Undesigning interaction

A really good start of any article: “This article has no pictures. I don’t want to disappoint readers who are expecting glossy images, straightforward examples, or prescriptive methods. I’m not going to give any.”

“The point of this article is to motivate ‘undesign thinking’ and rethink the familiar forms of interaction design. I want to recast with positive connotations the words we have for articulating what is objectively negative. Doing so will hopefully allow us to speak and write more openly and productively about designing to inhibit, displace, erase, or foreclose. But beyond speaking and writing about design, I want to suggest practical design action. Not just the type of practical action we typically think of as interaction design, but forms of design that may seem too different or else too trivial to fall within the scope of interaction design. Indeed, thinking in negative terms about design may require us to broaden our understanding of practical action. Is replacing a digital technology with a non-digital technology interaction design? Is replacing a high-tech digital display with a paper display interaction design? Is removing Wi-Fi interaction design? (…) At the very least, such intentions, actions, and outcomes suggest both opportunities and responsibilities for interaction design—regardless of whether we call them undesign, design, or something else altogether.”

(James Pierce ~ ACM Interactions Magazine July + August 2014)

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