executed interfaces, and I hear the same sentiment 
from others.

If true, how do we get designers involved in such projects?
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #102 of 117: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 17 Oct 06 14:34
    
(reposting 100 -- omission of a word made it say something i didn't mean.)


 Hi, also lurking,  enjoying this, and wishing it would never end.  What
 a lot of good insights here.

 One thing that always occurs to me about computer mediated communication is
 that whether one has an avatar, or uses emoticons, or writes things like "Oh,
 yes! What a cool idea!" to communicate emotion, non orf these is the same 
 as face to face interations where emotions leak and spill out.  Simple
 old-fashioned voice messages, live on the phone or even asynchronous in 
 voicemail, carry much more authentic emotional content can be conveyed 
 in written words alone.  Even the best actor will lose it when something 
 truly shakes them up.  Add to this ability to hear emotional subtext 
 in voices those other special talents we have for picking up on 
 blushing, expressions, body language, even the scent of fear...  and
 in-person is still where it's at.  Emotional information rather than 
 projection enfuses most interactions.  
 
 Seems to me that in many ways our emotional interactions via computers 
 are currently like playing with marionettes, signalling feelings rather 
 than revealing them, both within and outside of gaming evniroments.

 I think if we were able to leap past that barrier we'd add a whole other
 dimenision to social software.
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #103 of 117: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 17 Oct 06 14:35
    
than can be conveyed, it should say.  Damn my bad proofreading.
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #104 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Tue 17 Oct 06 21:28
    
Getting designers involved in open source projects has been a bit of a
Holy Grail for a while now, one that I am completely ill-equipped to
advise on. How do you get a design approved by a large, distributed
network of developers? I have no idea. My only thought around this is
getting the Open Source community to start using something like Yahoo's
UI Widget library in their work.
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #105 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Tue 17 Oct 06 21:39
    
It's a challenge, for sure, conveying analog, emotional nuance via
digital means. It's almost a bandwidth issue: face to face
communication and contact is extremely high bandwidth. You are seeing,
hearing, smelling, and possibly touching people and their environment,
receiving tons of data every second--more than our brains can process
in fact (I think I read that somewhere, but I can't find the
reference). How do you get all that through even the fastest tubes?

That being said, there's a lot of work being down now in the field of
emotion and design. There's lots of ways we can make our emotional
presence felt via social software and our personal devices. One I saw
even involved a marionette-like puppet that sat next to a computer and
"acted out" the IM that was going on. Weird stuff.
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #106 of 117: Cupido, Ergo Denego (robertflink) Wed 18 Oct 06 09:17
    
>face to face communication and contact is extremely high bandwidth.
You are seeing,hearing, smelling, and possibly touching people and
their environment,receiving tons of data every second--more than our
brains can process in fact (I think I read that somewhere, but I can't
find the reference).<

Very little of the communication is going on at the conscious, mostly
abstract, level in fact. This is often overlooked because of the modern
bias toward thinking that we are totally (OK, mostly) conscious. The
effort to abstract has considerable value in itself, however. 

I've noticed that people often expect intimate relationships to
operate with little abstraction or conscious analysis. A grunt or whine
should suffice to get the partner to do what is expected. Too much
consciousness seems to spoil the mystery.

Perhaps this is a subliminal issue when it comes to designing for
interaction
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #107 of 117: Trevor van Gorp (trevorvangorp) Wed 18 Oct 06 10:47
    
Actually, most of our communication is processed unconsciously, and
responded to emotionally in an unconscious fashion. This is another
reason that attention is so important. Often, our unconscious emotional
responses wind up demanding and commanding our attention much of the
time. It's another way that design should be utilizing our unconscious
responses to direct attention at the appropriate time to the
appropriate things.

For example, you pay more attention (at least initially) to a page
where the type has higher contrast against the background. A good web
example would be the status window in BaseCamp, which quickly changes
colour to something more attention grabbing (in this case yellow from
white) when a file is uploaded, and then fades back to normal. This
utilizes unconscious emotional responses to colour to direct attention.
This doesn't qualify as subliminal, since it is noticable, but is
still equally powerful.
 
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #108 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Wed 18 Oct 06 11:21
    
Right, this is all absolutely true. We're taking in all this data and
responding to it both consciously and unconsciously. One thing we could
do is build in more ambient cues into our devices. I type differently
and use different phrasing when I'm annoyed or angry over IM. Why
couldn't the form of my messages reflect that? (This would be really
hard to do well, however.)
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #109 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Wed 18 Oct 06 11:23
    
BTW, everyone, this is the last "official" day of this Inkwell
interview. If you have any final questions or discussion topics, now is
the time to air them. After today, I'll check in occasionally, but I
can't keep up this running dialog forever, as fun as it is. :)
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #110 of 117: Trevor van Gorp (trevorvangorp) Wed 18 Oct 06 12:04
    
Are you suugesitng that, for example, the typeface of your message
would shift to reflect your emotional state? This is one feature that
would require an override, since there's times that I don't want the
perosn on the other side of my email or IM conversation to know how I'm
really feeling, just like in face-to-face interaction. ;)
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #111 of 117: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Wed 18 Oct 06 12:14
    
As Dan says, this is the last official day of what's been a terrific
talk. 

Thanks, Dan and James!
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #112 of 117: Trevor van Gorp (trevorvangorp) Wed 18 Oct 06 12:19
    
Indeed... thanks Dan and Jim! Good talking with you both. 
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #113 of 117: Barry (barryp) Wed 18 Oct 06 16:09
    
I've enjoyed it and learned a lot. Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #114 of 117: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 18 Oct 06 16:21
    

Quite thought-provoking.  Thank you and keep up the good work!
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #115 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Wed 18 Oct 06 16:43
    
That's one possible suggestion. Another could be that your icon subtly
changes. Any number of ways. But like all changes like this, it would
have to be pretty subtle so that it doesn't get annoying overwhelming.
And yes, there needs to be a way to tell your device to knock it off.
:)
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #116 of 117: Dan Saffer (dansaffer) Wed 18 Oct 06 16:44
    
You're welcome everyone. And a special thanks to Jim for both his
questions and answers!
  
inkwell.vue.283 : Dan Saffer, "Designing for Interaction"
permalink #117 of 117: James Leftwich, IDSA (jleft) Wed 18 Oct 06 22:03
    

Yes, thanks so much Dan.  Your book is a really valuable addition to our
discipline, and I've enjoyed the opportunity to have this discussion with
you immensely!

And thanks to everyone else that came and participated!
  



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