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Interface Design Positions – Boris Müller June 21, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in learning, making the invisible visible, theory.

My colleagues from university and me were hosting an event with the topic “Position in Interface Design” last week. Here some thoughts from my colleague Boris Müller:

Boris basically presented three thoughts, which he wanted to see discussed a little more in future:

(photo: J. Landstorfer)

“Why do the things actually look the way they do?” – a hint that everything around us is designed, even though we forget sometimes. Especially with technical or digital products humans tend to take certain solutions for granted because it seems that the technology requires them to be a certain way, which is not true! More work and responsibility for designers!

(photo: J. Landstorfer)

The second thought of Boris caused a lot of discussion: he presented the dilema of Interface Design to be somewhere inbetween “Appolonian” and “Dionysian”. By “Appolonian” he means inivsible, action-oriented (efficient) solutions, which are rather more intellectual pleasure, while “Dionysian” represent more impressive, more sensual, more physical pleasure in interface design.

I think I understand what Boris meant by this “Dichotomie”, but I am not sure that I follow: a good interaciton is invisible and an intellectual pleasure, but is also sensually fun – I would think. But I am really not part of this really impressive “design-centered-design scene” as my colleague Frank Heidmann formulated it – and I think Boris meant these people when talking about “dionysian design”…

(photo: J. Landstorfer)

In the last part of his talk, Boris used the nice word play (by Donald Rumsfeld when arguing the Iraq war) and discussed that in interface/interaction design there are

  • known knows, which we need to teach
  • known unknown, which we can solve with out methods
  • and unknown unknown, and that’s what we need design research for.

Thanks for an inspiring talk, Boris!




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