In fact, I’m not really confident about interaction design, even after I’ve already joined this program for nearly two semesters.
I’m a huge fan and a real lover of literature. I started reading many many fictions and novels when I was very young. Later reading became my habit that I guess I will continue with the rest of my life. Except for reading, I also write. I keep dairy, I write essays, and I used to write critiques when I was in high school. The only things that I remember myself doing pretty consciously are reading and writing. Why do I love literature so much? Well, that’s all about the subtle and sensitive things it can provide. Metaphors, symbols, atmospheres, etc. So today’s Interaction Culture class is my favorite up till now. I know it will before I attend the class, because I just enjoy this film reading so much — it talks bunch of stuff related with metaphors and symbols!
But why do I doubt interaction design? What’s the relationship and connection here? Jeff talked about the idea of bring metaphors and atmospheres into interaction design, so that they can create a rich experience and deeper meaning for user. That’s what I would love to see, but I’m not sure whether interaction design can achieve this or not. Firstly, metaphors and symbols rarely work alone. It is a whole set of symbols that matters to us, unless you have some personal relationship with a single symbol. A set or a series of symbols work together to create an atmosphere, and it is exactly this atmosphere that makes people feel something. One can of course have some senses with one symbol, but it cannot ensure other ones can have the same feeling by encountering this symbol. That’s why a set of symbols is important. A set creates an atmosphere. An atmosphere creates a context, which makes the happen of experience possible. Secondly, except that interaction design cannot bare a lot of symbols, an interaction design can not usually make user engage with it intensively and emotionally for a long time, besides games. Experience can only happens when there’s enough space (context) and enough time (elapse). Films and fictions both provide this possibility, so people can be deeply engaged with them. Thirdly, I doubt how much meaning can interaction design provide. Will you think about the meaning of life when you are using Microsoft Word? That’s what I mean here. An instance of interaction design is usually viewed as tool, rather than a piece of art. That’s exactly different from films and novels. How one perceives a thing determines how much meaning can this thing provide. If one consider interaction design as tool, I doubt one is being respect enough to do sense-making from this design.
I know my thoughts are messy here, but I really want to write them down. I have personal problem here. If I cannot perceive any deep or further meaning of doing something, I will just not do it. I talked about ubiquitous design in class today. From my opinion, ubiquitous design is an example within interaction design field that both provide enough space and enough time, which means that it offers an opportunity to embed some real meanings. It provides me a little bit of hope, too.
I like interaction criticism, because criticism can make people think deep and think further. As I don’t like shallow things, interaction criticism makes me feel secure and steady. I can see a lot of possibilities being provided by interaction criticism here. Well, actually I just want to say I enjoy this class a lot, even if I still have confusion about interaction design.