History of Interaction?

7 Apr 2008 - 5:53pm
6 years ago
21 replies
1053 reads
jeff
2008

Hi Everybody,

I'm looking for a history book on interaction. Something that starts
with what would be considered the first UI (punch cards, maybe?) and
moves up through command line interfaces, console based menu
interfaces, introduction of GUIs and WIMP interaction, and closing
with current trends. Ideally, this book would cover key design
decisions at each step, including what was gained and lost, and why
the losses were considered acceptable.

Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?

Comments

8 Apr 2008 - 11:49am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

Hey Jeff,

Well, a version of this book is in my head, but that doesn't do you
any good today. Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions could be close
to what you want. A lot of interviews with people who were there early
on.

// plug: I cover some of these topics in my blog History of the Button
(.com). However, I take the starting point of interaction as the
flashlight, doorbell and light switch.

Bill

On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Jeff Hendy <jchendy at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
> Hi Everybody,
>
> I'm looking for a history book on interaction. Something that starts
> with what would be considered the first UI (punch cards, maybe?) and
> moves up through command line interfaces, console based menu
> interfaces, introduction of GUIs and WIMP interaction, and closing
> with current trends. Ideally, this book would cover key design
> decisions at each step, including what was gained and lost, and why
> the losses were considered acceptable.
>
> Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
> to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
> following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?

8 Apr 2008 - 11:58am
Jarod Tang
2007

Bill Moggridge is really a great book on the introduction of *moden*
interaction design.
And more resource as
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~amulet/papers/uihistory.tr.html, it's a pure
h*c*I introduction.
one more link http://www.slideshare.net/dmalouf/history-of-interaction-design/,
with the author also member of the list

Cheers
-- Jarod

On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 12:49 AM, Bill DeRouchey
<bill.derouchey at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey Jeff,
>
> Well, a version of this book is in my head, but that doesn't do you
> any good today. Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions could be close
> to what you want. A lot of interviews with people who were there early
> on.
>
> // plug: I cover some of these topics in my blog History of the Button
> (.com). However, I take the starting point of interaction as the
> flashlight, doorbell and light switch.
>
> Bill
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Jeff Hendy <jchendy at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
> > Hi Everybody,
> >
> > I'm looking for a history book on interaction. Something that starts
> > with what would be considered the first UI (punch cards, maybe?) and
> > moves up through command line interfaces, console based menu
> > interfaces, introduction of GUIs and WIMP interaction, and closing
> > with current trends. Ideally, this book would cover key design
> > decisions at each step, including what was gained and lost, and why
> > the losses were considered acceptable.
> >
> > Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
> > to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
> > following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Designing for better life style.

http://jarodtang.spaces.live.com/
http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

8 Apr 2008 - 11:59am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Jeff,

The slides from Marc Rettig's lecture, Interaction Design History in
a Teeny Little Nut Shell,can be found here:
http://www.marcrettig.com/writings/rettig.interactionDesignHistory.v1.5.pdf

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

I am in search of the
simple elegant seductive
maybe even obvious IDEA.
With this in my pocket
I cannot fail.

- Tibor Kalman

8 Apr 2008 - 12:03pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Hi Jeff,

Not a book, but Marc Rettig's "Interaction Design History in a
Teeny Little Nutshell" is a nice overview.
http://www.marcrettig.com/writings/rettig.interactionDesignHistory.2.03.pdf

// jeff

Jeff Hendy wrote:
> I'm looking for a history book on interaction.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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8 Apr 2008 - 12:37pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Also, if you're focused on books then you might be able to piece
together a partial history from a few different sources.

In the Beginning was the Command Line
Neal Stephenson

The Art of Human Computer Interface Design
Brenda Laurel

Tog on Interface
Bruce Tognazzini

Laurel's book includes an essay by John Walker called "Through the
Looking Glass" that follows interface evolution from plugboards to
punch cards, teletype timesharing to menu systems to graphical
controls and windows.

