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Interaction design research-Design knowledge

Ali Anjum University of Sdertrn Interactive Media Design Alianjum2000@hotmail.com


ABSTRACT For years researchers in design field have played tremendous role in gathering design knowledge. In this paper, along with my own experience, I reflect on present articles regarding design knowledge along with different types of knowledge that we try to capture in interaction design research, ways a designed object can be a seen as a carrier of design knowledge in itself, benefits of study of design process or the resulting artifacts and use of probes in design research. Author Keywords Design, Interaction, Probes, Artifacts . INTRODUCTION Anything that comes into our minds contains background, history as well as present position and future aspects. That means anything that exists has relevant data and to know about that, we have to search for data and once acquired, we gets the knowledge about that thing. In this century we can get knowledge of topics of every part of our lives from books, articles, search engines, research papers etc. All this knowledge that we get today is gathered by humans having masterminds in specific fields and they have made it possible through thorough research and improved the life standard. Here I will reflect Design knowledge in interaction design and interaction design research in view with other articles I read about same topic. of the facts that should be considered in design research and design process by the designers for betterment of products in favor of users which was been neglected in early product development. John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelley Evenson [1] have proposed a model of design research with a focus on the production of artifacts, they build on Nigel Crosss idea that design knowledge resides in the product [2]. The artifact reflects a specific framing of the problem, and situates itself in a constellation of other research artifacts that take on similar framings or use radically different framings to address the same problem. These research artifacts provide the catalyst and subject matter for discourse in the community, with each new artifact continuing the conversation. When several related research artifacts have been created, then researchers can use more traditional design research methods to analysis the artifacts and search for similar approaches designers have taken in addressing common problems. The artifacts made through design research have the potential to become pre-patterns [3] from which design patterns [4] can begin to emerge. The purpose of citing this paragraph is to show the use of design knowledge for design research. There is also one thing which I found while reading articles is that there is very less knowledge in design at present stage which can be set as a standard to judge design activities like on behalf of published results Richard Buchanan found out that there is uncertainty about the value of design research, the nature of design research, the institutional framework within which such research should be supported and evaluated, and who should conduct it. In short, there is uncertainty about whether there is such a thing as design knowledge that merits serious attention. So its clear that we dont have enough designing models in the past to take as an inspiration for design process for different domains as a designer. Up till now the design knowledge has evolved around the elements of form, function, materials, and manner of designing, producing etc but now we need to extend this boundary and focus on human/centered design methods by examining user experiences, how users behave towards products, how to create desirable, usable and useful products instead of just focusing on material and function etc. And we need to create the knowledge of design and methods of design research within this context. TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE DESIGN RESEARCH IN INTERACTION

DESIGN KNOWLEDGE Design knowledge has been playing great role in field of interaction design research in creation of new methods of design process, understanding of design concept, enhancement in design results and improving the awareness
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For any type of research we need to capture the previous

knowledge to analyze and put it in research process for further improvements in the field. In interaction design research there are several types of knowledge that we need to take into account. Few of them have been mentioned in the articles already and few of them I will mention what I think should be there for interaction design research. First we need to understand that what is interaction design and for that I totally agree with Richard Buchanan that it is important that designers know how to create visual symbols for communication and how to construct physical artifacts, but unless these become part of the living experience of human beings. This does not deny the importance of information and physical embodiment, but makes us more sensitive to how human beings select and use products in daily life. Out of such concerns has emerged a new domain of design thinking and new directions of professional practice. We call this domain interaction design because we are focusing on how human beings relate to other human beings through the mediating influence of products. And the products are more than physical objects. They are experiences or activities or services, all of which are integrated into a new understanding of what a product is or could be. So that means that the knowledge that we need in interaction design research should contain human activities, their social values, environments, culture, priorities, religious values, their behavior of using products, feed backs and each and every factor about users that effects their needs and wants. For research we need to do case studies of previous successful products as well as un successful product closely, finding reasons for same contents, applying them for further research work, as Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelley Evenson mentioned we should use design knowledge to come up with standard design patterns. Like if we find some product which was not successful, we should find out the reasons and apply user testing by making several changes which were the causes of failure. Researchers should focus more on user experience and find out the desires and dreams of the user which even user themselves dont know. And researchers should focus on finding ways of conceiving dreams and using behavior of users as I think if they succeed, they will rule in users hearts. So the main issue is to find out why, how and when a product is used by consumer, how an activity is been performed by them and finding the ways of creating activities interesting and pleasing for users to promote interaction. DESIGN PRCESS VS RESULTING ARTIFACTS In my opinion resulting artifacts are the best tools to examine interpret and analyzed for conceiving the knowledge of design as well as users. This is really a fruitful thing to obtain knowledge and applying that knowledge for further research but that doesnt means that I am going against design process. In my opinion studying

