Simple: Good Design Thinking (GDT)

Steve Price
September 2009
Simple GDT™

                                       Introduction                               So when I set about applyi...
Simple GDT™

              What makes a good interactive designer?                                                       i...
Simple GDT™

                                                                                      Clients were keen on ha...
Simple GDT™

designers became as obsessed (as did their clients) with creating elaborate,        available to businesses. ...
Simple GDT™

                                                                                                         I ju...
Simple GDT™

public were skeptical about the ‘Web’ and it’s value to their businesses and        Affordable solutions to C...
Simple GDT™

If Web 1.0 was about retrieving information, then the Web 2.0 was about                             of screen...
Simple GDT™

to embrace interactive television, to in-car systems and dashboards, to signage
systems that don't just poin...
Simple GDT™

Simple GDT™

columns; a mistake so many others have made: if you want people to be able                 The success of the...
Simple GDT™
Simple GDT™

This, for me, defines what the potential of Interactive design can be. It
signifies the greater role that des...
Simple GDT™

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Steve Price: Simple Good Design Thinking (GDT)


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A short paper on the subject of Interactive Design; what it means, where it has come from, where it is and where it might go.

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Steve Price: Simple Good Design Thinking (GDT)

  1. 1. Simple: Good Design Thinking (GDT) by Steve Price September 2009
  2. 2. Simple GDT™ Introduction So when I set about applying for this role as Professor for interactive Design I asked myself what is Interactive Design? What is the past, present and future SP: “Thanks for agreeing to meet and talk with me about of Interactive design? What makes a good interactive designer? my MA. My initial topic was centered around the concept of a visual identity crisis, looking closely at the levels of information that are now smothered around our environments. I realised that it wasn’t so much to do with the commercial content within the architectural space....” JW: What is commercial? Define commercial. Define architecture. Isn't a billboard is a piece of architecture? What about this table? This ashtray?1 In 1999 I interviewed John Warwicker of Tomato, this is an excerpt from that interview. I was interviewing him as part of my research for my MA Communication Design thesis. His manner was similar to thesis perception I had of Tomato’s creative philosophy; bullish and challenging. I was always taught never to answer a question with a question and yet every thing I said he immediately questioned. Being a young, arrogant, Central Saint Martins post- graduate my reaction was one of quiet annoyance and frustration; I wanted answers not questions! But Mr Warwicker was absolutely right. In the few minutes I had with him, he had questioned everything that I’d simply taken for granted. It taught me a valuable lesson: 1. Question everything; even that which you deem to be defined, and, 2. Prepare better! 1 Interview with John Warwicker, 1999.
  3. 3. Simple GDT™ What makes a good interactive designer? in order to create connections within their work. What does this all actually mean? The answer to a question like this is speculative and varied. There is no It’s about reading; blogs, magazines, newspapers, attending talks and lectures definitive answer, but there are certain qualities which, as a practicing creative not necessarily about design. Persuing other avenues of interest, and different director, I look for when employing one. ways of expressing and communicating yourself. Writing a blog of your own is a great start; it enables a record of your thought process, it helps to evolve In Norway fishing is big business, and a past-time for many Norwegians. I your style of writing and language. As Iain Tait (from Poke) puts it: went fishing for the first time recently with some Norwegians and most like to go to the same lake, usually the one that sits near or next too their summer ‘Find some crazy MIT department that specialises in quantum cabin. But there are those who like to fish in different lakes like my friend storage theory and subscribe to their RSS feed. Join a Russian Bjørn. I asked him whether this was because the fish were better or more techno forum. See how oddballs are using technology. Then plentiful? His response, ‘No, because variety is the spice of life.’ start making connections. Interesting stuff happens when you make connections.’ 