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Search results for 'interactions magazine'
2 June 2012

Interactions Magazine is (nearly) fully online, archives included

May+June2012

Somehow I hadn’t noticed but Interactions Magazine is now (nearly) fully online.

As far as I could discover (nothing is explained, sic), only some of the current year’s articles are fully available. Yet all the previous issues (up to 15 years ago) are fully available.

The only way to find out what is fully available and what not, is by clicking on an article title (and hoping for the best).

Notwithstanding such a blatant usability error, it is still a major improvement, and this after an unsuccessful battle to achieve this by the likes of Donald Norman, Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko and myself, some years back. The ACM is finally starting to see the light.

Here are the cover and the fully available features stories of the latest issue (May-June 2012)

Interactions with big data analytics (cover story)
Danyel Fisher, Rob Deline, Mary Czerwinski, Steven Drucker
We report on the state of the practice of big data analytics, based on a series of interviews we conducted with 16 analysts. While the problems uncovered are pain points for big data analysts (including HCI practitioners), the opportunity for better user experience around each of these areas is vast. It is our hope that HCI researchers will not only turn their attention toward designs that improve the big data research experience, but that they will also cautiously embrace the big data available to them as a converging line of evidence in their iterative design work.

Technologies for aging gracefully
Ronald Baecker, Karyn Moffatt, Michael Massimi
Technology by itself cannot solve these [aging] problems. Yet technology designed to empower older adults and to make them more capable, resourceful, and independent can help.

Interaction as performance
Steve Benford, Gabriella Giannachi
Our overall goal is to lay the foundations for a “dramaturgy of performance” by establishing a framework of concepts — a language, if you like — to help express the different ways in which computers can be embedded into performative experiences. We intend this framework to guide practitioners and researchers who are entering the field of artistic, performance, and cultural applications of computing. However, we also aim to stimulate wider thinking in HCI in general around the changing nature of the extended user experience and the new challenges this raises.

21 November 2010

Interactions Magazine – last issue of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is the last issue of editors Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, who reflect on the results achieved.

Also Don Norman reflects in his column, and raises some pointed criticism of Interactions Magazine publisher ACM, that I endorse completely:

“I recently became a columnist for Core77, an open, free Internet magazine for industrial designers, and my first post received more responses, blogging comments, and consideration than the total of the responses during my five years of columns in interactions.

It is time for ACM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the free dissemination of knowledge, to stop hiding behind paid subscription walls and get its stuff out in the open for everyone to share. ACM – and many scientific societies – have lost track of the knowledge-sharing role of science and instead have been governed more by old-fashioned media rules than the modern world of freely accessible media.

interactions fails to impact the larger world of research outside of ACM’s CHI because of its failure to be open and accessible. At the same time, it fails to impact the academic research world because it is neither peer-reviewed nor the repository of the weighty, carefully experimental, rigorous knowledge required by promotion committees in universities. So what is interactions? Neither a serious scientific publication nor an influential popular one.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

MCC’s Human Interface Laboratory – The promise and perils of long-term research
by Bill Curtis
In this column, Bill discusses his involvement with the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation. This research enterprise, largely forgotten today, was highly influential in the 1980s, hiring and providing visibility to HCI researchers, many of whom remain active.

Looking back, looking forward
by Don Norman
Over the past five years, Don Norman has written approximately three dozen columns. What has been learned? What will come? Obviously, it is time for reflection.

Angst, and how to overcome it
by Gary Marsden
Does it make sense to separate developing world research from that conducted in more developed economies? At the end of the day, people are people and technology is technology, the world over. Are we doing the developing world a disservice by somehow treating it differently from the developed?

The hard work lies ahead (if you want it)
by Steve Portigal
Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” from 1943 is a well-known psychological framework that has been applied (directly, or through derivative versions) to thousands of diverse problems. It’s high time to leverage this style of hierarchy to challenge the types of user experiences we’re enabling with the stuff we’re making.

Learning from John Rheinfrank: reflections on acquiring a design language
by Jon Freach
For three years in the mid-1990s, I had the fortune of learning a new language of design from John Rheinfrank, the co-founder and first co-editor of this magazine, through a user-centered baptism of sorts.

From static to adaptive
by Hugh Dubberly, Justin Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson
When John Rheinfrank [who passed away in 2004] learned he was sick, he began working on a book on the relationship between design and systems. Sadly, he never finished, but some of his core ideas were preserved in a presentation on moving from static to adaptive worlds. John saw adaptive worlds as a new way to frame interaction design. Working from John’s presentation slides and a tape of his talk, we have summarized his ideas.

On experiences, people and technology
by Jon Kolko
In reflecting on the 200,000 words we’ve published in the past three years, I see a common theme that describes interaction design as a discipline focused on culture and behavior.

2 September 2010

Interactions magazine on human nuances

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on the nuances of what makes us human, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko, and more in particular “about authenticity, complexity, and design-and the political, social, and human qualities of our work”.

