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the language of interaction
david sherwin

emily carr university
march 30, 2011




Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, from Visual Editions
so, what do you do?




             interaction designer




Photo 1314251438 by HeyRocker on Flickr / CC share remix license
uh… what’s occupation?
                                What’s your that?




             hmm… well, how much time
             do you have for me to tell you?




Photo 1314251438 by HeyRocker on Flickr / CC share remix license
“interaction designers design for everyday life
by shaping those human experiences that sit at
the intersection of needs [desireability], business
goals [viability], and technology [feasibility].”
—www.ecuad.ca/programs/undergrad/bdesign/interaction



"…interaction design is first and foremost
the design of behavior that occurs over time."
—Alan Cooper, David Cronin, Robert Reimann, About Face 3



"interaction is how people relate to other
people through the mediating influence
of product."
—Richard Buchanan



"interaction designers make awesome
products, services, and systems that
“my husband studies the ways
people interact with technology,
then determines if any thing
should be made better,
and if so, how.”

—Mary Paynter Sherwin
“my husband studies the ways
people interact with technology,
then determines if any thing
should be made better,
and if so, how.”

—Mary Paynter Sherwin
technology: “the sum of the
ways in which social groups provide
themselves with the material
objects of their civilization.”
frogMOB:
Work Bikes
Jan Chipchase, The Mobile Frontier:
A study of mobile money use in Afghanistan
technology changes human behavior,
human behavior changes technology
“my husband studies the ways
people interact with technology,
then determines if any thing
should be made better,
and if so, how.”

—Mary Paynter Sherwin
“my husband studies the ways
people interact with technology,
then determines if any thing
should be made better,
and if so, how.”

—Mary Paynter Sherwin
10,000
omission and/or transcription errors
can occur per year for a typical
200-bed hospital or clinic

how can we minimize these errors
and their impact on patient care?
prototypes from
participatory design testing
sessions at frogSF with
doctors and nurses
testing tasks via a high-fidelity
interactive prototype on a
touch tablet PC screen
industrial
design


interaction
design


communication
design
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, from Visual Editions
let’s try a little experiment…
let’s read a poem three ways:

1 you read it in your mind
2 all of you read it out loud
3 i read it and you listen
“Thought is thought, and not
anything more. Seeing is seeing.
What is is what is. These three together
are what they are, and their total is one,
which is what there is and is equal
to zero. A is not A; one is not one;
this too is the rule.

Only insofar as one is
speechless can one really
think with words.”

—from Robert Bringhurst’s “Saraha’s Exercise for Beginners,”
in the book Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music
what just happened?

we illustrated the 3 challenges
both artists and designers face
in trying to craft interactions
material   you are
           processing
metaphor   the poem in
practice   your head,
           formulating
           its intent
“In interaction design,
the system is the material.”
—Scott Nazarian, Creative Director, frog design
TEXT


       WATCH


                                                EMAIL

                   CALL




READ
               language is the first material
               we may apply to an interaction



        PLAY
                          STATUS                        CHAT
language is an interface
for prototyping an experience…

          …and a well-designed product or
          service expresses a vocabulary
          that matches people’s needs
how do you cook pasta?




Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
how do you cook pasta?

                                             verbs connote action



Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
how do you cook pasta?

                                 who will initiate or receive the action?



Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
how do you cook pasta?

                                                              nouns are the objects acted upon



Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
how do you cook pasta al dente?

                                                              adjectives are metadata



Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
can you cook pasta al dente for dinner tonight?

                                                         providing the activity’s context



Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
can you cook pasta al dente for dinner tonight?
     Illustration by Mark Baskinger from the forthcoming book Drawing Ideas
and make me a cup of iced tea?
“A cup of…” by industrial designer Tithi Kutchamuch from Creative Workshop
and can you help me resist eating dessert?
Temptd, a social support application by frog design, partnering with MTV’s I Used to Be Fat
individual actions                    USE CASES
                                                                VOCABULARY
                                                              IS ACTED UPON
     sum of actions
         required to                   TASKS
        complete task
                                                         CONTEXT
                                                        CHANGES
          time, place, and            CONTEXT
            people involved

                 motivations for       GOALS       CONSEQUENCES
                  initiating a task               CHANGE




