Rachel Hinman The Mobile Frontier p40-55
Design for distraction OR addiction
Hinman’s chapter definitely reminds us that there could be various mobile contexts compared to static context. Mobile contexts could be less immersive, could be on-the-go, and could be anywhere and everywhere like the author said. But the author seemed to focus too much on the dynamic side of the mobile context. I agree that many mobile contexts are highly dynamic where we should design for partial attention and interruption. However, mobile could also be in a highly focus context such as at night before sleep, when you talk to an AI counselor on your phone, in this case, design for partial attention may not apply well.
Behavior doesn’t happen in isolation, how to shape our daily experiences requires a deep understanding of users and context. Mobile contexts are different from static contexts as it has a way larger range of different situations. What I really liked in the article is developing empathy for context, understanding the need, then we can isolate the problem and define behaviors in react to context, and finally design the interactions.
Since 1968 when Douglas Engelbart developed the first GUI (NLS) in the world, science and technology have made a huge step, but the basic understanding of interfaces has remained at the same level. The idea of a natural user interface is not new and now, as technologies have become more affordable, it’s the opportunity for designers and developers to implement more. While the seamless experience brought by NUI due to the removal of barriers between human and devices creates more joy and fun, there are also some fundamental design principles we should consider more. As Don Norman pointed out (a couple years ago), ‘because gestures are ephemeral, and they do not leave behind any record of their path, there’s less information to help understand why’. As humans, we appreciate this seamlessness, but as designers, without traditional interactions such as buttons and switches, how we can leverage the use of ergonomic to design better interactions is open to exploration.