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Rettig.interface designislanguagedesign

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Rettig.interface designislanguagedesign

  1. 1. 14 February 2006 New York chapter of the Interaction Design Association Marc Rettig Interaction design is language design.
  2. 2. Marc Rettig Fit Associates, LLC www.marcrettig.com www.fitassociates.com marc@fitassociates.com Hello. These slides were presented at the February meeting of the New York City chapter of the Interaction Design Association (www.ixda.org). You’re free to circulate them and to use the ideas in your own work, so long as you credit the author. These slides are more or less exactly the ones I showed, except they have these little notes on the side. I make slides to support the presentation, then they don’t make any sense for people who didn’t attend the talk. So I’ll try to “talk to you” by scribbling notes right over the slides….
  3. 3. Hey! ? Since this is the “Interaction Designers’ Association,” and not, say, a workshop on “How to Make a Killer Web Site,” I thought I could get away with being non- prescriptive. Basically this talk is me saying, “I came across some interesting ideas, I thought they seemed important. I’m sharing what’s on my mind in case you want to think about it too.”
  4. 4. Might be important. This stuff is only getting harder, and we just keep winging it. We need theoretical foundations for our methods. When we’re honest with one another, we admit that we make design decisions from the gut, from the seat of our pants, way more often than we would like. The work of interaction design lacks good theoretical foundations. No blame – it’s early, we’re just getting started. But “winging it” is going to be less and less tenable as a way to work. Because of technical and social trends, the distance between control and response is widening (inputs are becoming separated from outputs. The context of use is becoming less predictable for a lot of design challenges. Our designs go out into an ecosystem of other devices, people, and protocols – they don’t stand alone the way we sometimes like to think. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some foundations for our work that could guide decisions about choices of symbols, prioritization of features, relative prominence of one thing over another? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an underlying theory to help us make sure our designs were going to fit people’s expectations for controls, feedback, pace, error-handling, and so on and on? I do not claim to offer such a foundation in this talk. This is much more humble. I’m just saying I looked through this door, and it looked kind of foundational on the other side. I sniffed it, and it smelled like it had rubbed up against something fundamental. Pick your metaphor.
  5. 5. Topic Page 1. Descriptive linguistics 0.101 6 2. Design languages 15 3. Interaction languages 31 4. Speech acts and 49 discourse models Let’s open the box and see what’s inside. By god, it’s an outline of this talk!
  6. 6. Descriptive Linguistics 0.101The first thing in this box of clues is a designer’s introduction to a few concepts in linguistics. The terminology I use sits about halfway between the way linguists talk about language and the way I imagine we might teach interface design if we were treating ―interface linguistics‖ as one of the fundamental ways of understanding our work. So to warn you, if you say ―deep structure and surface structure‖ to a linguist, it will make his or her eyebrows go up and they’ll have a lot to say. If you say ―elements, constructs and compositions‖ to a linguist, it will probably sound intriguing but unfamiliar. I don’t know whether I’ve helped or hampered your preparations for linguist’s cocktail parties.
  7. 7. Layers of language Surface Structure What we actually do when we use language: text, voice utterances, gestures, symbols,… Syntax and lexicon In our minds, in our culture, in the world Deep Structure in your mind, in my mind. Same for you as for me? Who knows? Here is one way to look at how language works. This framing got its start with Noam Chomsky and his Transformational Grammar. Though he and nearly everybody else have since moved on, I want to set this up for its value in explaining why I think the same thing is going on with languages for interaction between people and systems.
  8. 8. key concept: surface structure Surface structure: language as spoken, written, or signed; the result of a language in use — what people see, hear, or do when they use a language to express a particular meaning. I want cake.
