Carly Potter Reading Response #2

Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology

I found this reading to be very interesting from the start when the Lowgren and Stolterman started discussing Dynabook. Although what they explained was basically a more updated and advanced computer, it had more areas of focus than just technology which a lot of designers tend to put their emphasis on. It was meant for children and it would benefit their learning capabilities, which made me think about my design. Although it isn’t geared towards the younger generation and their ability to learn through technology, my design is designed to help a specific type of relationship. It shouldn’t always be about the idea of technology, but more about helping individuals with their specific problems through technology.

Both of the author’s idea about a new perspective on design called thoughtful design is a very humanistic way of thinking and I fully support it. “It is essential that members of the design discipline collectively find appropriate forms for growing and nurturing design knowledge” (Lowgren & Stolterman xii). One thing that I am personally scared about happening in the next five to ten years is the increased advancement in technology that could quite possibly turn this whole world into a place where the only form of communication is through technology. I believe that this is bound to happen, but with thoughtful design, we are allowed a socialized approach that gives us, humans, a healthier way to advance technology. It gives us an opportunity to still be involved in this change by experimenting and learning about all the new possibilities created by new technology and new knowledge” (Lowgren & Stolterman xii).

According to the authors, digital artifacts have been created as a result of mistakes and unintentional design decisions. This is why there has rarely ever been a perfect or fully thought out design that has been created. Based on thoughtful design, these accidents may be less likely to occur. “Thoughtful interaction design is built on a thorough understanding of the design process, design ability, the designed product, and design as part of a larger context” (Lowgren & Stolterman 2). If we go through the process of trial and error, while also acquiring outside opinions and coming up with new ideas within that design, there is no doubt in my mind that our technological advances would be perfect.

Drawing Connections How Interfaces Matter

Katherine Hayle’s remark explains how today’s culture involves interfacing of mobile phones and GPS technology which gives humans an opportunity to be able to connect through physical and virtual realms in a more fluid way. This, in some ways, relates back to my design of virtual touch. I am attempting to design this product in a way that makes it feel like the two users are physically with one another, while being thousands of miles apart. It is a concept that is quite difficult to grasp at first, but once reading this article it becomes a little easier to understand.

Distelmeyer brings up the concept of ‘seamless computing’, which is quite confusing for me to understand. I looked it up on google to try and get a better understanding and its definition is “two computer programs that are carefully joined together so that they appear to be a single program with a single user interface” (Techopedia). I know that it says cell phones would be an example of this because it is connected with cell towers and satellite networks, but I am curious to what other examples of technology could be used to describe seamless computing, as well.

I found this reading to be quite dense for me, especially since I am not familiar with graphic design and computer technology, so I came across difficulties when writing this response. I thought that I was able to connect this to my design of virtual touch but I could be misunderstanding. Virtual touch would have to involve some type of seamless computing, I believe, because feeling wouldn’t be able to travel through a phone without it. It is just hard to think of what ideas and systems could make that design possible. Hopefully in class I could have some of these questions cleared up.

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