Posts filed under ‘Interaction’

Methods: Personas, have you ever though where they came from?

ImagePic: Workshop I carried out at Stanford with Chilean incubators [CM]

Palo Alto, CA: Since I am here at Stanford as a VR, at the Center for Design Research, I’ve seen students carry out methods like “Brainstorming“, “Rapid Prototyping” and “Personas“. I would like to comment on the “personas” tool. Students learn how to make them, but do they know where they come from? It is in my belief that students or recipients of this teaching should learn the sources of these techniques. Why? Because you get to know the place where to search for more information or for understanding the rationale behind it. This situation would enable the learners to reconfigure their way of applying the methods yet in a more informed way. ImagePic: Cooper 

Making archetypes coming from ethnographic or qualitatively inspired research is not something new to the fields of Anthropology or Sociology. But it was Alan Cooper, the “humanizer of technology”, so he indicates in his website, the one that “pioneered the use of personas as practical interaction design tools to create high-tech products that address user’s needs” . (more…)


December 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm 6 comments

Conditional Design

Pic: Conditional Design

Through the work of Casey Reas , Diego Gómez got to know the work of a Dutch collective called: “Conditional Design“. They have published an interesting manifiesto, which is the one he is exploring in this post. Conditional Design entails: THE PROCESS IS THE PRODUCT AND LOGIC IS OUR TOOL [please look at the manifesto for further statements]. As an MA candidate, Diego had the possibility to help in a workshop about “Conditional Drawing” based on the statements that this Dutch collective explore. During his own course, back in Chile, he implemented a similar idea with students from Digital Design at UDD in Santiago. Gómez enfatizes in the fact that: “The exercise proved to be an interesting step to to start thinking about: what do we design when we design with the and from technology. If this sounds benign to you, is because you haven’t really reflected about it”.

By Diego Gómez
designer, media worker & academic enthusiast

Incluso en la más intrincada definición de diseño, es imposible negar el vínculo de la disciplina con la tecnología y los medios. Más aún, habemos quienes creemos que el diseño está íntimamente ligado a la evolución de estos constructos sociales. Para bien y para mal. Para el diseñador, reflexionar sobre esta ligazón debe ser parte fundamental de su hacer. Entender cual es rol de la disciplina en la sociedad implica analizar cada día qué significa el crear con y desde la tecnología y los medios, y por lo mismo, cómo éstos condicionan el diseño.

Pic: Diego’s Workshop at UDD

Esta inquietud no es nueva y se podría decir que es (more…)

September 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Is Google making us stupid? How the Internet is changing us….

Pic: Students playing video games at NCSU Library [CM]

There is a lot of information on the benefits of adopting new technologies. It is no surprise that the computer helps us manage cognitive loads or limitations that we have as humans. Computers could be considered cognitive artifacts, Norman says: “those artificial devices that maintain, display, or operate upon information in order to serve a representational function and that affect human cognitive performance.” [Norman 1991, p.17] But, today, are computing technologies really contributing to our cognitive skills? In his new book “The Shallows: What Internet is doing to our Brains” , Nicolas Carr places upfront the facts behind an early adoption of Internet. How Internet shapes human thought becomes evident. Are we losing our ability to read and think deeply because of the Internet?

we are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection

Pic: Apple Store NYC [CM]
In May 2004, Wired Magazine published an article talking about how Internet rewired our brains. Experiments to monitor brain activity with an MRI, done by Gary Small [UCLA] p showed that Brain activity of the experienced surfers was far more extensive than that of the newbies, particularly in areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with problem-solving and decision-making. “Five hours on the Internet and the naive subjects had already rewired their brains,” Small (more…)

February 14, 2011 at 2:30 am 1 comment

What is interaction? I mean, what is designing interactions?

PIC: Robert Fabricant [Frog Design]
Discussion always arises when we talk about contested terminologies across disciplines. One of these is the term “interaction”. In a period when everybody is talking about designing interactions, we should ask ourselves from which disciplinary background is that person talking from.

In their essay “Multimedia” Geoffrey Rockwell and Andrew Mactavish, from the Digital Humanities, refer to the idea that multimedia is inherently interactive because it ‘Weaves the multiplicity into a whole’. According to them, computer programming in multimedial structures configure how the viewer will experience the relationship with a computer. Having multiple layers of experience grouped into one holistic interaction is one of the things that characterize multimedia.

