Developed jointly by Gazelle, Nike, Stork and TNO, the MITKA is designed to increase the distance under which people tend to choose the bicycle as a mode of transportation.

Basically, it looks like an electric motor-assisted bike with three wheels – not a particularly novel idea, in my opinion…but, the pictures were pretty cool, so I posted it anyway. Enjoy!

Defining Interaction Design

I set out writing my paper on the history of interaction design with the idea that I’d try not to define it. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with defending my definition. I’m finding that a definition may indeed be necessary.

Part of the reason is that the Coroflot Design Firm Database lists 384 companies in the US that do interaction design. I couldn’t believe it, so I selected one at random. The results were less than spectacular. I simply can’t believe that a company with a website like this knows a single thing about interaction design (note the disappearing navigation elements). Ugh.

Dear readers of what is your definition of interaction design?

Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design

Elden Nelson moderates a discussion between Kent Beck and Alan Cooper in, “Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design.”

Of course, as an interaction designer, I’m biased, but Alan makes a much better argument for Interaction Design than Kent Beck does for Extreme Programming. I especially liked Alan’s words on how creating a place for Interaction Design in an organization gets to the root of many of the problems with interactive systems design, while Extreme Programming merely provides a buffer for engineers and programmers within a process that is clearly sub-optimal.

Designers’ Notes

I’ve been thinking about designers’ tools lately (whiteboards, dry-erase markers, etc.). What I’ve discovered is that I’m fascinated by how people take notes. Everyone has their own style.

For example, take a look at the student reports from Bill Verplank’s Physical Human Factors Workshop, taught at The Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago in October 2000. Go ahead, pick a few at random. Isn’t it interesting how there are so many ways to say the same thing?

Action, interaction, reaction

Action, interaction, reaction,” is a decidedly European look at Interaction Design. I stumbled on this article by Nico McDonald, from the August 2001 issue of Blueprint, while working on my paper tonight.

Despite a few over-simplifications (such as suggesting that Bill Verplank worked at IDEO when the term Interaction Design was coined – it was IDTwo, which later merged to become IDEO), this was a very exciting article for me. Lots of allusion to the emerging opportunities in “physical interaction design.”

Be sure to read the whole thing. The second half is where it gets good. You may also want to check out the Acrobat version which is more attractive, though the article on the website has an expanded “Read On…” section. Enjoy!