                                DESIRED BEHAVIOR:
                                  LOSE WEIGHT
through research,
we capture the real and the incorporeal:
desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants,
frustrations, motivations…
through design,
we capture the real and the incorporeal:
desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants,
frustrations, motivations…
through painting,
we capture the real and the incorporeal:
desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants,
frustrations, motivations…
through film,
we capture the real and the incorporeal:
desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants,
frustrations, motivations…
through sculpture,
we capture the real and the incorporeal:
desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants,
frustrations, motivations…
with the right insight, we can
clarify intent and increase our
support of desired behaviors
over time, desired interactions
can accumulate into a liveable story
we hope to inhabit
“The Future of Health Care Is Social” by frog design
“The secret is in listening to the words,
and arranging, and listening,
and listening again.
—Robert Wallace, Writing Poems
material   you are
           processing
metaphor   the poem in
practice   your head,
           formulating
           its intent
material   i map the intent
           of my words
metaphor
           to the intent
practice   of yours, finding
           where A = B
“metaphor: a figure of speech
in which a term or phrase is applied
to something to which it is not
literally applicable in order
to suggest a resemblance…”

—Dictionary.com
i’m not talking about
small metaphors…
…or big, poorly constructed ones




Photo 3928200642 by x-ray delta one on Flickr / CC share remix license
metaphors
are at the heart
of how we model
interactive systems
PATTERNS
repetitive pathways
and structures

PRINCIPLES
guidelines preserving
the integrity of the above

FEATURE CLUSTERS
functionality organized
fit to the patterns

BEHAVIOR OVER TIME
use of animation,
transition, and motion
understand the metaphor of a system,
know how to shape interactions within it
new modes of input
   allow new metaphors to emerge


“SAM Gets Dirty” by designer Mark Notermann from Creative Workshop
material   you are
           processing
metaphor   the poem in
practice   your head,
           formulating
           its intent
material   i map the intent
           of my words
metaphor
           to the intent
practice   of yours, finding
           where A = B
material   focusing your
           individual voice,
metaphor
           informed by
practice   the experiences
           of your peers
“A new poem is created by
everyone that reads poetically—
not that its raw material is original…

but that every individual brings with him,
when he exercises his individuality,
a way of seeing and feeling that
in its interaction with old material
creates something new, something
previously not existing in experience.”

—from John Dewey’s Art as Experience
so it goes for a designer…
our experience is summative
Photo 2425646723 by Bekathwia on Flickr / CC share remix license
material   art and design,
           stitched together
metaphor
           by technology
practice   and language
digital +                       interaction
interactive arts                         design
      animation
   film, video +
      integrated
                       technology
           media
        ceramics
                       critical and      industrial
       sculpture                         design
                     cultural practice
    print media
  photography
                      language arts
      visual arts
         drawing
     illustration                        communication
         painting                        design

             ART     “THE INTERFACES”    DESIGN
language may be our v1 interface
for summarizing experience
but what we paint, draw, film, sculpt,
and design with technology…
human emotion lives in
the spaces between
“Happiness is not a noun or a verb.
It’s a conjunction.”

—Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss
The Language of Interaction