Robert Fabricant – Behavior is our Medium from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

But in the design field: what do we mean with interaction? Nowadays, we could argue that interactions are not just happening in computers [Davis, 2008]. They have transcended. The new context definition for design, which makes it turn from technical to strategic, and the redirection of the role in design seeking to address systems instead of artifacts; gives us grounding to indicate that today designers are addressing social interactions.

In a broader sense, interactions are said to frame the relationship between people and a variety of artifacts like products & systems, which convey the aspect of function, which has always been part of design [Dubberly, Pangaro & Haque, 2009]. Interactions entail classic feedback loops that allow one system to modify the other and (more…)

February 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Design Thinking in K12 classrooms

A group of Master of Graphic Design students at NC State develop creative ideas for incorporating Design Thinking in North Carolina Middle Schools. Using an interaction design point of view. Here is one example of great applicable ideas to start an educational revolution.
Picture: LR & TJB

Laura Rodriguez/MA Graphic Design NCSU
TJ Blanchflower
/ MA Graphic Design NCSU

During our graduate studio with design scholar Meredith Davis, we had the privilege of exploring her personal research—the application of design thinking to K-12 classrooms. The outcome was the development of learning materials and technologies that deploy design thinking strategies, specifically for 7th grade science.  The first phase of this project was the collaborative research of 6 design students, culminating in a series of large scale posters. During the second phase, we investigated how design thinking strategies could fulfill North Carolina middle school science standards.USING SCENARIOS & OTHER INTERACTION METHODOLOGIES
This process book represents the collaborative and individual development (more…)

January 14, 2011 at 12:37 am 1 comment

AIGA Design/Education conference: Yay! the content is up

The AIGA conference on education and design just ended. Hosted by NC State’s Graphic Design program, it became to be the start point for a serious redefinition of the Designer’s practice. Some of the speakers and participants included: John Thackara [Doors of Perception, Social Economies and Sustainability], Dori Tunstall [Swinburne University, Design Anthropologist], Rick Robinson [E-Lab, Sapient, Continuum– Collaboration], Sharon Poggenpohl [Ex IIT, Hong Kong Poytechnic, DEsign Integrations and a Design Research culture from scratch], Shelley Evenson [Ex Carnegie Mellon, now Microsoft Social – Service Design], David Small [MIT Media Lab, now Small Design Firm], (more…)

October 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

Cell Phones- the real democratization of photography

Photo: Gare à Nouadhibu, Mauritania (CMiranda)
We’ve debated longly about the penetration of cell phones in all the World, and how they have the potential of being a mean for information, education or to achieve other intentions towards development. (See posts: Democratic Cell Phones and Third World Generalizations and Designing for ubiquity-mobile apps for social innovation )

Photo: Legueila Oasis, Mauritania 

In this short post I’d like to point out what I’ve experienced here in Africa, which is very similar to what happens to us in Chile. I remember my old days a a Design student where we had to “develop the film” and use photo-rolls. Just a very expensive enterprise. With the digital cameras, that has turned into an experience “from the past”. It happens to me often that I am taking pictures of people (here in Africa) and sending them to (if they have) their e-mails. Sometimes even showing the picture taken for some is enough. (if you come to Africa be careful to just promise that you’ll send a picture if you will do so for sure) 

But it is not so cheap or easy to get a digital camera in markets that do not produce them (like the US or Asia). It might be cheaper than before, but not accessible as we would love to.
In his book, “The World is Flat”, (2005) Thomas L.Friedman mentions a case where HP started a public private project with Andhra Pradesh in India. “You cannot design this stuff in Palo Alto; you have to cocreate with the user-customer beneficiary.”, he says. After collaborative instances with the community; (more…)

June 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

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contact + citing (CC license)

Constanza Miranda PhD(c) design.anthro
* Currently @ DILAB
* Ex.VR @ Stanford's Center for Design Research [DesignXLab]
* Ex.Instructor @ PUC Chile [Design+Engineering]
Use citations ¡Citar es ético!
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Design for Social Innovation initiative by Constanza Miranda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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