Week 1 Readings

You Are Not a Gadget – Jaron Lanier

I think this article is making a statement of the values of technology, and at the same time questioning it by a different view. How devices are designed intentionally at the first place? On the other hand, how far the technology can bring us into an imaginary world we have dreamed about? With all the gadgets we have around us such as phones and emails, are we taking a further step to the “real” convenience? This totally reminds me of one of the readings we had for the last week lecture readings, which talks about the lifting weight of the new technology. The author uses the metaphor “lightness” to present an idea that we try building up new technology to make our lives easier, but the result is quite opposite in some ways. I think this is a very interesting point that we can all ask ourselves that does the equipment we have around us exist for huge reasons? If don’t, why are we sticking to it like we do now? I did this exercise to myself, and I found out that I was surprisingly ignorant with some of my stuffs. I should probably do something about it.

Things That Make Us Smart – Donald A. Norman

In this article the author emphasizes much about representations. Like some of our classmates’ response, it immediately recalled my ideas of data visualization. I am totally convinced that the way data is redesigned with new graphic representation is to be clear and effective. But most of the times, graphic designers are usually lost their focus when they are pursuing this original goal. We are often too caught up in a situation that aesthetics comes to the priority, which is totally a wrong direction. However, as the data visualization practices grow, we designers are more mature as well. We know there are the concept and the simplicity they should come at the same time. With this awareness, we can produce some works by a data oriented direction. I think this is a great stopping point and we can all think about how to create things in a way that everyone can be related to.

The Web Means the End of Forgetting – Jeffrey Rosen

Surprisingly, I can’t agree more with the author. Being a student at the age of 20s, I think I can describe myself as less open to people out there. However, I do spend a lot of time going out, hanging with friends, and just like the article describes, posting things on internet. What makes a little difference with my friends and me is probably a second thought before uploading. After facebook arising, youngsters are prone to post everything in mind without consideration. Maybe just to attract more attention or responses, in my opinion, people are bolder and bolder with their contents. It won’t be new to see a friend showing the intimacy with his girlfriend. Even employees complain about their bosses easily online. As my personal experience, I have seen a lot of people being taken not seriously just because one single photo. The author also indicates the fact that once if things uploaded online, it will hardly be removed thoroughly. We can totally refer to this with the celebrities who always get caught in scandals and sex tapes. But how do we get out of this vicious circle? I believe we can start to protect ourselves with more awareness and then probably the humanity of internet will emerge at certain point.

Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural – Donald A. Norman

I take this as different but a new idea of interfaces. We are facing a world that using high technology to build up easy interfaces for people to interact with. How interesting is that! Although all the cooperations are trying to win this race of interactive technology, there are still some risks taking a next step. Just like the example in the article describing Nintendo Wii gamestick wich can be executed in a wrong way. Here, the gestural convention was too natural. It led to an unexpected, unfortunate side effect. If GUI is so complicated to be duplicated and rebuilt, what is the point of doing this? I think there are still values of emphasizing this particular technology, which is the functionality of user experiences.

reat Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet – and Keep Google Out – Fred Vogelstein

This article is quite interesting to me because it takes a view of how to run companies instead of a view from the consumers. This definitely makes a huge difference. For the two international companies, the competition seems to be a exhausting long game. But on the other hand, it can be beneficial to the public. We are all waiting for the latest technology to launch, and most of us don’t really care which company wins the battle. It is always the consumers who take advantage if both of them try their best to please us. In my own opinion, this could be a positive cycle instead of a vicious cycle.