Research in practice

Lecturer Synne Skjulstad - Intermedia

(Medieviter fra UiO, Ph.D. i medievitenskap med fokus på webdesign.Worked on several intermedia projects.)

How does research affect you as an interaction designer.

(Ref. Donald Norman "design of everyday things", Jacob Nielsen "Designing web-usability")
The research domain is human computer interaction (HCI). A quote from J. Nielsen says there are two approachees to designing for web; Artstic expressionism and Engineering solutions. But i think this is a bit narrow minded. He believes the only good design is an easy way of doing useful tasks. Then, what is a useful task? The knowlege of when usability is the primary goal, and when it is not, is very imortant to have.

Usability alone is limited in fully concieving of interaction design.


Giving the user an experience is as important as the actual usability of the design. But an important note is: What are providing the experience? How does the artifacts you design give the user an experience. The experience is an inderect result of the product. And often it is the experience and not the product it self that is discussed afterwards.

Thoughtful Interaction Design
(Book: Löfgren & Stolterman: thoughtful interaction design)

"Pliability" contributes to an highly involved process of exploration? (Weak explanation).

Communication design
perspective: a holistic view. Interaction Design as integral to designing artefacts for mediated communication. Industrial Design and Interaction Design should, in other words, be integrated when developing new products and services. Interaction Design can have the role of seeing how artefacts communicate to the world as a whole.

How to look at concepts in practice:
Where do you stand when presenting own projects? What is your focus?

  • Description of object?

  • How does it work and communicate?

  • Whats the experience -intended and percieved?

  • Why did they get that experience?

  • What made the artefact give that experience?

  • I think the two last points is the most interesting ones. Be clear on where you stand. Know and disagree with other reasearch in your field. How to apply concepts from theories in your practice. And be sure you actually know fields of researchs before using their terms (i.e. somebody just threw "visual grammar" on a poster as a concept. But there was no explanation of what it meant.).

    So where to look for what Interaction Design is? Is it Art, Technology, Media, Design? Find out, and make it clear for yourself what you stand for as an interaction designer. It is a new field so we can shape it with clear viewpoints and perspectives.


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