The Role of the Page in Web 2.0

31 Aug 2005 - 3:05pm
9 years ago
28 replies
1138 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed is fairly
static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
(if anything) should replace it? Screen?

Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
of confused users, I'm guessing. We need a few (or many) more tricks
in our toolbox. How, for example, do we show when something has
changed on a page? What sort of indicators do we give? It seems like
we need a new set of behaviors now that the old paradigm of "push
submit button-page refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

Comments

31 Aug 2005 - 5:15pm
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Dan Saffer wrote:

> we're going to get a lot of confused users, I'm guessing.
> We need a few (or many) more tricks ...

Many more tricks, yes.

> How, for example, do we show when something has changed on a page?

But no, please, not this. The overbearing abundance of "click here"
(and equivalent in unbelievably frustrating variety) designation and
denotation with which we still live just marks -and- forces an
estrangement from meaning and communication. It's the mark of lazy
design, and design practice, from systems, up. It, further, creates
a suffocating inertia. Something such as this proposal would be of
the same cloth; worse.

> ... It seems like ... the old paradigm of "push submit button-page
> refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.

Well, yes, and no. That "old paradigm" was a structured, abstract,
"convenience" we forced on users, on the entire space. A conceptual
breakdown from before the web, and not enforced by the web, but
requiring innovation in many dimensions.

It won't break down just because of the -idea- referenced in the
subject: it's limited by the same dynamics that got us here.
Overcoming those is a significant, deep, challenge.

(The fact that facilities such as the basic ones heralded here
suffered from a lack of use case momentum from very early (visit
the history of http design) is testiment to the gap from a few
folks who understood the need, and the "pragmatists," with whom
this profession/discipline cannot escape association.)

Regarding one aspect, the need for a document-less information space,
for example, goes way back. My little proposal to DARPA on the topic
(including a bit of a different vision for something I called the
semantic web than Tim Berners-Lee's ontological concept, put forth
separately earlier that same year, 1998, apparently) explicitly calls
for a different user interaction paradigm.
<http://enosis.com/resources/darpaito.pdf>

The essential characteristic on that score is the recognition
that in a modern (so-called) interaction only a small bit of what
users receive is of any use to them. Users are still not in control,
and have no way to be in control.

Radically simplifying the interface (I'll bet you can think if an
example :-) is one way. But despite accolades, it is a very poor,
weak, solution. (And, even in the example you thought of, you'll
probably note that we often hear how difficult it is to harvest
sufficient utility from the results of the exchange.)

High information density, and broadband interaction engagement are
possible, natural even. But they must be designed. Designing solutions
for "showing when something (read, in translation: anything, or
everything!) is changed on a page" ... well, it's not design.

Designing "something" (whether in process or in design guidance)
that makes such a device UNNECESSARY, now that's design.

--Nick

31 Aug 2005 - 4:33pm
Matt Leacock
2005

We'll see our language grow to include new cinematic transitions that help
convey state changes.

Some examples:
- When I drag and then drop an object, rather than seeing a page flash, I
witness the other objects smoothly animate out of the way.
- As a new entry appears on my news aggregation page, the other items slide
down and the new item fades in and takes on a warmer hue that cools over
time.

None of these are critical, but when well combined can create more natural,
fluid experiences that are vast improvements over the click -- page flash --
now what the heck happened? transitions that are so common today.

- Matt

...........................................................................
Matt Leacock : Yahoo! : Key UI Design Grip : Community & Network Standards

On 8/31/05 2:05 PM, "Dan Saffer" <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
> html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed is fairly
> static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
> Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
> humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
> (if anything) should replace it? Screen?
>
> Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
> either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
> of confused users, I'm guessing. We need a few (or many) more tricks
> in our toolbox. How, for example, do we show when something has
> changed on a page? What sort of indicators do we give? It seems like
> we need a new set of behaviors now that the old paradigm of "push
> submit button-page refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.
>
> Dan

> Dan Saffer
> Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> http://www.adaptivepath.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>

31 Aug 2005 - 11:45pm
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Matt,

I suggest that in the area that Dan's highlighted (there
are others he decided not to highlight), the challenge
is not for activity in the zone of attention/control.

Indeed, because your examples are precisely of the
'denote' and 'designate' category I mentioned, they
are to be passed over in any serious attempt to design
this environment.

Means to indicate intention, methods to control selection
of media and their unfolding and synchrony, incorporating
arcs of control into interaction sequences, explicit and
inferred control of pacing, more expressive forms of
progressive disclosure, appropriate revelation of
relatedness, the synchronization loop of creator and
consumer ... and (for controls nuts) the controls that
relate to these. These are the proper challenges of
forward-looking interaction designers.

And interaction designers can, should, leave designation
and its cousins to others, and should be happy to do so.

--Nick

There's an appropriate p.s. in any reference to cinematic
form wrt information interaction.

Even tho this is a distinct media from cinema, I agree we
do well by learning from it. And one strong, stark, lesson,
is that transitions are reductive, a tool of estrangement.
In each modernization of cinema vocabulary transitions have
been attacked for the unfocusing 'designation' impact they
have on audiences. You could mark the 'progress' of cinema
in the removal or the select re-treatment of transitions.
The same could be said of all other 'received' media: radio
and television, for example. The constant challenge is to
rid any media of these, once you identify them!

But information interaction is not cinema (similar to how
TV was not radio with pictures). The case for removing
such designators is even more profound in information
interaction, where the audience has a different role on
several levels. Smoothly animating or fading/sliding is
no improvement (and besides designation introduces new
interaction problems); we must solve the problem introduced,
not merely be seen to note, or attempt to ameliorate, the
symptoms.

Matt Leacock wrote:
>
> We'll see our language grow to include new cinematic
> transitions that help convey state changes.
>
> Some examples:
> - When I drag and then drop an object, rather than seeing a
> page flash, I witness the other objects smoothly animate out
> of the way.
> - As a new entry appears on my news aggregation page, the
> other items slide down and the new item fades in and takes on
> a warmer hue that cools over time.
>
> None of these are critical, but when well combined can create
> more natural, fluid experiences that are vast improvements
> over the click -- page flash -- now what the heck happened?
> transitions that are so common today.
>
> - Matt

1 Sep 2005 - 12:40am
Peter Boersma
2003

Nick Ragouzis said:
(amongst other things, which I must confess as a non-native speaker I don't
always understand; you have a convoluted way of writing, Nick!)