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

interactions: authenticity, complexity, and design
by Jon Kolko
Frequently, designers find themselves reflecting on the nuances of what makes us human, including matters of cognitive psychology, social interaction, and the desire for emotional resonance. This issue of interactions unpacks all of these ideas, exploring the gestalt of interaction design’s influence.

The meaning of affinity and the importance of identity in the designed world
by Matthew Jordan
When a designer is thinking about ways to create experiences that deliver meaningful and lasting connections to users, it is helpful to consider the notion of our personal affinities and how they affect perception, adoption, and use in the designed world. In our cover story, Matthew Jordan explores the term “affinity,” leading us to consider new and useful ways of informing design thinking and ultimately help us design with more success.

Why “the conversation” isn’t necessarily a conversation
by Ben McAllister
Architects have long understood that the structures we inhabit can influence not only the way we feel, but also the way we behave. This turns out to be true in digital environments like social networks, too. Subtle differences in the underlying structures of these networks give rise to distinct patterns of behavior.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst: interaction design and the tipping point
by Eli Blevis and Shunying Blevis
Typical interaction designers are not climate scientists, but interaction designers can make well-informed use of climate sciences and closely related sciences. Interaction design can make scientific information, interpretations, and perspectives available in an accessible and widely distributed form so that people’s consciousness is raised.

Gestural interfaces: a step backwards in usability
by Donald Norman and Jakob Nielsen
The new gestural and touch interfaces can be a pleasure to use and a pleasure to see. But the lack of consistency and inability to discover operations, coupled with the ease of accidentally triggering actions from which there is no recovery, threatens the viability of these systems. We urgently need to return to our basics, developing usability guidelines for these systems that are based upon solid principles of interaction design, not on the whims of the company-interface guidelines and arbitrary ideas of developers.

All look same? A comparison of experience design and service design
by Jodi Forlizzi
The comparison of experience design (or UX, as it has been labeled) and service design seems to be a topic of interest in the interaction design community. Can we and should we articulate differences among these fields? Can the methods and knowledge of one successfully transfer to another?

Relying on failures in design research
by Nicolas Nova
The investigation of accidents within a larger process can be inspiring from a design viewpoint. Surfacing people’s problematic reactions when confronted with invisible pieces of technologies highlights their mental model and eventually has implications for design.

Solving complex problems through design
by Steve Baty
What is it about design that makes it so well suited to solving complex problems? Why is design thinking such a promising avenue for business and government tackling seemingly intractable problems?

On academic knowledge production
by Jon Kolko
Now, as design enjoys the corporate credibility of “design thinking” and with the social problems confronting the world growing increasingly intractable, the need for bridging the gap between practitioners and academics is more important than ever.

30 June 2010

Interactions magazine on subtlety and change

Interactions
The current issue of Interactions Magazine is generally on subtlety and change, writes co-editor-in-chief Jon Kolko:

“There are some strange changes under way in our world. We constantly hear the refrain of the massive chaos around us, yet the allure of such a large, looming flux may distract us from something more important: the countless tiny, nuanced, and fundamental ways in which our culture and society are advancing. This issue of interactions describes these subtleties and teases them out of the greater topics that we’ve grown accustomed to discussing: environmental change, the role of education and government in a technological society, and the nature of behavior.”

Here are the articles that are currently available for free:

Time goes by, everything looks the same
by Dennis Littky
“The system doesn’t work.” So says Dennis Littky, author of our cover story and founder of Big Picture Learning – a school focused on developing a new educational model. Dennis offers his views on how design and a designerly approach can bring change to the broken education model in the United States.

The research-practice gap: the need for translational developers
by Don Norman
Between research and practice a new, third discipline must be inserted, one that can translate between the abstractions of research and the practicalities of practice. We need a discipline of translational development. We need translational developers who can act as the intermediary, translating research findings into the language of practical development and business while also translating the needs of business into issues that researchers can address.

Visible synthesis
by Katie Minardo Scott
Katie Minardo Scott describes the challenge of research-practice synthesis—the relationship between a designer and the data that can be so overwhelming. To make research valuable, she says, we need to make the synthesis process as visible as the research phase and make the synthesis output visible to stakeholders. Personas accomplish both of these goals, recognized or not.

Navigating the terrain of sustainable HCI
by Carl DiSalvo, Phoebe Sengers, Hronn Brynjarsdottir
The authors explore the manner in which sustainability has impacted HCI and academic research. No longer a simple colloquialism of “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” sustainability research and design now require an acknowledgment of the political differences involved in the discipline. This demands a more nuanced discussion of topics, as well as a more direct connection between research and practice.

Adding by leaving out: the power of the pause
by Liz Danzico
What would happen if, as communicators and designers, we became more comfortable with the pause? Because it turns out we can add by leaving out. The pause has power.

Adaptive reuse: things, containers, and streets in the architecture of the social web
by Fred Scharmen
A way of talking about buildings and cities in terms of protocols, relationships, and parameters—all borrowed by architectural theory from computer science—can be returned to a conversation about online systems in order to rejuvenate our methods of understanding and designing places.

