Searching for Boundaries (was Intelligence and Awareness)

22 Jun 2004 - 8:46pm
507 reads
Dan Saffer

On Jun 22, 2004, at 5:13 PM, H Taylor wrote:

> The t-shirt is *not* interaction design, because that which is
> designed (the t-shirt itself) does not interact with anyone; that is,
> no one gives it any sort of input, and its state does not change.

I think we can all agree that feedback is a good thing. But is it a
defining characteristic of interaction design? Not to launch back into
a definition discussion, but the "interaction" part of interaction
design isn't about interacting with products; it's about people
interacting, mediated by products. The behavior (and content, form,
materials, medium, etc.) of those products are constantly changing and
we shouldn't use them to determine what is or is not interaction

As an example, ambient devices often have no or limited input by
humans, yet can be works of interaction design in that they are often
communicating information in order to change behavior. Also, I can
think of reasons that human input might not change the state of a
product at all (if the user kept entering the same value into a field,

Whew! Maybe we should all go back to discussing when to use check boxes
or something... :)


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