Embodied interaction

It’s interesting how you can search for something for months, then all of a sudden it just falls in your lap!

Today Chad pointed me to Paul Dourish‘s new book: “Where the Action Is.”

Terry Winograd is quoted as saying this about the book, “This is the first book to provide a broad view of how our interaction with computers is intertwined with our physical world.” Dourish refers to it as “embodied interaction.”

I added it to my Amazon wishlist. Pretty shameless, huh?

Bill Verplank – Physical Interaction Design

Next Tuesday at BayCHI-East, Bill Verplank is giving a talk entitled, “Physical Interaction Design.”

I wrote to Elan about this today:

Elan:
physical interaction design…. sounds like Industrial Design and Interaction Design combined, no?

Me:
Exactly! This talk is such an odd coincidence for me because for the past few months I’ve been struggling with whether I want to apply to an HCI program or the Product Design Program here at Stanford.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to combine the two, but haven’t been able to find much written on the subject.

This sounds like exactly what I want to be doing!
I’m so excited this guy is at Stanford. I can’t wait to talk to him!

Continue reading “Bill Verplank – Physical Interaction Design”

The difference between content and functionality

There is a difference between content and functionality that some people don’t seem to understand when it comes to designing interactive systems.

It’s important to be able to access content in many different ways. Peoples’ minds work differently. People remember different attributes about different information and to be able to find that information in the quickest manner possible, Information Architects need to present many ways to access it.

Functionaly is completely different. Providing many different ways to complete the same funtion in an interactive system is BAD. It breaks mental models because users aren’t sure, for example, what button they should use if they’re both labeled the same. In addition to breaking mental models, providing more than one way to complete a function decreases the effeciency of your interface because your users have to decide which method they’re going to use to complete the function before they actually go and do it.

I found this post hidden away this morning. I think I wrote it because I was upset that SO many people on the sigIA-l mailing list think they are Information Architects, when in fact, they are Interaction Designers. The people on that list confuse content with functionality ALL the time. Grrrr.

So, what do you think about the difference between content and functionality? Am I right or wrong?