On education
by Jon Kolko
It is interaction design, and behavior, that will act as the driving force behind the educational revolution of the next century.

26 April 2010

Interactions Magazine – May/June 2010 issue

Interactions
The latest issue of Interactions Magazine is about the spread of design into new areas, write editor Jon Kolko:

“The process of design is spreading into new areas of society and business, and as it does, our work gets more complicated and more rewarding. From the details of our interfaces to the focus of our efforts, this issue describes the complexity of the changing landscape of interactions.”

Here are the articles available for free online:

interactions: Business, Culture, and Society
Jon Kolko
The process of design is spreading into new areas of society and business, and as it does, our work gets more complicated and more rewarding. From the details of our interfaces to the focus of our efforts, this issue describes the complexity of the changing landscape of interactions.

Reframing health to embrace design of our own wellbeing
Rajiv Mehta, Shelley Evenson, Paul Pangaro, Hugh Dubberly
This article describes a growing trend: framing health in terms of well-being and broadening health-care to include self-management. Self-management reframes patients as designers, an example of a shift also occurring in design practice – reframing users as designers. The article concludes with thoughts on what these changes may mean when designing for health.

Depth over breadth: designing for impact locally, and for the long haul
Emily Pilloton
In the past few years, we designers have acknowledged the imperatives of sustainability and design for the greater good, and responded by launching initiatives that are often rife with widespread cheerleading rather than deep, meaningful work. [Yet] I firmly believe that lasting impact requires all three of the following: proximity (simply being there, in the place you seek to design with and for), empathic investment (a personal and emotional stake in collective prosperity), and pervasiveness (the opposite of scattershot – involvement that has impact at multiple scales).

Solving the world’s problems through design
Nadav Savio
Design Revolution is a fantastic sourcebook of inspiring designs and creative problem solving and a deeply humanistic call to arms. Pilloton wants nothing less than for designers to focus their energy, knowledge, and talent on making people’s lives better.

Natural user interfaces are not natural
Don Norman
Gestural systems are no different from any other form of interaction. They need to follow the basic rules of interaction design, which means well-defined modes of expression, a clear conceptual model of the way they interact with the system, their consequences, and means of navigating unintended consequences. As a result, means of providing feedback, explicit hints as to possible actions, and guides for how they are to be conducted are required.

Making face: practices and interpretations of avatars in everyday media
Liz Danzico
We’re starting to see more and more experiences that weave avatar with message, pairing the expression of intent with content. How will the mix of image and message further proliferate through everyday life? Will the image stand for the message or will face work still be work? What will be socially acceptable, and will new etiquettes emerge in segments that cross personal, professional, and mixed boundaries?

The ubiquitous and increasingly significant status message
Bernard J. Jansen, Abdur Chowdury, Geoff Cook
The status message has evolved from its lowly beginnings into a multidimensional feature and service addressing numerous social needs.

Back to the future: bleeding-edge IVR
Ahmed Bouzid, Weiye Ma
The glaring disconnect between what companies aim to achieve in deploying interactive voice response (IVR) systems (better customer service) and what they actually do achieve (customer frustration) can be squarely laid on the shoulders of shabby voice user interface (VUI) design and implementation. The vast majority of today’s IVRs are, simply put, shamefully unusable, and customers detest them.

Intentional communication: expanding our definition of user experience design
Kristina Halvorson
Design and content. Content and design. It’s impossible (and stupid) to argue over which one is more important than the other – which should come first, which is more difficult or “strategic.” They need each other to provide context, meaning, information, and instruction in any user experience (UX).

Content strategy for everybody (even you)
Karen McGrane
When done the wrong way, creating new content and managing the approval process takes longer and is more painful than anyone expects. But planning for useful, usable content is possible – and necessary. It’s time to do it right.

interactions cafe: on language and potential
Jon Kolko
The more we carefully select our words, the more comfortable we’ll be in making the wholesale shift toward the emerging role of design in healthcare – and in other arenas where social responsibility is growing, and designers are able to value the whole person.

11 April 2010

Interactions Magazine – March/April 2010 issue

interactions
The latest issue of Interactions Magazine is about a new intellectualism of design, write co-editors Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko: one that embraces discourse, dialogue, systems thinking, and the larger role of designers in shaping culture.

Here are the articles available for free online:

interactions: exploring aspects of design thinking
Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko
Popular discussion of “design thinking” has reached a point of frenzy. Unfortunately, there is often little depth to the discussion, and for many, the topic remains elusive and vague. While each issue of interactions has included articles about or reflecting the application of design thinking, this issue addresses the topic a bit more directly.

Evolution of the mind: a case for design literacy
Chris Pacione
As we come to the end of the first decade of the 21st century and what many consider the end of The Information Age, a recent flurry of books, articles, and initiatives seem to indicate that a new, pervasive mind shift is afoot. It’s called design, and like arithmetic, which was once a peripheral human aptitude until the industrial age forced it to be important for everyone, recent global changes and the heralding of a new age are positioning design as the next human literacy.

