I.G.Y.

Elizabeth has a great post on her blog (which is rapidly becoming a favourite) about the orthodoxy of ubicomp future visions:

“I love the ways our visions of the future never quite see the real changes to come: who could imagine now a world in which female military officers wear miniskirts? We’re always crucially wrong on those small details — and the larger cultural changes that create them.

But one vision of the future seems to remain constant: the idea that somehow computers will magically read our hearts and minds, then respond appropriately”

My shorthand for this sort of thing:

“There’ll be Spandex jackets – one for everyone”

Then Chris finds this neat counterpoint:

Aaron Marcus: 12 Myths of Mobile Device User-Interface Design

Developers share many illusions and delusions about mobile-device user-interface design. In the UI development world, there are many assumptions or myths floating around about the future of mobile devices. Myths are useful in civilizations. They summarize inherited wisdom and guide us to the future. Some become obsolete, like the ones about the flat earth and the sun as the center of the universe. Let’s make sure our ideas about mobile device UI design remain fresh and useful.A 35-year veteran of user-interface design pops a few conceptual balloons and puts a few new twists on others.

Myth: Users want power and aesthetics. Features are everything.
Myth: What we really need is a Swiss army knife.
Myth: 3G is here!
Myth: Focus groups and other traditional market analysis tools are the best way to determine user needs.
Myth: If it works in Silicon Valley, it will work anywhere.
Myth: The killer app will be games, er, no, I mean, horoscopes, or
Myth: Mobile devices will essentially be phones, organizers, or combinations, with maybe music/video added on.
Myth: The industry is converging on a UI standard.
Myth: Highly usable systems are just around the corner.
Myth: One underlying operating system will dominate.
Myth: Mobile devices will be free-or nearly free.
Myth: Advanced data-oriented services are just around the corner.”

Myth systems and orthodoxies in design and strategy for technology… Hmm. Kuhn I guess talks about it in science – what about design and technology, which goes through paradigmic change far more quickly I’d assume. Any notable thought and writing on this you know of? Peter?

0 comments
  1. Myth: If it works in Silicon Valley, it will work anywhere.

    /s/Silicon Valley/Japan
    /s/Silicon Valley/Finland

  2. Jeff said:

    Aaron Marcus: 12 Myths of Mobile Device User-Interface Design is excerpted from his article in Software Development Magazine May 2003. The full article elaborates on each of the myths. [free registration required].

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