I’m here to talk about interaction design, which is the story of how people invented computers, and how we design the way we interact with them..So we’re going to start with the very first computers, and look at how they evolved — particularly how our language of communicating with them evolved.I’m Karen McGrane, and my whole career is about improving the experience interacting with the internet. You can find me there at my company, Bond Art and Science, or at Digitrix6.<number>
People invented the way we talk to computers. Have you ever thought about what it means that we are communicating with a machine?We are taking ideas in our minds, translating them into physical actions, and that action means something to a computer.And then that machine communicates information back to us in a way that we understand. And it’s actually really pretty incredible that we, as human beings, have invented tools that are this useful.<number>
Who here ever gets annoyed with their computer?Well, when I do, and it sometimes helps me to remember that we’ve only had computers for, say, 65 years.They were invented during WWII, and the main purpose here in the US was for ballistics research, to calculate trajectories of projectilesElectronic Numerical Integrator (or ENIAC) had ~1 kilobit memory but that meant could calculate a trajectory in 1 secondstats:3,000 cubic feet30 tons18,000 vacuum tubes70,000 resistors170 kilowatt power req.~1 kilobit memoryapproximate processing power of today’s singing birthday cardbut not a stored-program device<number>
Calculating 1 trajectory took 20 hours using slide rulesNeeded to calculate hundreds of trajectories, which would take people thousands of hours
Batch processing instead of interactive processingImagine using a pocket calculator, but instead of just punching the numbers in and getting a resultThink hard about what you wanted a computer to doWrite it down in an arcane set of symbols the computer would understandYou’d type it into a teletype writer and it would print out binary on a tape<number>
From Typing To Swiping: Interaction Design has come a long way!