Category Archives: Your reactions

What Computing Means to Echo

Although my life is so closely tied with the “New Media,” I felt like it was my first time to exactly know the definition of it after reading Manovich’s writing on new media.

The article reminds me of the programs’ name change issue happened at my previous college, California College of the Arts(CCA). We once had a heated discussion among the design program about changing the name from “Graphic Design” to “Visual Communication.” Since the majority considered that the term “graphic” is out of fashion and not a well presentation of today’s graphic design. Indeed, “graphic” literally means “of or relating to the art of printing” from the dictionary. However, nowadays graphic design is not limited to two-dimensional form (e.g poster, book), it is largely involved with new media. Graphic designers have worked on designing website, app, motion graphic, and interactive installation. The boom of new media also forces the school to update the courses in order to meet the industry’s need, there are more digital based design courses are taught at school compared to two years ago when I graduated.

“Media Arts” was another program that changed name but fail to meet the industry need. The funny effect is that after the program decided to change the name to “Film,” many students in the second year of the program switched major, as well as the first year students who intended to attend the program. The number of enrolled new students also dramatically dropped. School was surprised to find that how much students and parents care about “Media.” Students and parents considered that “media arts” is a much popular profession and a trendy study field.

I often heard form my graphic design friends complained to me that they were asked question about their website/app coding skill in job interviews, which they considered was not designer’s scope. Designer should only design the website, not code it. After attending this class and reading the article I realize it is a totally wrong concept, since if you do not have the basic understanding of programming a website, you definitely cannot design an appropriate interface for it.

The problem with the patent system

Hi Folks,

Just saw this on Gizmodo and thought I’d share since it was a topic of discussion last week.

So sad.

Sam – Interactivity and things

As I was reading Chapter 1 in Crawford’s text The Art of Interactive Design, I couldn’t help but think about myself and my most recent job. While I was redesigning the UI & UX of an upcoming mobile app, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more efficient the app creation process would be if I could just code along the way.

Nowadays, it seems that mostly everyone is multitalented. Hybrids, whether coder + designer or artist + producer, simply seem to get the job done faster and, in my experience, more successfully. And, I think this is probably because they envision the purpose of their products/creations more precisely. In completing various tasks, one more thoroughly understands how and why something should be done.

As Crawford claims “good in interactivity design integrates form with function” (12). I believe this holds true with any type of designs that are not primarily aesthetically pleasing. The input -> process -> output model is becoming more relevant, as the tech world delves into both augmented and virtual reality. Designers are now required to consider both the interaction and immersion with technology more seriously.

My favorite thing from this chapter: “Interaction is not reaction on a higher plane of existence” (8).

Mike Thal – Chapter 1 Reading Response

In the first chapter of The Art of Interactive Design, Crawford goes through the various differences between interaction and reaction. He explains that reaction is the equivalent of a one-sided conversation. One person is just saying things, but the other isn’t really enhancing the conversation. This occurs for at least one of three reasons:

  • One person doesn’t listen to the other.
  • One person doesn’t think about what the other person said.
  • One person doesn’t respond at all.

This makes a lot of sense with technology as well. To have interactivity, it’s essential that both people fully participate in the conversation. In the case of computers, people can speak to machines through various commands. Computers will “listen” to these commands, think about how to perform them, and ultimately carry them out.

However, Crawford’s definition of interactivity actually makes me wonder about video games. Are they really that interactive? Video games have often been cited as one of the most interactive mediums of our time, and yet many of them just tell a story. Sure players can influence the way a their character(s) move or act within the game, but many games don’t “listen” to the players actions. This creates a reactive situation for the player, much like a movie or book.

There are exceptions to this when games have multiple endings, of course. Many of the titles by BioWare and Bethesda Studios will change the events and/or endings of the narrative based on a player’s choices. But even in those situations, the exact scripts of those endings are predetermined and cannot be fully influenced by the player.