Design thinking in stereo: Brown and Martin
Paula Thornton
By 2006 an IIT Institute of Design interview with Roger Martin, titled “Designing Decisions,” told of his conversion to the concept when noting the language and behaviors of designer friends. That same year, Tim Brown presented fundamental thoughts on design thinking that also caught my attention. By the end of 2009 both Martin and Brown had released books on the topic.

Designing interactions at work: applying design to discussions, meetings and relationships
Roger Martin, Jennifer Riel
Ultimately, designers and business leaders want the same thing: transformative ideas that can be translated into real value. Yet, even with this common purpose, the interactions between design teams and business leaders often represent the biggest stumbling block to the development of breakthrough ideas. How often has a brilliant design idea been strangled in its infancy by a client who could not, or would not, “get it”? How often is breakthrough innovation stopped short by number crunchers who don’t understand the process of design or the insights afforded by it? And how often do business folks moan that designers lack even the most basic understanding of cost and strategy?

From Davis to David: lessons from improvisation
Liz Danzico
Improv is extending its practicality. Designers have been adopting improvisation design methods in their own practices. Made more visible by organizations such as IDEO and Pixar and the research of people from Elizabeth Gerber at Northwestern University and Steve Portigal at Portigal Consulting, we’re seeing how improvisation can be powerful in interaction design work. With collaboration activities in particular, improv becomes especially important when untangling complex problems that require teamwork or just getting a client unstuck.

Technology first, needs last: the research-product gulf
Don Norman
Design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories, but essentially useless when it comes to breakthroughs.

Sugared puppy dog tails: gender and design
Elizabeth Churchill
Designers are not passive bystanders in the production, reproduction, reinforcing, or challenging of cultural values. We actively create artifacts and experiences. We design products with implicit or explicit assumptions about how products will be used and by whom. We mentally simulate the product user who is part of an imagined story of the product in use – these imaginary people are drawn from our everyday lives and usually have a gender, perhaps a shape, size, age and ethnicity. Thus we embed imagined, gendered others into our designs, inadvertently reproducing cultural norms because they seem so “natural.” And so in a chain of reification and reproduction, products are wired in subtle ways that reflect and reinforce existing cultural assumptions.

The lens of feminist HCI in the context of sustainable interaction design
Shaowen Bardzell, Eli Blevis
One might identify feminism’s central tenets as commitments to agency, fulfillment, identity, equality, empowerment, and social justice. I think these commitments make feminism a natural ally to interaction design. As computers increasingly become a part of everyday life, feminism is poised to help us understand how gender identities and relations shape both the use and design of interactive technologies – and how things could be otherwise, through design.

MyMeal: an interactive user-tailored meal visualization tool for teenagers with eating disorders
Desmond Balance, Jodie Jenkinson
Since patients with eating disorders (EDs) have demonstrably abnormal perceptions of the size of food, a meal-visualization tool could help patients with EDs feel more comfortable about portions by helping them understand what appropriate food portions look like in the context of a balanced meal.

On design thinking, business, the arts, STEM …
Jon Kolko, Richard Anderson
Why [is it] only now […] that the language related to the intellectual and intangible aspects of design is beginning to catch on?

4 January 2010

Latest issue of Interactions Magazine now available

interactions
The January-February edition of Interactions Magazine — exploring the evolving nature of experiences, people and technology — is online and some articles are available without subscription.

interactions: information, physicality, co-ownership, and culture
Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko
From tangible computing, to societal problem solving, to the trials and tribulations of user reserach – this issue explores the evolving nature of experiences, people and technology.

Tangible interaction = form + computing
Mark Baskinger, Mark Gross
The ability to merge physical and digital interactions has long been the goal of designers; the ubiquity of technology is now making that goal a reality. This piece from Mark Baskinger and Mark Gross explores that melding of physical and digital.

Why marketing research makes us cringe
Dan Formosa
What separates design research from marketing research is a core but elusive principle: There is a phenomenal distinction between evaluating a product before it is finalized, the focus of design research, and evaluating consumer response after a product is finalized.

Why designers sometimes make me cringe
Klaus Kaasgaard
Why is it that user experience design-often hailed on the covers of major contemporary business magazines as the creative savior of everything from product innovation to business operations-seems to prefer to paint a picture of itself as a misunderstood, misapplied, and unrecognized profession; a victim of ruthless market forces and incompetent business managers?

The transmedia design challenge: technology that is pleasurable and satisfying
Don Norman
I agreed to give a keynote address at the 21st Century Transmedia Innovation Symposium. Traditional dictionaries do not include the word “transmedia,” but Wikipedia does. Its definition introduced me to many other words that neither I nor my dictionaries had ever before heard (for example, “narratological“). Strange jargon aside, I do believe there is an important idea here, which I explore in this column.

The art of editing: the new old skills for a curated life
Liz Danzico
This age is not about writers learning new tools, nor is it about readers sift through content; it’s about editors experimenting and making meaning of stories for themselves and for their new audiences-whether those are small or large.

interactions cafe: on designers as catalytic agents
Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

30 October 2009

Nov-Dec 2009 edition of Interactions magazine online

Interactions
The November-December edition of Interactions Magazine is online and some articles are available without subscription.

