Behaviour undone -- The fatal inversion in IxDs definition

13 Sep 2004 - 12:37pm
941 reads
Elizabeth Buie

For some reason, in considering whether the user is acting on a symbol or
on the object for which it stands, I am reminded of Alice and the White
Knight. See

(In his notes on this section, Martin Gardner in _The_Annotated_Alice_
speculates that Caroll was having a bit of fun with us. As Gardner points
out, when the White Knight says, "The song *is*," he should really break
out into song instead of just giving another name.)

I submit that it is useful to interaction design to consider that the user
is acting on the object, although "in reality" we know, um, "better". The
interaction flows most smoothly if the user has the illusion of acting on
the object itself; it's one less layer of abstraction and thought to get
in the way of the user's work.

Elizabeth Buie
Computer Sciences Corporation
Rockville, Maryland, USA

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