  9. 9. key concept: deep structure Deep structure: what is in the mind when people use language; the meaning that underlies surface structure. desire ( self [singular], possess ( self [singular], cake [edible object], time [present]))
  10. 10. One deep structure  many surface structures desire ( self [singular], possess ( self [singular], cake [edible object], time [immediately])) • /?ai uant kheikh/ • I want cake • Cake is wanted by me • Cake, please • Do I see a piece of cake over there? • Ich wünsche Kuchen • Dude. • < point at cake, point at mouth, smile, wiggle eyebrows > deep structure surface structure
  11. 11. Ambiguity, oy. He passed the bar. Time flies like an arrow. I love you. A proposition: we don’t want our languages for interaction to have the same power of expression as human languages. Ambiguity is just one example of the high cost of that power. A sentence so famous it has its own Wikipedia entry!
  12. 12. Key concepts: Syntax and Lexicon Syntax: You know, grammar. A set of rules by which language elements are assembled into valid constructs; by “valid,” I mean “sensible to people literate in the language.” Lexicon: All the stuff a dictionary tries to explain, and more. The set of symbols shared by speakers of a language, which map to a set of shared meanings. To communicate, you gotta have: • shared meanings • shared symbols
  13. 13. An over-simplified way to think about syntax A language gives us: • A lexicon of atomic symbols – call them Elements. A word is an element. • Rules for assembling elements into larger Constructs, like sentences. • Rules and conventions for assembling constructs into even larger Compositions: essays, letters to mom, declarations of independence, fart jokes…. Element: Spuds Construct: She mashed the spuds. Composition: Ode to a Potato-Head I lie awake while he doth bake; Oh melting polystyrene visage!
  14. 14. Review A language defines a set of elements which tie a symbol in surface structure to a meaning in deep structure. Elements are assembled into valid and meaningful constructs according to the rules of a grammar. In turn, constructs may be assembled into compositions, which make up a complete whole. And that concludes Linguistics 0.101.
  15. 15. Design Languages With that little set of terms and ideas behind us, let’s look at the idea of design languages. We’re sneaking up on our title topic one step at a time. John Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson wrote about design languages in their chapter in the book, Bringing Design to Software. Industrial designers work with ―form language‖ all the time, and branding folks develop ―brand languages.‖ Some of that work really does live up to the name. (And the term is much more common now than it was when I first gave this talk in 2006.)
  16. 16. a static design language: highway signs I first understood design languages through the example of highway signs. (First encountered through Clement Mok’s book, Designing Business.) Maybe this same example will help you. Let's talk about highway signs for a moment, and discover the well-formed structures used in their design.
  17. 17. A well-defined language Richard Moeur: www.richardcmoeur.com If you haven't stopped to think about this or look at the specification, you might be surprised at how thoroughly the language of highways signs is documented These are a few of the kinds of "sentences" in the language, from a site that documents it in detail. Each of these is a category of sign, a kind of expression in the language.
  18. 18. …with a detailed lexicon and grammar As you can see, there is a lot of detail. Here we've clicked through to the details of the "W8" category of warning signs: bumps, dips, and pavement condition.
  19. 19. And here is another category, the category of Guide Signs. Behind each of these links is a detailed list like the one we just saw. By the way, you'd be amazed at how many sites there are about highway signs. It's a little like trainspotting or something. There are fan sites. "Here are photos my brother and I took down highway 12—we got all the state highway markers along the way." "I have all the state highway markers, with variations since 1965."
  20. 20. the language allows for variation Like "natural languages" (the term linguists and computer scientists use for human languages, to distinguish them from "artificial languages" such as Esperanto, and formal languages like those used for computer programming), the language of highway signs allows for some variation in how things are said. Here's an example: state highway markers. In the language, they must be a black rectangle with a white field, displaying the number of the state highway. But states often deviate from the recommended standard, usually by somehow representing their state on the sign: the shape of the state (Arkansas, Arizona, etc.) or something symbolic (Pennsylvania's keystone, for example).