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The Language of Interaction

  • 1. the language of interaction david sherwin emily carr university march 30, 2011 Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, from Visual Editions
  • 2. so, what do you do? interaction designer Photo 1314251438 by HeyRocker on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 3. uh… what’s occupation? What’s your that? hmm… well, how much time do you have for me to tell you? Photo 1314251438 by HeyRocker on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 4. “interaction designers design for everyday life by shaping those human experiences that sit at the intersection of needs [desireability], business goals [viability], and technology [feasibility].” —www.ecuad.ca/programs/undergrad/bdesign/interaction "…interaction design is first and foremost the design of behavior that occurs over time." —Alan Cooper, David Cronin, Robert Reimann, About Face 3 "interaction is how people relate to other people through the mediating influence of product." —Richard Buchanan "interaction designers make awesome products, services, and systems that
  • 5. “my husband studies the ways people interact with technology, then determines if any thing should be made better, and if so, how.” —Mary Paynter Sherwin
  • 6. “my husband studies the ways people interact with technology, then determines if any thing should be made better, and if so, how.” —Mary Paynter Sherwin
  • 7. technology: “the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.”
  • 9. Jan Chipchase, The Mobile Frontier: A study of mobile money use in Afghanistan
  • 10. technology changes human behavior, human behavior changes technology
  • 11. “my husband studies the ways people interact with technology, then determines if any thing should be made better, and if so, how.” —Mary Paynter Sherwin
  • 12. “my husband studies the ways people interact with technology, then determines if any thing should be made better, and if so, how.” —Mary Paynter Sherwin
  • 13. 10,000 omission and/or transcription errors can occur per year for a typical 200-bed hospital or clinic how can we minimize these errors and their impact on patient care?
  • 14.
  • 15. prototypes from participatory design testing sessions at frogSF with doctors and nurses
  • 16. testing tasks via a high-fidelity interactive prototype on a touch tablet PC screen
  • 18. Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, from Visual Editions
  • 19. let’s try a little experiment… let’s read a poem three ways: 1 you read it in your mind 2 all of you read it out loud 3 i read it and you listen
  • 20. “Thought is thought, and not anything more. Seeing is seeing. What is is what is. These three together are what they are, and their total is one, which is what there is and is equal to zero. A is not A; one is not one; this too is the rule. Only insofar as one is speechless can one really think with words.” —from Robert Bringhurst’s “Saraha’s Exercise for Beginners,” in the book Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music
  • 21. what just happened? we illustrated the 3 challenges both artists and designers face in trying to craft interactions
  • 22. material you are processing metaphor the poem in practice your head, formulating its intent
  • 23. “In interaction design, the system is the material.” —Scott Nazarian, Creative Director, frog design
  • 24. TEXT WATCH EMAIL CALL READ language is the first material we may apply to an interaction PLAY STATUS CHAT
  • 25. language is an interface for prototyping an experience… …and a well-designed product or service expresses a vocabulary that matches people’s needs
  • 26. how do you cook pasta? Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 27. how do you cook pasta? verbs connote action Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 28. how do you cook pasta? who will initiate or receive the action? Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 29. how do you cook pasta? nouns are the objects acted upon Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 30. how do you cook pasta al dente? adjectives are metadata Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 31. can you cook pasta al dente for dinner tonight? providing the activity’s context Photo 197840294 by Oskay on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 32. can you cook pasta al dente for dinner tonight? Illustration by Mark Baskinger from the forthcoming book Drawing Ideas
  • 33. and make me a cup of iced tea? “A cup of…” by industrial designer Tithi Kutchamuch from Creative Workshop
  • 34. and can you help me resist eating dessert? Temptd, a social support application by frog design, partnering with MTV’s I Used to Be Fat
  • 35. individual actions USE CASES VOCABULARY IS ACTED UPON sum of actions required to TASKS complete task CONTEXT CHANGES time, place, and CONTEXT people involved motivations for GOALS CONSEQUENCES initiating a task CHANGE DESIRED BEHAVIOR: LOSE WEIGHT
  • 36. through research, we capture the real and the incorporeal: desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants, frustrations, motivations…
  • 37. through design, we capture the real and the incorporeal: desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants, frustrations, motivations…
  • 38. through painting, we capture the real and the incorporeal: desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants, frustrations, motivations…
  • 39. through film, we capture the real and the incorporeal: desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants, frustrations, motivations…
  • 40. through sculpture, we capture the real and the incorporeal: desires, hopes, beliefs, needs, wants, frustrations, motivations…
  • 41.
  • 42. with the right insight, we can clarify intent and increase our support of desired behaviors
  • 43. over time, desired interactions can accumulate into a liveable story we hope to inhabit
  • 44. “The Future of Health Care Is Social” by frog design
  • 45. “The secret is in listening to the words, and arranging, and listening, and listening again. —Robert Wallace, Writing Poems
  • 46. material you are processing metaphor the poem in practice your head, formulating its intent
  • 47. material i map the intent of my words metaphor to the intent practice of yours, finding where A = B
  • 48. “metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance…” —Dictionary.com
  • 49. i’m not talking about small metaphors…
  • 50. …or big, poorly constructed ones Photo 3928200642 by x-ray delta one on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 51. metaphors are at the heart of how we model interactive systems
  • 52.
  • 53.
  • 54.
  • 55. PATTERNS repetitive pathways and structures PRINCIPLES guidelines preserving the integrity of the above FEATURE CLUSTERS functionality organized fit to the patterns BEHAVIOR OVER TIME use of animation, transition, and motion
  • 56.
  • 57.
  • 58. understand the metaphor of a system, know how to shape interactions within it
  • 59. new modes of input allow new metaphors to emerge “SAM Gets Dirty” by designer Mark Notermann from Creative Workshop
  • 60. material you are processing metaphor the poem in practice your head, formulating its intent
  • 61. material i map the intent of my words metaphor to the intent practice of yours, finding where A = B
  • 62. material focusing your individual voice, metaphor informed by practice the experiences of your peers
  • 63. “A new poem is created by everyone that reads poetically— not that its raw material is original… but that every individual brings with him, when he exercises his individuality, a way of seeing and feeling that in its interaction with old material creates something new, something previously not existing in experience.” —from John Dewey’s Art as Experience
  • 64. so it goes for a designer… our experience is summative
  • 65.
  • 66. Photo 2425646723 by Bekathwia on Flickr / CC share remix license
  • 67. material art and design, stitched together metaphor by technology practice and language
  • 68. digital + interaction interactive arts design animation film, video + integrated technology media ceramics critical and industrial sculpture design cultural practice print media photography language arts visual arts drawing illustration communication painting design ART “THE INTERFACES” DESIGN
  • 69. language may be our v1 interface for summarizing experience
  • 70. but what we paint, draw, film, sculpt, and design with technology…
  • 71. human emotion lives in the spaces between
  • 72. “Happiness is not a noun or a verb. It’s a conjunction.” —Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss