In light of Jeff’s post, I’m going to take one of the bullet points and offer my relation to HCI. Here goes..

In the section on Wolfflinn, Barnard says that “Style is the constancy, or consistency, in the way an individual, or a group, treats the formal elements of art or visual culture.”

“Are there any interactions created by individuals or groups that treat the formal elements of interfaces or interactions in a constant way? (Apple, perhaps?) What do we get by attempting to describe interactions in terms of style?”

Assuming I’m understanding this correctly, yes Apple and the way they design their sleek simple looking hardware to even the packaging is all created in a constant way. This especially makes it easy to identify their products in the wild. We can even go as far to describe the advertisements for the ipod and iphone when they first came out as simple, which was probably designed with the overall experience in mind.

Another example that comes to mind is Microsoft Office. The ribbon at the top of word, excel, powerpoint, etc is designed pretty much the same. The content is obviously different depending on the specific program, but keeping the same style throughout will have different effects on the interaction with the user. For one, users had to conform to a new style that was consistent across all applications. Secondly, though, and more important probably for MS, people can now easily recognize an if Microsoft Office is being used or some other office because of the unique style the ribbon introduces.

One final thought I have is that as I was writing this post I realized that style can move away from interaction design and into a experience design. Apple, again, created a product, advertisement, and packaging that fit very well together and followed the same style of being simple, sleek, and cool. This really turned it into an experience for the end user.

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