  21. 21. ELEMENTS of highway sign language shape, color, symbol, text, position relative to road
  22. 22. Constructs in highway signish element: S-curve ahead element: Warning construct: Warning: S-curve ahead + =
  23. 23. Syntax for Highway Signish • There are rules for making “sentences” in the language of highway signs • Shape and color are used as redundant cues (octagons always red, triangles always yellow) • Some use of layers (the “no” symbol) • There are rules for relative position of text & symbol • This grammar is formally codified
  24. 24. Writing and reading Deep structure Surface structure In one mile the road splits; fork left for U.S. interstate 10, fork right for U.S. interstate 17 You are driving on U.S. interstate 17; In one mile, this highway enters the Phoenix city limits When the highway department wants to say something, they translate a ―deep‖ semantic structure or intent into surface structure – a construct in Highway Signish. If you’re literate in the language, seeing a sign evokes deep structures in you that are hopefully what the highway department intended.
  25. 25. Compositions in highway signish
  26. 26. …and my personal favorite
  27. 27. Applying this language – using it to create clear, accurate, usable constructs and compositions that millions of people will use every day while guiding tons of family-bearing metal down the road at high speed – is serious craft. These are from the Missouri Department of Transportation Engineering Policy Guide, ―903.8 Freeway and Expressway Guide Signs‖ epg.modot.org/index.phptitle=9 03.8_freeway_and_expressway_ guide_signs Another source for the curious is the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Freeway Management and Operations Handbook ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freewaymgm t/publications/frwy_mgmt_hand book/
  28. 28. Eye candy: ask google images about ―highway interchange‖ (and imagine you were hired as an ―interface designer‖ in this field; could be kinda fun!)
  29. 29. highway signs: compositions • There are rules and conventions for creating good compositions; for example, the spacing and positioning of signs relative to the road • Many layers of concern are woven into a single composition: guidance, warning, regulatory advisories, etc. • There is a grammar for compositions as well as constructs, but it is looser, allows more room for in-context innovation. There is art to creating a great composition (there is an annual award for highway interchange design).
  30. 30. Design languages are common Nantucket houses unconscious language Photocopiers conscious language
  31. 31. Review We are surrounded by “design languages.” Most of them suffer from a lack of being designed-as- languages. They are full of irregularities that make them difficult to “read,” to learn and remember. Still, they fit today’s definition of real languages. They map a lexicon of symbols to a set of underlying meanings. They use symbols in combination (constructs) to communicate complex meanings.
  32. 32. Interaction Languages Now we’ve learned a little about languages in general, and we’ve had an introduction to design languages. What might we mean by ―interface languages‖ or ―interaction languages?‖
  33. 33. Interaction as conversation When you design an interactive product, you are creating the setting for thousands of conversations. You are creating the language which will be spoken between the product and the person.
  34. 34. By this point in the presentation, you’re a freshly-minted interaction linguist. What can you say about the interplay between deep and surface structures here? How about the elements and constructs of the design language?
  35. 35. Some of the things my remote control lets me say Play Stop   CH + CH -   A-B Repeat 10  
  36. 36. interaction languages: good & bad news Good news: because we design them consciously, and because we can spend time up front understanding the conversations we seek to enable, interaction languages can be far less messy than natural languages • vocabulary just the right size • less ambiguity • designed for quick path to literacy • build on people’s knowledge of other languages
  37. 37. More good news: information technology gives us all sorts of ways to build explicit representations of the underlying semantics, and use them to drive the behavior of the interface. Woohoo! interaction languages: good & bad news
  38. 38. “Watch the Simpsons on seven.” turn on TV tune to channel 7 TV on/off state current channel previous channel current input volume setting … Channel number current program call sign [network] … Program title … TimeSlot date start time …semantics lexicon and (hidden, invisible) syntax pragmatics, discourse surface structure When I get down in this layer, I tend to think in terms of object models.
