Table of Contents

VOLUME XVII.3 May + June 2010

  • Welcome
    • Business, culture, and society

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      Our cover story puts an explicit emphasis on what has been an implicit theme of interactions over the past two years: the desire to improve the world around us through interaction design. Hugh Dubberly, along with his co-authors Rajiv Mehta, Shelley Evenson, and Paul Pangaro, describes the necessity to…

  • Human interfaces
    • Natural user interfaces are not natural

      Donald Norman

      "I believe we will look back on 2010 as the year we expanded beyond the mouse and keyboard and started incorporating more natural forms of interaction such as touch, speech, gestures, handwriting, and vision—what computer scientists call the 'NUI' or natural user interface." —Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft Gestural interaction…

    • Making face

      Liz Danzico

      From the time I woke to the time I sat down at my office desk this morning, I counted 24 different social interactions, both face-to-face and mediated by technology. Each one of these interactions required me to make an assumption or rely on known etiquette, in the absence of…

    • The ubiquitous and increasingly significant status message

      Bernard Jansen, Abdur Chowdury, Geoff Cook

      Who would have thought that the status message would be one of the hottest features on the Web? This situation may be hard to conceive of, given the status message's humble beginnings as a simple, practical away notice in email applications and instant-messaging services. The status message has evolved…

    • Back to the future

      Ahmed Bouzid, Weiye Ma

      On a Sunday afternoon a few months ago, we called the local number of a large national retail store to find out what time the store was closing. As expected, we were greeted by an automated interactive voice response (IVR) system that opened with the customary, "Thank you for…

  • The role of culture and place
    • Give man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and…he will overfish

      Jussi Impiö

      I had arrived to Kisumu, Kenya, some hours earlier, and I was waiting for dinner in a two-table outdoor food joint by Lake Victoria, ice-cold Tusker (local beer) in hand. I have always liked the rhythm of this lakeside town. There were stars in the sky, and a fresh…

    • Accessibility and public policy in Sweden

      Jan Gulliksen, Hans von Axelson, Hans Persson, Bengt Göransson

      Principles and guidelines will become more important, due to the development of accessibility policies and the harmonization with Europe. The Convention on Human Rights strengthens this trend. If designers and technologists do not follow and make use of this development, they will not win the competition for contracts in…

    • Enjoying cultural heritage thanks to mobile technology

      Maria Costabile, Carmelo Ardito, Rosa Lanzilotti

      It was early October, after the first month of school, when my 12-year-old son came home and told me about something very interesting he had done that morning with his teachers and school-mates. They had visited the archaeological park of Monte Sannace, located about 40 miles south of our…

  • Innovation in business
    • Creating a user-centered development culture

      Arnie Lund

      "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."—Winston Churchill The Microsoft IT organization—including the division I'm in—creates the tool employees use to develop Microsoft's products, websites providing the connection between Microsoft and its partners, and solutions that support customers' needs when they use the products from…

    • Collaborate to innovate?

      Mark Hicks

      Inspired by Lego's pioneering explorations into co-design—Cuusoo—the "openness" Zeitgeist, and several of our own ad hoc co-design initiatives, Vodafone decided to probe more systematically into the possibilities of actively co-designing with our customers. Like in all great adventures, we set out with certain expectations but came out with a…

    • The role of leadership in winning design

      Don Fotsch

      Three and a half years ago, I signed on as the leader/VP of user experience and design (UED) at PayPal, one of the undisputed Internet darlings of our time. PayPal wanted a leader with a strong design orientation along with a general manager's business acumen. I loved the business,…

  • Social change
    • Depth over breadth

      Emily Pilloton

      I have never been one to sit still and focus on one thing. In fact, most designers are fairly ineffective when it comes to singular tasks—we seem to be both blessed and cursed with a unique form of attention deficit disorder in which we thrive under diverse and constant…

    • Solving the world’s problems through design

      Nadav Savio

      "The only important thing about design is how it relates to people."—Victor Papanek Emily Pilloton wants to change the world one step at a time through the transformative power of design. And she expects you to help. Pilloton is an industrial designer who, fed up with the crass commercialism…

  • Interactions Cafe
    • On language and potential

      Jon Kolko

      I'm enamored with the potential presented in our cover story, a piece by Hugh Dubberly, Rajiv Mehta, Shelley Evenson, and Paul Pangaro. The authors investigate healthcare, and start—and end—by analyzing the nature of the framing words used to describe the system. It is in this observation of framing, and…

  • New things to learn
    • Design challenge based learning (DCBL) and sustainable pedagogical practice

      Eli Blevis

      Design studio-style learning common in schools of design has much to recommend it. If you have ever worked at or attended a design school, you can imagine my shock when I started working at a traditional university and began to recall what it was like to teach and learn…

    • Social participation in open source

      Paula Bach, Michael Twidale

      Can open source software save the world? Recently Brian Behlendorf, who helped found and develop the Apache Web server open source project and now sits on the Mozilla Foundation board, asked this question. He discussed how open source systems are being built to address some of the world's major…

    • Intentional communication

      Kristina Halvorson

      Design and content. Content and design. It's impossible (and stupid) to argue over which one is more important than the other—which should come first, which is more difficult or "strategic." They need each other to provide context, meaning, information, and instruction in any user experience (UX). Despite this screamingly…

    • Content strategy for everybody (even you)

      Karen McGrane

      Web content is the meat in the sandwich, not the icing on the cake. Too often, organizations build websites and then neglect the content, letting it languish, unread and unloved. Even during website redesigns, the editorial process gets short shrift in favor of building shiny new features and creating…

    • Enticing engagement

      Elizabeth Churchill

      Human engagement A: Do you love me? B: Yes A: Will you marry me? B: Yes. Internet engagement A: Do you love us? B: click click click <Introduce new feature/offer> A: Do you love us now? B: click click click Internet disengagement A: Do you love us? B: click…