The depth of coverage on SCAD’s Thesis Collection is impressive to say the least. I lost count on how many I have read or skimmed through but two of them really stood out to me. Pierce’s Natural User Interfaces in the Information Age and Occhipinti’s Adaptive Design, Convergent Media and the New Designer.
Pierce (Natural User Interfaces in the Information Age) looked at the importance of natural user interfaces in the information age and saw the role designers have bridging the gap between humans and technology. Natural interfaces are driven by interactions that mimic reality. I share the concepts and questions this thesis raises, and my current work surrounds this topic. The visual component was an interactive installation piece that used a natural user interface and desktop interface that allowed for collaboration on designs.
Occhipinti (Adaptive Design, Convergent Media and the New Designer) focused on the evolving roles of the graphic designer, emerging skill-sets, and the changes in communication brought about by technological convergence. He felt that there is a lack of resources, more so combined resources, that showcase the overall process of web design. His solution used “Process Cards” that work like a game, guiding the user through the process while converging the principles of UX, UI, design, etc.
While I was reading both thesis’s all I could see were the similarities it had to my research, but once I reflected on them, I was left with the differences. Overall Occhipinti’s thesis raised a lot of questions and highlighted a few spots in my search where there truly is no answer yet. One disagreement I had was the separation of mobile, tablet, and desktop. When separated it reenforces our ‘design for devices’ mentality. I agree that there is a disconnect of practices that makes acquiring the knowledge difficult, with that said experienced designers with discipline and passion connect these ideas everyday. I feel however that in order to truly converge these practices they must unite to work together.
My search for a thesis topic has been centered around human-computer interaction. Most of the theories I have been exploring came forth through my search for the balance between familiar and innovative. Currently it has lead me to look at the way design transits change through human-computer interaction in a world of infinite technological convergence. Our very practices must change, we have to release ourselves from the device, and create solutions that cross devices, extending technology through people. I am looking into the consequences of unnatural interfaces in order to outline the issues we face and create solutions that are natural, responsive, adaptive, and put people first.
I am still sifting through the massive collection and will be updating this post as I progress.