Based on Jeff’s post,

  • Clive Bell says that if we bracket aside content, emotions, and real-world knowledge, we can appreciate the work of art on a purely formal level.
  • Is it possible to take a particular interaction design, or a type of interaction design, and abstract away all content, emotions, and real-world knowledge, and describe it simply as a form? What do you end up with? How might that be useful?

“, I tried exploring what can be done by eliminating emotions but still find use for HCI. I am presenting one of the (better) half-baked thoughts.

I think removing emotions and content from an interaction design can allow us to view an object from a different view. This is similar to defamiliarization concept (Defamiliarization or ostranenie (остранение) is the artistic technique of forcing the audience to see common things in an unfamiliar or strange way, in order to enhance perception of the familiar [1]) .

Let us hypothesize that a game designer wants their fans to make game experience a social one. Now the emotion the designer wants to create is social. If there is already a system/device/app which allows social experience, then the designer’s work is building upon that system. If there is no such system, then the designer’s work becomes to either build a completely new technology for social interaction or re-appropriate technologies the users are familiar with e.g mobile phones or other artifacts, and see how an element of social aspect can be introduced. Assume a mobile phone is chosen to create the social aspect of game. Then a mobile phone, which is generally consider “personal” has to be deprived of it’s “personal” emotion, to make it “social” by exploring the potential capabilites.

This becomes useful when we are creating “the ideal” using “the real” [2] because a designer in reality, creates future products based on what is currently existing. Example iPod ver 1 did not have touch based scroll capabilities when it was created. Touch screen technology started as early as 1971 [3], whereas iPod had touch-based scroll capabilities only in 2002[4]. Touch based scroll has no necessary tie up with music experience because music is generally associated with only hearing. If there were no touch based scroll technical capabilities, then we might be still using the mechanical scroll iPod.

Although eliminating emotions & content  of e.g a technological device can allow us to see things in new ways, I still think the need for looking into new interactions possible with a device is still controlled by what the person needs in their life e.g in previous example, the need to socialize the game forces designers to explore the social aspect of the technological device.

I am unable to construct a complete argument but I’ll like you to comment on how the argument should have went.


[2] “The Design Way”,Harold G. Nelson and Erik Stolterman