2 . To study as an interactive designer means that you have a special interest in the subject, but being a good one means you are someone that ‘fishes in I was recently walking down the street with my head down, on my iPhone. I different lakes’. Someone who is a capable, curious and challenging person. literally bumped in to a friend who was also head down in to his iPhone. We Someone that challenges themselves to look at the world around them, absorb joked, but it reminded me to do something very simple; take time out to look it, and question it. up! To be a good designer, and I include myself, we must all find ways to exercise our most important muscle; our brain. I have interviewed and employed many designers, and having a strong portfolio unquestionably helps, but even this is not always the best quality. Nor is it necessarily about being the smartest, the most academically gifted or even the designer with the best grades. It’s all about their aptitude, outlook and motivation. It is about being inquisitive. It is about exploring their interests within design and (arguably more importantly) outside of it so that 2 Interview with Iain Tait, September 01, 2009:
  4. 4. Simple GDT™ Clients were keen on having a CD-ROM for their direct-marketing - it was What is the past, present and future of Interactive seen to be ‘cutting-edge’. Most studios’s, including 12:10 published there own design? CD-ROM’s as marketing tools to promote their work and their ‘expetise’. Of course it was reliant on recipients putting the CDROM in to their computer, which was met with widespread reservations; they were very often slow, and As a consumer and a practicing graphic/communications/information (we’ll clunky and if loaded on to a Mac you had to create a different version to boot come on to this subject of job title another time) designer I, like you, have from the desktop. In most cases they were merely just brochures on-screen. witnessed a massive evolution in communication capabilities, technology advancements and interaction over the past ten years. The ‘digital’ realm is I designed a CDROM for Egg: the internet bank, back in 2001. I will never still an infant in comparison to art, print or advertising, but it’s growing with forget the meeting to present the initial concept and ‘intro animation’. We rapid ferocity, and maturing quickly. So too are the job titles, the industry were describing a fly-through animations from outer-space to the high street. acronyms, specialists and academic study options. In the meeting was a colleague from the agency I was hired by who was perhaps a ‘little long in the tooth’. Much to out amazement he brought out a The ‘interactive’ realm that graduates will join in years to come will be vastly model of the earth he’d made the night before out of Plasticine to show the different to what it is now. In ten years we’ve witnessed the rapid expansion of board of the Prudential his vision. He never accompanied us to another email, telecommunications, 3G technology, online commerce and networking, meeting. But an example of how this new technology was being presented and low-cost airline travel; the list is endless. Soon to come is 4G, the strapline for misunderstood by both clients and (most) people in the industry. which is ‘By the time you’ve read this you’ll have downloaded an entire movie’. Interesting times ahead! There were pioneers in the UK such as Digit, Anti-Rom and Tomato who were always pushing the boundaries, and blurring the lines between design and After graduating in 1998 I joined ‘12:10’, a studio in Nottingham involved in interaction by creating on-screen pieces, or physical interactions that designing for print, web and CDROMs; or ‘interactive design’ work as we embraced both real world elements with technology and custom-built referred to it then. The infancy of the work was matched only by that of the software encouraging people to participate and interact. software being released. The platform for CDROM’s or interactive screen- based systems for information grew in popularity as everyone clambered to However the commercial version fo interactive design also began to develop get onboard. It meant learning new techniques and programming languages online with clients needing a web presence. Web 1.0 was born and was largely and using Director to create information based pieces that the user ‘hopefully’ about software and technology. With the release of Macromedia Flash engaged with.
