Behaviour undone -- The fatal inversion in IxDs definition (w as RE: PID: Personal Interface Definitions)
13 Sep 2004 - 11:50am
12 years ago
Nick is saying (I think) that system behaviors and models should reflect
human behaviors and mental models, rather than vice versa, a sentiment I
agree with entirely (as I imagine many people on the list do).
As one of the proponents of casting the field of IxD as
centering on the design of system behaviors, I want to be clear about
this: to adequately design system behaviors, the human behaviors and goals
that the system is attempting to facilitate must be deeply understood
and addressed in the design.
I must also disagree that "behaviors are for people, ...not software",
which Nick concludes. As an analogy, the use of the word "behavior"
is quite powerful, and the analogy allows us to move in the direction
Nick desires. Humans expect and require humane behaviors, whether
received from humans or from non-human sources. Interaction designers
need to remember that human behavior comes first, and must dictate
at some level the behaviors of the tools, artifacts, and environments
that humans desire to interact with. The trick is this: to create
truly desired/desirable interactions, a significant recasting of the
problem from the top down is often required. This remains the greatest
challenge for interaction designers, and represents the greatest reward
when the design is successful.