> Indeed, because your examples are precisely of the
> 'denote' and 'designate' category I mentioned, they
> are to be passed over in any serious attempt to design
> this environment.

I'd say that Matt, Dan and others here are doing a great job in helping us,
a community of designers in the here and now, progress in small increments.
That's how a lot of things progress; it's called evolution.

Yes, there is also revolution or, in biological terms, succesful mutation. I
believe that is what you are talking about when you say "any serious attempt
to design this environment". It sounds like you're urging us to redesign the
entire environment, instead of allowing us to work in its current shape.

> And interaction designers can, should, leave designation
> and its cousins to others, and should be happy to do so.

When you say "others", do you mean visual designers? Information designers?
Programmers? Cognitive psychologists?

And about your P.S.:
> [..] And one strong, stark, lesson,
> is that transitions are reductive, a tool of estrangement.
> In each modernization of cinema vocabulary transitions have
> been attacked for the unfocusing 'designation' impact they
> have on audiences. You could mark the 'progress' of cinema
> in the removal or the select re-treatment of transitions.

If you believe that, you'll love Russian Ark, a movie without filmographic
transitions of a certain type: http://www.russianark.spb.ru/eng/index.html
But trust me, this movie wil give you as much a feeling of estrangement as a
modern day MTV-clip.

Peter
--
Peter Boersma | Consultant User Experience | www.UserIntelligence.com
Vlaardingenlaan 9 | 1059 GL | Amsterdam | The Netherlands
p:+31(0)204084296 | f:+31(0)204084298 | m:+31(0)615072747
mailto:peter at peterboersma.com | http://www.peterboersma.com/blog/

31 Aug 2005 - 10:05pm
Rob Adams
2004

On 8/31/05, Matt Leacock <mattl at yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> We'll see our language grow to include new cinematic transitions that help
> convey state changes.
>
> Some examples:
> - When I drag and then drop an object, rather than seeing a page flash, I
> witness the other objects smoothly animate out of the way.
> - As a new entry appears on my news aggregation page, the other items slide
> down and the new item fades in and takes on a warmer hue that cools over
> time.
>
> None of these are critical, but when well combined can create more natural,
> fluid experiences that are vast improvements over the click -- page flash --
> now what the heck happened? transitions that are so common today.

This happens to be something I've been thinking about a lot recently,
so I'm curious what others think of Matt's proposal.

The high-level question is: what if "time" were as common a medium for
interaction design as it is for film, animation, and interactive media
design? In a sense it already is, of course. We make storyboards and
mockups, showing how the user accomplishes her goals through various
multi-step processes. But what if we had more control over what
happens between the cells in a storyboard, as in Matt's examples?
Some other possible uses off the top of my head: want to hide a
sidebar on certain screens to give more space to the main content, but
don't want the user to lose her navigation aid? Have it slide off the
screen (perhaps with a tab still sticking out) so the user knows where
it went and how to get it back. Want to provide feedback that some
background operation completed successfully, but don't want to annoy
the user with the ubiquitous modal information dialog? Add a
transient "heads-up display" message that fades out on its own after a
second or two. The "Flex Store" example here:
http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/flex/example_apps.html demos a little
of what I'm talking about. Macromedia's Breeze product is probably a
better example but I'm not sure how many folks have used it.

Especially for anyone who makes a living designing web applications,
what are your thoughts on having this ability in your toolbox?

Full disclosure: Yes, I work for Macromedia. Yes, I work on Flash and
Flex. But this isn't some veiled pitch for Flash; clearly you can do
these things in AJAX and possibly other technologies. I'm just
genuinely curious what your reactions to the idea are.

--
Rob Adams
Design Researcher, Macromedia, Inc.
http://loki.lokislabs.org/
http://roblog.org/

1 Sep 2005 - 8:08am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Matt wrote:
> The high-level question is: what if "time" were as common a medium for
> interaction design as it is for film, animation, and interactive media
> design?

The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University has been including this
aspect of design as part of its curriculum for years. Dan Boyarski's
course, titled "Time, Motion, and Communication," has had a distinct
influence on my work.

> Some other possible uses off the top of my head: want to hide a
> sidebar on certain screens to give more space to the main content, but
> don't want the user to lose her navigation aid? Have it slide off the
> screen (perhaps with a tab still sticking out) so the user knows where
> it went and how to get it back.

This is a device (I'd even consider it a design pattern) I've used countless
times for navigational UI's in presentations I create in Macromedia Director
(where it has been technically feasible for as long as I've been using
Director). While I applaud Nick's goals, I would argue that such transitions
are important to the user experience, and do improve the usability of
software. Now, with capabilities such as those introduced in OS X and
advanced web technologies, we can begin to realize "softer" software,
without the disorienting and distracting sudden changes that we have been
limited to in the past.

Nick wrote:
> And interaction designers can, should, leave designation
> and its cousins to others, and should be happy to do so.

I don't want to leave any detail of a UI design to "others." Designation is
an important part of visual communication, and Interaction Designers should
be making sure that methods of designation are used appropriately.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

First, recognize that the Œright¹ requirements
are in principle unknowable by users, customers
and designers at the start.

Devise the design process, and the formal
agreement between designers and customers and users,
to be sensitive to what is learnt by any of the
parties as the design evolves.

- J.C. Jones

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1 Sep 2005 - 9:19am
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Peter Boersma wrote:
> Nick Ragouzis said, ever-convolutedly:
> > ... examples are precisely of the 'denote' and 'designate'
> > category I mentioned, they are to be passed over in any
> > serious attempt to design this environment.
>
> I'd say that Matt, Dan and many others here are doing a
> great job in helping us a community of designers in the
> here and now progress in small increments. That's how a
> lot of things progress;
>
> it's called evolution.

I agree that Matt, Dan among others are doing, will do,
a great job.

But not all small increments are evolutionary. It takes
strong design discipline to look beyond the immediate
attraction of a simple increment and understand that it
is not on a truly valuable future line.

