Principles — Reflections.
This week, we took a deeper dive in our ever deepening understanding of the core principles of interaction design — affordances, constraints, visibility, feedback and mental models. Part of me is tired of listening to the same damn words every class, but that is concisely the aim of our major — to have these concepts so bolted down in our minds that they are immediately the first concepts we think about reflexively when we discuss design.
When I joined this major, the only concept of these principles that I had were ideas of ergonomics (bought on by high-school classes of Design and Technology where we learned about making graphics like packaging, studying materials and construction, and using different tools in the workshop to create items) and human-computer interaction (which I had completely forgotten about even after taking Information Technology in a Global Society in my I.B). It never struck to me until starting the major that all these concepts actually formed a cohesive theory that interacted with each other. I used to think that design was its own separate field, and that it had nothing to do with human-computer interaction at all. After all, we studied them separately in high school without as much as a mention of the relation between the two. Of course, design used software, computers and technology, but the way they used it was studied under its own chapter under D.T.
When I left Doha, I had only known that I was interested in games, theoretical physics, design and technology, and computer philosophy and interaction. After such a long path that has wound from place to place, from studying at unaccepting universities and applying to degrees out of pressure, it feels good to have finally have found a field I can comfortably call home, one that bridges everything I find worth doing (and a field that can provide money, eh?). Who knows perhaps a little bit of physics will find me when I’m older.
While this may stray from the concepts of grouping related touchpoints together for visibility, learnability and the usefulness of bad design, and the umbrella of action possibilities, I find it important to remember why we do what we do. In world of uncertainty that many of us find ourselves in everyday with everyone telling us how to live but not why to live, it is important to think and know where you are thrusting yourself off to, lest you find out you are lost.