SpoolCast: The Josh and Jared Show – Getting into Trouble

Jared Spool

June 25th, 2007

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Spoolcast: The Josh and Jared Show – Getting into Trouble
Recorded: June 19th, 2007 from the studios of UIE
Brian Christiansen, UIE Podcast Producer
Duration: 45 min | File size: 22 MB
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This week Josh and I talk about all the ways we get in trouble. Whether its speaking in public or writing on our blogs, sometimes we kick up a sandstorm unintentionally.

» I attended a conference for the Society of Technical Communication. While I was attending the conference, I blogged that I saw technical writing as an art I see slowly morphing away. Is it telling that the two most popular topics at the annual conference are user experience and interaction design?

» Josh has designers and artists riled up with his blog series on Design is not Art. Both sides are represented in his comments, from designers who think design done right is art, and from designers who think design reveals while art conceals.

» We also discussed the new FaceBook Platform Apps. These are an interesting case study as more sites consider making a public API to expand their offerings. APIs create an ecology where some sites can expand their usefulness, while other shops can extend their services to an existing community instead fighting the uphill battle of creating one from scratch.

We may create more questions than we answer, but never the less it was an interesting discussion. I think you’ll enjoy it.

2 Responses to “SpoolCast: The Josh and Jared Show – Getting into Trouble”

  1. blog.dsetia.com» Blog Archive » Spoolcast: The Josh and Jared Show - Getting into Trouble Says:

    [...] Spoolcast: The Josh and Jared Show – Getting into Trouble Recorded: June 19th, 2007 from the studios of UIE Brian Christiansen, UIE Podcast Producer Duration: 45 min | File size: 22 MB [ Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes. This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] This week Josh and I talk about all the […] Source: [Link] [...]

  2. Cody Frew Says:

    Jared and Josh,
    In response to your pondering in the realm of art, and designing purposefully for negative experience, I wanted to rant on a few things:
    The same rules of design apply to Art just as they do to web applications- albeit at a very high level. I mean, the users are still human, presumably, so there are a lot of assumptions that we can make about how the information will be processed. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether the information happens to be a file hierarchy or a Shakespearean story line. Design is so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. What we are really used to calling ‘Design’ in modern times is simply the realization that it can be more efficient if you rationally plan its elements. ‘Good Design’ then would be when it is performed intelligently, perhaps with a process and with evidence to back it up.

    The difference lies in the goals of the user. If I am using a spreadsheet, we can rest assure that my goal is not really to use or appreciate the spreadsheet- even though I may end up really liking to use it. My goal is probably to accomplish some higher-level task. The spreadsheet is simply a tool that enables me to do that.
    With Art (and many other areas of human life that Design isn’t attributed to), the thing that has changed is the user goal (even though it isn’t thought about in this way by artists). The user goal now is volatile, primal, and difficult to understand and communicate at a conscious level. It is not to calculate and compare sales trends, but rather to feel emotion. Since the range of emotions is pretty contrasting, we see very different types and expressions of Art.
    Another thing to note is that the reason why Art is so subjective is probably because most artists are not purposefully designing for an audience. The artist designs for him/herself. This translates into audience members finding their own meaning in it since the artist didn’t construct a vehicle to convey the meaning they had in mind. People will use the art to relate to their own emotional states (in a manner similar to metaphors that take on different meanings throughout time and within different subcultures).

    Think about a hiking trail- one might think that we should design and maintain it in a usable way. We could build walkways with strong visual cues (so as not to get lost!) and railings for user safety. The concrete could be rubberized on the surface to allow for best traction with our boots.
    The problem is that these additions conflict with most hikers’ goals. The hiker wants to experience nature and feel a sense of accomplishment from it. In this case, our features that enhance the usability of the trails are disjointed from the user’s goal and end up harming the user experience.

    Cheers,
    -Cody

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