Our field is a broad school. You could say that it is a deep school as well, because not only are people from a large number of disciplines involved, from programming to psychology, but those people are involved in a large number of sub-fields, from computer-supported co-operative work to virtual presence, to tactile interfaces. Some of these sub-fields eventually go off and form fields of their own; many remain in the fold; but it is of the essence that the different groups continue to communicate with each other, because it is exactly the communication between the different areas that makes user interaction such a dynamic and successful field.
One of those sub-fields is Visual Interaction Design, a group with amongst other things a very active mail list, and an annual meeting at the CHI conference.
This issue of interactions arises from the CHI conference last year. I gatecrashed a Visual Interaction Design lunch, another annually recurring event at the conference (the lunch, not my gatecrashing it), and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the people there. One thing I picked up was that they thought they weren’t visible enough in the community, so we discussed ways they might improve that. One of the possibilities was by doing a special section in an issue of interactions, and the idea was immediately taken up. And this is the result.
Despite Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson’s modesty in her introduction, she has done great work in organizing this issue, and it has a lot of exciting content. I hope you enjoy it. Now take notice!
P.S. Others are taking notice too. In January a major European newspaper, The Guardian, reprinted an article from the Digital Hug issue of interactions in their weekly supplement The Editor.
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