January 13, 2016

What We Want

For every technology, there is an interface. It may be a simple, mechanical handle or a complex, digital display, but there needs to be a connection between what is used and its user.

User-centered design is the current best practice for creating interfaces. It is a process of gaining an understanding of peoples’ capabilities, goals, and needs, then shaping technology to support them.

At the core of user-centered design is the implicit assumption that people have wants. We want to accomplish a task. We want to do it safely. We want feedback and control. We want an enjoyable experience. The user interface should be designed to best serve those wants.

But what about the user interface – does it have wants too? What at first seems like a counterintuitive question has its roots in the philosophy of technology. It is based on the premise that the same evolutionary forces that drive humans and all living things also drive technologies, including...read more
By Rob Tannen

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Rob Tannen
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