I’m very happy to see the blog being used to discuss ideas, raise objections, ask questions about the readings, and so on. That is definitely a legitimate use of the blog.

At the same time, I think it would help everyone in the class if we saw more applications of the readings to interactive technologies. We’ve seen some, but I personally would love to see 5-10 a week.

What I mean by that is that you find some kewl thang on Vimeo or YouTube, link it here, and then talk about in terms of ONE of the key ideas in ONE of the readings.

For example, consider the following short video:


What could we say about this if we wanted to analyze it from the perspective of the designer?

  • For instance, if we agree with Löwgren and Stolterman that a designer has capabilities to perceive what is worthy to be perceived, to create value, and to communicate all of that to stakeholders, can we see that in these 40 seconds of video?
  • Or, for instance, if we agree with expression theory attributed to Gombrich as described in Barnard, can we offer an account of the choices this designer made from a pre-exising language of interaction (or perhaps gaming?)? That is, imagine the “palette” of possibility that the designer here had to choose from: which things did he choose, and which ones did he not? Which juxtapositions did he make?
  • Or, once again, if we agree with Murch in believing that a video editor “controls” the viewer’s thought, how does this viewer control our thought? What are we made to look at? What are we made to look away from?

Ultimately, this class will be most useful not if we just sit around and chat about ideas (though that is fun and worthwhile in its own way), but more importantly if we can all apply them, so that we can read interaction out of habit in robust ways. I think that habit can only be formed through practice. So please use this space and class itself to practice!

Finally, let me reiterate something I said Thursday: you do NOT have to be awesome all the time. You could paste a video like that and just write only 1 paragraph that suggests “how Cross might talk about this video” or “how Bell in Barnard might talk about this video.” You don’t have to write a whole paper on it*.

* Yet. 🙂