When Gillain Smith discussed Interaction Design, she mentioned the phenomenon that function and usability is not the only thing designer should consider nowadays. People view digital artifacts as a way to sociability. Here are some parts of her words.
“A computer begin to shape everyday life, we’re interested not only in what this technology can do fro us, but also in what owning it meant for us……….not just because of what they meant for us, but also because of what they meant to other people.”
The concept reminds me of the idea Don. Norman brought up in his book《Emotional Design》. He believes that a good design tends to reflect usability, aesthetics and practicality. Design, to end users, is an expression of themselves. That means design is a product or a process to shape individual image: how people treat themselves and how they expect other people treat them. A sentence Norman stated impressed me, “Product design now is like clothes design.”
I have read an item from CNN and it said watch is no more than a decoration to lots of people at present time. Since people use their mobile phone to check the time, watch seems to lose their original function and become a product of fashion. People choosing watches in a store is just like picking up which necklace is most suitable for them.
As to digital artifacts, I think one of the important considerations (maybe the most important) to buy or use a specific technology is because that makes you look good in other people’s eyes. I totally agree with David. Symbols, fashion accessories and other forms of self-expression matter more now. I am wondering if designing experience points not only to the experience people experience when using the product, but the one people experience when using it in front of others.
This is the cell phone my Dad is using now. It is a 2001 model. When we went to China for a trip in this summer, the local courier teased about his out of fashion. That makes him very sad.