Table of Contents

VOLUME XV.6 November + December 2008

  • WELCOME
    • WELCOMEInteractions

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      Near the end of this issue is a piece by Keith Instone and Fred Sampson that marks the passing of Randy Pausch. Jon had the good fortune of taking one of Randy’s classes during his junior year at Carnegie Mellon, and while individual lectures may now be forgotten, the dramatic…

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  • Emerging approaches to research and design practice
    • COVER STORYDesigning games

      Sus Lundgren

      Six different players negotiate the distribution of 11 jewels of nine different colors—in 60 seconds [1]. Teams of children are competing to get the right set of keys to open a treasure chest; is it morally right to encourage violent robbery of a wanted key? An old-fashioned dogfight game requires…

    • ON MODELINGAn evolving map of design practice and design research

      Liz Sanders

      Design research is in a state of flux. The design research landscape has been the focus of a tremendous amount of exploration and growth over the past five to 10 years. It is currently a jumble of approaches that, while competing as well as complementary, nonetheless share a common goal:…

    • THE WAY I SEE ITSignifiers, not affordances

      Donald Norman

      It’s time for a review. As times and technologies change, as we have moved from individual to group, social, and even cultural computing, and as communication technologies have become as important as computational ones, how well have our design principles kept up? One of our fundamental principles is that of…

    • FEATUREUser experience design for ubiquitous computing

      Mike Kuniavsky

      I think 2005 was the year we began living in the world of commonplace ubiquitous computing devices. That year Apple put out the screenless iPod Shuffle, Adidas launched the adidas_1 shoe, and iRobot launched the Discovery—its second-generation vacuum robot. Sadly, even though we live in that world, the user experience…

    • FEATURECultural theory and design

      Christine Satchell

      Cultural theory helps us understand users’ needs and desires; it sheds light on why people are likely to adopt one trend but not another and helps indicate what cultural influences are shaping society at any given time. It points out things like why our love for the iPod extends beyond…

    • LIFELONG INTERACTIONSUnderstanding children’s interactions

      Janet Read, Panos Markopoulos

      It was Peter Medawar who wrote, “Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in…” The world of interactive technology changes so rapidly that for most adult observers, the interactive world inhabited by children…

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  • Reflections on innovation
    • TIMELINESAn exciting interface foray into early digital music

      Richard Pew

      The name Raymond Kurzweil is likely to be familiar to most readers. One of his many inventions, the Kurzweil 250, was the first 88-key polyphonic digital synthesizer on which chords could be played and that was capable of realistic reproduction of the sound of a grand piano and other acoustic…

    • TRUE TALESSome different approaches to making stuff

      Steve Portigal

      Business case studies are the ultimate in reductionism: A complex business activity rooted in a specific context of people, company culture, time, and place is boiled down to a few key ideas. Consultants, designers, students, and people who read Malcolm Gladwell are especially prone to this form of simplification. Don’t…

    • FEATUREDesign

      Nathan Shedroff

      Three years ago, I got a call from an editor of one of the biggest business magazines in the U.S. (who shall remain nameless, not to preserve his anonymity but simply because I can’t remember which magazine it was). What he said over the phone was this: “We’re planning on…

    • SUSTAINABLY OURSA call for pro-environmental conspicuous consumption in the online world

      Bill Tomlinson

      Biological researchers have suggested that the phenomenon of conspicuous consumption [1, 2] can be an evolutionarily viable survival technique. Conspicuous consumption can enhance an organism’s fitness because it demonstrates that the organism has sufficient resources to live, and then some. This abundance of resources suggests to other members of the…

    • Ps and QsOf candied herbs and happy babies

      Elizabeth Churchill

      A friend asked me to buy some candied herbs for her while I was in Italy. I had never heard of such a thing. It sounded dubious—and entirely likely, therefore, to be some foreign delicacy that I would in fact turn out to adore. And that was the case. But…

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  • Cultural and personal impact
    • FEATUREExperiencing the International Children’s Digital Library

      Benjamin Bederson

      We all know what a book is. It’s made of paper; you hold it in your hands; it contains words and sometimes pictures. We know that books have certain affordances such as ruggedness, ease of reading, portability, and are relatively expensive (at least compared with electronic forms). But perhaps most…

    • FEATURETaken for granted

      Rich Ling

      It is sometimes interesting to look at the parallels between the development of the mobile phone and the automobile. In the century since the late 1800s the automobile moved from being a odd contraption on the edge of society to being a taken-for-granted factor in everyday life. In the late…

    • (P)REVIEWHow society was forever changed

      Brian Romanko

      I found myself reading Richard Ling’s The Mobile Connection in the discomfort of an airport terminal gate. When I say discomfort, I refer not only to the hard vinyl seat and poor lighting but also to the multitude of fellow passengers chatting loudly on cell phones. The audible barrage of…

    • UNDER DEVELOPMENTAudiophoto narratives for semi-literate communities

      David Frohlich, Matt Jones

      It is widely assumed that the Internet is a global information resource. This is not true. For many people in the poorest parts of the world, the Internet is both technically and psychologically inaccessible through lack of infrastructure, money, and the requisite forms of textual and computer literacy. The StoryBank…

    • FEATUREThink before you link

      Karen Renaud, Judith Ramsay, Mario Hair

      The survival of the species depends upon communication between its members. The mechanisms underlying human communication have long been scrutinized, from Darwin’s examination of the role of emotion, to later studies related to the ways in which people form attachments. Of particular interest are studies about how individuals and groups…

    • (P)REVIEWHCI, life and death, and Randy Pausch

      Fred Sampson, Keith Instone

      When Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008, millions of people—most of them non–HCI community members—knew and took inspiration from his story. How is it that a teacher of computer science, usually a low-key position of little consequence to the general public, becomes such a…

    • INTERACTIONS CAFEOn mobile communication, cultural norms…

      Richard Anderson, Jon Koike

      Jon: Late this summer, we met up in New York City to discuss interactions. We spent a bunch of time in an office and a bunch of time wandering around the city. While we certainly got a fair amount done in the office, I can’t help but feel like the…

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