  39. 39. I want cake. yes, you can have some now yes, you can have some later no, the cake is all gone no. you can’t afford cake. Bad news: interaction languages are more complicated than static design languages. We have to account for both sides of the conversation! interaction languages: good & bad news
  40. 40. <click> Want to hear a little project story? [ ] Yes [ ] No
  41. 41. Brian Herzfeldt and I did an ―ingredients-to-soup‖ interaction design project for a medical software products company named Vassol. A full case study of this work was published in the DUX 2003 Proceedings, and you can find that article on my site: www.marcrettig.com/vassol- case-study/ At this point in original talk, I used that work as an example of the practice of creating an interaction language. I’ve left those slides out because they won’t do you much good without me explaining everything. The nut: we inventoried the meanings to be shared between the users and the underlying system – both nouns and verbs. And we inventoried the essential speech acts that needed to happen between different roles who use the tool. And we built out the interface and interaction from there.
  42. 42. Linguistics 0.102: Speech acts and discourse models We could stop there and go for beer. What we’ve covered so far is about all I can say I really have tried to apply in practice. But there’s lots more to explore, and I think there’s a lot more useful foundation that could be worked out, with very general usefulness and applicability. So let’s have a look at some other ideas from linguistics….
  43. 43. another promising concept: speech acts A speech act is a construct (i.e., a single assembly of elements) that affects some change in the world, or communicates something about the state of the speaker. for example: “I now pronounce you man and wife.” “Save this file.” Their importance for interaction design: they are the building blocks of interaction, because they bundle subject and verb, or subject, verb and object. If you get the deep and surface structures of the essential speech acts right, and you have a good framework for generating compositions, you’re on the path to glory.
  44. 44. John Searle Five things you can do with an utterance: • Assert: Commit the speaker (in varying degrees) to something being the case -- to the truth of the expressed proposition. • Direct (request): Attempt (in varying degrees) to get the hearer to do something. These include both questions (which can direct the hearer to make an assertive speech act in response) and commands (which direct the hearer to carry out some linguistic or non-linguistic act). • Commit (promise): Commit the speaker (again in varying degrees) to some future course of action. • Declare: Bring about the correspondence between the propositional content of the speech act and reality (e.g., pronouncing a couple married). • Express: Express a psychological state about a state of affairs (e.g., apologizing and praising).
  45. 45. ―Meet me at three.‖
  46. 46. This slide requires quite a bit of explanation, and it’s not completely baked. At the time I wrote these slides I was playing with slot- and-filler frameworks for the linguistics of interaction languages. The insight here is that the speech act ―Meet me at three‖ is an instance of a particular genre of request. The idea is that we could sort out the speech acts for the particular interactions we’re designing for. My gut says there probably isn’t a very large number of them for most interfaces. Maybe in this example if we’re trying to help two people get together, there is meet-request, negotiation-turn, commitment, confirmation, and denial. And by the way, those same things are likely to show up in lots of different products and services. We should be able to get pretty far with a relatively small number of speech acts! Then for each of those speech acts we could work out slots and possible fillers, and we’d be on the trail of a syntax. The diagram here is a work-in-progress example of what a set of slots and possible fillers might look like for a ―meet me‖ speech act. <recipient> meet me <where> <when>
  47. 47. One habit I’ve formed because of this thinking, one design implication for me: I always ask, What does this product have to say to people? What is it willing to respond to?
  48. 48. Tea kettle speech acts ―I have water in me, and it is <this temperature>‖ If you think you’ve identified a speech act, and you know something about its underlying semantics, then you can play with the vocabulary it might use to express the range of meanings. Is the actual numeric temperature the useful thing? It’s not that clear to most people. Is 180F too hot to touch? What’s a good temperature for my child’s chocolate? Maybe exterior temperature and liquid temperature are two different things to talk about. How does it say, ―Watch out! I’m too hot to touch!‖? Quick note about a big topic: doing this well involves an aesthetic I might call ―alignment‖ – our work can produce either practical and aesthetic coherence or mismatch between the surface expression and the underlying meanings. When what we see, hear and feel is well aligned with the meaning, the result is beautiful.
  49. 49. Originally speech act theory talked mostly about these acts as little independent units of action. Since then it has gotten a lot more interesting, and I think a lot more useful, as people married speech act theory with discourse analysis to make models of dialog.
