"As if by magic"

Video scenarios present people interacting with fictional technology by faking the actual functionality through the use of film techniques. I'm a big fan of the technique, since they can free designers from obsessing about the how of technology design and focus on the what, who and why. People's needs form the core of good video scenario, rather than technological capabilities. Once people's needs have been identified and interactions explored, the more rigorous work of technology development can start, but the idea of making little movies that demonstrate interaction ideas is really liberating. Plus, they're entertaining to make and watch, and the process of making can identify problems with interaction concepts that mere descriptions don't.

At the 2006 Milan Furniture Fair, back in April, I was particularly pleased to watch a set of video scenarios for the design of technology products created by students of the Kingston University product and furniture design program. They took the idea of detaching technology from interaction and ran with it, clearly stating that their concern was not with how their products did what they did, but that they did them "as if by magic".

The ideas that came out of this exercise are whimsical, interesting and highly creative: a rolling suitcase that follows you, a mug vacuums up spilled coffee, dust turns into bubbles that float to a specific person and pass on a message (and 28 others). Great stuff.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://orangecone.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/220




A device studio that lives at the intersections of ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, industrial design and materials science.

The Smart Furniture Manifesto

Giant poster, suitable for framing! (300K PDF)
Full text and explanation

Recent Photos (from Flickr)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design

By me!
ISBN: 0123748992
Published in September 2010
Available from Amazon

Observing the User Experience: a practitioner's guide to user research

By me!
ISBN: 1558609237
Published April 2003
Available from Amazon

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on August 17, 2006 1:38 PM.

Electronic sympathetic magic was the previous entry in this blog.

3D Lego Robot movies of carnivorous plants in MAKE is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.