Preface

This book collects experiments and discussions pursued over a period of some 6 years. Our ambition when writing it has not been to give an accurate and encompassing picture of what interaction design in general can be understood to be. Rather, our concern has been to present one - our - view, but do so as consistent and uncompromising as we could.

There are several reasons for this approach. Besides obvious reasons such as the already growing range of introductory textbooks, there is one that we consider slightly more pressing: As a 'new' area like interaction design comes around, pieces and building blocks are brought in from various other areas as to provide a foundation for further work. Over time, however, it becomes increasingly clear that all these pieces do not fit together and that new pieces are needed to complete the puzzle. Now, if our ambition is to present and discuss the field in rather broad terms, these difficulties will typically be hidden as we both try to span a rather large set of ideas, methods and concepts, but also because we, consciously or unconsciously, try to arrive at a coherent view as to make the case for our new 'field'. Therefore, another strategy is needed if we want to discuss the foundational issues of interaction design; a strategy where gaps and conflicts between ideas and approaches are not hidden, but confronted.

This book is not an overview of, or introduction to, interaction design in a more general sense. It is a discussion about the foundations of interaction design both as academic subject and as design practice.

We have not tried to collect a comprehensive bibliography on interaction design as an area of academic research.We have only listed the direct references that we actually have used as material or that have been a direct source of inspiration.There are of course lots and lots of other books, papers and projects we could have included, but there is always a certain extent of selections and ignorance you have to live with.

 

Acknowledgements

The material presented here has been developed as part of work done at the Interactive Institute, Chalmers University of Technology and The Swedish School of Textiles, University College of Borås. While the work described here begun with the Slow Technology experiments, this book as a project was initiated as we developed the masters program in Interaction Design/Human-Computer Interaction at the IT-University, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University. Thus, of particular importance for this book is the teaching the authors have been involved in. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to students and fellow teachers and researchers for all discussions and fighting. Special thanks to all our collaborators in projects and experiments: Marcus Bergman, Christina von Dorrien, Daniel Eriksson, Anders Ernevi, Staffan Björk, Rebecka Hansson, Margot Jacobs, Patricia Jaksetic, Hanna Landin, Peter Ljungstrand, Ulrika Löfgren, Ramia Mazé, Maria Redström, Johan Thoresson, Clemens Thornquist, Riika Tonwsend, Erik Wistrand, Linda Worbin, and Margareta Zetterblom. Special thanks also to Marcus Bergman for checking,and correcting, our English, and to Michael Thornquist for the book design.

 
Lars Hallnäs and Johan Redström
Februari 2006

 
[back]