  50. 50. Conversation for action, Winograd and Flores Winograd, T., & Flores, F. (1986). Understanding computers and cognition. Norwood/NJ: Ablex The first half of this book is somewhat philosophical, and may or may not be your kettle of tea. The second half is where, if this stuff interests you, you might find some tasty cakes.
  51. 51. Conversation for action, Winograd and Flores 2 Winograd and Flores' "Conversation for Action" model Winograd and Flores [1986] proposed a theoretical foundation for conversational analysis which combines a hermeneutic orientation with concepts of the philosophy of language. They motivate their emphasis on the pragmatic aspects of interpersonal communication with their basic conception of language and cognition: The meaning of utterances is construed during the course of social communication; knowledge is not built up via transfer of information (representations of objects in a world), but it is the result of an interpretation in context. Thus, the social dimension is seen as essential for conversational analysis. Winograd and Flores regard the theory of speech acts (put forward by Austin [1962] and Searle [1979], and Habermas' theory of action [Habermas 1981]) to be initial steps towards an adequate theory of meaning, as these theories emphasize "language as action" (in contrast to the representational function of language). They state that in human-human conversation talking and listening are vehicles for the expression of behavioral expectations, building up a complex web of mutual commitments to determine the course of a conversation. (§9) According to Winograd and Flores it is only on this level that the structure of conversations can be formally described. In their view, other levels are - on principle - inaccessible to formalization. We do not adhere to such a strong point of view, but prefer to regard their approach as an attempt to describe the pragmatic aspects of a conversation, while other aspects/levels should be taken into consideration as well. (§10) As a prototypical example of cooperative dialogue Winograd and Flores present a so-called "Conversation for Action". They propose a model (here referred to as the "CfA model"), which describes possible sequences of dialogue acts and their interplay in progressive dialogue states. The dialogue genre is a two-party negotiation of one partner's intended - extra-dialogic - action and the other partner's evaluation of the result. The CfA model is the basis for the implementation of the "Coordinator", which is a mail system for the support of cooperative work in groups [cf. Winograd, 1988]. (§11) The CfA model is represented as the traversal of a state-transition network (Figure 1) with arcs representing speech acts and nodes representing dialogue states. The dialogue is initiated by partner A with a `request', which may be followed by B's `promise' to comply; B's proposal of a different action (`counter'); B's `reject' to comply; or A's own `withdraw' of his previous request, etc. Figure 1: The basic "Conversation for Action" [Winograd and Flores, 1986, p. 65] (§12) In this way, each of A's or B's actions gives rise to a new state, which is defined by its history and by its action space (the set of possible follow-up actions). The circles printed in boldface represent terminal states with no further action space. They differ from the non-terminal states only by the path that led to them. Even transitions with no corresponding utterance in the dialogue are allowed and can be interpreted as acts, i.e., the dialogue is continued as if the speech act had been uttered. For example, consent can often be inferred without an explicit "I agree" or "I'm contented". Winograd and Flores call such acts "implicit dialogue acts". On the level of representation, these are `jumps', which are entered into the dialogue history as regular (empty) transitions. (§13) If neither participant quits the dialogue prematurely, at some time the state of mutual acceptance of the requested extra-dialogic action is achieved (state <3>). This state can be followed by B's `assert' (transition <3-4>) to express that his commitment has been met, but it is also possible for B to `renege' or for A to `withdraw' his directive. In state <4>, only A can respond, either by an evaluation (one of the `declare' acts), or by a `withdraw' act. (§14) Winograd and Flores had straightforward and simply structured conversations in mind. More complex paths or cycles are possible at two positions only: exchange of `counter' acts (transitions <2-6>), or A's non-acceptance of B's report of execution (transition <4-3>). Embedded clarification dialogues or meta-level dialogues are not addressed by the CfA model. Here. Read all about it. ―Figure 1‖ is the diagram on the previous slide.
