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DIS 2002 1 Everyday Adaptive Design Tom Moran IBM Almaden Research Center Designing Interactive Systems 2002 The British Museum, London, 25-28 June 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "DIS 2002 1 Everyday Adaptive Design Tom Moran IBM Almaden Research Center Designing Interactive Systems 2002 The British Museum, London, 25-28 June 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 DIS Everyday Adaptive Design Tom Moran IBM Almaden Research Center Designing Interactive Systems 2002 The British Museum, London, June 2002

2 DIS History of DIS Computing Systems: Batch Interactive Personal Networked Enterprise Web Mobile Ubiquitous Embedded Design Perspectives: Cognitive Usability GUI Socio-technical Participatory Graphic Information Interaction Experience

3 DIS Serious reflections on DIS What is user-oriented design? What is it trying to accomplish? What is its role in system development? Why is there no usefulness design? Who are the designers, anyway?

4 DIS Past, Present, Future The point of this talk: Design lives everywhere, in all of us. Specifically, in the users. People commit everyday little acts of design by adapting systems to their needs. This talk is more about: … seeing adaptation as good than as bad. … continuity than change.

5 DIS Managing Expectations Style School Method Philosophy Paradigm Theory Framework Perspective Attitude Muddle Concern DESIGN THEORY


7 DIS Design v. tr. 1.Conceive or fashion in the mind; invent. design a good excuse for not attending the conference 2.Formulate a plan for; devise. design a marketing strategy for the new product 3.Plan out in systematic, usually graphic form. design a building; design a computer program 4.Create or contrive for a specific purpose or effect. design a game designed to appeal to all ages 5.Create a basic scheme or pattern that affects and controls function or development. the overall design of an epic poem 6.Create in an artistic or highly skilled manner.

8 DIS Perspectives on What Design Is EverydayWhat does the dictionary say? PoliticalWho is called a Designer? SocialWhat is Designer talk? What is the Designers role? CognitiveWhat is the behavior, activity, and practice of designing? DesignWhat do we want it to be? We can design design!

9 DIS Goal of Design (personal) Design artifacts that become suitably and intimately enmeshed in peoples lives. Not an object of admiration. Deeper notion of interaction design. Criteria: 1. Usefulness. 2. Reliability 3. Usability. 4. Delight. More evolutionary than revolutionary. More service than product.

10 DIS Design and Time Life cycle of development: Design Build Use Design is a set of distributed activities of different kinds by different people at different times. Adapt Time is the best designer!

11 DIS Three Notions of Design Professional Design By Designers at design time Generic Design By many other professionals throughout development Adaptive Design By adapters (users) throughout the life cycle


13 DIS Professional Design: Assets Representation of the end user Generic process skills: Breadth (look at multiple alternatives) Iteration (feedback and refinement) Integration (of multiple views) Specific skills (eg, aesthetic expression) Specialized domain knowledge

14 DIS Professional Design: Difficulties … to ascribe to architects … exceptional insight into problems of living when, in truth, most of them are concerned with problems of business or prestige. – Rudolfsky Predicting usefulness Cant Representing the user Adbusters manifesto Talk to other designers Awards; AIGA cases Pull of over-design Design problems everywhere


16 DIS Generic Design Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones – Simon Designing is a type of cognitive activity (vs, say, diagnosis or decision making) with characteristic properties …

17 DIS Design Activity Design problems are ill-defined. The problem is defined as you go. Whats taken to be a solution depends on the individual / discipline. Design problems are ill-structured. (a complex of interdependent components) Managed systematically and opportunistically. Decomposed into better-structured subproblems. Coordinated and integrated.

18 DIS Design Activity Designing is specifying. Work with multiple representations. Representations give structure and focus. Representations provide for reflection on the state of the design (Schon). Designing is stealing. Domain knowledge is reused. Creativity is based on analogical reasoning. Integration is the hardest part of design.

19 DIS Design of a Service (Palen & Salzman) User experience of a cellphone: Hardware dial shuttle Software call routing feature Netware service quality & type, roaming, long distance Bizware Calling plans cost & use patterns Marketing promotions call routing + free weekend Handset manual nonspecific Phone bill format Customer service

20 DIS Design is a Social Process Collaboration Negotiation (NB: Rittels IBIS) User Participation Design is not a profession, but a community (such as, say, DIS)


22 DIS Everyday Design Everybody is a designer in everyday life. Yet we share no common vocabulary for describing everyday design practice …. design is not limited to the province of specialists who have formal training.... Rather, design behavior is a fundamental element of our species adaptation. – Strickland

23 DIS Portable Effects Exhibit (Strickland) … glimpses into human mobile nature … prompts each of us to consider the design motives and methods that underlie our daily transactions with ordinary objects. Esther

24 DIS Esthers Purse I feel very well equipped to go out. The purse looks like a mess … but it's got everything. It's got all the recent goings on. So it's got all my credit cards, money a little bit here and there, a notepad.... I tend to take a long time to file things … So this works as a clearance center. It's little pieces of paper that can't be thrown away, but I don't have time to attend to yet. … If I've just finished a transaction I like to just dump it into my purse and go. Then once in a month … or so I'll sit there and organize and weed it out.... Once in a while it takes me a longer time to find something, but that's actually rare. I have an organization, and I can't even articulate it. But if I need money I dive in there and I can find some. I guess my system arises from an aversion to organizing all the time. I like most of my life to be free flowing. In little patches there's some heavy duty organizing to do.

