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IxD theory 12 Envisioning future – Dark side?

12 How far does designer need to consider the worst scenario of the design usage? Especially marketizing the technology enabled services.


My professor who works at health industry mentioned they try out if their bandage doesn’t pill off from the water. When Boeing was finalizing their new 787, they tried hard to break the their new systems. Demo-ing the worst scenarios like what if every 200 passengers use electronical device recharging system in the same time.
Here we see designers consider possible bad cases and  prevent possible errors and potential accidents.

I am wondering how far designers who envision the future with new technology should consider about the worst scenario?
For example, a company that  makes a computer chip that people can eat that chip with drug and the chip tracks human condition and tracks one’s activity can greatly improve our health management. However what about dark side possibilities? I can be misapplied as tool to manipulate some human resource. For example, CIA or international spi organization can use this technology to manage their human resource more efficiently.
or spy certain figures body condition. Much like a Movie called ‘Island’, in  digitally manage clon human’s body condition.
Designers render new culture and change people’s life. It’s very important to think ahead the great idea but also possible errors and misuse that may followed by innovative ideas.

IxD theory 11 interaction – The nature of problems of today

11 Why is interaction design so much wide spread? more democratized than other design disciplines?

Interaction design became crucial field today. Especially interaction is used in everywhere nowadays. It is a great ingredient for coming up with new insight to solve the problem or improve the status quo.

The increased highlights and interests attributed to the trend of the world we live in.
All discipline solve a problem one way or another whether its financial problem or intellectual problem or everyday life difficulties. Defining what is a problem greatly varies among different disciplines also a perspective on looking at a same problem differs. However the nature of problems have been changed today.  The problems became more complicated. Most problems are attributed from more than two aspects or out of existing patterns, and it requires close look at interactions between different aspects.
In order to find keys to  understand what’s happening in the intersections of different participants, we needed to take closer and deeper look.

Recently i was reading about a new trend of marketing as ‘inbound marketing’, and find the way they describe about it is very similar to what we say about  interaction design.  In line with this, TCHO, san Francisco based chocolate company, has position called  ‘interactive marketer’.

* The infographic below from Voltier Digital highlights the differences between the two kinds of marketing.

* The infographic below from Voltier Digital highlights the differences between the two kinds of marketing.


It seems a interaction is used as the same term as “understanding a user”.  I even envision interaction becoming a default in developing any kind of new product or new touchpoints in business in future. 

Often the term “interaction design” is used as incorporation of interaction and design.  However, I belive interaction designers are the ones who do the interaction design as one procedure,  not as ‘interaction + design’ but interaction design as one piece.

IxD Theory10 LD and CD

10  Learning Disability and Color Disability

In my class, my professor taught me a great lesson. She told us that we should not just relying on color for identification. Simple but very true, I thought. It also inspired me to think about an association between students with learning disability and users with disabilities in using emerging interactive services.

There are students with learning disabilities, as the term reflects it refers to students who have difficulties in learning ability compared to other students. In education studies reported that the students with learning disability(LD) is largely determined by their language skills, because all the learning material was language heavy and  most of the questions and examinations to measure student’s academic abilities are written.

Is there any dominant skills like reading text in usage of emerging interactive services that influence one’s performance with the service?

As school material was text heavy, interactive services are very color heavy. I didn’t think about considering other options than color to communicate on the display. We are relying on color too much overlooking people with disabilities in colors. Starting with color, we, as designers should consider user’s unspoken difficulties in using the service due to high dependency in visual aspect.

IxD theory 09 Solutions that substitute or supplement yesterday

09  Solutions that substitute or supplement yesterday
– Why interaction designer need to think MORE about how people think.

Cognition refers to thinking. It includes attention, memory, and  information process. Designers need to be good at meta-cognition, which refers to thinking about thinking .In order to develop effective mental model in products/ services, we need to think about how potential users would think in given situation. My observation made me to think why interaction designers seem to be more entwined with  cognition aspect more than other designer.
Interaction designers create a new culture for peoples’ everyday lives. Adopting a new culture always entails learning.
It’s not just a product that people put in their living room nor objects that will increase your assets over time. In most cases, it’s a service that changes how you live everyday.It changes what you did a month ago, a year ago. It does render a different life style. It’s not just adding one more product but substituting or supplementing to your past. Imagine someone is start managing his/her financial activities on computer. Now he/she has a new  touchpoint to meet his money, and  he/she will adopt a new way of banking. His/her trip to bank would decrease and the drawer that kept all the bankbooks might be used for other needs.

Interaction designers create solutions that substitute or supplement users’ yesterday and  improve people’s everyday lives. Often in the beginning, the solution is thought of as an alternative, but soon it transforms into the lived culture through people’s interaction with it. In this loop, users require to learn new scheme. Interaction designer can make the learning process smooth and pleasant.

IxD theory 08 Space and prototype

08 Space and prototype


Especially conveying the idea on what experience will be that incorporates the space, the prototype articulates far better than people.

A great example of usage of prototype is Teague Design’s collaboration with  Boeing aircraft. Recently teague designed a special lighting for the interior that renders whole new in-flight experience. Even though lighting was the key design elements, it couldn’t shine without it’s context. Fromt he early stage of design development, they made 1:1 scale prototype to see what lighting could be. Setting 1:1 scale prototype allowed them to understand the context of the design needs. How passengers feel when they first walk into cabin, then how users would interact while they are seating, or walking around. It helped to map out user scenarios related to the lighting which  inspired them to generate better solutions.

IxD theory 07 Flavors of Prototypes

07 Flavors of Prototypes

If one say ‘prototype’, people may think he/she is in an certain stage of product development, mostly towards an end of design decision. However prototypes have different flavors and each flavor is used in different stage of product development. These flavors can be categorized into three buckets: to inspire, to evolve and to execute the ideas.
Prototypes is not for a certain stage, but for every stage along the whole design development with smart selection of flavor.
Prototype that executes what the actual design will be is different than prototype that inspires what the design could be.It may overlaps but  each serves different purpose.
In this light, the way we produce prototypes for different stage should be different. It’s better to start from making it loose. It better to not spend too much time and material on making prototypes that inspires what it could be, while prototype that executes the design will require more time, effort, budget, and artistry in producing while we can make prototypes.
I believe the prototype is a great tool to articulate the needs, and iterative prototypes will generate great solutions. As a designer, I ‘d love to be smart in choosing the flavor of prototype in given situation and distributing my teams’ resource and time  for the prototype craft.