A call to determinedly think through this is this thread's
greatest contribution.

That's called design.

> ... about when you say "any serious attempt to design this
> environment". It sounds like you're urging us to redesign
> the entire environment, instead of allowing us to work in
> its current shape.

I liked to learn how (ultimately) to work (in its manifest
meaning) in a future shape. :-)

No, I'm saying that folks who would be future-thinking
interaction designers (i.e., folks at all interested in
this thread) would design/work today with an understanding
of shaping a worthwhile future.

> > And interaction designers can, should, leave designation
> > and its cousins to others, and should be happy to do so.
>
> When you say "others", do you mean visual designers?
> Information designers? Programmers? Cognitive psychologists?

I think I'll respond to this in reply to Jack's message. In
short: these "others" are interaction designers among others
who are not interested in thinking much beyond today, which
most often results in re-capitulation of yesterday's/today's
metaphors (which themselves are rarely deeply questioned ...
e.g., perpetuating a dead evolutionary line).

> And about your P.S.:
> > ... transitions are reductive, a tool of estrangement.
> > ... mark the 'progress' of cinema in the removal or the
> > select re-treatment of transitions.
>
> If you believe that, you'll love Russian Ark, a movie without
> filmographic transitions of a certain type:
> http://www.russianark.spb.ru/eng/index.html
> But trust me, this movie wil give you as much a feeling of
> estrangement as a modern day MTV-clip.

Oh, I've seen it. And yes, I liked it, immensely; on several
levels.

That's a good call you've made that it only removes transitions
of a certain type. It can be observed that the central artifice
of the film is constructed because of that displacement.

But I think a more interesting observation is that for the more
art- and history- (and social-, music-, and dance-) aware viewer,
the film relies on the viewer to construct the transitions. I said
"construct" there only for parallelism -- a viewer of this type
(even if not familiar with the museum) doesn't rely on such
transitions because they've anticipated the set of likely
transitions, which the filmmaker succeeds or fails in satisfying.

One could say: the filmmaker promises from the outset to do this,
and agrees the film will fail if this fails, or if for this
audience the 'crutch' artifice that he's provided gets in the way.

Thanks for referencing this, Peter. Great case.

--Nick

1 Sep 2005 - 10:55am
dani malik
2005

I work for Laszlo Systems, a company that uses an AJAX style platform for
the web apps we create. Much of what I read online and what I hear at my
company is that improving the user experience is really the main focus and
reason for creating web 2.0. It's an exciting time to be an interaction
designer, working with a somewhat clean slate in a less restrictive
environment than html.

Certainly a lot of the html paradigms are being thrown out the window. Much
of the ID in this space is attempting to create the concept that everything
is always available, just revealed as needed. The conceptual model is of
one continuous space (often using metaphors of drawers, folding, etc.) In
these metaphors, it's more important than ever to group like functions/data
appropriately, and reinforcing the notion of what elements can interact with
what other elements.

Flash got such a bad rap in the web world, and certainly some people will
always see movement as gratuitous, but the creation of 4d design (time as
the fourth dimension) is some ways simplifies the user experience.
Animation allows the user to better visualize where things came from and
where they go. Standards like drag and drop allow web to align with desktop
apps, which allow the user to user more spatial metaphors (an improvement, I
think).

Also worth mentioning is that our process at Laszlo is necessarily different
to accommodate the unfamiliar interactions. Static wireframes really do
replicate the "strobe effect" (the disorienting nothingness of page
refreshes) found in an html environment, and we find that our clients must
often see motion to understand how it will impact the display of
information. We often create interactive wireframes in Flash to illustrate
this, and although it is too time-consuming to wireframe entire apps this
way (and certainly a duplication of work, since it must be rebuilt in
Laszlo), it does a great job of getting our clients on the same page as us.

dani

--
Dani Malik
Interaction Designer
Laszlo Systems
w. 650.358.2744
c. 415.279.7978
----------

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
> html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed is fairly
> static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
> Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
> humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
> (if anything) should replace it? Screen?
>
> Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
> either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
> of confused users, I'm guessing. We need a few (or many) more tricks
> in our toolbox. How, for example, do we show when something has
> changed on a page? What sort of indicators do we give? It seems like
> we need a new set of behaviors now that the old paradigm of "push
> submit button-page refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> http://www.adaptivepath.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>
>

1 Sep 2005 - 12:32pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Aug 31, 2005, at 3:33 PM, Matt Leacock wrote:

> We'll see our language grow to include new cinematic transitions
> that help
> convey state changes.

I think the language of cinema and animation might be a great place
to start. Apple and MS have both made steps in that direction,
although we're nowhere near the rich vocabulary that film has built
up over the last hundred years. The question is, what can we import/
borrow/steal that makes sense? Are there ways aside from movement
(which could get annoying) to indicate changes?

Dan

1 Sep 2005 - 12:37pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I find this interesting.

The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A Script,
screen play.

Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?

The next step is a storyboard, right? I mean the Matrix storyboards are
great visual representations, but as far as I have seen, they didn't move,
or show the action behind them, or annotate the special effects
requirements.

Is there an education problem here?

Or is it that we have not codified a common language well enough yet?

-- dave

On 9/1/05 2:32 PM, "Dan Saffer" <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> On Aug 31, 2005, at 3:33 PM, Matt Leacock wrote:
>
>> We'll see our language grow to include new cinematic transitions
>> that help
>> convey state changes.
>
> I think the language of cinema and animation might be a great place
> to start. Apple and MS have both made steps in that direction,
> although we're nowhere near the rich vocabulary that film has built
> up over the last hundred years. The question is, what can we import/
> borrow/steal that makes sense? Are there ways aside from movement
> (which could get annoying) to indicate changes?
>
> Dan
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

1 Sep 2005 - 12:40pm
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Jack Moffett wrote:
> Matt wrote:
> > The high-level question is: what if "time" were as common a
> > medium for interaction design as it is for film, animation,
> > and interactive media design?
>
> The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University has been
> including this aspect of design as part of its curriculum for
> years. Dan Boyarski's course, titled "Time, Motion, and
> Communication," has had a distinct influence on my work.