  5. 5. Simple GDT™ designers became as obsessed (as did their clients) with creating elaborate, available to businesses. Oven managed to produce his vision with the help of a over-produced , pointless intro sequences, navigation systems and (in many huge team of developers enlisted from all over the world resulting in a 76 Mega-Byte download - which on a 56k modem took around... well, forever! cases - my own included) entire sites that required a PhD to use and navigate with them. Regardless of this, the project was an immense challenge that was as absurd as it was brilliant, even if it was a decade before its time. Around that time I joined Oven Digital in 1999 when there were thirty-four people working in the London office, and around one hundred and ten a year This new era boomed an new sector of the design service industry. A boom later. I was employed to work on creating a style guide for the Sky Sports web that ultimately lead to it’s immanent bust in 2000. In my view the industry site, I then created some stationary and packaging for the agency it self. My made promises it couldn’t keep to it’s clients. Software, technology and (more memory of that time is a little sketchy; mainly due to the fact that every Friday importantly) user engagement was simply not there; supply and demand. night, Oven would put a credit card behind the bar of a local drinking However, out of the ashes came a new breed of agencies, designers, planners, establishment and we’d all help to ‘max it out’. thinkers, producers developers, softwares, technologies and possibilities. There was a mentality that you worked to live. We weren’t actual rock n’roll The UK recession that followed created a breathing space. Some time to re- stars, but it felt about as close as I would get to one. The east-end of London group, re-think and come back to ‘the table’ with a clearer vision, a new rapidly changed, and became saturated with young, confident agencies like model. It inspired a complete re-think on the industry; how we worked with Oven, Deepend and Oyster. In their own right producing some ground- clients, how we approached the work and being realistic about the delivery of breaking work whilst spending the proceeds on holidays for the whole office. work when paired with technical capabilities. In London lots of agencies like It was a great time, a bullish time, a time where it felt very much about the Deepend and Oven combined forces and created new ventures like Poke and new taking over the old. DConstruct. One client, for example, an eccentric millionaire from Silicone valley who employed Oven to create a web site replica of the entire solar system online called One Cosmos. He wanted an interactive experience allowing the user to fly-through the entire galaxy system, and be able to click on every star/planet and learn about it. His demands were blighted by a few small considerations - Broadband was not yet available, and high-speed (T1 & T2) lines were only
  6. 6. Simple GDT™ I just hope he doesn’t join Twitter. Twitter to me doesn’t need to make sense, What is the past, present and future of Interactive but to explain it, and other platforms like it, is actually quite difficult without design? suddenly thinking mid-sentence that you sound a little bit mental; it is what it is – micro-blogging. There I said it! Twitter is just another example of how Kevin Kelley describes our computers and mobile phones being ‘like windows A few weeks ago I got a friend request on Facebook, from my dad! When I saw in to one giant ‘machine’, one global network’4. And sometimes the window I him the following week he told me he had added me as his friend on use to interact with that ‘thing’ is Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. Facebook. ‘I know, I got the email.’ I said. ‘I think I might need some training, I don’t really understand what it’s for; what is Facebook?’ he persisted. But let’s go back a bit. I first heard the term ‘Web two point zero’ around 2004. I asked that person who’d mentioned it what they meant, ‘Glossy The question gave me the opportunity to find out whether I could actually gradients and simpler navigation’ was their answer. That might be true from a explain it, because like similar platforms, I take Facebook for granted. Like visual point-of-view, but Web 2.0 has been about much more than that. I many my age (and much younger) we log-in, poke, accept (or decline) new believe that people (probably in a marketing role) gave it this name because friends, update our status, upload videos and photos and review and comment the first version was such a failure; a starting point, but ultimately a four out on our friends [Facebook] lives with great frequency. Indeed there are more of ten ‘must do better’. than 40 million status updates each day 3. The bursting of the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001 marked a ‘Facebook is about connecting with people, friends or friends of friends; it’s turning point for the web. Many people concluded that the web social networking.’ Ok, good start (I thought). ‘It’s a simple and effective way was overhyped, when in fact bubbles and consequent shakeouts to share your life with friends around the world, or the office. You have a appear to be a common feature of all technological revolutions.5 status which you update...’. ‘What for? Why do people want to know what I’ve just eaten for breakfast?’ Came the interruption. ‘You don’t have to share that Commercially the industry was in recovering from a recession where clients information. It can be anything. A link to a site you like, an amusing YouTube fingers and wallets had been burnt. Agencies had gone bankrupt, disbanded video, a link to your justgiving sponsorship page!’ and so went the and (some) re-grouped to form new ventures. Clients and the conversation. 3 Sourced from 4 ‘Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the web’ December 2007, 5
