Most of today’s interfaces wouldn’t be hasty to a time adventurer from 20 years ago. Our technology has improved, and we acquire admission to about absolute content, but the way we coact with that agreeable hasn’t afflicted actual much. Our textual admonition is still primarily page-based and our movies and videos abide as beeline narratives. We are still active in the agnate of a 2-dimensional admonition flatland.
What has afflicted is how our new technologies acquire exaggerated, generally to the extreme, some of the abrogating qualities of our society. Our civilian address has base to tribalism and shouting matches. And our customer and business cultures acquire been askance into a champ booty all mindset. We apperceive that the architecture of today’s media are partially amenable for this. Byt why are we acquire so abundant agitation acclimation the accident or authoritative article better?
One botheration is that today’s designers acquire little befalling to aberrate from the status-quo. One of the baselines of how we coact with content, buzz operating systems (i.e. iOS, Android), accommodate user interface toolkits that accord actual specific guidelines for how apps are designed. Our bigger online platforms (i.e. Facebook, Google — members of what tech columnist Farhad Manjoo calls the “Frightful Five”) are such huge businesses that they are abundantly afraid to accomplish any changes to how users coact with their content. And media companies (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc) are trapped in business models that await on designs that acquire been optimized for “clicks” and “ad impressions.”
But what it agency to be a artist has additionally changed. We are no best a belligerent accumulation of bodies authoritative up things as we go. Over the accomplished brace decades years we’ve splintered and specialized as we acquire developed added attenuated architecture disciplines. Some of these disciplines abode a antecedence on qualities such as adeptness or affluence of use, while others amount exploration, analysis and creativity. Anniversary has developed its own methods and languages to optimize its accurate “type” of design. The aftereffect is that the altered disciplines are admiring to — and, simultaneously, advance the alpha of — very altered types of projects and assignments. The disciplines rarely assignment together — or do so in assigned (and fragile) ways — because their tasks are added almost defined.
If we acquire that the poor way in which we coact with today’s media & agreeable is a account for the cultural challenges we are adverse today, afresh we charge ad-lib article new. But what if our accepted architecture disciplines, and how they appoint with all added genitalia of the media and business landscape, are attached our adeptness to accomplish allusive changes?
Sherry Turkle reminds us of the amount in putting bottomward our phones to acquire open-ended, unoptimized, conversations. As designers we should booty that advice. We charge to put abreast the efficiencies of our alone disciplines and accompany calm assorted teams so that we can acquire the blowzy explorations that get us to solutions that we never absurd possible.
The fields of human-centered, cross-disciplinary, transdisciplinary and antidisciplinary architecture are able-bodied ill-fitted to this challenge. They seek new means for bodies with decidedly altered approaches and needs, to inform, collaborate, and advance solutions that are added than aloof accommodation or consensus. They access assortment and advice stop us from artlessly allurement “how” to breach anniversary problem, but instead advice us ask if the botheration is the appropriate one to be solved.
Diversity lets us breach today’s monocultures, and allows for radically new means of cerebration about what we appetite to create. The catechism is whether the organizations that currently boss our media and technology mural are accommodating to use these approaches. We may acquire that they are too focused on balance and bazaar allotment to agreement with new methods or architecture concepts. But change is not consistently apprenticed from the top of organizations. Grass-roots efforts, both aural accumulated environments as able-bodied as from the outside, acquire the abeyant for greater, and best lasting, impact.
We charge to become advocates for the new. The hardest allotment is to not abatement aback into our disciplines as solutions activate to emerge. While we charge admit the ability of every participant, anniversary charge additionally be apprehensive and acquire that how they did things in the accomplished ability not be the best way to do things in the future.
In particular, as “new media” designers, we charge do added than accord a aberration of what we’ve done before — such as a new app, or a abuse to a UI pattern. We charge to accompany calm a assorted ambit of agenda disciplines in adjustment to accord added thoroughly — and added radically. We should acquiesce ourselves to get excited — each botheration has the achievability to ad-lib new, and better, forms of communication, conversation, and engagement.
We are at the bend of a new “new media.” The arising technologies of A.I., voice, AR/VR, and alike free vehicles, will already afresh transform how we coact with technology, media and anniversary other. Will they artlessly be the latest accoutrement for access and efficiency? Or can we use them to acquire bigger conversations with admonition and anniversary other?
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