Comments: Interface Culture


"...he writes to well." Heh. Is that an intentional typo?

I always really liked IC, particularly because there are so many interesting tangents in it: the effect of word processors and hyperlinks on writing styles, the oddball comparison of interfaces to the Dickensian novel, etc. For a while after IC, Johnston continuted to argue for the idea of "user hostile" interfaces as a sort of interface avant-garde (see, I think, his essay in ID Magazine's Interactive Design Awards issue c.1999).

That kind of needling punk-rock opposition to Jakob Neilsen-style interface design is pretty hard to really maintain, though. I don't think he's used the term since. Maybe Johnston, like a lot of people, just started assuming that the only real example of the interface avant-garde is in video game design, which is so obviously more radical and creative than any database-front-end design. It's hard to really take seriously the idea of experience design/ID/IA being any kind of "subculture' or "avant-garde": these fields are desperate for mainstream viability, economic stability, and consumer acceptance, not outsider status.

ooops on the typo..

I'd agree on those particular fields being too tied to the mainstream to ever be "avant garde" but I don't think that means it can't emerge. Dreamless at its peek truly seemed to offer some promise before it crashed and burned.. But the big leap I think comes from physical computing, the mouse/screen/keyboard dominance is too constrictive a paradigm, but its about to shatter. Once interface designers begin to realize in real numbers that they can roll their own hardware, then the real story begins..

brought to the *fore*

dead on post - great blog

Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page