Jack, it would be great if you could distill some of those
influences. I don't know Dan's work ... but I can't imagine
someone following Dick Buchanan who wouldn't be as profound
and challenging a thinker and leader. I look forward to your
notes.

> [Referencing Matt's sidebar hiding/sliding brainstorm]
> This is a device (I'd even consider it a design pattern) I've
> used countless times for navigational UI's in presentations
> I create in Macromedia Director (where it has been technically
> feasible for as long as I've been using Director). While I
> applaud Nick's goals, I would argue that such transitions
> are important to the user experience, and do improve the
> usability of software.

My goals aren't counter to thinking through this.

But popular use is not a great justification in design. One
must never forget that framed objects (a precondition to such
treatments) are themselves an artifice ... and that hiding them
is no more inherently useful than their original justification
... which justification most often substitutes for a lack of
method to discern the user's intent, or for them to express
it (originally and anew). The (in)famous tabbed interface is
one such example -- where revealing and hiding (of any form)
cannot eclipse the central fault they reveal in the underlying
user interaction design.

(Digression: By the same token we can see that the idea being
discussed on another thread at this moment, about "[default]
opening [of] non-web docs in a new window" is similarily
misguided. It's a capitulation to predetermined form and
(certain) browser design faults that, as forward-looking
interaction _designers_ we would consider such a thing. Less
aware, less capable web page designers may find it convenient,
but it's no less abhorent than, e.g., the iris fade transition.
Anyway, what is a "non-web doc"? -- anything that you don't
have the plug-in for? Things we haven't thought through but
have put on the web and will impose on you anyway? Content
that may be largely irrelevant to your need or not suitably
adaptable? ... End digression.)

> Nick wrote:
> > And interaction designers can, should, leave designation
> > and its cousins to others, and should be happy to do so.
>
> I don't want to leave any detail of a UI design to "others."
> Designation is an important part of visual communication,
> and Interaction Designers should be making sure that methods
> of designation are used appropriately.

Designation (of the (semi-)autonomous type, the class of all
examples/discussion thus far) is not an important part of
visual communications, except as a pathology or artifice:
one works to remove or convert such designations. More so
in information interaction.

Let's reconsider Matt's cinematic metaphor.

The iris fade transition was 'thought' to be a necessary
component in film -- to assist the viewers in understanding
that the story-telling is proceeding. An innovation! I can
just hear the (misguided) pious leaders of this new faith
(from academics to practitioners) talking about viewer
disorientation, etc.

Well, they were wrong.

Okay, there is an aspect that is correct. Two, actually.

The first is that transitions should be attended. But the
correct observation would have been that (at the time) "we're
all just illustrating texts, is that what this media is for?"
We can see that those who understood this changed their approach
to the post-transition scenes, and even their overall approach
to the narrative. For them the suggestion that an iris-like
transition would "go here" was an indication that something
else wasn't right.

The second is that -if- there were such a need, those who would
be leaders would set some criteria, discover various options for
this (perhaps by method, or by random), and test them -- being
careful to separate their expectations for how viewers would
express this from what viewers actually experienced and valued.
Within a short time they would have discovered (within knowing
why, perhaps ... but we know why, right?) that a 8-16 frame
blackout would accomplish the same thing. Well, accomplish
something better. For most filmmakers, evolutionary steps
(not design) worked this out ... but meanwhile hundreds of
filmmakers and thousands of films used the iris fade transition,
to the opposite effect they intended. The best, by a stretch,
we can say is that it had a very short term usefulness ... but
it became a de facto emblem of 'modern technique' in film among
those just employing 'toolkits'.

The important tie to removing designations and denotations is
this: modern filmmakers do not widely use iris fade transitions.
To the contrary, they now use the iris transition (fade or not)
for an entirely different, opposite, effect now. It is not
denoting; it is a focused actor.

One such use that has stayed with me is the use in American Beauty.
The film itself is a double cipher, where, for those that detect
it, it is an exercise in alert distinction between what the film
has *actually* presented and how you, as the interpreter, have
built up the story and have anticipated likely plot evolution.

Most folks who don't catch this view the film through their
internal lens -only-, never catching that an extraordinary
number of their assumptions and conclusions about the film are
not actually in the film, but rather drawn from themselves.
(This makes listening in the post-screening lobby an important
experience for this film, btw.) In this film the iris transition
has the impact of momentarily uniting both types in the audience
around an indisputable fact -- and you can tell which type you
are by how you respond at that moment. Basically, the filmmaker
uses the iris to force that question.

--Nick

1 Sep 2005 - 12:42pm
James Spahr
2005

Utlimately, a movie is a medium for telling a story, just like some
genres of writing.

I don't know if the same can be said about all forms of interactive
design.

On Thu, 1 Sep 2005 2:38 pm, David Heller wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I find this interesting.
>
> The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A
> Script,
> screen play.
>
> Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?
>

James Spahr
james at spahr.org

1 Sep 2005 - 12:53pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Aug 31, 2005, at 9:05 PM, Rob Adams wrote:

> The high-level question is: what if "time" were as common a medium for
> interaction design as it is for film, animation, and interactive media
> design?

What if the back button, instead of moving you back in space
(metaphorically of course), instead moved you back in time, similar
to the "Step Backwards" commands in the Adobe products? Like an Undo,
in a sense.

(Some folks are already working on this: http://www.kryogenix.org/
days/2005/03/11/applicationsButton )

> Some other possible uses off the top of my head: want to hide a
> sidebar on certain screens to give more space to the main content, but
> don't want the user to lose her navigation aid? Have it slide off the
> screen (perhaps with a tab still sticking out) so the user knows where
> it went and how to get it back. Want to provide feedback that some
> background operation completed successfully, but don't want to annoy
> the user with the ubiquitous modal information dialog? Add a
> transient "heads-up display" message that fades out on its own after a
> second or two.

We've seen this a lot on the desktop: the Apple OSX dock sliding in
and out, alerts in windows appearing as tabs sliding up from the
bottom of the screen, etc. While I like a lot of this stuff, it can
be overwhelming and a nuisance. I'd hate to see the clutter of the
desktop reinvent itself in a browser.