Unfortunately, the main menu page doesn’t say which articles are publicly available (although without images) and which aren’t (what about ‘affordances’ in web design?), so I have selected the six that are:

interactions: social, authentic, and interdisciplinary
Jon Kolko

Catalyzing a perfect storm: mobile phone-based HIV-prevention behavioral interventions
Woodrow W. Winchester, III

Implications of user choice: the cultural logic of “MySpace or Facebook?”
danah boyd

On authenticity
Steve Portigal, Stokes Jones

When security gets in the way
Don Norman

The authenticity problem
John Kolko

A seventh one, by my business partner Michele Visciola, can be downloaded in a pre-publication version from this blog.

2 July 2009

July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out

Interactions
The July-August issue of Interactions magazine is out and more and more content is publicly available online (thank goodness):

Editorial: Interactions: Time, Culture, and Behavior
Jon Kolko
Over the past 10 issues, interactions has, with a great deal of conscious repetition, investigated themes of global influence, sustainability, temporal aesthetics, behavior change, and the design for culture. These issues are at the heart of the human condition – whether exploring, solving, or celebrating the relationships between people and society. These themes continually combine to offer a glimpse into designing for interaction – the ability to forge connections and bridge gaps between experiences, people, and technology.
This issue of interactions is no different, but it exemplifies a new and subtle duality: impending doom and slight optimism.

Cover story: The Waste Manifesto
Victor Margolin is professor emeritus of design history at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is a founding editor and now co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues. From this position, Margolin offers us an informed and historically grounded manifesto on the nature of garbage. Deemed The Waste Manifesto, Margolin describes the economics of waste, and offers a call to arms. As he writes, “At stake in attempting to create a sustainable waste economy is the issue of whether or not we can avoid social obesity, something that can paralyze us logistically, physically, and economically.”

“At The End of the World, Plant a Tree”: Six questions for Adam Greenfield
Adam Greenfield is Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user-interface design, as well as the author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing and the upcoming The City Is Here for You to Use. He is also a compelling speaker and articulate blogger, and has become an authority in thinking about the impact of future ubiquitous technologies on people and society. In a lengthy interview with Tish Shute recently published on UgoTrade.com, Greenfield covered numerous topics including augmented reality, Usman Haque’s Pachube project, the networked book, the networked city, and what to do at the end of the world. The interview is dense and rich, with many of the questions raised relevant to our audience. We asked Greenfield to expand on some of his answers for interactions.

–> Although not publicly available on the Interactions site, this article (which I facilitated and has clearly inspired Jon Kolko’s thinking, as becomes clear in the above editorial), can be found on Adam Greenfield’s personal site. Make of his introduction what you want.

Column: Designing the Infrastructure
Don Norman
“It is time to work on our infrastructure, which threatens to dominate our lives with ugliness, frustration, and work. We need to spend more time on infrastructure design. We need to make it more attractive, more accessible, and easier to maintain. Infrastructure is intended to be hidden, to provide the foundation for everyday life. If we do not respond, it will dominate our lives, preventing us from attending to our priority concerns and interests. Instead, we’ll just be keeping ahead of maintenance demands.”

–> Unfortunately the online version of the article comes without the figures that Norman refers to in his text.

Column: The Golden Age of Newsprint Collides With the Gilt Age of Digital Information Distribution
Elizabeth Churchill
Churchill is “screaming for a better news-reading experience on my desktop and mobile devices.”
“Certainly I love having access to so much information, but the reading experience is just not the same as the structured, well-designed experience of newspapers. News websites are like buckets of Internet storm-drain runoff, all laid out in some distorted version of their print counterparts.”

Column: Ships in the Night (Part II): Research Without Design?
Steve Portigal
In Part I Portigal looked at some different approaches to design that do or do not succeed by omitting research. Here, he examines some of the limitations of doing research without design. His conclusion: “Rather than treat research and design as separate activities (sometimes performed by siloed departments or vendors), I would encourage all the stakeholders in the product development process to advocate for an integrated approach in which design activities and research activities are tightly coordinated and aligned.”

Column: On Hopelessness and Hope
Jon Kolko
“A number of individuals -a group that is small in number but significant in its contributions- have managed to deliver on projects broad and deep. They do act as renaissance individuals, and they do manage to tackle problems that are complex and whose solutions result in important contributions.” In working with and observing these types of people, Kolko sees several commonalities.

26 April 2009

Design Fiction, an Interactions Magazine cover story by Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling
As a contributing editor for Interactions Magazine, Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken was tasked with finding clever people to write a story for the magazine. His first choice was Bruce Sterling. Bruce accepted and wrote a wonderful contribution — much appreciated by the editors — that was chosen as the magazine’s cover story.

