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[Nettime-bold] Re: RHIZOME_RAW: GENERATION FLASH: Usability/Interaction
John Klima on Tue, 30 Apr 2002 20:49:01 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-bold] Re: RHIZOME_RAW: GENERATION FLASH: Usability/Interaction



all good points but i just don't want to *have* think about the end
user, and i don't want a work to be assesed in terms of how well it
accomodates them.
j


Kanarinka wrote:
> 
> I agree that the "which end user" issue cannot be solved unless you are
> doing extensive demographic research on your artwork (yuk). Even then,
> people designing software systems can never fully know the expectations
> and actions of their end users. (I'm sure Microsoft has done lots of
> usability testing but I still find it incredibly *&^*&ing annoying to
> deal with images in Word docs)
> 
> My point earlier was that usability and interaction are different things
> entirely. Usability is administrative and necessary, interaction design
> is creative and necessary.
> 
> I think "form" in software/net design includes and is defined by the
> structure of the interaction which is in turn defined by focusing on
> why/how the user is going to approach, play, deal with, experience the
> software in the first place.
> 
> Form, in any given medium, stems from the formal properties of that
> medium. In 2D mediums you speak of form in terms of color, composition,
> texture, etc.
> 
> The most distinguishing formal property of software from other mediums
> is that it allows for interaction, that it is rule-based, that it allows
> the creation of a participatory, experiential environment, however you
> wanna say it.
> 
> So form in software can also apply to the composition of the visuals on
> the screen and to the structure of any audio, etc., included in the
> piece, but in a software-driven artwork I would argue that the primary
> formal areas that one has to deal with are in the design of the rules
> for interaction...
> 
> ...and really that comes down to thinking about the person at the end of
> the line who will be experiencing the work...
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-list {AT} rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list {AT} rhizome.org] On Behalf
> Of John Klima
> Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 12:34 PM
> To: Joseph Franklyn McElroy Cor[porat]e [Per]form[ance] Art[ist]
> Cc: nettime-l {AT} BBS.THING.NET; nettime {AT} BBS.THING.NET; list {AT} rhizome.org
> Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: GENERATION FLASH: Usability/Interaction
> 
> thinking about the end user has never been a *requirement* of art. and
> once you start thinking about the end user you get into all those
> difficult areas like "which end user."  You start thinking about
> usability and not necessarily, form.  usability goes farther than "easy"
> and "hard." some game interfaces are hard by design. but there is a
> purpose there, to create a game.
> 
> what then is the purpose of interface within a work of art?
> j
> 
> "Joseph Franklyn McElroy Cor[porat]e [Per]form[ance] Art[ist]" wrote:
> >
> > > [and ways that, by absolute necessity and contrary to what goes on
> most
> > > of the time even now, incorporate thought about the "end-user" right
> at
> > > the beginning of the creative process]
> >
> > Yes, from the very start of a project, you start thinking about the
> end-
> > user...because you allow yourself to access and interact with
> it...otherwise
> > you could not complete it.   It would be even better to make access
> more
> > elegent from the beginning, build layers of accessability as you build
> the
> > piece.  Creating textures that people can "feel" their way through.
> >
> > --
> > Joseph Franklyn McElroy
> > Cor[porat]e [Per]form[ance] Art[ist]
> > Electric Hands, Inc
> > www.electrichands.com
> > 212-255-4527
> > Electrify your sales, Electrify your Mind
> >
> > Quoting Kanarinka <kanarinka {AT} ikatun.com>:
> >
> > > hi folks,
> > > I really like the focus on interaction here. I think that this is
> one of
> > > the keys to understanding the medium that we are trafficking in.
> Let's
> > > keep up the dialogue.
> > >
> > > On the "ease of use" tip ::: a note
> > >
> > > I think all too often people (artists, software programmers,
> audience,
> > > users all included) confuse "usability" with "interaction".
> Usability
> > > has to do with how accessible and "easy to use" your work is.
> Usability
> > > answers questions like: Can it be viewed on multiple browsers,
> > > platforms, etc.? Is it confusing in unintended ways? This is
> > > "user-centered" thinking only in the sense that you are trying to
> make
> > > sure that your user does not have unintended
> hardware/software/cognitive
> > > problems accessing your work. To give an example -- If your work
> were a
> > > building, usability would be like making sure that your doorways
> were
> > > designed so that people fat and thin, wheelchairs and not, etc.