resulting artifacts give real picture of user experiences. Using artifacts in design process which is called design oriented research by Daniel Fallman has very strong impact in interaction design as it makes it very easy to find out the exact picture of usability and functionality aspects of product and specially it reflects the user behavior which is most important part in interaction design as I found out while reading Buxtons Designing user experience. But here I want to add that designers should not only rely totally on artifacts as there are few things in designing that are implemented by only applying proper design process. PROBES AND DSIGNED OBJECTS In same way as probes are very useful tool for analyzing users cultural values and exactly what they feel because like Traditional ethnographic techniques involve watching people at their activities over considerable periods of time which tells you what people do, doesnt give the picture of what they feel. Cultural probes are one way to access environments that are difficult to observe directly and also to capture what people feel and we know that awareness about peoples feelings is very important for interaction designer and researchers. So that means that using probes can help in design research work. We can provide different designed objects to society by putting tasks of specific contents regarding designing features from which we can get what people feel about interacting products in their daily lives and make it a part of research process for inspiration. CONCLUSION Designers and researchers all over the world are in their way to find out better designing process for creating a design knowledge bank for their upcoming young designers. In interaction design very useful knowledge is already there but it needs further improvements to come up with some traditional design process in interaction design. I have also elaborated and suggested some of the relevant aspects that I think should be considered and can be helpful in interaction design research work. There are different types of research methods that should be considered in design research work everyone has their own recommendation of using different techniques in different ways regarding using and interpreting knowledge. In my opinion every type of knowledge should be used where it is best suitable. Using rite knowledge at rite time and rite place give 100% result in research work. In same way I think that in design research work different techniques like probes, artifacts, design process, research oriented design, design oriented research, human centered etc all should be considered as every techniques has its own value and useful results. We can put them in some order to be used in specific tasks but we cannot deny any technique completely

as every technique is needed primarily for specific tasks depending on different situations. They are screw drivers of different sizes and are used for different sizes of screws. We must make additions to them instead of subtraction. REFERENCES 1. Research through design as a method for interaction Design research in HCI John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelly Evenson Human-computer interaction institute and The school of design Carnegie Mellon University 2. Cross, N. Design Research: A Disciplined conversation Design Issues 15, 2 (1999), 5-10. 3. Chung, Eric, Jason I. Hong, James Lin, Madhu K. Prabaker, James A. Landay, and Alan Liu. Development and evaluation of emerging design patterns for obiquitous computing proc. DIS 2004, ACM press (2004), 233-242. 4. Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M.,

Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-king, I., Angel, S. A Pattern Languages. Towns, Buildings, Construction. Oxford University Press, 1977. 5. Design Research and the new learning Richard Buchanan. 6. Research through design as a method for interaction Design research in HCI John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelly Evenson Human-computer interaction institute and The school of design Carnegie Mellon University 7. Design-oriented research versus Research-oriented design Daniel Fallman. 8. Buxton, W. (2007). Sketching user experiences. Getting the Design Right and Right design Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. ISBN10: 0123740371. ISBN13: 9780123740373.