DesigningInteractions_introduction

DesigningInteractions_introduction - Introduction Two...

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Introduction Two personal stories
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The author with his son, in front of the Southland Runabout trailer where many of the ideas for this book were formed Photo Catherine Ledner, published in Dwell magazine Here are two stories of personal experiences that led me to start working toward a new design discipline, eventually called “interaction design.” The first, about buying a digital watch for my son, made me see that I needed to learn how to design controls for products that contain electronics. The second, about designing the first laptop, made me see that I needed to learn how to design user interfaces for computers. The next nine chapters contain thirty-seven interviews, both in the book and on the DVD, with people who have made interesting or important contributions to this field. In chapter 10, “People and Prototypes,” I expand my personal point of view about designing interactions. The Radio Watch I was browsing in the duty-free store in Narita airport outside Tokyo while waiting for my flight back to San Francisco in 1983. When I was on business trips, I tried to find gifts to bring home for my two sons, aged thirteen and ten at the time. I already had a Yomiuri Giants hat for the baseball-crazed ten-year-old but still needed something for the teenager, who was starting to get interested in heavy metal music and realizing that dad was not necessarily always right about everything. He was saving the money from his paper route to buy his first electric guitar. I drifted across to a large array of glass-topped cases and found in them a seemingly endless collection of watches. My designer soul was mesmerized. How could there be so many great looking watches in the world? As well as the international brands that I was used to, there was case after case of beautiful and innovative designs from Japanese manufacturers. Some were for running or swimming, some had interchangeable dials with alternative functions, and many were just elegant.Then I saw a digital watch Introduction | 3
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Yomiuri Giants hat Interested in heavy metal that had a radio in it. It was black rubber with a rectangular face blending smoothly into a ribbed strap; it included alarm functions and had a neat little tuning knob for the radio. It was not too expensive and amazingly small for all that functionality. What a perfect present for the teenager! I paid for it and purred with the gratification of my techno-lust until I fell asleep on the plane. He was already in bed when I gave it to him, and we were both excited as he unwrapped the package, took it out, and fastened the strap on his wrist. He tried the radio first. There was a tiny earpiece for listening, attached to the watch by a delicate cord. He tuned to his favorite station, but I could see the excitement in his face fade to disappointment as he heard it. “The quality’s not that good, Dad,” he said, glancing at his
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ITEC 1020 taught by Professor Grice during the Spring '08 term at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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DesigningInteractions_introduction - Introduction Two...

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