Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Schön...

In a recent blog post, Dan Saffer writes a nice little piece on the importance of Donald Schön. It is obvious that some texts, if they have substance, stay important over time. I am please to see that Schön is finding new readers that also see it as important to spread his ideas further.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Interaction Research as Societal Critique

Lately I have been involved in some discussion about by the idea of design research as critique, especially as a critique of societal phenomena where interactive artifacts play an important role. This is of course not easy, since such research has to "compete" with traditional research that has been refined for a long time for just that purpose, such as media studies, cultural studies, etc. But, I think there is a place for societal critique based on a deep understanding of interactivity. I would like to see someone being able to conduct such studies in the tradition of Marcuse, and his "method" in the "One dimensional man". This is a wonderful book, that I have praised here before. So, who can, in the tradition of Marcuse, based on an understanding of interactivity reveal the one-dimensionality that we are all trapped in? Is there anyone out there who know about work that would fit that vague description?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jon kolko "Thoughts on Interaction Design"

Finally I have read the book "Thoughts on Interaction Design" by Jon Kolko. It is a book filled with great essays on the nature of interaction design. The chapters cover important aspects of design and is written in a personal and easy to read language and from a perspective of someone who knows the field well.

I really like this book and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is within interaction design, either as a researcher or a practitioner. But even more, I recommend it to students in interaction or HCI design. This is such a nice introduction to the core of what it means to be a designer and how to think about digital artifacts.

Kolko addresses many of the issues discussed in the field today, and he does it from a perspective that I really like, which is a perspective grounded in a strong respect for practice, and the true nature of actually doing design. He knows design. Read it!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zimmerman, Forlizzi and Evenson

I had to go back and re-read the CHI paper by Zimmerman, Forlizzi and Evenson from 2007 "Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI". It was a pleasure to read it again and it made me more sure and convinced about their basic argument, which is that there is a possibility for people with design competence to use that specific design competence when doing research. They do a great job in proposing how such (design) research can be carried out, and maybe even more important, they discuss how to evaluate that kind of research and how it differs from "real" research. I think there are way too many HCI researchers today who do not do "real" research, instead they perform a sloppy version of design research, but without understanding the relation between design and research in the way that these authors propose. I hope we will see a change in the field. Read their paper!