  7. 7. Simple GDT™ public were skeptical about the ‘Web’ and it’s value to their businesses and Affordable solutions to CMS means that clients can manage their content, lives. Calling it ‘Web 2.0’ was a way to start again. A new, more improved their images. But more importantly it has provided clients with the ability to version. A new page and beginning from which to build and gain trust. What see the user buy-in, or rather, the return on their investment via the use of followed was a rapid rise in the development of technology and software more and more sophisticated tracking and profiling systems. Finally capability making it possible to empower users to engage with one another, marketing managers can go back to their bosses and/or investors and show with brands, with networks; to have their say, to comment, to blog and make active user reports and customer purchases and spending behaviours. Never connections. has this been possible in any other form of advertising. Technically the term Web 2.0 was defined in the self-titled conference in 2004 From an industry point-of-view, collaborations have been crucial. Traditional by John Batelle and Tim O'Reilly who outlined that Web 2.0 was the "Web as advertising agencies have either created their own in-house digital teams or Platform” 6. Where software applications are built upon the Web as opposed to brought in digital partners. The is, as with in the film industry, production upon the desktop. Content Management Systems (CMS) were now not just for companies that provide a direct service facility for advertising agencies. These the wealthy brands who could afford Sun Microsystems, or Mediasurface, you production companies are also fueling the freelance sector, or in the case of could get an open source package to do it for you; albeit badly. With the unit9, completely changing their business model. sophistication of data capturing the industry is also technically capable of quantifying it’s value, particularly in advertising for the first time, ever. ‘You’ve seen your agency set up digital production in-house and, like a virtual team of Premiership football players, who are You put an advert on TV it’s just there. I don’t know as a client undoubtedly talented, they follow their own version of fantasy whose watching it. I know the viewing figures that estimated for digital, following Champions League work and ever higher that ad break, but whose actually engaging with it? With digital Champions League prices. All of which could leave you I can give all of that information to a client. We can tell them creatively relegated. You’ve seen outsourcing to either pseudo exactly who, how, where, when, how many times and more. 7 digital agencies that dress up as sheep but are ready to bite the hand that feeds them, or freelancers who are “bloody good For clients web 2.0 has meant more control, more flexibility, more value” but disappear like the Iraqi police force when it’s time to walk down client RPG Alley.’ opportunities and improved online communication, sales and tracking. 6 7 Tom Sacchi speaking at Click Singapore, Sept 2009.
  8. 8. Simple GDT™ If Web 1.0 was about retrieving information, then the Web 2.0 was about of screen design improved, for example, with touch-screens? creating the ability for users to create there own. This new era has created the platform for users to actively participate and create content on blogs, I used a touch-screen the other night to buy a train ticket. London wikipedia, social networks and media sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo. underground now has touch-screens throughout most of it’s network, as do many transport organisations the world over. Some galleries have them, Google, Facebook, Bebo and Twitter are just a few examples of mainstream shopping centres, and even ATM’s. However, interactive design has perhaps online platforms that are enablers of connections beyond our physical ability. found its natural home within galleries and exhibition spaces. Places whereby Although, almost every form of communication tool we engage with now has people are already prepared to spend time ‘interacting’. another form of connection. Playstation3, XBox, Wii all allow for online gaming and messaging. Yahoo, Google, AIM, MSN and Facebook all have their For example, New York based interactive studio Potion’s Green Community messaging platforms. Skype opened up the endless possibilities for exhibit: ‘A large globe projected onto the wall spins slowly before the visitors. communicating with friends, relatives across the globe, for free via your ISP. Eight large icons appear at the bottom of the display, each