Daily Archives: September 17, 2019

DR2008_05_Reading: Introduction to Thoughtful Interaction Design

Thoughtful Interaction Design (2004) by Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Chapter 1: Introduction

Every design proposal is formulated in a close relationship with a changing and growing understanding of the situation. Since this is an ongoing process, it is never possible to determine whether a design proposal is right or wrong. The design process begins when the initial ideas concerning a possible future take shape then goes on all the way to a complete and final specification that can function as a basis for construction or production. Every design process is unique with the preconditions for design work change from one occasion to the next. Every design process is affected by the people responsible for carrying out the work and existing conditions, such as available staff, tools, and time. The process is also a consequence of the specifics of the design situation at hand.

Also, design is about uncertainty, ethical activity that is deeply influenced by values and ideals. Design is also an aesthetic activity that influence our lives not only on their functionality but also from their form and the way we experience them in use situations. Design is a political and ideological activity since every design affects our possibilities for actions and our way of being in the world. These views of design, leads to a realization that design includes responsibility. In order to handle the complexity of interaction design, there is a need for a reflective mind, labelled as a thoughtful designer.

The responsibility for what is created is fully in the hands of the designer. As the design of digital artifacts is largely open and unbounded, this leaves us with a situation where the designer wields significant power, and with such power comes responsibility. It becomes important to ask questions about what is good and what is bad design, and about the goals to which an interaction designer should lend her skills.

I could not agree more on the importance of thoughtful designers in the world. It is not easy but really important approach to design with consideration of other aspects in mind, not only fulfilling one’s goal but how it will impact others. Currently, it might be seem as just a small insignificant task but actually those ‘small’ decisions are part of shaping our present and future, no matter how small it seems to be. We never know what kind of influence and impact we can bring to the society. Therefore, let’s be thoughtful! 🙂

[1] Löwgren, Jonas., and Stolterman, Erik. Thoughtful Interaction Design a Design Perspective on Information Technology Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004.