Form, Meaning, and Behavior

20 Nov 2003 - 9:33pm
11 years ago
10 replies
946 reads
Beth Mazur
2003

At 5:52 PM -0500 11/20/03, Reimann, Robert wrote:
>Behavior, like
>form, has both a cognitive and an emotive component whose
>meanings must be interpreted by those who experience it, and
>the nuances of which are ignored at some peril.

Agreed. For me the interesting question is the one Coryndon asked...do
we really understand form in the digital realm? Are we saying that
form in the digital realm is the role of interface and/or visual designers?
Or maybe there's much more to it?

Beth Mazur
IDblog: http://idblog.org

Comments

20 Nov 2003 - 10:11pm
Dave Malouf
2005

While I find this discussion interesting, I am also concerned that we
are falling into that realm of "isn't all just 'design'?"

The best architects in the world also made their own interior design,
furniture design, and some even designed uniforms, and plates for the
facilities they worked for. A complete DESIGNER.

Yes, there are people who are "designers" to the n-th degree ... But is
it a single person who does multiple disciplines or is it all just
"design" w/ various crafting skills, or do various mediums require
specific disciplines or just "separations" of study, method, processess
in order to be achieved fully?

-- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com] On Behalf Of Beth Mazur
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 10:34 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Form, Meaning, and Behavior

At 5:52 PM -0500 11/20/03, Reimann, Robert wrote:
>Behavior, like
>form, has both a cognitive and an emotive component whose meanings must

>be interpreted by those who experience it, and
>the nuances of which are ignored at some peril.

Agreed. For me the interesting question is the one Coryndon asked...do
we really understand form in the digital realm? Are we saying that form
in the digital realm is the role of interface and/or visual designers?
Or maybe there's much more to it?

Beth Mazur
IDblog: http://idblog.org
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21 Nov 2003 - 4:26am
whitneyq
2010

At 11:11 PM 11/20/2003 -0500, David Heller wrote:
>The best architects in the world also made their own interior design,
>furniture design, and some even designed uniforms, and plates for the
>facilities they worked for. A complete DESIGNER.

Karen Nichols (from Michael Graves' studio) talked about just this point in
her keynote at UPA 2003.

However, I'd have to say that many of the architect-designed interiors I
have seen (and one I have lived in) were not very practical or comfortable.
For example, one of the few sour notes in Nichols' (otherwise excellent)
talk was in discussing a hotel they had designed in Egypt (?I think I have
the location right - at any rate, a hot and sunny place). The rooms had
ceilings with a skylight effect - vertical windows all around supporting a
small raised tower. There were no provisions for curtains or any way to
block the light. Guests complained and the response was that they (the
architects) liked the light in the morning.

Maybe one of the distinction between user-centered design and
design-centered design is whose needs come first.

Maybe the challenge is to design something that is both aesthetic and
functional -- in the definition of those who must interact with it.

Whitney Quesenbery
Whitney Interactive Design, LLC
w. www.WQusability.com
e. whitneyq at wqusability.com
p. 908-638-5467

UPA - www.usabilityprofessionals.org
STC Usability SIG: www.stcsig.org/usability

21 Nov 2003 - 8:38am
Beth Mazur
2003

Whitney writes:

> Maybe one of the distinction between user-centered design and
> design-centered design is whose needs come first.

I'd call the latter "designer-centered design" ... some of us
cockeyed optimists think that it isn't that design is the
thing that is inherently flawed :).

Beth Mazur
IDblog: http://idblog.org

21 Nov 2003 - 9:09am
Robert Reimann
2003

I think we understand it better than behavior,
but that there's likely quite a way to go. I also
think that many of the answers will come by
exploring form in the context of addressing
behavioral concerns and human goals. Whether
it's IxDers or visual designers collaborating
with IxDers to do this is to me immaterial.

Robert.

-----Original Message-----
From: Beth Mazur [mailto:bowseat at bethmazur.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 10:34 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Form, Meaning, and Behavior

At 5:52 PM -0500 11/20/03, Reimann, Robert wrote:
>Behavior, like
>form, has both a cognitive and an emotive component whose meanings must
>be interpreted by those who experience it, and
>the nuances of which are ignored at some peril.

Agreed. For me the interesting question is the one Coryndon asked...do we
really understand form in the digital realm? Are we saying that form in the
digital realm is the role of interface and/or visual designers? Or maybe
there's much more to it?

Beth Mazur
IDblog: http://idblog.org _______________________________________________

21 Nov 2003 - 8:55am
hans samuelson
2003

Hi all;

Thanks for the insights. Let me throw my two cents in the ring:

Terry Winograd talks about the field as an 'interdisciplinary clash' between
the already pluridisciplinary fields of HCI and design, especially graphic
design and industrial design ("From Computing Machinery to Interaction
Design," 1997).

This seems to me to sum it up nicely; we are currently in the early stages
of this relationship, part love affair and part marriage of convenience,
sorting out the methodologies, theories, common concerns and points of
disagreement in this mixing of two fields which have radically different
approaches, theoretical foundations, and worlds of concern.

Where the two meet is in and around the investment of physical objects by
computational technology. As computers (and computer systems, particularly
in the form of sensors) are included in more objects of daily use, and as
these objects spread through workplaces, public spaces, and domestic
environments, it becomes necessary to consider the unique properties of
computers and computational systems in contexts of both individual and
collective use, and within what we have traditionally delineated as public
and private spaces.