representing a different layer of human impact on the planet. On the left are nations, Concentration on user interface design (UI) has improved the engagement population, agriculture and forestry. On the right are shipping paths, undersea between user and technology online. This is due largely to two discerning cables, energy usage and oil pipelines. Each of these impact layers may be factors. The first is that it is an industry fueled by youth. Not teenagers turned on and off simply by touching its icon. Visitors can select two overlays (although not far off sometimes), but by young people who have the drive, the at time to display on the globe in order to make comparisons and connections. passion and the energy to strive and push technology and its possibilities This interactive introduces visitors to the serious issues encountered in the further. No longer is the idea of setting up as a freelancer, or a collective a rest of exhibit of raises questions about the possible solutions.’8 – Information daunting thought. and interactive design that bridges the gap between the user, challenging their perceptions, experience and their expectations of how to interpret data and Secondly the availability of broadband, and (in some areas of the UK) fiber- information. optic capabilities that reach download speeds of up to 50MB has aided this process. The industry as a whole is maturing quickly, learning from it’s I began by commenting that interactive design was about making connections mistakes of the late nineties and evolving in to the cloud(?), and beyond. But between technology and users, and it is, but it can go far beyond the computer what of interactive design it it’s purest sense – has the use and/or availability screen, or gallery projection. It has evolved from the CDROM 8
  9. 9. Simple GDT™ to embrace interactive television, to in-car systems and dashboards, to signage systems that don't just point the way but help you find what you want and promote other features whilst you’re there. It’s entire facades of buildings that change colour and sound according to the data it is fed from the buildings usage; creating an architecture organism. It’s intuitive exhibition design; touch-screens, installations and more intuitive 3D environments. It’s Greyworlds ‘The Source’ installation at the London Stock Exchange: ‘The Source is formed from a grid of cables arranged in a square, 162 cables in all, reaching eight stories to the glass roof. Nine spheres are mounted on each cable and are free to move independently up and down its length. In essence the spheres act like animated pixels, able to model any shape in three dimensions a fluid, dynamic, three dimensional television. Visitors to the atrium are greeted by this motion: its particles rising and falling, generating an infinite range of figurative and abstract shapes that rise, dissolve and reform at different heights in the atrium. The shape of the sun rising on a new day of trade, the names and positions of currently traded stocks, the DNA helix at the center of life formed by the work, and floating in the 32m void of the atrium. This complex and sophisticated installation is a microcosm of activity, a living reflection of market forces.’ 9 9
  10. 10. Simple GDT™ game systems rather than subscribing to cable. In America popular shows are What is the past, present and future of Interactive having to utilise online platforms more and more to keep their cult following design? interested between series: Increasingly, these television programs come bundled with a You need only look at other sectors such as TV, Newspapers, publishing and range of other media "extensions" as part of what people in the music to realise how much design and technology is aiding cultural and social industry are calling "transmedia" or "crossplatform" or "360 change. Advertising revenues for online will usurp television as the biggest Degree" strategies. New series, such as Glee, Melrose Place or advertising medium in Britain by the end of 2009 10, due to the rise in people The Vampire Diaries, have been building up their fan followings using the internet to watch TV shows (BBC iPlayer, Channel Fours 4oD, etc), all summer, rolling out advanced content via the web. In the the availability of cheaper laptops and higher Broadband speeds. Again, users case of Melrose Place, fans could do a walkthrough of the empowered to control their own content, an even more bad news for famous apartment complex by visiting a fake realtor site, while commercial stations: fans of vampires could watch videos dramatizing the events leading up to where the new CW teen drama begins.12 A new global survey on broadcast viewing from consultant Accenture shows that despite the recession, a growing number As advertising revenues continue to shift to online so too will the publishing of consumers would rather pay for content to avoid ads. 11 sector. Newspapers in particular are increasingly moving their operations