08/30 “Computers and Design,” Design Quarterly (142), 1989, Muriel Cooper

Post written for Seminar I: Interaction & Service Design Concepts, 2017| Molly Steenson | CMU School of Design.

The essay explores the evolving relationship between design, communication and technological advancements in computers. It claims that technological advancement will make the transition from print to electronic communication the basis of a vast industry. Considering the fact that I am reading the excerpt of his book on my computer validates how spot-on Cooper was when he wrote this in 1989. Print has indeed become a thing of the past. E-books, digital albums, online classrooms, web conferences, 3D movies and social media platforms characterize our communication in 2017. And, these are all enabled by computer-aided tools like Illustrator, After effects, Invasion, 3DS Max among others.

Multi-Media electronic communication has its own set of challenges for designers. The MIT media lab has assessed that the volume of real-time information outstrips our ability to process it. Visualisation of complex data is critical for recognition of information relationships and contextual cues.

To answer the question Cooper asked–have computers changed the way we now perceive design? In my opinion, yes! they have. Our interactions with the digital mediums have increased manifold and so has our expectations from design. We are learning/developing a whole new digital language of likes, swipe, taps, claps to interact with these new multi-media digital mediums and we expect our designs to be custom-tailored and simple and intuitive at the same time.

Sketchnote on an excerpt from “Computers and Design,” Design Quarterly (142), 1989, Muriel Cooper