Three Hows of Interaction Design

One of the  cool video from the book on Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge. Bill showed this video during his presentation at IDEO yesterday. This video is about Bill Verplank, who not only draws cool pictures and talks while drawing bringing these images to life.

Bill says that the interaction designer needs to answer three questions, about how people act, how they feel, and how they understand. He illustrates the answers as he talks.

The questions are all How Do You questions. Spend a few minutes watching this video. It is amazing how designers think.


Designing Interactions

Thanks to  Designing Interactions. It was probably one of the most inspiring presentations, I have been to in a long time. Bill showed some videos and told stories about a few interactions with various designers.  Bill started the presentation with a video of Doug Engelbart and the design of the mouse.

The book itself has an interesting design. It  is a multi-media publication combining a DVD with a set of video interviews and the printed book. You can download one chapter each week from the website, as well.  Bill mentioned that he started out with a 500 page book and by the time he incorporated all suggestions from reviewers, it became 800+ pages.

The talk was great. Nothing like listening to the author of a book share his experience on why he wrote the book, how he went about it and answer questions. Bill said that in the first phase of his life he did lots and lots of designs. In the next phase, he managed design teams (sharing his knowledge informally). In the third phase (which I guess is the current one), he wants to tell his stories of Design. This book is the first attempt to tell a few stories. I hope he keeps doing that. I hope others follow this lead and share their experience and insights.

This one of the most energizing presentations, I have had the privilege to attend. I am back looking at some videos, reading a chapter that is available online and waiting for the book to arrive. Many topics in this book deserve entries of their own.

Want to Test WikiCalc?

 Dan Bricklin the original inventor of spreadsheets and the author of WikiCalc,  is looking for help in testing WikiCalc 0.96 beta.

I really need help testing this product. I’d really appreciate it if people would test it out soon. I need testing of the functions to make sure the calculated values are correct. I need testing in a server-based environment to see how well the Edit This Page system works, how robust the security is, etc. I’m not looking for changes to the UI to make it “better” or more like Excel, etc. I’m looking to find things that are supposed to work that don’t. Even just using it to recreate something you already have and letting me know if it does or doesn’t work will help. I don’t need you to tell me where the bug is in the code (though that’s always nice) — I just need to know what potential bugs you found.

Here are some interesting features.

  •  WikiCalc can be hosted on your own server unlike Google Spreadsheet which is hosted on Google Servers
  • This product is similar to using a Wiki (collaborative editing)
  • Can be dynamically embedded in other web pages

It is nice to see Wikiness appearing in other applications. If you are interested, here is the announcement. And here is the link to the beta. There is also a page about the architecture of WikiCalc.