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Showing posts from July, 2013

Looking for researchers and practitioners who have developed a method, technique, tool or approach for interaction design

We are looking for researchers and practitioners who have developed any kind of new method, technique, tool, approach, etc. aimed at being used by practitioners in interaction design practice. 

If you fit that description, we would like to interview you about your work (via email or Skype). It is a quite short interview where we will ask questions about why you did it, what you did, how you did it, what you expected the outcome would be, etc.

Get in touch with me if you can do this! Or let us know if you know someone who would be a good interviewee.

You can email me at estolter@indiana.edu

The Expanding Notion of the Interface

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When Kinect and other similar new technologies were introduced it changed the conception of what constitutes an interface. This is a fascinating topic and one that I am working on with my colleague Lars-Erik Janlert.

There is a new attempt to develop haptic feedback without have any physical contact with a device. Aireal is a new concept that sends small puffs of air towards a user in a way that leads to (some kind of) experiences of objects. The technology is developed by University of Illinois PhD student Rajinder Sodhi and Disney Reseach’s Ivan Poupyrev. [You can find a description and video here]

This new technology is another step in the development and change of what constitutes an interface and is an interesting example that I wished Lars-Erik Janlert and I had used in our newly submitted article labeled "Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future". In the article we develop a way of thinking about interfaces t…

Book note: "Thinking on Paper" (how to write and how to design)

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In 1989 I got the book "Thinking on Paper : Refine, Express, and Actually Generate Ideas by Understanding the Processes of the Mind" written by V. A. Howard and M. A. Barton as a gift by my PhD advisor Professor Kristo Ivanov. Kristo gave this book to all PhD students for a while. I assume that he did not appreciate how little we all were writing.

I really liked this book. Today I re-read some parts of it (since I showed it to a colleague yesterday). I found my own notes and comments from 1989 in the book and realized that this book has in many ways shaped my thinking about both writing but maybe even more about design.

The core ideas that the authors present in the book are all highly relevant for design in general and not only for writing. To me, the book presents two core ideas that I still return to. The first is the idea that writing is, what the title says, 'thinking on paper'. The authors explains the difference between writing as articulation and communicatio…

Design Thinking Imperialism and the Danger of Simplification

In the Economist there is an article, "Design companies are applying their skills to the voluntary and public sectors", that examines IDEO and the growing "design thinking" industry. The author, Schumpeter, makes the case that design is today moving from traditional "clients" of design to clients in governmental and non-profit organizations. The author sees this as part of a "revolution" that has almost signs of being imperialistic.
Schumpeter writes:

"IDEO is the standard-bearer of a broader revolution. Designers are becoming much more ambitious—perhaps imperialistic—about design thinking. In the United States the Stanford University Institute of Design, or D-School, which Mr Kelley founded in 2006, acts as an intellectual centre for the movement. The school helps businesses improve innovation and reduce complexity. It also encourages students to apply their skills to solving social problems, such as designing an inexpensive incubator for pr…

Trying to organize my book reviews and book comments

It seems as if I continue to write small comments on books I read. It sometimes becomes a bit longer review but often just a note. The blog format is not the best to get an overview of these different posts, so I have added a page with a list of links to the posts. I do not think I have found all posts yet so I will keep adding. If you have any idea on how to make this more useful, just let me know. You can find the like to the page in the navigation bar above.

Micro Book Note: Susan Haack "Defending Science--within reason"

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I have always liked to read about science since it is the professional practice I am engaged with on a daily basis. I have over time realized that my own view of what science and research really is about constantly changes, many times in surprising (to myself) ways. This seems to happen again when reading Susan Haack's "Defending Science--within reason".

While reading the introduction I started to do some googling on the author and found a very interesting talk by Haack where she presents the philosophy she labels "innocent realism". I was intrigued by her argumentation and reasoning and I can see the same form of clear and rational thinking in the book too. To what extent her ambition to defend science makes sense, I have to come to another day after having read some more. But I am optimistic and hopeful that her account of science continues to intrigue me and to make sense.

Book note: "Convivial Toolbox--generative research for the front end of design"

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I just received a copy of a quite new book "Convivial Toolbox--generative research for the front end of design" by Elizabeth Sanders and Pieter Jan Stappers. It is exciting to see that more books on design are being published, and especially books that are not only simple "how-to" but also present a philosophical and theoretical position.

Sanders and Stappers is doing this well in many ways. The book is first of all nicely designed with great paper! The book is full of interesting design schemas, many of which are quite insightful and interesting. I have yet to read the book carefully and I am not sure I will, not because I do not find it useful but because I am quite aware of most of what the book covers. To me the most interesting elements of the book are the elaborate schemas that in some cases are rich and dense and provide the reader with a lot of insights about the topic in a designerly relevant way. I will definitely use some of those schemas in my own teach…