“We have entered an unimagined culture. In this world of search engines and cross-links, of keywords and networks, the solid smokestacks of yesterday’s disciplines have blown out. Instead of being armored in technique, or sheltered within subculture, design and science fiction have become like two silk balloons, two frail, polymorphic pockets of hot air, floating in a generally tainted cultural atmosphere.”

Thank you Bruce.

Read full story

3 March 2009

March-April issue of Interactions Magazine devoted to trust

Interactions March-April 2009
More and more content of Interactions Magazine is becoming available online. The latest March-April issue is devoted to trust and “explores the idea of assurance and the feelings of ease or unease related to relationships of confidence or skepticism”.

Here are some of the treasures:

The Counterfeit You
Hunter Whitney
If safeguarding our strings of numerical identifiers is important, what is the value of managing our online identities-the information, stories, and images that portray us, on the Web?

On trusting your socks to find each other
Elizabeth Churchill
As I think about whether I would or would not trust my semi-sentient socks, I realize that, for me, the cloud on the horizon of this dream world of sentient (or at least semi-sentient) objects is trust in all its forms.

Identity theft and the challenges of caring for your virtual self
Jennifer Whitson
The full text of this article isn’t yet available online, but will be soon.

Interacting with advertising
Steve Portigal
As we are supposedly increasingly enlightened and empowered as consumers, where do we draw the line with what advertisers are allowed to do?

The magazine also contains a number of feature stories – by such writers as Ben Fullerton; Kraig Finstad, Wei Xu, Shibani Kapoor, Sri Canakapalli and John Gladding; Molly Steenson; Colleen Murphy; Brad S. Minnery, Michael S. Fine; and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken — but they are not yet available online.

Luckily there is the Donald Norman column “Memory Is more important than actuality“, which is fully online and deals with the psychological reasons that makes us want to repeat and recommend experiences, even though they were not all good, and what that implies for design.

29 December 2008

interactions magazine: time for some change

interactions
The January-February 2009 issue of Interactions Magazine has just been launched, which in itself is a celebration of the fantastic transformation of the magazine under the careful stewardship of Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson, now one year ago.

This transformation is never complete of course. With a wink to a recent political campaign, it’s also “time for some change” at Interactions Magazine. Five new contributing editors join the magazine, and Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken is very proud to say that he is one of them. Here are their introductions:

Elaine Ann joins us from Asia. She is the founder of Kaizor Innovation, a strategic innovation consulting company uniquely positioned to help develop appropriate innovation strategies, research, and designs for the emerging Chinese market.

Lauren Serota is a design researcher with Lextant in Columbus, Ohio, where her work incorporates an ever-present passion for cultural diversity and objectivity in the acquisition and analysis of consumer insights for product and service development.

Mark Vanderbeeken is one of four founding partners of the young and dynamic international experience design consultancy Experientia in Italy. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development, and strategic communications, as reflected in his wonderful blog, “Putting People First.”

Molly Wright Steenson, forever the “girlwonder,” is an interaction designer and design researcher with roots in Web, mobile, and service design. Molly was an associate professor of connected communities at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy.

Marc Rettig, former chief experience officer at Hanna Hodge, is cofounder of Fit Associates. Marc’s 20-plus-year career has been guided by an interest in people, systems, communication, and the power of design. Marc served as features editor for interactions during the mid-’90s.

The March-April issue will feature Mark’s first contribution as contributing editor, followed by a number of guest pieces in the issues after that.

Although most content is not freely available, you can subscribe to the magazine for 55 USD (less than 40 euro). A bargain.

Meanwhile check out the excellent cover story, which is fully online: The washing machine that ate my sari – mistakes in cross-cultural design.

31 August 2008

The debate on open access to Interactions Magazine

Interactions 5
The September-October issue of Interactions Magazine has been published and is now shipping to all members of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI).

The rest of us can access some limited content online (three articles in the current issue).

Now that Interactions has become a highly valuable UX resource, thanks to the strong leadership by the editors Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, this restriction seems out of date and self-defeating. At least to me.

Elizabeth Churchill and I wrote an article where we make the case for open access to the contents of Interactions Magazine, which has been published in the current magazine (and is also available online):

In their reaction, Richard and Jon leave the argument open and do not yet take a clear position on the matter:

Richard: I admire the thinking underlying both OLPC and agile development, just as I admire the thinking underlying the concept of open access to intellectual content, as discussed by Elizabeth Churchill. But just as OLPC and agile development have their limits, so, too, does open access. Indeed, I don’t see it as appropriate for interactions magazine, at least not yet.

Jon: The first two ideas are nonobvious attempts at solving obvious problems. The third – open access – might be a novel idea to a nonissue. It could be argued that interactions magazine should cost money because the content in it is worth something: The content has value. I suppose it could also be argued that the magazine should be free so that value can be shared by the masses. To which argument do you subscribe?

Richard: Neither. The content in interactions is worth something – it has great value, but that alone doesn’t mean that the magazine should cost money. And though you and I are working to broaden the scope and readership of the magazine, it isn’t intended for the masses, and it can be argued that we can extend the reach of the magazine more effectively if it does cost money. Open access to interactions content might become appropriate. Indeed, we’ve already begun to increase access in a couple of ways. My point is that wicked problems don’t have simple solutions, an argument Don Norman makes in this issue.

