Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News | Technology News

 

Defining And Sculpting Interactions Between Man And Technology

Mar 7 2014, 2:51pm CST | by

1 Updates
Defining And Sculpting Interactions Between Man And Technology
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Defining And Sculpting Interactions Between Man And Technology

By Jonathan Follett

Editor’s note: we’re running a series of five excerpts from our forthcoming book Designing for Emerging Technologies, a compilation of works by industry experts in areas of user experience design related to genomics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and the Industrial Internet of Things.

In this excerpt, author — and editor of Designing for Emerging Technologies Jonathan Follett addresses designer’s roles as new technologies begin to blur the boundaries between design and engineering for software, hardware, and biotech.

Technology extends our grasp, making it possible for us to achieve our goals rapidly and efficiently; but it also places its own set of demands upon us. The fields of industrial design, graphic design, and software user experience design have all evolved in response to these demands — a need for a human way to relate to and interact with our new tools. Graphic design makes information depicted in printed media clear, understandable, and beautiful; industrial design makes products elegant, usable, and humane; and user experience design makes the interaction with our digital tools and services efficient and even pleasurable.

The future of design is to envision humanity’s relationship to technology and each other — whether we’re struggling with fear and loathing in reaction to genetically altered foods, the moral issues of changing a child’s traits to suit a parent’s preferences, the ethics guiding battlefield robots, or the societal implications of a 150-year extended lifetime. Now, more than ever, designers have the opportunity to help define the parameters of and sculpt the interactions between man and technology.

The evolution of these fields will create opportunities for influencing humanity’s progress as a species; making the tumult and disruption of the Information Revolution look like a minor blip by comparison. While the miracles of our Information Age are many, the technologies of computers, the Internet, and mobile devices primarily serve to accelerate human communication, collaboration, and commerce. Without dismissing their importance, we observe that many existing models of interaction have merely moved from the physical to the digital realm — becoming cheaper, faster and, perhaps, better in the process. E-mail replaces the post, e-commerce replaces the brick-and-mortar store, and so on. Conversely, we can see, especially in the technologies of robotics and genomics, the potential for tremendous change, disruption on a wide scale, and the re-making of our current order in substantial fashion.

Designers have only just begun to think about the implications of emerging technologies for the human condition. We must prepare for the transformation of our field of practice — moving from design as facilitation, shaping the interface and workflow, to design as the arbiter, driving the creation of the technology itself and applying our understanding of interaction, form, information, and artistry to new areas.

To balance those asking, “How can this be done?” we must ask, “Why should we do this, to what end, and for whose benefit?” We must move from being passive receptors of new technology to active participants in its formation. As design thinkers and practitioners, we’re called to serve as a bridge between technology and humanity, to be explorers and actively seek out new opportunities in areas that are not yet obvious. We’re on the eve of some of the most significant technological changes to ever grace our world, and whether these changes serve everyone or just a few will be up to us.

In the coming years, as the boundaries between design and engineering for software, hardware, and biotech continue to blur, those who began their professional lives as industrial designers, computer engineers, user experience practitioners, and scientists will find that the trajectory of their careers takes them into uncharted territory. Like the farmers who moved to the cities to participate in the birth of the Industrial Revolution, we can’t imagine all of the outcomes of our work. But if history is any indicator, the convergence of these technologies will be greater than the sum of their parts. If we are prepared to take on such challenges, then we only have to ask: “What stands in the way?”


If you are interested in the collision of hardware and software, and other aspects of the convergence of physical and digital worlds, subscribe to the free Solid Newsletter.

This post originally appeared on O’Reilly Radar. (“Defining and sculpting interactions between man and technology”). It’s been republished with permission.

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bill Belichick Praises Ty Law
Bill Belichick Praises Ty Law
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is all praises former Patriots cornerback Ty Law, who will enter the team Hall of Fame on Aug. 1.
 
 
Sharknado 2: Death, Cameos, and Twitter
Sharknado 2: Death, Cameos, and Twitter
Sharknado raked in nearly a billion conversations and mentions on Twitter-in part because celebrities showed up everywhere.
 
 
Jada Pinkett Smith Opens Up About Her Marriage
Jada Pinkett Smith Opens Up About Her Marriage
The Actress Also Talks About Her New Role in This Falls "Gotham" TV Show.
 
 
Trending Now: Allison Williams, Sharknado 2 and Kate Upton
Trending Now: Allison Williams, Sharknado 2 and Kate Upton
Find below the top 3 trending news stories to start your day.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.