Interactions that go Unseen: Designing for Wireless Mobile Device Behavior

By Jason O. Germany.

Published by Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A great deal of work has been focused on reducing wired and other physical connects between digital mobile devices. At the lead of this movement is design and designed experiences. Perhaps the challenge in creating these unseen interactions is not one of technical capability, but one of true need. Even if it can be physically executed, should design always strive towards the execution of these unseen experiences? Current and future scenarios in ubiquitous computing paint a picture of an increasingly wireless-saturated world, in which everyday objects become enabled computational devices that are seamlessly and not so seamlessly embedded into our future environments. Perhaps design has the opportunity to capitalize on users’ implicit understanding of physical relationships and utilize these understandings in creating meaningful interactions, thus striving for a better combination of software and hardware. This is not simply a question of visual perception or semantics, but that of behavior, the behavior of products. This paper will examine how linguistics can play a role in the decoding and encoding of relationships (paired connections) between wireless mobile devices and what this could mean for the future of designed interactions. Special attention has been directed toward ad hoc networks and various pairing protocols.

Keywords: Device Behavior, Product Semantics, Mobile Devices, Ad Hoc Wireless Networks, User Experience, Interaction Design, Industrial Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review, Volume 6, 2012, pp.109-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.734MB).

Jason O. Germany

Assistant Professor of Product Design, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Jason O. Germany is an assistant professor of product design in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Montana State University. Upon completion of an additional degree in design, Jason went on to work as a senior industrial designer and project lead for nearly a decade before returning to graduate school at the University of Washington and completing his MFA in industrial design. His work experience has ranged from design firms and action sports to housewares and mobile devices, in each case creating and executing within interdisciplinary groups. His designs have received numerous patents as well as regional, national, and international awards, including an ID Magazine Best in Category, and an IDEA Gold for consumer products. Professor Germany’s particular research interests include mobile computing, technology adaptation, entrepreneurship, and design methods.