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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8 Apr 2008 - 1:04pm
Scott Berkun
2008

I highly recommend Marc Rettig's presentation on interaction design history
http://www.marcrettig.com/writings/rettig.interactionDesignHistory.2.03.pdf.
It's not Silicon valley centric like Moggridge's Designing Interactions, but
instead is a highly editorialized and broad take on the entire rise of tools
and machines (yep, it includes punchcards). I've never seen the
presentation live, but the slides are pretty damn good.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill DeRouchey" <bill.derouchey at gmail.com>
To: "Jeff Hendy" <jchendy at cs.ubc.ca>
Cc: <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] History of Interaction?

> Hey Jeff,
>
> Well, a version of this book is in my head, but that doesn't do you
> any good today. Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions could be close
> to what you want. A lot of interviews with people who were there early
> on.

8 Apr 2008 - 12:53pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I gave a presentation on the history of IxD at IDSA in 2005 (under the
moniker David Heller at the time).
It seems slightly askew to what you are asking which is less about
the history of "interaction" and more about the history of
"computer interfaces", but heck, here it is!

http://www.slideshare.net/dmalouf/history-of-interaction-design/

Enjoy!

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27911

8 Apr 2008 - 2:24pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 7, 2008, at 3:53 PM, Jeff Hendy wrote:

> Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
> to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
> following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?

Be sure to buy a copy of "The Elements of Friendly Software Design"
by Paul Heckel. Published in 1982, and not only a great book on
higher level software design concepts that are still relevant even
today, it also includes some historical content and continues to be
a great overview of early software products and their interfaces.
Things like Wordstar, VisiCalc, XEROX Star etc.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

8 Apr 2008 - 2:47pm
Lyn Bain
2007

When you limit "interaction design" just to computers, you miss out on a lot of really interesting early work done with machines, airplanes, cars, submarines, etc. I have some "classic" Engineering Psychology text books that describe workplace studies that really are the origin of our field! They spent their time moving knobs and dials and buttons around to design easy-to-use workplaces and we draw pictures of knobs and dials and buttons to move around on a screen for easy-to-use workspaces :-).

8 Apr 2008 - 6:18pm
Dan Saffer
2003

A couple of other books to consider:

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner

Hackers by Steven Levy

and especially Dealers in Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the
Computer Age by Michael Hiltzik

Dan

8 Apr 2008 - 10:29pm
Marc Rettig
2004

Hi all,
Thanks for the kind words about the Interaction Design History slides. I've
been meaning to do a little version control, but it won't happen tonight. So
I thought I'd say that this one is newer, and slightly improved from the
original:
http://www.marcrettig.com/writings/rettig.interactionDesignHistory.v1.5.pdf

The one that ends in ...2.03 is from February of 2003, and um, I left it up
even after the new one came out for some Really Good Reason. So as not to
break some important student link or other, I think.

Would be fun to update that talk. The end especially would be fun to tweak,
and as this thread has shown several good resources have come out in the
past few years and should be added to the reading list.

It's important to keep talking and teaching about this stuff. Someone told
me the other day that when he teaches undergrads he has to remind them that
when he was in college, if you wanted to express your opinion to the world
or show off your creation, there was NO way to do it. You had no access to
mass media. So we're already in a day when pre-web is pre-history. So much
great, important work is fading from memory, and blue underlined text didn't
used to indicate anything other than bad typography.

Grins,
Marc

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marc Rettig
Fit Associates, LLC
marc at fitassociates.com

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8 Apr 2008 - 10:35pm
Peter Merholz
2004

I'm a fan of Brad Myers' 1998 "A Brief History of Human Computer
Interaction Technology".
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~amulet/papers/uihistoryinteractions.pdf

--peter

On Apr 8, 2008, at 4:18 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> A couple of other books to consider:
>
> Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie
> Hafner
>
> Hackers by Steven Levy
>
> and especially Dealers in Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the
> Computer Age by Michael Hiltzik
>
>
>
> Dan
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

9 Apr 2008 - 1:20am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

Jeff,

The article by Ron Baecker in the recent issue of ACM interactions
seems to be exactly what you need to get the chronology in place and
identify most, if not all, relevant milestones.

Then, I'll second the recommendation for Moggridge in order to get
more detail and personal angles on some historical key decisions.

