Week 1 Reading Assignment

The article “Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural” brought to mind a lot of design concepts that , much to my dismay, I had never stopped to question. The use of the one-click, right-click, two-click, three-click options with a mouse seems practically innate to me at this point. Though, when really thinking about its operation, it doesn’t make that much sense in terms of human interaction. And even something as simple as that has created user confusion. When switching from PC to Mac (or the reverse, heaven forbid :)) it is an adjustment that the user has to get used to. Anyhow, it seems that the goal of interface design is to relate to the user in the clearest and most efficient way. So it is the obvious direction to move towards human centered-interface. As the article accurately describes, gestural interaction is a big step in the right direction, giving the user multiple ways of interacting with their device….though there is still a long way to go. Human interaction is expressed through multiple mediums. To interact we use physical gestures but also incorporate facial expressions, body language, verbal language, and a multitude of other psychologies to communicate. For devices to have the ability to engage with truly human centered interface our technology must advance in the way of forming more cognitive and conscious devices.


It may seem a long way off that common everyday devices could be created with this power, but as Billy Joy explains in his article – intelligent or conscious robots are not that far off in the future. It seems only logical to want to create more human centered devices and thus before we know it may be facing the reality of intelligent robots.


To draw another connection in terms of human centered design, it is so interesting to see how Facebook seems to be taking that same approach by making the internet a personal experience. Facebook has big visions of (and the correct platform to do so) to turn the internet and its infinite amount of information into a user centered personal experience. So again, we see this desire within design to relate with the platforms, software,devices that we are designing.


Is it so, that the more personal an experience can be, the better the experience? IT seems the answer is yes, and I agree. Though, my next question is if we are continually trying to create human centered design, doesn’t that mean we will still never surpass the issue of user error? Even when humans interact with each other they make mistakes, they misread each other or miscommunicate. So if, or when, we get to the point of interacting with devices on a cognitive level won’t there inherently still be user error, missed interaction or miscommunication? I am left thinking that no matter the advance of technology and design, we most likely will never escape the problems of user error; whether that be as simple as device interaction, or as problematic as an intelligent robot species presenting a lethal threat.


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