>
> Especially for anyone who makes a living designing web applications,
> what are your thoughts on having this ability in your toolbox?

With great power comes great responsibility. :)

One thing I want to emphasize: all this stuff is crap unless it makes
the users' tasks easier to accomplish. I'd hate to see us tossing in
sliders and folding windows and animation just because we can. This
is how Flash got its bad rap.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

1 Sep 2005 - 12:47pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I would say that interaction design is based in story telling.

I look at the methods of Cooper for example and the scenarios we write are
very important in helping to do the proper analysis to turn user
requirements into screens.

There is a story being told, both at a meta level and a micro level when
developing a product. I think that this gets lost when people think too much
about the details of the product as opposed to the total holistic view of
the product.

Another way to look at this is that the design of the product itself is both
a story and an element within another story. It becomes a subject or direct
object when describing its use, and can even be the verb that enables other
nouns to interact around it.

There is definitely one story, with many stories embedded in it (chapters?
Scenes?)

-- dave

On 9/1/05 2:42 PM, "James Spahr" <james at spahr.org> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> Utlimately, a movie is a medium for telling a story, just like some
> genres of writing.
>
> I don't know if the same can be said about all forms of interactive
> design.
>
> On Thu, 1 Sep 2005 2:38 pm, David Heller wrote:
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> I find this interesting.
>>
>> The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A
>> Script,
>> screen play.
>>
>> Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?
>>
>
>
> James Spahr
> james at spahr.org
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

1 Sep 2005 - 1:18pm
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Exactly, James.

There's a bit of irony here that what's motivated this
is the opportunity to break the link to an unworkable,
discredited past ... yet we consider polluting the
new space with those artifacts.

It's healthy, I think, to be aware how stable these
familiar mechanisms can be ... and how much work is
involved in -designing- something different.

The simple, paramountly-obvious, necessity for a mechanism
to work with sub-page content was recognized by the fathers
of HTTP.

Yet those thinkers were not supported by other designers.
I think it realistic to say that the greater failing was
with the user-level designers of their day: the user-level
designers just couldn't think through how they might deal
with this -- "this doesn't work for 'documents' after all".
And that weakness let all the designers of the necessary
middle-ware beg off.

Pushing past these failed metaphors (and especially their
horrible profusion in one particular platform!) is
recommended as a challenge for any who would like to
design this future.

A note referencing David's just posted comment: What
you've identified, Dave, is the utility of storytelling
to the design process. That's arguable, esp. going
forward. But even so, this is not the same as storytelling
in/as the resulting interaction paradigm. That is, would
be, just a failure of design (except where that's the
explicit aim of the designed result).

--Nick

James Spahr wrote:
> Utlimately, a movie is a medium for telling a story, just like some
> genres of writing.
>
> I don't know if the same can be said about all forms of interactive
> design.
>
> On Thu, 1 Sep 2005 2:38 pm, David Heller wrote:
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> > material.]
> >
> > I find this interesting.
> >
> > The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A
> > Script, screen play.
> >
> > Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?

1 Sep 2005 - 2:00pm
Vassili Bykov
2005

Dan Saffer wrote:
> What if the back button, instead of moving you back in space
> (metaphorically of course), instead moved you back in time, similar to
> the "Step Backwards" commands in the Adobe products? Like an Undo, in a
> sense.

There have been studies on that--see the papers here

http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/andrew.cockburn/web_navigation.html

In a nutshell, it looks like temporal scheme for the Back button alone
(not considering the associated Back menu) is slightly less efficient,
while most people don't have a clear enough mental model of how the
button works to even notice the difference.

--Vassili

1 Sep 2005 - 5:16pm
Doug Murray
2005

>>> "David Heller" <dave at ixdg.org> 9/1/2005 12:37:36 PM >>>
>...The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A Script,
>screen play.

>Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?

>The next step is a storyboard, right? I mean the Matrix storyboards are
>great visual representations, but as far as I have seen, they didn't move,
>or show the action behind them, or annotate the special effects
>requirements.

>Is there an education problem here?

Who are scripts for? Not "end users." Scripts (and storyboards) are generally
viewed by those who have experience and "education" in the medium and it's tools
- the practitioners. Often concept pieces or pilots are produced to show
stakeholders (financial backers) and test audiences.

We often are dealing with business stakeholders with only passing understanding
of the tools we use or the delivery media and their capabilities.

One other difference between the web/interactive media and film: branching. A
film is generally linear. The web generally is not.

>Or is it that we have not codified a common language well enough yet?

Will we every really get a common language that is understandable by the casual
passerby (customer)? Other than a couple of key enhancements (color and sound),
film really hasn't changed much since it's introduction. How it is used has
changed considerably, but film is still film. A wide shot is still a wide shot,
a pan is still a pan, etc. In about a tenth of the time that film has been
with us, the web has morphed considerably, and is just now catching it's stride.
This whole thread is evidence of that. Hopefully we can establish and maintain
a common language among us practitioners, but the struggle to educate and foster
understanding in our users and customers will be with us for a long time.

- Doug

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1 Sep 2005 - 7:13pm
Juan Lanus
2005

David Heller wrote:
>>...The building block of film documentation is a text document ...
>> A Script, screen play.
>> Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?
>> The next step is a storyboard, right? ... Matrix ...

> Doug Murray wrote:
> Who are scripts for? Not "end users."

Yes end users. Absolutely, enfatically.
The whole thing works only if and when the users grok the plot and
play their part.
It's all about making the users understand "it" so they can play their
part effectively, efficiently and with satisfaction.

Dave is darn right: storyboards! We call them paper mock-ups,
scenarios, use-cases.
--
Juan Lanus

1 Sep 2005 - 10:24pm
Gino Zahnd
2003

I'm an interaction designer that has in the past five or so years
spent equal time between desktop/mobile software and web-based
software (and five before that in web-based and CD-ROM based
software). Perhaps my views are skewed.

The only *real* distinction I've seen between traditional and
web-based as it pertains to Web 2.0/Ajax/etc. is that the web-based
interaction models are starting to more closely mirror interactions of
"traditional" desktop software.

With desktop software, the user was modifying some object(s), text,
image, etc. on her local machine. Interaction didn't require screen
(or page) refreshes. Feedback and confirmation were in real time. The
application (hopefully) responded to the user in the area that she was
working, as she was working.