Regards,
Jonas Löwgren

9 Apr 2008 - 4:22pm
Anonymous

I always thought of this as the start of interaction design:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/physics/machines/Levers.shtml

On Apr 7, 2008, at 3:53 PM, Jeff Hendy wrote:

> Hi Everybody,
>
> I'm looking for a history book on interaction. Something that starts
> with what would be considered the first UI (punch cards, maybe?) and
> moves up through command line interfaces, console based menu
> interfaces, introduction of GUIs and WIMP interaction, and closing
> with current trends. Ideally, this book would cover key design
> decisions at each step, including what was gained and lost, and why
> the losses were considered acceptable.
>
> Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
> to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
> following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

9 Apr 2008 - 10:22pm
Jim Hoekema
2004

Jeff,

You've had some great suggestions here - I particularly agree with Andre
H's recommendation of Paul Heckel's "Elements of Software Design," a
forgotten classic that draws comparisons with other disciplines.

Still, it seems almost all the examples are histories (sort of) of
interactive TECHNOLOGIES, and what would be really nice is a history of
INTERACTION DESIGN in a more technology-agnostic way.

I remember hearing about a project sponsored by IBM at the Museum of
Modern Art, in which they did a kind of Wizard of Oz deal where audience
member asked questions of a sculptor -- I think it was Noguchi, but
maybe not -- and behind the scenes they looked for passages in hours of
film or videotape that might appear to answer the question. When they
found a match, they read out the question, then ran the film.

That's the kind of stuff I'd like to hear more about!

I'd also like to find a place to tell the story of my first project, a
kind of flash-card game for learning to recognized Impressionist
painters, done back near the dawn of time.

- Jim Hoekema

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

Jeff Hendy wrote:
> Hi Everybody,
>
> I'm looking for a history book on interaction. Something that starts
> with what would be considered the first UI (punch cards, maybe?) and
> moves up through command line interfaces, console based menu
> interfaces, introduction of GUIs and WIMP interaction, and closing
> with current trends. Ideally, this book would cover key design
> decisions at each step, including what was gained and lost, and why
> the losses were considered acceptable.
>
> Does such a thing exist? If not, does anybody have suggestions on how
> to find this information other than digging up old CHI papers and
> following references until I get to the beginning of (UI) time?
> ________________________________________________________________
>

--

<http://www.linkedin.com/in/hoekema>

10 Apr 2008 - 1:10pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Been having trouble with my email server lately... this was sent
partially. Resending it to complete it.

-----

On Apr 9, 2008, at 8:22 PM, Jim Hoekema wrote:

> Still, it seems almost all the examples are histories (sort of) of
> interactive TECHNOLOGIES, and what would be really nice is a
> history of
> INTERACTION DESIGN in a more technology-agnostic way.

The whole notion of interaction design being "technology agnostic" is
a relatively new concept as near as I can tell. And when I've brought
it up in that context, I've often meant agnostic to digital
technology, but I've never been specific I admit. As such, I doubt
you'll find anything historically that discusses "interaction design"
in that way of thinking. In fact... Design has *always* been driven
and founded in technology, considering that design is often a human
endeavor to reform the world around them by their own hands with
their own tools.

Every tool, printing press, building materials, chemicals, etc...
That's all technology.

What some people on this list consider "interaction design" is
nothing more than a new term on a collection of older practices from
established design fields. It should be noted that giving your
profession a new term however, does not make it "new." And by that, I
mean to avoid falling into the trap of not seeing the connections
from various design practices of the past to what you do today.

For this particular thread, to find examples of "technology agnostic"
in design history, simply go back and read a lot of industrial design
books. Henry Dreyfuss's "Designing for People" is an obvious classic.
Go read about Eames or learn about Norman Bel Geddes and even go back
to Gerrit Rietveld. It's all there.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

10 Apr 2008 - 10:13am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 9, 2008, at 8:22 PM, Jim Hoekema wrote:

> Still, it seems almost all the examples are histories (sort of) of
> interactive TECHNOLOGIES, and what would be really nice is a
> history of
> INTERACTION DESIGN in a more technology-agnostic way.