  52. 52. Conversation for action, Winograd and Flores Interesting thing 1 People are at least subconsciously aware of this “script.” It’s not “against the rules” to answer a request with a rejection or a counter. There are acceptable ways to do either. Why is it so rare for our systems to answer with a counter? “I can’t give you that, but I could give you B instead.” Instead, they tend to say ―I can’t help you,‖ which is rude if they really could offer B, or serve up B anyhow as though it was what you asked for, which amounts to a broken promise.
  53. 53. Interesting thing 2 You can use this diagram (and ones like it) to identify points of potential breakdown. “Communication disorders” Unanswered request. unfulfilled promise. etc. Conversation for action, Winograd and Flores My friend Tom Morgan once did this exercise for the service transactions at a gas company. He found a place where, at the end of a phone conversation with a service representative, customers believed they had just heard a promise but the system had no memory of having made that promise.
  54. 54. Interface built on a dialog model A Conversational Model of Multimodal Interaction Adelheit Stein, Ulrich Thiel http://ame2.asu.edu/faculty/dab/classes/interactiveTechFall04/papers/stein93conversational.pdf
  55. 55. Sitter and Stein, Conversational Roles (COR) Model
  56. 56. Dialog models can get a lot more hairy than the Conversation for Action model. People have been out there cooking up notations for them. I’m not sure… …this is worth digging in to and understanding if we’re seeking foundations for interaction design. But it might possibly be a rabbit hole.
  57. 57. So? • The notion of a schema for certain types of dialog, such as a “request for information dialog”, seems very powerful. • What if our devices, or… dare I say it… even our operating systems, knew the dialog schema, could detect breakdowns such as unfulfilled promises or requests going without response? • Dude.
  58. 58. Time to wrap up My main points • At the very least, it can be useful for interaction designers to look at design challenges as an exercise in language design, and to look at their designs in use as dialogs in that language. • I suspect that a little hard work might tease out methods we would all find useful. To me the dialog models are promising. • We must tie our “surface structures” to the underlying meanings/deep structures in the software. But a direct mapping is shallow, confusing, sucky. Working in this way could lead to interesting collaborations with developers. • Basically, I think there’s a pony in there. No one has dug it out just yet. • And hey, this isn’t only for software, and it isn’t only about verbal and visual language. It’s for physical forms, motion, gesture,… anything that expresses meaning.
  59. 59. Thank you. Well, that’s done. Hey thanks. It’s nice to be able to talk about this stuff.
  60. 60. But there’s more! Ridiculous. Since I’m putting this up on the web (finally), I thought I would tack some scraps, parts, and such onto the end. It’s going to get less coherent from here on out. You’re mostly on your own.
  61. 61. Creoles everywhere We are increasingly mixing elements of interaction design language with human language. For example: • Underlining just about any word to show it is a control for following a “link” (an entry in the lexicon of languages for interaction which is making its way into the dictionaries of spoken language) • Making photographs and images controls for following links. • But there are many kinds of links, for which we are missing shared meanings and conventional design language vocabulary. For example, this page treats links to categories exactly like links to detail pages. Different meaning, same linguistic element. Is that good or bad?
  62. 62. playing with analysis – an example
  63. 63. elements • squares • mines • flags • numbers • timer • remaining mine counter • game control
  64. 64. deep structure
  65. 65. constructs • the playing grid • the status bar • the menus • the behavior of a square in response to mouse clicks !! Hey… It seems useful to think of a package of behaviors as a linguistic construct—a fragment of a conversation. A series of animations is a “sentence.” An animated state change is a “sentence.” The ripple of state changes across the Minesweeper board is practically a whole paragraph.