At the same time, computers both engage with and alter the aready complex
relationships we have with physical objects, since computational objects
have unique properties, both in terms of the arbitrary and constructed
semiotics of their behaviors (computers are, in this sense, the ultimate
'designed' objects) and in terms of their novel potential as networked
devices with memories which may in some cases be collective or shared.
Electrical objects already have to engage with the logic of grids and
networks, but computers take this one very important step further, adding
the possibility of active exchanges, not to mention the very complex issues
surrounding information itself.

So interaction design works to bridge a number of gaps - physical and
virtual, embodied information and 'embrained' information (there must be a
better way of saying this!), object and system, form and content... with the
eventual goal of providing a more or less controlled and guided
infrastructure for the unfolding of behavior and experience.

Which is to say, we also color Flash buttons more attractively! Just to
bring myself back down to earth, here.

Thanks to the organizers for setting up this list!

Hans Samuelson

21 Nov 2003 - 2:01pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Yes!

Designer-centered design!

I love that term. If I ever take up target shooting I will name one
third of the clay pigeons like this. The other two thirds will be named
CluelessVP-centered design and Deadline-centered design. Each and
every one of them will be stamped.

Alain Vaillancourt

--- Beth Mazur <bowseat at bethmazur.com> a écrit : > Whitney writes:
>
> > Maybe one of the distinction between user-centered design and
> > design-centered design is whose needs come first.
>
> I'd call the latter "designer-centered design" ... some of us
> cockeyed optimists think that it isn't that design is the
> thing that is inherently flawed :).
>

=====
Alain D.M.G. Vaillancourt

ndgmtlcd at yahoo.com

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

21 Nov 2003 - 2:27pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I'm not so sure I'm agree completely w/ the spirit of Alain's e-mail.
I mean I'm all for user-centere design ... But research is not 100% reliable
and sometimes quite honestly I love just being creative and then seeing what
happens.

I'm not talking about Art ... But don't some of us have enough experience by
which we can take all that knowledge and just go for it w/o these
constraints.

For about the last two years I've been searching for someone to explain to
me how "the gap" is crossed. I see "the gap" as that moment when you look at
all your data from all your research and say ... This is the answer. I
thought for years that those who do great design used some scientific method
to say this task item goes here and that task item goes there ... That there
was a science to all this. But it really took a great leap of faith to
myself to just say ... "Hey! I know what I'm doing. Go for it!"

One of my favorite moments at DUX2004 was one of the panelists on Sat. night
said ... <paraphrasing>Let's face it, what we do is magic.</paraphrasing>

I think most of what we do runs the continuum of UCD to DCD. The examples
that Allain gave below are just on that continuum. ;)

- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 3:02 PM
To: Beth Mazur; Whitney Quesenbery
Cc: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Form, Meaning, and Behavior

Yes!

Designer-centered design!

I love that term. If I ever take up target shooting I will name one third
of the clay pigeons like this. The other two thirds will be named
CluelessVP-centered design and Deadline-centered design. Each and every one
of them will be stamped.

Alain Vaillancourt

--- Beth Mazur <bowseat at bethmazur.com> a écrit : > Whitney writes:
>
> > Maybe one of the distinction between user-centered design and
> > design-centered design is whose needs come first.
>
> I'd call the latter "designer-centered design" ... some of us cockeyed
> optimists think that it isn't that design is the thing that is
> inherently flawed :).
>

=====
Alain D.M.G. Vaillancourt

ndgmtlcd at yahoo.com

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca
_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at interactiondesigners.com
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to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
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21 Nov 2003 - 3:43pm
George Olsen
2004

> Whitney writes:
>
>> Maybe one of the distinction between user-centered design and
>> design-centered design is whose needs come first.

On a more positive note, there's user-focused design and vision-focused
design -- the latter solving needs users don't yet know they have.

While this sounds like crass marketing (sell consumers stuff they don't
really need), it's actually pretty typical of breakthrough products --
which often tested poorly in focus groups and other pre-launch market
research.

It's also more common in the worlds of fashion, entertainment, etc. or
other products where usability or usefulness aren't necessary as important
"image" factors to users.

I wrote some thoughts on the yin-yang relation between
user-focused/vision-focused design awhile back:
<http://www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/the_new_rd_relevant_desirable.php>

'Course these often can become rationales to justify self-indulgent
designer-based design.

George

21 Nov 2003 - 4:54pm
Chick Foxgrover
2003

But why not talk about Art. Certainly the Cubists contributed innovations that contemporary designers
answering real coomunications imperatives use today with confidence.

At this stage of development I wouldn't total theoritical primacy to any one discipline. It seems to
me that the "products" in this case are often multi-use/multi-user without completely stable
requirements as the ends and skills of the users evolve during use. New software in use can make new
requirements visible.

>I'm not talking about Art ... But don't some of us have enough
>experience by
>which we can take all that knowledge and just go for it w/o these
>constraints.
-------------------------------------
Chick Foxgrover
mailto:cfoxgrover at foxpath.com
718-369-7102
-------------------------------------
917-661-6758 day

21 Nov 2003 - 6:23pm
Johndan Johnson...
2005

This was the essence of Bruce Tognazzini's presentation at the NN/g
User Experience event in Chicago a few months ago. He gave a paper at
CHI this year titled, "Principles, Techniques, and Ethics of Stage
Magic and Their Application to Human Interface Design". More
accessible (free) would be a BBC interview with Tog at
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3190884.stm> .

The parallels between magic and design aren't exact, but there are some
interesting ideas.

- Johndan

On Friday, November 21, 2003, at 03:27 PM, David Heller wrote:

> [...] One of my favorite moments at DUX2004 was one of the panelists
> on Sat. night
> said ... <paraphrasing>Let's face it, what we do is
> magic.</paraphrasing>

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