Television & Digital Culture

The blog site of MA3077: Participate!

Week 7: The aesthetics of delight & intuition

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Sir Jonathan Ive at the Goodwood festival of speed in Chichester this year.
Design is big business. Just ask this guy … Jonathan Ives. He’s been designing Apple Products for the past 21 years and has,

according to an unofficial biography of Ive, earned well over US$100m. Until recently this was limited to the design of the

technology itself – from the iMac to the iPod and iPhone. But this year his work reached into the world of interfaces, bringing us iOS 7: the biggest makerover of Apples operating system since the iPhone initially launched.

Apple’s design interfaces are part of the company’s success – they seem intuitive and often delight us in how they respond to our touches. But why are some interfaces more successful than others, what do we appreciate in a good piece of UX design? And how do interfaces use metaphors to help us understand how we are to operate them, at the same time as they might conceal in whose interests they operate.
These are questions all raised by the reading this week, and I’m asking you to come and talk about your favourite interface design – especially for television services, such as iPlayer or 40D. Consider why it works, how it promotes/favours different kinds of interactions, in whose interests it works and what aesthetics histories it might draw on. After all, computing’s first graphical user interface (GUI) started with a desktop … how are our current television experiences shaped by interfaces, and in what ways do they call up television’s past and future?
And, as a bonus question: what is Skeomorphism!?
Week 7 worksheet
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