  66. 66. the power of language • the same underlying structures can generate many surface structures • that is, you could build many games from the identical underlying abstractions. Simply swap lexicons, and you can “converse” about something new. minesweeper bunny hunt
  67. 67. Minesweeper Minesweeper 3D Bunny Hunt Properties Size Size of window Size of 3D landscape Size of window Squares Tiles in the window Faint grid on landscape Faint grid in the “grass” Sought-after object Little mine pictures Buzz of sound from your mine- detector Cute little bunny pictures Hidden square A clickable 3d tile A rectangle of realistic landscape A cute little plot of grass Behaviors Mark a square Put a “flag” or question mark on a square Pull a stake from your belt with yellow or red ribbon. Stick it in the ground. Put a cute little carrot or a cute little stuffed bunny in a square. Click on unmarked sought-after object Mine “explodes” – turns bright red. Loud explosion effect, body parts fly all over. A cute little bunny hops away, ever so cutely Win game Timer stops, smiley face gets shades You reach the far side of the field, your drill instructor shouts praises in your face All the cute little bunnies come out to eat the cute little carrots. Bells jingle faintly.
  68. 68. For a while I was gathering photographs of as many ATM interfaces as I could, taking pictures of each step of the same transaction. It seems like a good idea to gather a bunch of data like this, because it’s a way to look at many different surface structures (generated from different ―lexicons‖ and ―syntaxes‖) for essentially the same underlying semantics and social context. This effort stopped when I left CMU.
  69. 69. Dad’s phone Son’s phone Yes, this is what my phone looked like in 2003.
  70. 70. what people see and do in real life: adult heat water for own tea at home Working toward alignment: annotating task steps required information required knowledge or skills people, relationships characteristics of success barriers to success terminology cognitive task ongoing concerns Retrieve from storage or display Fill with water Place on stove Turn on heat Wait until boiling Pour: •pot •Cup •Keep hot for later, or •Allow to cool
  71. 71. zooming in on one task, just for example required information Awareness that water is heating. Awareness that water has reached desired temperature. Question: typical kettles issue alert only for boiling temperature. This is different than say, the temperature for a young child’s cocoa. Do people require information about current water temperature? If so, in what units (since many people don’t know their desired tea temperature in degrees)? required knowledge or skills Appropriate temperature for making tea people, relationships Others in the room and the house. Note the conflict of interest between sufficient notification and reluctance to disturb others. characteristics of success Wait time < max threshold (TBD). No one is injured. Tea kettle and stove are undamaged. Tea-maker is aware that water is hot enough for tea. Others in house are not annoyed, perhaps even pleased. barriers to success No water in kettle. Water is boiling, but tea-maker is unaware. In worse case this also leads to a flame under a kettle with no liquid. Stove heat set too low, extending time or making desired temperature impossible. If people (especially children) are unaware that the kettle is getting hot, they could burn themselves. Impatience could cause someone to stop the process before the desired temperature is reached. terminology cognitive task Monitoring. Peripheral awareness. Time estimation. For cooking tasks, possible coordination with other processes. ongoing concerns Safety. No damage to appliances, utensils, or surfaces. Adequately fast heating time. Wait until water is boiling
  72. 72. what people see and do in real life: heat water for tea technology, materials, information, capabilities Working toward alignment: align product qualities with steps Retrieve from storage or display Fill with water Place on stove Turn on heat Wait until boiling Pour: •pot •cup Keep hot for later OR Allow to cool Fits std stove, cupboard. Range of sizes? Handle. Good size opening, on top, room to fit under spigot while holding handle. Weight? Grip? Fits std burner. Room for other pots on stove. Can see flame, burner. Heatproof finish. Confirmation ? Minimize burns. Indication heating is in progress. Temperature indication? Good conductivity. Pleasant alert. Adjustable volume on alert. Pour without spilling. Balances well in hand. Grip with wet hands. Weight? Grip? Minimize burns. Retains heat. Minimize burns. Indication that it is hot? Hard to tip over. Does not spill easily.
  73. 73. what people see and do in real life: heat water for tea -- wait until boiling form, appearance, controls, behavior technology, materials, information, capabilities Now we can design the language of the product, aligning its deep qualities and capabilities with symbols that communicate those meanings well Minimize burns. Indication heating is in progress. Temperature indication? Good conductivity. Pleasant alert. Adjustable volume on alert. Also consider ―heat is turned on‖ indication.

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