G. Smith concludes her Forward to Designing Interactions by saying that interaction design as a field has solved one set of problems, and it now needs to move onto a new set.
However, after twenty years of drawing on existing expressive languages [e.g., film, typography, icons], we now need to develop an independent language of interaction with smart systems and devices, a language true to the medium of computation, networks, and telecommunications. In terms of perceptual psychology, we’re starting to understand the functional limits of interaction between people and devices or systems: speed of response, say, or the communicative capacity of a small screen. But at the symbolic level of mood and meaning, of sociability and civility, we haven’t quite achieved the breathtaking innovativeness, the subtlety and intuitive “rightness” of Eisenstein’s language of montage.
That seems to me to be a call for a discipline of interaction culture, which is distinct from, complements, but does not replace usability and traditional HCI. It’s also an opportunity for us not just to learn this new discipline, but actually to shape it.