designing interactions & friendly software

Monday, June 18th, 2007 | wallpaper | No Comments

On Wednesday evening I jumped on another train up to London with Andy & Tom for Designing Interactions at the RSA, part of their ongoing lecture series. Overall I found the talks really interesting, but it was the question and answer section which I got the most out of. There was a range from, “how can I find inspiration” – one I defy anyone to be able to answer, to how we design products to interact better with themselves.

Despite protestations that London is the place to be for design, I was not surprised to hear from Tony Dunn that a number of his students were finding it difficult to find placements here. I remember my brother finding a similar situation when he finished his Product Design degree.

Tom and I headed off at the end, missing the drinks in what I know to be a beautiful vault, and spent quite a while discussing whether software can ever be held in esteem in the same way that hardware is. You don’t hear people discuss Omniplan in the same way as they talk about their Macbook, when I can imagine voices softening as if talking of a friend. I boiled this down to the physical, you can reach out and stroke your ipod, you hold your mobile, but you don’t get that same level of closeness with software. It is an integral part of all these things that we use on an every day basis, but we don’t reach out and touch it. I think the closest we get to the same sense of engagement are social networking sites like Flickr – which has a voice that we can personify, can build a sense of community with. However, reading comments on Tom’s post, I could well be wrong!

On another note: finally, seven months later, the wallpaper is now all up. The Chinese Dragon print went up on Thursday, and looks really rather fabulous. Thanks to Mum for popping in and putting it up whilst I went to work!


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