IxD as architect

20 Aug 2007 - 5:36pm
6 years ago
2 replies
565 reads
Jim Hoekema
2004

Well, some interactive designs are mission-critical (airplane cockpit
controls, etc.), though most of us admittedly work on websites that may
fall apart but do not fall on people's heads.

Still, the point in common between architecture and interactive design
is that, unlike a conductor or filmmaker, both design an arrangement of
conditions that will affect, but not fully dictate, a set of future
events. How people behave in relation to what has been designed may
largely follow the signposts created, but users of both buildings and
interactive programs are unpredictable. Much as we may think we know the
most logical way for users to interact with a program, some people do
things that the designers couldn't have predicted (hence the utility of
usability testing). Just think how many architects thoughtfully provide
double doors at the entrance to their buildings, only to have the users
keep one of the doors locked! Or how many clean plaster walls get
covered with messy signs, phone lists, whatnot.

- Jim Hoekema
(architecture fan)

__________________________________________
HDE . www.hoekema.com <http://www.hoekema.com> . (845) 401-7466

Comments

20 Aug 2007 - 6:47pm
Michele Marut
2005

This is a great discussion. At least, many people seem to care how we are
defined and where this profession is going.
A few thoughts
1) Information Architects are very similar to real world world architects.
The both build the major structures. I believe Interaction Designers are
more similar to the Certified Kitchen Designers (CKD(r)). So to remodel an
old house, I would definitely hire an architect, but to figure out how my
kitchen should be improved I'd like someone who spends their time keeping up
with the latest standards, trends and guidelines and understands how I might
interact with that specific space. Which way should the refrigerator open?
How many people in my family will be cooking at one time?

2) It is less about the titles than having multiple disciplines on one
project as many have already mentioned. Could an architect be a CBD(r)
Certified Kitchen Designer? Yes, just as an information architect might do
interaction design. But when an information architect does that he or she is
shifting gears to work on the project from a different perspective.

Michele Marut

21 Aug 2007 - 6:45am
pyces
2007

Building on the kitchen designing example, from a human factors perspective,
you'd also want to think about who is/are the primary user(s) of this
kitchen. If the primary user is a shorter woman, then you'd want the
cabinets to be lower and the counters to be lower (provided only comfort and
usability and not resale value is a concern) so that the woman doesn't have
to strain to reach things or have her hands at an unnatural angle when
preparing food. If a taller man (or woman) would be the primary user, the
cabinets and counters could be higher than usual. Also, for a left-handed
user, the whole kitchen could be arranged such that it was most convenient
to a left-handed user (i.e., the placement of the dishwasher, refrigerator,
which way the fridge door opened, which way the cabinets opened, etc.). In
the real world of people moving every few years, resale value would also be
a factor, but depending on the how strong the current users' desires were
and how they would be impacted by the financial ramifications of trying to
sell a customized kitchen.

Courtney Jordan

2007/8/20, Michele Marut <mmarut15 at gmail.com>:
>
> This is a great discussion. At least, many people seem to care how we are
> defined and where this profession is going.
> A few thoughts
> 1) Information Architects are very similar to real world world architects.
> The both build the major structures. I believe Interaction Designers are
> more similar to the Certified Kitchen Designers (CKD(r)). So to remodel
> an
> old house, I would definitely hire an architect, but to figure out how my
> kitchen should be improved I'd like someone who spends their time keeping
> up
> with the latest standards, trends and guidelines and understands how I
> might
> interact with that specific space. Which way should the refrigerator open?
> How many people in my family will be cooking at one time?
>
> 2) It is less about the titles than having multiple disciplines on one
> project as many have already mentioned. Could an architect be a CBD(r)
> Certified Kitchen Designer? Yes, just as an information architect might do
> interaction design. But when an information architect does that he or she
> is
> shifting gears to work on the project from a different perspective.
>
>
> Michele Marut
> ________________________________________________________________
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