What about you? Please join the debate by adding your comments at the end of either one of the articles (yes, commenting is enabled!).

And if you can access the contents, make sure to read the rest of the magazine, which is again a treasure trove.

12 May 2008

May/June edition of Interactions Magazine

Interactions
The May/June issue of Interactions Magazine just came out and some of the content is available online (and more will follow soon).

The issue is all about “colliding worlds” with “interactions disciplines” becoming “more appropriately integrated into other creative disciplines (e.g. architecture and music), into business, and into the new business models that will shape the 21st and 22nd centuries,” as described by the editors Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko in their editorial.

It also features contributions by Allison Arieff (Sunset), Eli Blevis (Indiana University at Bloomington), Shunying Blevis (Indiana University at Bloomington), Benjamin H. Bratton, Valerie Casey (IDEO), Elizabeth Churchill (Yahoo! Research), Dave Cronin (Cooper), Allison Druin (Human-Computer Interaction Lab), Hugh Dubberly, Shelley Evenson (Carnegie Mellon University), Jonathan Grudin (Microsoft Adaptive Systems and Interaction group), Zhiwei Guo (Adobe Systems Inc.), John Hopson (Microsoft’s Games User Research group), Steve Howard (University of Melbourne), Tuck Leong (University of Melbourne), Zhengjie Liu Dalian Marine University), Bob Moore, Donald Norman, Steve Portigal, Scott Palmer (University of Leeds), Sita Popat (University of Leeds), Kai Qian, Laura Seargeant Richardson (M3 Design Inc.), Richard Seymour (Seymourpowell), Frank Vetere (University of Melbourne), Huiling Wei, and Ning Zhang (Dalian Marine University)

Interactions Magazine is the bimonthly publication of the ACM [Association of Computing Machinery] and is distributed to all members of SIGCHI [Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction].

It recently underwent a complete makeover the inspiring and volunteer (!) leadership of Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko who turned it into a publication full of timely articles, stories and content related to the interactions between experiences, people, and technology — the must have magazine for the user experience community!

2 February 2008

Interactions Magazine now fully available online

Interactions
In a previous post I wrote how it would be a good idea for the publishers of Interactions Magazine to make the magazine content available online. It just happened.

Here is the announcement by Scott Delman, ACM Group Publisher:

ACM is pleased to announce a new innovation for subscribers to interactions, the leading magazine publication for the Human Computer Interactions community. As from the January-February 2008 issue, ACM will be offering a digital edition of each issue of the magazine as an added benefit to subscribers. This new offering is provided in addition to the current print edition of the magazine and articles posted in the ACM Digital Library. The magazine’s new digital edition will serve as an additional service that will enable members to view a true digital representation of the entire print magazine from cover to cover in an easy to use digital format.

Digital editions are becoming increasingly available because they provide the reader with increased usability of digital content, including enhanced navigation, search, linking, and browsing features. Our digital editions will give readers the feel of thumbing through the pages of interactions, as well as the ability to zoom in on particular paragraphs, instantly check particular references or advertisements, or search an issue for particular content markers, and then store these editions on their PC or laptop for long term archiving or sharing of interesting articles with friends and colleagues.

Specific features available in the digital edition of interactions include the ability to:

  • page through articles online or download the issue to your computer
  • click on links for direct access to online source materials, advertiser web sites, or author e-mail addresses
  • conduct keyword searches of the current issue or all issues in the digital archive
  • print articles or forward them to colleagues
  • use digital editions without the need to download plug-ins

Although the above announcement message is aimed at subscribers only, the online version of the January-February edition of the magazine is really available to all – and I sincerely hope it is not a one off thing. Communications, the ACM flagship publication on computing research, is also going online (press release).

18 January 2008

Interactions Magazine – first impressions

Interactions
This morning I received a print copy of Interactions Magazine with the mail.

Wow.

It looks, feels, and reads exactly like a magazine for our profession should be. Why did no one think of this before? It contains a lot of in-depth articles by people I respect or others I am curious about. It is the ideal magazine to take with you and read on the road or on a couch.

Another first impression is that Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, the editors-in-chief, have gone out of their way to transcend an American perspective on the profession: from the British Elizabeth Churchill, to the Austrian Telecommunications Research Center, and from Stefana Broadbent and Valerie Bauwens of Swisscom Innovations, to South African Gary Marsden and the Beijing-based Gabriel White. I applaud this commitment very much, especially since many USA-based blogs and publications do not take this global view, or assume – wrongly – that the American view equals the global view.

So bravo to the two editors in chief for the direction taken, and bravo to ACM, the publishers, of providing them with this opportunity.

The ACM advertising department has a golden opportunity now: the new “Interactions” approach is out there, but the advertising hasn’t caught up. It’s still very much old style. Some fresh and creative approaches there could make Interactions Magazine a really sustainable publication.

