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Innovation in interaction design

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Peter Merholz asks whether Research and Development departments make sense in the context of hardware and software product design, quoting Microsoft’s R&D department as evidence, which seems to do lots of research that spawns no noticeable product innovation

“Perhaps Steve Jobs was right to kill Apple’s vaunted Advanced Technology Group. It seems that product teams are responsible for their own innovation, and, what do you know, it’s working (Rendezvous, iTunes, Expose, etc. etc.)!”

I think that in the areas of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Experience design, this is particularly true, because there should be no separation between the mainstream product design process and the HCI/UED innovation process
Michael Angeles at IA/ recently highlighted the dangers of too much HCI innovation in online application design by linking to an essay called The Page Paradigm by Mark Hurst. Hurst goes back to an article he wrote five years ago to reiterate his conclusion that “on any given Web page, users will either… click something that appears to take them closer to the fulfillment of their goal, or click the Back button on their Web browser.” He goes on to outline a simple method of applying this idea, quoting a remarkable case study that shows the benefits of the approach
Meanwhile, the IA Summit in Austin, Texas, has just finished and the conference weblog has links to some useful stuff, including 4 Myths about Taxonomies and Dublin Core by Joseph Busch. Whilst we are on the subject, elearningpost offers this informative link to articles on taxonomy strategies.

One Response to Innovation in interaction design

  1. By Susanne Dickel on March 1, 2004 at 7:57 pm

    Maybe Microsoft’s problem is more related to the ‘invent and ignore’ paradigm precedented by Xerox PARC rather than too much innovation from the HCI/UED field – which for many people seems to be a contradiction in terms anyway (but that’s another discussion altogether).
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1583482660/104-4015882-0097533?v=glance