Readings Week 2
Design for Behavior & Experience
“Chapter 1 Living with Technology” Technology as Experience. J. McCarthy & P. Wright, 2007.
- “We don’t just use or admire technology, we live with it.”
- “The old computing was about what computers could do; the new computing is about what users can do.” -Ben Shneideman
- Mobile technologies (and the texting, mailing apps therein) have experienced success because then enable what humans like to do: communicate.
- Teenagers have a unique experience with short messages of digital communication (email, chats, messengers, texts) in that they put time and thought into their composition and content, taking into consideration into designing the conversation to be understood by the recipient.
- In computing and technology, the terminology for a person has progressed from “cog in the machine” to “source of error” to “user” and now, to “consumer.”
- “For many everyday tasks, goals and intentions are not well specified: they are opportunistic rather than planned. Opportunistic actions are those in which the behavior takes advantage of the circumstances. Rather than engage in extensive planning and analysis, the person goes about the day’s activities and performs the intended actions if the relevant opportunity arises.” – Donald Normam, 1988.
- “The user experience development process is all about ensuring that no aspect of the user’s experience with your site happens without your conscious, explicit intent. […] That neat, tidy experience actually results from a whole set of decisions-some small, some large-about how the site looks, how it behaves and what it allows you to do.” – Garrett (2002)
- A set of design implications cannot create a user experience, and it is often business momentum that pushes this agenda when it is least appropriate.
- Consumers are not passive, they are emotional, social actors who actively complete an experience for themselves via interactive technologies and products.
- The experience of the user is recognized by many companies and manufacturers, but the understanding (and thus use) of experience is limited.
- People generally enjoy overhearing conversations, but not solely one side of a conversation.
- For pragmatists, knowing/doing/feeling/making-sense are inseparable.
Dewey, a pragmatist, surmises that the relationship between the object and the self is the experience. Actions with these objects are situated and creative. Action is therefore emotional, volitional, and imaginative; experience is the process of sense-making.
- “When we attempt to pragmatically conceptualize people’s experiences with technology, we are concerned with inquiring into what pragmatism has to offer towards enriching those experiences, even to the point of imaging what a rich experience of technology could be.”
- Scientific study is often to concerned with backward-looking goals, that of explaining or making sense of what has already happened. Representational or reflective theorizing only makes sense when the world is relatively stable; however, it is more common to design products and artifacts that mediate action because the world is more chaotic.
- Technology has a wide range of influences that extended beyond its shell or interface; the relationships between people and technology should be described in “felt” life and “felt” emotional quality of action and interaction.
- Look to social and physical circumstances of actions and interactions (rather than exclusively cognitive models) for informed understanding, designing, and interpreting these actions/interactions.
- It is difficult to develop accounts of felt experience with technology, because we are present in its ever-moving flow. Its richness is elusive, as “we can never step out of [it] and look up at it in a detached way.”
- Models of action and meaning-making encompass felt life and emotional components of action and interaction.
- Importance to the emotional-volitional aspect of actions/interactions proves importance upon the aesthetic form in crafting experience.
- A revisionary theory of pragmatism, that by doing new form can derive, helps to clarify the nature of experiencing technology and design.
“Chapter 4 Embedded Gear” Digital Ground: Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental Knowing. M. McCullough, 2005.
- “What are the essential components [of technologies], and what are the contextual design implications of the components?”
- “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” – Mark Weiser
- The PC is an outdated ideal for personal computing. Graphical interfaces are now too crowded by the need for the potential, rather than aiding common tasks.
- Design for experience often comes after the software engineers’ role, and thusly it is too late. A consumer will receive what an engineer thinks is the necessary functions for that year. Also a problem described as feature accumulation. -Alan Cooper
- Pervasive computing, or embedded computing, that has a purpose to physical space, has the chance to begin anew (with interfaces, with user-interaction, etc.)
- “We face limits to how much we care to do or will consider doing with any one device in one place. More subtly, we also face limits to how much a device can do without better information about its context.”
- The desktop OS was made to store and perform tasks locally. The internet age assumes connectivity was universal. If the internet of things is to become no less baggy than its DOS relatives, then they must enact situational protocols.
“We have been very good a putting computers into the environment, but we have been very bad at getting them out of the way.” -Mark Weiser
- Ambient interfaces allow monitoring of potentially relevant information; haptic/tangible interfaces allow latent use of intuitive physics.
- Specialized technologies become ad hoc networks of things in a contextual space. Interoperability is critical. How to design these connections and make them invisible is a valid question for design.
- Local networks (compared to universal networks) do not require high-level models of software and are less subject to monitoring of third parties. Properties of scale, discovery, protocol, configuration, and tuning become essential.
“The goal of the perceptual intelligence approach is not to create computers with the logical powers envisioned in most AI research, […] because most of the tasks we want performed do no seem to require complex reasoning or a god’s-eye view of the situation.” The HCI world has begun to value how people play situations, rather than specific outcomes.
Building blocks of technology-embedded space:
- Sites and devices are embedded with microprocessors.
- Sensors detect action.
- Communication links form ad hoc networks of devices.
- Tags identify actors.
- Actuators close the loop.
- Controls make it participatory.
- Display spreads out.
- Fixed locations track mobile positions.
- Software models situations.
- Tuning overcomes rigidity.
- more than 95% of devices with microprocessors embedded in them do not present as “computers” (Intel)
- sensors intrinsically serve a logic device, reporting if a change (or set of changes) has happened or hasn’t happened
- pervasive computing depends on unplanned communication, connections only opening when necessary
- tags are a way to embed information or instructions for other devices to attach to a person or an actor, making the technology conform to the context that the addition of the actor will manifest
- “The physical environment abounds with opportunities for improving commodity, firmness, and delight through the application of intelligent feedback systems.”
- “Know when to eliminate an obsolete ‘legacy’ operation, when to automate, and when to assist and action. Know how to empower, not overwhelm.”
- Representing scenes and situations becomes the challenge of software creation, or people, actors, and things in contexts.
- Tuning (or tweaking) is incremental adjustments that come as orders from a qualitative, top-level reading of performance. Even when engineers balance complex systems with mathematical models, some tuning still needs to be done.
- “Location and type have to matter (to new technologies). Otherwise, with everything possible all the time, mostly chaos will result.”