online, perhaps not out of choice, but availability: we spend more time at our Our interaction with new media and technology is now helping to shift our desks, in front of a screen than ever before so reading the news via RSS feeds, behaviour patterns. We are watching television series through boxed DVD sets or online has soared. The Guardian Unlimited claims to be 'the most popular and off sites like Hulu (for free) or iTunes (at a price), or through illegal UK newspaper website, with 18.4 million unique users in October'13 . Part of its downloads. We are watching television on computer screens and through our success is also due to the absence of blinking, flickering adverts in the side ipods. And those who own television sets may be watching it through their 10 Reuters: UK online ad spend to overtake TV: report’ by Kate Holton, Apr 7, 2008: 11 AdWeek, ‘Viewers Will Pay to Go Adless’ by Steve McClellan April 20, 2009: 12 ‘In a Social Networking World, What's the Future of TV?’ Henry Jenkins, September 24, 2009: 13 ‘On-line publishing: An Overview’ by Adrian Shaughnessy, Feb 2008, Design Week Online:
  11. 11. Simple GDT™ columns; a mistake so many others have made: if you want people to be able The success of the iPhone was for many reasons, but largely because Steve to focus and read your articles don’t bombard them with animated adverts. Jobs noticed (from the world around him) that people were taking their mobile phone, camera and their mp3 player with them. He The Boston Globe 14, as another example, exploded in to the radar of a global decided to combine all of them in to one product. The iPhone has also audience when they made a significant, but hugely popular and successful spawned another new chapter in software with its App Store; providing ‘an change last year. They just made the images they already had rights too a lot application for everything’ – there are now over ten thousand applications to bigger. That’s all, they made them much, BIGGER. They didn’t create an choose from from games to sports to entertainment, books and lifestyle. Over AJAX player or fancy lightbox or gallery, they just made the images bigger. 30million downloads have been recorded since 2007. All active platforms for Simple idea, and who says the that images don’t speak a thousand words? users to customise and engage with products, services or brands. Magazines are also having to adapt to their new life online. Some are failing Similarly the way we read Books is going to change. Who will be bothered to because their sites look like advertising hoardings Some run parallel lives take their book with them in their bag when the alternative is lighter, smaller, using the online version to share and promote snippets from the printed and easier to carry? Platforms like Google Books ( version. Esquire magazine has successfully launched an online blog version of and even audiobooks (via iTunes) are increasingly popular with consumers. their magazine; it is simple and elegant to read whilst also adorning a very Digital Readers are still in their infancy but on the verge of mass-popularity; it typical magazine feel to it without trying to be a magazine that simply exists is only a matter of time before our scuffed, dog-eared paper and hardbacks sit online. alongside our once loved but never to be touched again Vinyl and CD collections. (N.B. Google Books is now also available for iPhone users!). How Tyler Brûlé's Monocle 15 website is smart, slick and full of multimedia content. long before these platforms offer animations to accompany the story? Using it is a pleasure, because it offers a rich mix of features that can't be Holograms that act out the story, or interact directly with the reader? Well, found in the printed publication, and that there is the difference. Not creating not as far fetched as you might think: an online version of what they have in print, but creating a online experience that works in unison with it’s printed version whilst using technology and simplicity, enhanced by a balance of function with form through rich media thus improving the users experience and engagement. 14 Source: 15
  12. 12. Simple GDT™ Interactive design can significantly improve the survival rates of heart and Researchers in Japan are using science to bounce elephants in the palms of lung transplant patients. You don’t believe me? AllofUs is a new form of their hands -- only these elephants are a new type of hologram you not only design consultancy in London that was created in 2004 to ‘help organisations see, but you can also feel. 16 exploit new and emerging opportunities with technology’18. I have followed there development with great interest ever since I saw their project for the In 1999 Shawn Fanning launched a new software application that was to NHS Harefield Hospital. change how many people used the internet: Napster. It sparked the biggest shift in music since Elvis did that naughty dance and rocked the world, As part