25 DIS Back Bag

26 DIS Everyday Adaptive Design Everyday design is authentic: continuous process of adaptation attention is specific and detailed develops a tight fit to the situation unique character results: informal, pragmatic, alive with offhand ingenuity


28 DIS Design without Designers Architecture without Architects – Rudolfsky non-pedigreed architecture Notes on the Synthesis of Form – Alexander unselfconscious design The Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jacobs vitality of the street from its diversity and density How Buildings Learn – Brand the low road Learning from Las Vegas – Venturi et al theory of the ordinary and ugly

29 DIS Vernacular Architecture (Rudolfsky) There is much to learn from architecture before it became an experts art. The untutored builders in space and time … demonstrate an admirable talent for fitting their buildings into the natural surroundings. Instead of trying to conquer nature, as we do, they welcome the vagaries of climate and the challenge of topography. The beauty of this architecture has long been dismissed as accidental, but today we should be able to recognize it as the result of rare good sense in the handling of practical problems.

30 DIS Native Vernacular: Pakistani Wind Scoops (Rudolfsky)

31 DIS Romantic Vernacular: Victorian Houses (Moudon)

32 DIS Victorian House Plans

33 DIS Vulgar Vernacular: The Low Road (Brand)


35 DIS Customization Techniques Scripting languages Macros (programming by example) Formulas Rules Features Parameters Skins Rearrangement

36 DIS User vs Adapter Use: put system into action for a purpose Assumes the system is ready for the purpose Thus, usability is the designers problem Adapt: make system suitable for a purpose Thus, usefulness is the adapters problem Adopt: make the system ones own As a result of adaptive activity

37 DIS Systems for Adaptive Design Web Wikis, Blogs Spreadsheets Local developers Habitat Messaging Teens Cellphone Rendezvousing Desktop Freeform space Paper Post-its

38 DIS Adaptive Design – Mobile Work Plan what to carry for later access and use (planful opportunism) Redundancy for coping with uncertainty Laptop, disk, pre- , paper, cellphone Short dead times in various contexts Multi-tasking (eg: in a car) Cellphone for delegation Lightweightness and flexibility Micromobility and instant-on Connectivity to local resources (Perry, OHara, Sellen, Brown, Harper)

39 DIS Adaptive Design – (Bellotti et al) is a serial killer app – people progressively appropriate [ ] as a habitat in which they spend most of their workday Basic function used in variety of ways eg negotiation Manipulate folders to keep visible Used for other functions: To-dos; contact management; repository Attachments for document exchange But filters only slightly used

40 DIS Professional vs Adaptive Design FormalInformal AnticipatedSituated Ill-definedConcrete ReflectAct SpecifyBuild ProgramArrange AdventurousConservative Make it rightMake do


42 DIS Architecture of Layers (Brand) daily 3-30 yrs 7-15 yrs 20 yrs eternal

43 DIS Behavior of Layers Need slippage between layers. Fast layers explores changes (originality). Slow layers constrain the fast layers. Slow layers provide continuity. Slow layers eventually integrate changes. (Infrastructuralization)

44 DIS Platforms, Not Solutions Overbuild infrastructure, underbuild features: Provide reliable basic services. Under-design: Dont over-respond to immediate issues. Defer decisions, provide opportunities. (Rationale for simplicity: adaptability, not ease.) Platforms support cheap experiments over extended time periods.

45 DIS Space to Evolve Make room for adaptive design: Leave some spaces rough. low definition spaces basement, garage, porch, storage Make spaces non-minimal. Generous room sizes

46 DIS Managing the At-Hand Allow people to arrange whats at hand: Arranging stuff in spaces. Fitting in storage/display structures. What is an adaptable quality (look and feel)? Conveying opportunity and potential. Aesthetic of ongoing process.

47 DIS Modularity Allow recombining and repurposing: Cellular spaces (hierarchic) Joinable and splitable Closed modular systems (kits) Expensive Limited style, choices, and availability Open standards Accomodate heterogeneity

48 DIS Process Assuming people have local control: Provide documentation, service, and support. Do-it-yourself industry Make adaptations sharable. Document experiences and solutions. Use for generalization and infrastructuralization

49 DIS What about Systems? Some trends supporting adaptive design: Open standards Web architecture Portalization Freeform technologies But interaction design is needed: Lightweight Flexible Looser, less crammed Interchangeable, interconnectable

50 DIS Adaptive Design Behavior Issues Time course of adaptation Maintaining vs changing habits Amenity and function vs style Reflection vs on-the-fly action Experimentation (trial and error) Inhibitions to local control

51 DIS Research for Adaptive Design Systems Theory Alexander, Furnas, … Empirical Investigations Nardi, Mackay, … Design Methods Fischer, … Adaptation Techniques ??? Pliant Technology Henderson Task-Specific Languages spreadsheets Design Languages Alexander, Reinfrank, …

52 DIS Conclusion Adaptive design runs rampant. It is vital, creative, and messy. The design community can: Dismiss it as vulgar. Try to clean it up. Embrace it. Design to support it and improve it.

53 DIS Thanks to … Michel Beaudouin-Lafon Victoria Bellotti Gerhard Fischer George Furnas Bill Gaver Beverly Harrison Steve Harrison Send comments to Austin Henderson Wendy Mackay Bill Moggridge Bonnie Nardi John Reinfrank Dan Russell Rachel Strickland Bill Verplank

54 DIS

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