Now, with The Shiny New Web 2.0, we're seeing the same types of
interactions starting to take place - only the objects, text, images,
audio, etc. aren't necessarily local - they're possibly on a server
somewhere else in the world. So I agree that the page metaphor isn't
valid (was it ever?), but I'm not convinced we need to invent more
metaphors and behaviors when entire lexicons exist for software
interaction design. I can, however, be convinced. That said, it's
nearly impossible to talk about these things without concrete
examples.

We as users are now blown away that we can edit text inline on the
web! And ooh, I can rotate a photo! We've been doing that since the
early 80's as well, so there's probably something to learn there from
the folks that invented those interactions the first time around
before the web. Any old crusty interaction guys want to speak up? ;)

I believe that it's just a matter of time until all software is
web-based in some way, shape, or form. I think between now and then,
the hardest task we have (as Dan started to point out) is bridging the
gap (and communicating the differences) between the Old Web-based
interaction models and the All Web-based interaction models (and we're
not there yet). We are absolutely running into new issues with
subtleties on screen due to lack of browser refreshes, but my question
is, are we not taking what a couple decades of software interaction
design has taught us, and applying it where it makes sense?

And by the way, are there any non-web interaction designers on this list?

On 8/31/05, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
> html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed is fairly
> static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
> Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
> humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
> (if anything) should replace it? Screen?
>
> Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
> either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
> of confused users, I'm guessing. We need a few (or many) more tricks
> in our toolbox. How, for example, do we show when something has
> changed on a page? What sort of indicators do we give? It seems like
> we need a new set of behaviors now that the old paradigm of "push
> submit button-page refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> http://www.adaptivepath.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

1 Sep 2005 - 11:47pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

>>> Matt wrote:
>>>
>>> The high-level question is: what if "time" were as common a
>>> medium for interaction design as it is for film, animation,
>>> and interactive media design?
>>>
>>
>> Jack Moffett wrote:
>>
>> The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University has been
>> including this aspect of design as part of its curriculum for
>> years. Dan Boyarski's course, titled "Time, Motion, and
>> Communication," has had a distinct influence on my work.
>>
>
> Nick Ragouzis wrote:
> Jack, it would be great if you could distill some of those
> influences. I don't know Dan's work ... but I can't imagine
> someone following Dick Buchanan who wouldn't be as profound
> and challenging a thinker and leader. I look forward to your
> notes.

Over the course of the semester, we studied how to use time and
motion as effective tools for communication. Projects focused on, for
example, the basics of animation, rhythm, and dialogue. We tried our
hand at Norman McLaren's experimental film animation, listened to
Steve Reich's music, and learned a little about staging from a
professor of theater. We created expressive works of Kinetic Typography.

The course was not focused on interaction, yet I am inspired by what
I learned in that class, and try to apply it whenever an opportunity
presents itself. It was about communicating to the whole person,
engaging the brain, the heart, and the gut. I believe that user
interfaces will be more effective when they do the same.

I'd recommend familiarizing yourself with Dan's work. He is an
extremely effective teacher, and one of the most inspiring people
I've had the honor of working with.

> Designation (of the (semi-)autonomous type, the class of all
> examples/discussion thus far) is not an important part of
> visual communications, except as a pathology or artifice:
> one works to remove or convert such designations. More so
> in information interaction.

Nick, I'm having trouble following you. Can we base this conversation
on a specific interaction example? When my email application finds a
new message, I want to know about it. I have several options as to
how I can be notified. I can be notified visually, by flashing icons,
bouncing dock icons, pop-up alert windows, and the like. I can be
notified aurally. If a cell phone is involved, I can be notified
tactilely. The amount of information communicated by any of these
methods can range from simply the fact that at least one new message
has arrived to the number of new messages, to who they are from and
what the subject is.

From your comments, it seems that you would argue that the need to
be notified by any of these methods is an indication of a flaw in the
design of the entire concept and surrounding processes of the email
form of communication. Therefore, an interaction designer should not
concern himself with the trivialities of finding the best method of
notifying a user about new email, but should envision a new form of
communication which relieves the need for notification.

But don't let me put words in your mouth. Please help me understand
the point you are trying to make. I often had a hard time
understanding Dick Buchanan, too. ;)

Best,
Jack

2 Sep 2005 - 12:46am
Suresh JV
2004

> The building block of film documentation is a text document ... A Script,
> screen play.
> Why isn't that good enough for an application? Seriously, why not?
> The next step is a storyboard, right?

As the web is evolves, I think this is the way to go in future.
One example I think of is Amazon Tab - "See all 32 items"
The cinematic interaction is available since ages in most of the widgets.
"Drop down list menu, Menu transformation, Cursor grow/shrink"

"time" is already an important factor for interaction design. Some of the
cinematic effects already in use are Motion blur, Grow/shrink, slow in/out,
Fade in/out, contrary movement, easing

And macromedia is trying drive home this fact through Flex and Flash combo.
[I agree with you Rob] Many of the Rich internet apps have already
defined their own animated interactions and they provide excellent
feedback even to a novice user without startling/surprise.

Here is one such research paper that I can think of.

Animation: From Cartoons to the User Interface (1993)
http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/chang93animation.html
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------
Abstract: User interfaces are often based on static presentations, a model
ill
suited for conveying change. Consequently, events on the screen frequently
startle and confuse users. Cartoon animation, in contrast, is exceedingly
successful at engaging its audience; even the most bizarre events are easily
comprehended. The Self user interface has served as a testbed for the
application of cartoon animation techniques as a means of making the
interface easier to understand and more pleasant to use. Attention to timing
and transient detail allows Self objects to move solidly. Use of
cartoon-style
motion blur allows Self objects to move quickly and still maintain their
comprehensibility. Self objects arrive and depart smoothly, without sudden
materializations and disappearances, and they rise to the front of
overlapping objects smoothly through the use of dissolve. Anticipating
motion with a small contrary motion and pacing the middle of transitions
faster than the endpoints results in smoother and clearer movements.
Despite the differences between user interfaces and cartoons--cartoons
are frivolous, passive entertainment and user interfaces are serious,
interactive tools--cartoon animation has much to lend to user interfaces
to realize both affective and cognitive benefits.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------

Regards,
Suresh JV.

