IxD and Service Design Seminar: Note and Reflection

MPS Fall 2017

What I though interaction design is.

What is interaction design?

I think INTERACTION DESIGN is the expansion of traditional industrial and graphical design territory. It leverages the traditional design knowledge and transfers them to the digital world.

In the past, the way objects are designed provides affordance and constraints for people to use it in a way that the designer designs. However, when we step into the digital era, situation becomes more complex. Object starts to behave in a way that its shape not longer provide any clues. Only the software built inside matters now. This is what interaction design about: designing interaction between physical and digital world.

Week 1 Introductions


Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices
Design Thinking Comes of Age / Service Design 101

Class Note

Week 2 Origin Myths


Tara McPherson, “Operating Systems at Mid-Century” / Muriel Cooper, “Computers and Design”

Class Note

In her article, Tara McPherson argued that the concept of modularity which was developed in computer field had large impact on our society. I do believe that “computer are themselves encoders of culture” (quote from her article). Facebook, Google, Apple or Amazon are part of human society now. But back to 70’s, it is hard to say that society are unconsciously affect by the concept in technology field. I would say that technology now become a black box that we can’t access what’s inside but only input and output due to the modularity and the development of AI evolves from relationship rather than the meaning.

The second article from Muriel Cooper talks about how digital affect on physical. One interesting example is that people starts to have idea about “when you are going to die, you might feel like your life is flashing by” only after the film technology appears. To a more holistic view, digital do change human and our perception of the world.

Week 3 What’s at Stake with algorithms?


What’s at stake / Artificial Intelligent and Algorithms

Class Note

This week, we talk about algorithm and AI. From the readings, we know that AI which is built on the bias data inherit the bias. (With its own complex history, data is less likely to be neutral) The google search automatically correct “she” to “he” in certain query. The facial tracking on HP laptop can’t track black men’s face and be called as racist. There are also many data brokers (link) who collect you shopping habits, health information and so on.

The big question here is as a designer how to create transparency and measurement in this situation? Is it measurable or even possible to create transparency? There is no doubt that as a human, bias is built deeply inside us. Ideally, internet should play the role to make information flow more easily but it turns to be vice versa. Now we have a even more polarized society. Not to mention that our major information sources such as Google and Facebook are woven with advertisement.

Class Note 2nd

We tried to development a arguemtn for our 750 wordsl essay due next week. Molly first introduce a structure so that we could follow. It includes claim, reasons, example, alternative fact and warrant. (link) We practice it by seeing through a previous reading from Kate Crawford to identify these elements. Then we development our own arguement and take to each other in both positive and negative way.

Week 4 Data Humanism


Class Note

Today, we have class with other students from urban design and watch Mimi’s talk about missing data set on Eyeo festival 2017. Why data collecting become such a evil words for now? I believe governments and many international corporations should take responsibility for that. But something I have been never think of is what is missing? With such large power, data could definitely do something good for us. But as Mimi talked on Google SPAN last week: “Those with incentive lack resources and those with resources lack the incentive to collect”. How could we empower those who lack of resources to collect data that could do better good? I think that is the question we need to think of.

Class Note 2nd

“If you don’t have secret, there is nothing to hide.”

Before we have our peer review of our 750 worlds essay, we discussed about the reading, Dragnet Nation. I would say that global monitoring from government or massive data collection from international corporations is not new to me. I just can’t believe how powerless we are to protect us from being harmed. When Equifax leaked 140 millions personal data few weeks, most people even don’t know what that company is and how they could legally own these data. People might argue that if sacrificing some privacy could improve safety, they are willing to be monitored. We always hear “If you don’t have secret, there is nothing to hide.”

Week 5 Information Architecture

Is Architecting (not) a real word? Is Information Architecture (IA) a profession? Today we talked about the construction of early web was a total disaster. While architecture aim to make a place inhabitable for human, emerging information architecture could play the same role in digital world. I guess my first question would be what exactly is the discipline of an architecture? It seems that architecture care more about the environmental context than other design disciplines. (I would argue that interaction designer also care about context but it is true that architecture pay more attention on natural elements such as water, light and wind)

Information Architecture (IA) reached its peak at 2004 and then start to emerge into other term. Now the buzz word becomes User Experience (UX) design. It makes sense now but who knows what will happen 10 years later?

Week 6 What AI has to do with design? Part 1

This week, we went to see the exhibition Imaging Computational Design at Miller Gallery in CMU. The reading is also related to this exhibition.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) is not a familiar topic for but when I saw the work from Architecture Machine Group (AMG) in 80’s, I was shocked. Take “Sketchpad” for instance. Composed by stylus, touch screen, knobs and keyboard, the interaction is so intuitive that even a kid can manipulate the shapes on the screen. This was invented 35 years ago.

In today’s standard, the power of computer at those days was very small and many project failed. However, many of their imaginations are still available today.