Category Archives: Essays

How Apple is Giving Design a Bad Name

Posted by |10 Nov 15 |

Bruce Tognazzini and I document the many shortcomings of Apple’s current design philosophy in this Fast Company article.

The “science” in the science of design

Posted by |19 Oct 15 |

Design is a complex field. Some components of design already are based upon good science, usually from the behavioral and cognitive sciences. Some are at the pre-scientific level of understanding. I believe that with a proper attitude to…

Affordances: Commentary on the Special Issue of AI EDAM

Posted by |18 Oct 15 |

The Journal “Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing” published a special issue on Affordances and asked me to comment on the collection. The concept of affordances has an interesting history, starting…

Encounters with HCI pioneers

Posted by |18 Oct 15 |

From the very beginnings of time, Ben Shneiderman has been busy photographing all that he sees. Ben was active in the pre-history days of the folks who tried to understand the newly-developed computing machines, especially as they moved …

A Product Is More than a Product — Consider the Chair

Posted by |25 Jul 15 |

Imagine how the 21st century chair might perk up when guests arrive, autonomously transforming itself as needed. It can become a stepstool when someone needs to stand on it, or a bed, perhaps formed by enlisting other chairs so that they…

Positive computing: technology for wellbeing and human potential (Calvo & Peters)

Posted by |04 Jan 15 |

The design of human-computer systems used to focus upon the negative, the breakdowns that confused and confounded people. Now it is time to move to the next level, to focus upon the positive, systems that are enjoyable and pleasurable.