2 Sep 2005 - 1:07am
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Jack,

Your work with Dan sounds fun. I'll check it out.

WRT your observations about email, my quick thought is that
you're on track there.

It's a good exercise to remind ourselves of a few things about
email. For one, the preponderance of the time we don't want to
be alerted about email (think of, both, interruption research,
and mail management strategies). For two, the email form itself
is secondary to the communication imperative (think of the role
and choices, at one extreme, of IM and, passing through all forms
of collaboration and 'message sending' (e.g., blog comments or
flickr votes), to, at the other end, preferences for V2V/F2F
in certain contexts, audiences, purposes). So email holds no
special place (except through historical unfolding).

As significant, in terms of the points I've mentioned, is that
the majority of the email we receive is not conditioned to these
factors, with implications for the ourselves in the sending role
(can you imagine how we might undertake this as senders?).

(On the topic of email holding no special place in the message
exchange pantheon, almost certainly folks have noticed that
people new to email do not have any expectation that it would
be delayed in sending or receiving, or that they'd have to do
something to see the actual email when it arrived -- it would
just appear. Their naiveté at one level does not discredit the
raw truth in their expectations.)

A partner to this is the knowledge we have about the stability in
modalities ... user modalities, not necessarily application-set
modalities. Sharing priorities among 'streams' for slices of
user awareness in appropriate modality shifts is something we need
now, but has not been facilitated in any interaction design paradigm
I know of. Because, for the most part, interaction designers have
narrowly sought exclusive 'control' over, and only over, their own
'story' (to drawn on that idea). I see this as a reaction to the
challenges raised by the lack of the supportive tech (which, as I
argue, has its roots in this same community), and by the interest
in protecting the supposed beauty of their own environments, and,
of course, due to limited perspective and interests and underwriting.

So, yes, the interaction designer interested in designing the future
(as we're talking here, not merely of getting the next project out)
should be wary of any design program merely looking at the form of
such notice.

And even without getting into all this fancy future stuff, one can
quickly work out that the most common forms of email notification
that have been with us for years are precisely the type that is
unnecessary and unhelpful to information interaction. The same
concepts for notification dressed up in modern clothes is no
solution.

Does any of that click? Inspire?

--Nick

2 Sep 2005 - 5:04am
Dave Malouf
2005

HI Gino,

At the IA Summit this past March, IA 2.0 was spoken about often:
AJAX, RIAs and Folksonomy were the two big topics and there was even a
presentation by Gene Smith about "the end of the page". I remember having
this feeling the whole time that everything being spoken about was very well
understood in the software world, and that this audience was really playing
catchup.

That being said, I do think there ARE some new things to think about that
haven't been done before in Web 2.0. Maybe we are speaking about definitions
and semantics, but my very limited understanding of web 2.0. Richness to me
is the least of the design issues in Web 2.0. The real spice-of-life here is
the way information and services are shared. To me Google Maps != Web 2.0
... Taking Craigslist rental listings and placing that information on top of
Google Maps ... THAT! Is web 2.0. This example is still has in my mind a
page metaphor, but a widget in that page, is animated/interactive, but I can
still print it and it can be very useful printed.

Now there are examples where pages fall apart in many applications, but the
notion of "page" a metaphor at its heart to me, is not a part of web 2.0.
Here's an example ... Go to http://root.net/topics/interaction_design/ or
http://root.net/topics/david_heller . This is definitely a Web 2.0 site, but
also fits the page metaphor quite nicely.

The issue that I think Dan originally brought up is around tools. For some
of us, we are going to have to learn to make our toolset be more flexible to
the solutions we are providing. Some of us need to fill our toolkit with
more modeling/prototyping/documentation tools than we had before. What those
are exactly is very much a personal choice and a choice directed by your
work environment.

BTW, there are quite a few people on this list who deal w/ more than "web".
I'm in the midst of doing a desktop application and have done many of those
before and there are many people here who work with phyisical devices
outside of the PC domain completely.

-- dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesi
gners.com [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com->
bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Gino Zahnd
> Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 12:24 AM
> To: Interaction Designers
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] The Role of the Page in Web 2.0
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
>
> I'm an interaction designer that has in the past five or so years
> spent equal time between desktop/mobile software and web-based
> software (and five before that in web-based and CD-ROM based
> software). Perhaps my views are skewed.
>
> The only *real* distinction I've seen between traditional and
> web-based as it pertains to Web 2.0/Ajax/etc. is that the web-based
> interaction models are starting to more closely mirror interactions of
> "traditional" desktop software.
>
> With desktop software, the user was modifying some object(s), text,
> image, etc. on her local machine. Interaction didn't require screen
> (or page) refreshes. Feedback and confirmation were in real time. The
> application (hopefully) responded to the user in the area that she was
> working, as she was working.
>
> Now, with The Shiny New Web 2.0, we're seeing the same types of
> interactions starting to take place - only the objects, text, images,
> audio, etc. aren't necessarily local - they're possibly on a server
> somewhere else in the world. So I agree that the page metaphor isn't
> valid (was it ever?), but I'm not convinced we need to invent more
> metaphors and behaviors when entire lexicons exist for software
> interaction design. I can, however, be convinced. That said, it's
> nearly impossible to talk about these things without concrete
> examples.
>
> We as users are now blown away that we can edit text inline on the
> web! And ooh, I can rotate a photo! We've been doing that since the
> early 80's as well, so there's probably something to learn there from
> the folks that invented those interactions the first time around
> before the web. Any old crusty interaction guys want to speak up? ;)
>
> I believe that it's just a matter of time until all software is
> web-based in some way, shape, or form. I think between now and then,
> the hardest task we have (as Dan started to point out) is bridging the
> gap (and communicating the differences) between the Old Web-based
> interaction models and the All Web-based interaction models (and we're
> not there yet). We are absolutely running into new issues with
> subtleties on screen due to lack of browser refreshes, but my question
> is, are we not taking what a couple decades of software interaction
> design has taught us, and applying it where it makes sense?
>
> And by the way, are there any non-web interaction designers
> on this list?
>
>
> On 8/31/05, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
> >
> > I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
> > html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed
> is fairly
> > static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
> > Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
> > humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
> > (if anything) should replace it? Screen?
> >
> > Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
> > either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
> > of confused users, I'm guessing. We need a few (or many) more tricks
> > in our toolbox. How, for example, do we show when something has
> > changed on a page? What sort of indicators do we give? It seems like
> > we need a new set of behaviors now that the old paradigm of "push
> > submit button-page refreshes-new page appears" is breaking down.
> >
> > Dan
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Dan Saffer
> > Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> > http://www.adaptivepath.com
> > http://www.odannyboy.com
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
> >
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2 Sep 2005 - 8:17am
Doug Murray
2005

>> Me:
>> Who are scripts for? Not "end users."