> could
> > > all make it around inside.
> > >
> > > Designing for usability is important but designing for interaction
> is
> > > much more interesting.
> > >
> > > Interaction design answers questions like "Why do users want to do
> > > something with my work? How can users enter into a meaningful,
> engaging
> > > performative space with this work? What is the incentive towards
> action
> > > in this case?" To go back to the building metaphor  -- interaction
> in
> > > that case would be - why do you want to visit the building in the
> first
> > > place? what happens to you inside the building? what kind of
> experience
> > > do you have inside the building? how are you changed after leaving
> the
> > > building?
> > >
> > > interaction design poses questions and problems much larger and more
> > > creatively charged than just "how can we make this thing
> user-friendly?"
> > > the most effective net/software/digital/artronics art of this new
> age
> > > will be able to answer these questions and solve these problems in
> > > interesting, challenging, meaningful ways.
> > >
> > > [and ways that, by absolute necessity and contrary to what goes on
> most
> > > of the time even now, incorporate thought about the "end-user" right
> at
> > > the beginning of the creative process]
> > >
> > > cheers, kanarinka
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: owner-list {AT} rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list {AT} rhizome.org] On
> Behalf
> > > Of napier
> > > Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 1:35 PM
> > > To: John Klima
> > > Cc: Lev Manovich; nettime-l {AT} BBS.THING.NET; nettime {AT} BBS.THING.NET;
> > > list {AT} rhizome.org
> > > Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: GENERATION FLASH: Lev / Sawad
> > >
> > >
> > > At 12:22 PM 4/29/2002 -0400, John Klima wrote:
> > >
> > > >when discussing artwork, soft or not, the focus is naturally on the
> > > >appearance of the thing. its the first thing you encounter when you
> > > >"see" it. it's how it looks that makes the first impression
> regardless
> > > >of the function.
> > >
> > > First impressions are surely based on the visual, but lasting
> > > impressions
> > > are based on the overall experience of the piece, the impact it has
> > > intellectually, the gut feel that it creates.  If we talk only about
> > > appearance we'll miss the point of most art of the past 50-100
> years.
> > >
> > > >the public expects "ease of use" as the most critical element in
> > > >software interaction, ....
> > > >.... but where in the
> > > >museum catalogues and art reviews do those words appear? never.
> > >
> > > Because the concept of "usage" does not exist in art prior to
> > > software.  The "use" of a painting is that you hang it and look at
> it.
> > > Not
> > > much to talk about there.  Software doesn't have to be "easy" to
> > > use.  jodi's site is deliberately difficult to navigate, yet it can
> be
> > > navigated, and figuring out how to get around and where things are
> is
> > > part
> > > of the experience.  Also in mouse-responsive work like turux.org,
> the
> > > mouse
> > > motion drives what happens on screen, but not in an obvious or
> linear
> > > way.  The screen often responds surprisingly to the mouse motion,
> which
> > > is
> > > more interesting than a simple 1 to 1 mapping of mouse motion to
> graphic
> > >
> > > motion.
> > >
> > > >  how can
> > > >one ever discuss interaction when not all people agree what is left
> and
> > > >what is right? this is certainly an exageration of the problem, but
> it
> > > >highlights the situation that not all users are equally capable of
> > > >interaction. hell, some people are in wheelchairs and can't reach
> the
> > > >mouse
> > >
> > > And some people are blind and can't look at visual art.  That
> doesn't
> > > stop
> > > the discussion of visual aesthetics.
> > >
> > > >  the primary element of software art
> > > >still firmly resides in what is displayed on the screen, and second
> how
> > > >it got there, and third, how a viewer interacts with it. however, i
> do
> > > >firmly believe that the best work includes all three.
> > >
> > > Right.  And given that we're talking about software art here, and
> we're
> > > not
> > > too handicapped to experience the art on all three levels, I think
> it's
> > > worth talking about all three.
> > >
> > > mark
> > >
> > > napier {AT} potatoland.org
> > >
> > > + Now Entering: The Devil's Domain
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