of an on-going art therapy initiative All of Us created the Harefield literally. Whilst I agree that illegal downloading is wrong, this marked a new Hospital Nature Window. A nature inspired installation for the UK's leading era of consumers finding heart and lung transplant centre - aiming to reduce patient anxiety before and utilising new technology. For decades the record industry had it made, major surgery: charging their customers over-inflating prices for albums and singles and making vast sums of money. Situated in the room where awaiting patients receive their pre- med, the point in which patient anxiety levels are at their Along came Napster in 1999, and rather than trying to find a way to work with highest, a very English landscape is projected into a hand- them, the Record companies closed them down. It was there un-doing, why? crafted wooden relief. Patients interact and bring the scene to Not only are most independent record shops closing, but major high-street life simply by pointing the custom air-mouse at key hotspots chains are reporting massive cuts in sales. In June this year, Apple announced within the landscape to trigger movement, sound and that iTunes Store's customers purchased and downloaded more than 5 billion animation, which combine to provide a calming distraction songs. iTunes Store also has the largest music catalog online, with over 8 from the nervous anticipation prior to surgery. 19 million tracks. The iTunes Store is now renting over 50,000 movies daily, turning it into the most popular movie store, too, with a catalog of over 20,000 TV episodes, over 2,000 films, of which over 350 are available in HD quality. 17 16 Reuters: ‘3D holograms go tactile’ by Julian Gordon: 17 iTunes Statistics by Codrut Nistor: 18 Source: 19 Source:
  13. 13. Simple GDT™ This, for me, defines what the potential of Interactive design can be. It signifies the greater role that design can, and must play in the future developments; not just for commerce and online, but to enhance peoples lives. Or put better by the legend that is John Maeda: Art humanizes technology and makes it understandable. Design is needed to make sense of information overload. It is why art and design will rise in importance during this century as we try to make sense of all the possibilities that digital technology now affords. 20 The internet has only been around for about five thousand days 21, and from simple data retrieval we’re now engaging with sophisticated, integrated applications; Blogging, microblogging, posting, poking, updating, tweeting, forwarding, buying, downloading, etc. As technology advances, so too will the need for interactive designers to understand the users interaction; our biggest mistakes is thinking that what we think is ‘old-hat’ is the same as the public. 20 ‘Technology + Design = Apple?’ John Maeda, September 21, 2009 21 ‘Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the web‘ by Kevin Kelly:
  14. 14. Simple GDT™ building and tell me you’re not be consumed by it’s presence), the new F1 What is Interactive design? iPhone App. Sometimes it is the simple, and smallest things in life that can touch you. A current favourite, pictured on the cover of this paper, is Alfred It is the pursuit, execution and delivery of endless possibility. The link Sirleaf's 'Daily Talk' newspaper which reaches thousands of Liberians every between human, technology and information. What do all these advancements day but only ever produces one copy. How? By writing the day's biggest stories in technology mean for Interactive Design(ers)? Everything. Absolutely on a large blackboard beside a busy road in the capital. EVERYTHING. Who is standing at the forefront of this technology armed with the means, the capabilities and the creative sensibility to make the interaction Simple. between user and technology? We are. The role of interactive designers will become ever more important in the design of all these information systems; The Guardian Unlimited web site is not just popular because of its published articles, it is also a multiple-design- award winning web site. Regardless of the design discipline, the basics of good design do not change, it is simple: Good Design Thinking (GDT)22. Whether you are designing a book, a record album booklet, a corporate brochure, a web site or an interactive signage system for an airport it is about how you apply your skills as a designer, but moreover, as a human being whose conscious of the world around them and how users interact with that world. An interactive designer is committed to that relationship between technology, software, information and people. Inspiration is crucial. My own sources of inspiration come from many places; my son Enzo, reading (currently, ‘The Element’ by Sir Ken Robinson), Architecture (stand on 6th Avenue outside Mies Van Der Rohe’s Seagram 22 Good Design Thinking (GDT) a term that I apply to emcompass what I deem to be the defined value of design.