> "Juan Lanus" <juan.lanus at gmail.com> 9/1/2005 7:13:35 PM >>>

>Yes end users. Absolutely, enfatically.
>The whole thing works only if and when the users grok the plot and
>play their part.
>It's all about making the users understand "it" so they can play their
>part effectively, efficiently and with satisfaction.

>Dave is darn right: storyboards! We call them paper mock-ups,
>scenarios, use-cases.

I agree completely on the storyboards, wireframes, paper mock-ups, etc.
Something that visually tells the story. However, if we were to provide a
text-only document (script) to the end users, we'd have a lot of 'splainin' to
do (as Ricky Ricardo would say). End users need to grok what is in the
"script," but not the script document itself. We have better ways to
communicate intent and functionality than a text-only document.
--
Doug Murray

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2 Sep 2005 - 8:37am
John Schrag
2005

At 12:24 AM 9/2/2005, Gino Zahnd wrote:
>And by the way, are there any non-web interaction designers on this list?

Yup. My co-workers and I design highly-interactive 3d software for video,
motion pictures, and automotive design.

Gino:
> The only *real* distinction I've seen between traditional and
> web-based as it pertains to Web 2.0/Ajax/etc. is that the web-based
> interaction models are starting to more closely mirror interactions of
> "traditional" desktop software.

Page-based interaction has been around a lot longer than the web. I'm old
enough to have designed software to run on 3270 terminals hooked to IBM
mainframes. In those, you get a page of information (all text), you fill
in form
fields on it, then you press Enter. After a moment, you get a new page back.
That was the predominant mode of computer interaction before desktop machines
came out. And when desktop machines came out, a lot of the early software
was written to emulate this interaction. Luckily, we soon learned better :-)

What's happening on the web right now seems to be very similar. I won't
comment further, because I'm not a web guy.

-john

----------------------------------------------------
John Schrag Alias
Interaction Designer 210 King Street East
jschrag at alias.com Toronto, Canada M5A 1J7

2 Sep 2005 - 10:31am
Todd Warfel
2003

Does this mean that it will run within a browser, or run using some
type of network connection, or possibly both?

On Sep 2, 2005, at 12:24 AM, Gino Zahnd wrote:

> I believe that it's just a matter of time until all software is
> web-based in some way, shape, or form.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Design & Usability Specialist
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Email: twarfel at mac.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
--------------------------------------

2 Sep 2005 - 11:03am
Gino Zahnd
2003

We already have both types, as well as a lot of software that
tremendously blurs those lines. There is a ton of software today that
uses browser-based technologies that don't run in a browser.

It's hard if not impossible to say what technology will be like five
or ten years from now. It's all very dependent on bandwidth. We're
now seeing the building blocks for GoogleOS, YahooOS, and others take
shape - and these web-based OS's are the beginnings of what I'm
talking about. The faster networks become, the less constraints we'll
have with operating systems and the software that runs on them, the
more web-based everything becomes. Browsers will probably just go
away at some point.

One of the hardest recurring problems I've come across in designing
these blurred-line networked apps is communicating what information is
local and what isn't, and what information is secure and what isn't.
All of the privacy and security issues that we're going to have to
deal with while ensuring high levels of trust in a
nearly-always-networked environment might be our biggest problem, both
from a technology and design/experience standpoint. Or maybe those
things are just the bitch I have to deal with in my little world. :-)

On 9/2/05, Todd Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
> Does this mean that it will run within a browser, or run using some type of
> network connection, or possibly both?
>
>
> On Sep 2, 2005, at 12:24 AM, Gino Zahnd wrote:
>
>
> I believe that it's just a matter of time until all software is
>
> web-based in some way, shape, or form.
>

2 Sep 2005 - 4:32pm
Juan Lanus
2005

On 9/2/05, Doug Murray <MurrayDB at ldschurch.org> wrote:
> End users need to grok what is in the "script," but not the script
> document itself.

Yes indeed. Or else is like a film the author has to explain the plot
at the lobby when the spectators exit after the function without
having got it.

Recall a situation where you read a tale to a small child. Children
want to be told the same tale over and over, right?
You are reading Litle Red Riding Hood for the zillion-st time. You
make the child participate, play a part by letting him fill the blanks
for example the Hood told the wolf "hey, why do you have such a big
......".
If the child is correctly situated then he´ll say "nose". He won't
miss it, never.
This will happen if the child is "living" the plot, if he is inside it.
He doesn't need any metadata, which would be distracting, like for
example to say "we are at page 8" or "press help to see Grandma's
house blueprint".
The plot is all he needs, the tale is successful.

Some other tales are not so interesting to him. The author was not so
talented as the hood's. The child gets lost and reachs for the help
button. The metadata has to be exposed for the story to continue
because the data (not meta) is not correctly presented.

The same happens to a user that has to interact with a system.
There is a plot, there must be one. Those who designed the interaction
(the actions, not the gizmos) do expose the chapters (steps) of the
story so the user will be engaged as naturally as the child with the
hood, and those users will play their part with ease (efficiency,
effectivity, satisfaction).

If the designer fails to communicate then the users won't be at ease
(for example the badday guy, see
http://www.sebastianhannemann.de/dl/clips/badday.mpeg ).
The user might have to reach for the metadata: the plot, ultimately
the program source in the most severe case.

So yes, the plot is not to be read by the users. It to be "lived" by them.
--
Juan

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