The whole notion of interaction design being "technology agnostic" is
a relatively new concept as near as I can tell. And when I've brought
it up in that context, I've often meant agnostic to digital
technology, but I've never been specific I admit. As such, I doubt
you'll find anything historically that discusses "interaction design"
in that way of thinking. In fact... Design has *always* been driven
and founded in technology, considering that design is often a human
endeavor to reform the word around them by their own hands with their
own tools.

Every tool, printing press, building materials, chemicals, etc...
That's all technology.

What some people on this list consider "interaction design" is
nothing more than a new term on a collection of older practices from
established design fields. It should be noted that giving your
profession a new term however, does not make it "new."

For this particular thread, to find examples of "technology agnostic"
in design history, simply go back and read a lot of industrial design
books. Henry Dreyfuss's "Designing for People" is an obvious classic.
Go read about Eames, or learn about Norman Bel Geddes and even go
back to Gerrit Rietveld. It's all there.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

10 Apr 2008 - 10:14am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 9, 2008, at 8:22 PM, Jim Hoekema wrote:

> Still, it seems almost all the examples are histories (sort of) of
> interactive TECHNOLOGIES, and what would be really nice is a
> history of
> INTERACTION DESIGN in a more technology-agnostic way.

The whole notion of interaction design being "technology agnostic" is
a relatively new concept as near as I can tell. And when I've brought
it up in that context, I've often meant agnostic to digital
technology, but I've never been specific I admit. As such, I doubt
you'll find anything historically that discusses "interaction design"
in that way of thinking. In fact... Design has *always* been driven
and founded in technology, considering that design is often a human
endeavor to reform the word around them by their own hands with their
own tools.

Every tool, printing press, building materials, chemicals, etc...
That's all technology.

What some people on this list consider "interaction design" is
nothing more than a new term on a collection of older practices from
established design fields. It should be noted that giving your
profession a new term however, does not make it "new." And by that, I
mean to think

For this particular thread, to find examples of "technology agnostic"
in design history, simply go back and read a lot of industrial design
books. Henry Dreyfuss's "Designing for People" is an obvious classic.
Go read about Eames, or learn about Norman Bel Geddes and even go
back to Gerrit Rietveld. It's all there.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

12 Apr 2008 - 12:31am
gloria
2007

Hello everyone,

Two more additions to the list:

1) Where the action is: foundations of embodied interaction by Paul
Dourish. This book includes a chapter called "history of
interaction"

2) Tools for Thoughts by Howard Rheingold is another informative read
on the history of human-computer interaction.

Cheers, Gloria

---
Gloria Gomez
Interaction Design consultant
Concept mapping expert
PhD canditate at Swinburne University, Australia

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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13 Apr 2008 - 5:28pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Jonathan Grudin gave an excellent short course at the CHI 2008
conference in Florence, Italy entitled HCI History: Trajectories into
the Future. Several other references you might want to consider are:

Grudin, J. (2007). A moving target: The evolution of human-computer
interaction. In A. Sears & J. Jacko (Eds.), The Human-Computer
Interaction Handbook, 2nd Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Meister, D. (1999). The history of human factors and ergonomics.
Lawrence Erlbaum.

Pew, R. (2003). Evolution of human-computer interaction: from MEMEX to
bluetooth and beyond. In J. A. Jacko & A Sears (Eds.), The
Human-computer Interaction Handbook (pp. 1-17). Lawrence Erlbaum.

The ACM Interactions Magazine has had a number of columns in the last
3-4 years dealing with the history of the CHI field.

Chauncey

On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 1:31 AM, gloria Gomez <ggomez at swin.edu.au> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>
> Two more additions to the list:
>
> 1) Where the action is: foundations of embodied interaction by Paul
> Dourish. This book includes a chapter called "history of
> interaction"
>
> 2) Tools for Thoughts by Howard Rheingold is another informative read
> on the history of human-computer interaction.
>
> Cheers, Gloria
>

14 Apr 2008 - 12:10am
Itamar Medeiros
2006

A couple of other books to consider:

"Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create
and Communicate" by Steven Johnson;

"From Memex To Hypertext", by James M. Nyce and Paul Kahn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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