Once I have finished reading the whole magazine, I will definitely write something more in-depth. Meanwhile, Richard and Jon, keep on going in this direction. I hope ACM will take the logical next step: making the articles available online. I am also curious to hear where ACM (an abbreviation which stands for Association for Computing Machinery, a rather awkward name in this day and age) as an organisation wants to go with this, and how it wants to position itself in the new UX landscape. The magazine is silent on that topic. Perhaps ACM’s executive editor or group publisher can be prodded for an article on this in the March-April edition or on the website.

In any case, I strongly suggest the readers of this blog to subscribe to the magazine, if you haven’t already done so. It’s only 50 USD.

PS. In Boston – Next week my partner Michele Visciola and I (Mark Vanderbeeken) will be in Boston for a client meeting. We will arrive on the 23rd and leave on the 27th. If readers of this blog are in Boston then, it would be nice to meet. Please contact us at info at experientia dot com.

6 January 2008

Interactions Magazine relaunched

Interactions
A few weeks ago, I announced the new direction taken by Interactions Magazine under its new editors-in-chief Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, and now the first issue is out.

The content looks very exciting indeed and the editors-in-chief have done a great job at getting some of the best people in the field to contribute.

Columns

Features

In addition, there are several “Forum” pieces and a few book reviews.

Unfortunately, the publishers (ACM) have taken a weird approach to the online version: while the site has all the trappings of an online publication (with a nice design, a good table of contents, commenting, and article blogposts), it contains hardly any content! They only have excerpts available online – you have to be an ACM member to read the full text – in the printed issue that is (at $50 for 6 issues). Also there is no information about the authors online. Not surprisingly, the site has very few comments and I doubt it has much traffic.

I hope the hard copy will arrive quickly here in Europe, but even more that Richard and Jon will be able to convince ACM that this is not a very good online policy.

11 October 2006

Philips Design magazine on foresighting techniques, health and ‘sensitive’ interactions

New Value by One Design
Philips today released the October issue of new value by One Design, its online quarterly design magazine.

As described in Stefano Marzano’s foreword, the issue is devoted to foresighting techniques, design concepts for a healthy lifestyle, and interactions that are responsive to subtle triggers like sensuality, affection and sensation.

In ‘Making sense of the future‘, the magazine explores how innovative foresighting research, and particularly Philips’ Compass Program, helps to provide the company with clues to the future to leverage new opportunities. Josephine Green, Senior Director, Trends & Strategy, New Solutions Development explains how they use a strategy of ‘putting people first’ (!): “People are very much at the center of the foresighting process [and this] offers us a much richer set of insights to drive innovation”.

The next step in simplicity is the title of an article on this year’s Simplicity Event in London (see also this post). The event addressed the issue of ‘A healthy lifestyle’ with the introduction of the Philips Design simplicity-led design concepts to help people become more aware of their own well-being. The article gives an overview of the thinking behind the concepts and the processes used to generate them.

A feature story addresses some of the subtlest, most sophisticated interactions: those that are ‘sensitive’ rather than intelligent and take place through a simple gesture, touch or glance. ‘You are what you wear‘ examines how Philips Design is exploring this issue in the SKIN Probe project. “We are experimenting with devices that are responsive to subtle triggers like sensuality, affection and sensation,” says Lucy McRae, Body Architect at Philips Design in Eindhoven, who is also interviewed in this issue.

Finally the magazine contains an interview with Harry Rich, Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Design Council on the value of design for business.

25 April 2013

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

IAX20.3_Cover

Interactions Magazine is no longer the influential voice in the interaction design community that it used to be a few years ago. Lots of the reason why has to do with the fact that the bulk of the articles are behind a membership paywall, while the content remains as relevant as ever. Here are the publicly available articles published in the latest, May-June 2013, issue:

Creating the World Citizen Parliament
The cover story by Douglas Schuler explores, very seriously and thoughtfully, how interaction designers could create a World Citizen Parliament, a bottom-up, social, and material infrastructure and a vast interconnected network of deliberative assemblies, that helps people better deliberate together to make better decisions.

Steampunking interaction design
In this feature story, Matt Walsh, who works for an advertising agency, writes about the awesome power and potential of tension as a tool for interaction designers.

Harnessing the power of positive tension
Joshua Tanenbaum, Audrey Desjardins and Karen Tanenbaum like to view Steampunk through the lens of what Julian Bleecker and Bruce Sterling have termed design fiction, and believe they have a general relevance to design within the HCI community and for the future of interaction design.

Austin Center for Design
Interview with Jon Kolko on the educational institution in Austin, Texas that teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship.

There is more in personal heritage than data
Daniela Petrelli explores personal memory and heritage in a time of digital obsolescence.

Interactive systems for health
Gillian Hayes, the new Health Matters forum editor, lays out three ways in which designers, researchers, and practitioners are reconsidering information and evidence within the realm of health IT.

28 January 2009

Interactions Jan/Feb ’09 fully available online

interactions
The entire contents of the January-February 2009 edition of Interactions Magazine are now available online.

Enjoy.

(via InfoDesign)