Table of Contents

VOLUME XVII.1 January + February 2010

    • Interactions

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      Tangible computing has a long history of interest in technology circles; like augmented reality and computer-supported cooperative work, it has long been the focus of research studies in academic institutions, and not ironically, the focus of a large quantity of science fiction movies, too. It is only in the…

  • The tactile experience
    • COVER STORYTangible interaction = form + computing

      Mark Baskinger, Mark Gross

      Interaction design melds traditional methods and approaches from other established disciplines. Many immediately think of digital technology or software, but the concepts of "interaction" are deeply rooted in classical industrial design—products are designed to actively engage people and mediate their relationships with systems, activities, information, and with each other.…

  • The critical role of co-creation by users
    • THE WAY I SEE ITThe transmedia design challenge

      Donald Norman

      I agreed to give a keynote address at the 21st Century Transmedia Innovation Symposium ( Traditional dictionaries do not include the word "transmedia," but Wikipedia does. Its definition introduced me to many other words that neither I nor my dictionaries had ever before heard (for example, "narratological"). Strange jargon…

    • BETWEEN THE LINESThe art of editing

      Liz Danzico

      In a workshop led by Ira Glass, host of public radio's "This American Life," I heard him admit, "We edit out people's breaths and pauses in the interviews before they go on air." Referring to those ums and stammers, this well-known personality admitted to a group of aspiring storytellers…

    • (P)REVIEWOf memories and memorials

      Alex Wright

      With each passing September 11 anniversary, the headlines drift a little further down the front page. The moments of silence feel a little shorter. Painful memories fade. In another era, our shared recollections of such a world-historical event might have drifted slowly out of the news cycle and into…

    • FEATUREOperationalizing brands with new technologies

      Denise Yohn

      New technologies—like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, social networking, augmented reality, tagging, wikis, social indexing—and the applications they make possible have affected our culture in a profound way. Still, I hope they will have an even greater impact going forward. Truth is, the use of these new technologies has been…

    • FEATUREThe social life of visualization

      Jeremy Yuille, Hugh Macdonald is an open government initiative of President Barack Obama's administration, designed to increase the public's ability to find, download, and use high-value, machine-readable data sets generated by the executive branch of the federal government. The site sees public participation and collaboration as one of the keys to the…

  • Societal/cultural consciousness and change
    • UNDER DEVELOPMENTBeyond the Benjamins

      Nicola Bidwell, H. Winschiers-Theophilus

      Localizing interaction design in Africa is critical for improving usability and user experience for African populations. Genuine localization, as Lucy Suchman and others argue, requires locating accountability in the production of technologies; for Africa, this means design by Africans in Africa for African situations [1]. However, supporting Africans in…

    • FEATURESocial change

      Natalie Quizon

      "How can a girl grow up to be a technician, engineer, or a scientist? Providing girls with the guidance and incentives to take skilled positions in science and technology is a major responsibility of educators and employers. How can teachers, human resource experts, government, universities, and women's organizations contribute…

    • INTERACTING WITH PUBLIC POLICYInteracting with public policy

      Jonathan Lazar

      Welcome to a new forum in interactions on interaction design and public policy. You might be reading this and saying, "Why should I care about public policy? I'm not a policy wonk, I'm not a politician, and I don't get involved in politics." Public policy actually has a great…


      Eli Blevis

      You can see and touch and feel a physical thing. Oftentimes, you can understand from looking at a physical thing how it works. Moreover, it's frequently—but not always—the case that your conceptual model of a physical thing corresponds to its actual operation and attributes, and we generally equate the…

  • The important role of user research
    • FEATUREUser-research-driven mobile user interface innovation

      Jay Yi

      According to Strategy Analytics, Korean mobile-device manufacturers captured more than 45 percent of the North American market during the first quarter of 2009. Samsung Electronics has remained a top seller since 2008, currently holding a 26.3 percent market share. LG Electronics holds a 19.6 percent share, while Motorola trails…

    • FEATUREWhy marketing research makes us cringe

      Dan Formosa

      The role of marketing research is to work with product or service consumers to understand their needs and desires, while designers are often asked to use the marketing research results. So why have I never seen a marketing study targeting designers to find out how marketing research can benefit…

    • FEATUREWhy designers sometimes make me cringe

      Klaus Kaasgaard

      The role of marketing research is to work with product or service consumers to understand their needs and desires, while designers are often asked to use the marketing research results. So why have I never seen a marketing study targeting designers to find out how marketing research can benefit…

    • LIFELONG INTERACTIONSLet the experts talk

      Javier Marco, Sandra Baldassarri, Eva Cerezo, Diana Xu, Janet Read

      In the past 15 years, Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) have emerged as an ideal technology for delivering child-computer interaction that is adapted to children's psychomotor and cognitive skills development. The rapid evolution of these tangible technologies has meant that there has been little or no time to build a…

  • Interactions Cafe
    • On designers as catalytic agents

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      Richard: The increasing importance and acceptance of user participation in multiple ways is stressed within most of this issue. Do you find a similar increase, and acceptance thereof, in designer participation among frog's clients? Are designers increasingly positioned as "catalytic agents for broader impact rather than mere stylists for…

  • Clarifying interactions
    • Ps AND QsSocializing at cross purposes

      Elizabeth Churchill

      Indulge me for a moment. I have a series of jokes I want to tell you: How many social scientists does it take to change a lightbulb? None. They do not change lightbulbs; they search for the root cause of why the last one went out. How many simulationists…

    • TIMELINESReflections on the future of iSchools from a dean inspired by some junior faculty

      Martha Pollack

      In the September + October issue of interactions, three junior faculty members at the University of Washington School of Information (iSchool)—Jacob Wobbrock, Andrew Ko, and Julie Kientz—proposed a definition for what we study in iSchools, one that, interestingly, omits the word "information." They characterized iSchools as "the place where…

    • ON MODELINGThe language/action model of conversation

      Peter Jones

      This article will step back in time to retrieve alternative, influential views of conversation for design, and then bring the discussion forward to current situations where we might learn from this history. Three historically parallel pathways can be shown as influenced by a common circle of systems theorists: the…

    • FEATUREIs wellness informatics a field of human-centered health informatics?

      Rebecca Grinter, Katie Siek, Andrea Grimes

      The past decade has seen an explosion of health-related, human-centered computing research and practice focused on wellness (e.g., good nutrition and exercise promotion) to help people avoid the need for medical care. And while health informatics may appear to be the obvious home for these activities, it is a…