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interactions Reports: On Innovation and Design for Technology

Current Issue Showcases Emerging Approaches to Research and Design that Benefit Business Innovation in a Challenging Economy

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, NY, November 19, 2008 – As businesses struggle to survive, achieve competitive advantage, and become better world citizens, innovation and design are among the popular buzzwords in today’s business pages.  In a series of articles, the November+December 2008 issue of interactions presents stories on how new research and design strategies are working hand in hand to solve complicated challenges to creativity and sustainability, and the critical role of interactions in surviving the current business environment.   interactions, a bi-monthly publication of the ACM Media Group, focuses on the interactions among experiences, people, and technology.


            As people spend more time playing digital games, many businesses are seeking ways to design innovative game play.  In the interactions cover story, Sus Lundgren provides a collection of tools for designers to use, and explores the interaction paradigms embedded in games as well as the moral and ethical issues they raise for participants.  


            In another article, Nathan Shedroff, arguably the father of “experience design,” claims that businesses need to follow new organizational and management principles to create the context and culture that will enable appropriate design and innovation processes.  Shedroff also links these principles to sustainability, a topic addressed by Bill Tomlinson in his article on how corporations can continue their natural pursuit of conspicuous consumption in ways that are beneficial to the environment. 


             Several articles in this issue describe emerging approaches to design practice and context.  Liz Sanders presents an evolving map of design research methods to help make sense of conflict and confusion within design research; Mike Kuniavsky describes user experience design guidelines for ubiquitous computing; Christine Satchell discusses the role of cultural theory in design practice; and Janet Read and Panos Markopoulos explain how involving children in the design of interactive products has changed over the years. 


            The issue also includes stories on the cultural and personal impacts of technology, both positive and negative.  For example:

·   Rich Ling describes the extraordinary impact of mobile phones on individual lives by comparing them to how automobiles changed the way people live and work. 

·   Ben Bederson recounts his quest to return pleasure reading to children in Mongolia and to increase children’s’ access to books from other cultures via the International Children’s Digital Library.

·   David Frohlich and Matt Jones illustrate how their Storybank project, inspired by developments in audiophotography and mobile imaging, have been exploring the use of the camera phone to create and share stories in India.

·   Karen Renaud, Judith Ramsay, and Mario Hair detail the addictive effects of ubiquitous availability via email.


            In 2008, interactions adopted a new look and feel and a fresh vision under its newly appointed editors-in-chief Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko.  The magazine offers readers access to the leading thinkers and practitioners of a field that has the power to change the world.  Each issue features columns by renowned author Donald A. Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman group and professor at Northwestern University; Elizabeth Churchill, principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research in social media; and Steve Portigal, founder of Portigal Consulting. 


            interactions contributing editors include Timelines Editor Jonathan Grudin of Microsoft Research; On Modeling Editor Hugh Dubberly of the Dubberly Design Office, Sustainably Ours Editor Eli Blevis of Indiana University; Under Development Editor Gary Marsden of the University of Cape Town; Lifelong Interactions Editor Alison Druin of the University of Maryland; (P)reviews Editor Fred Sampson of IBM; and three community editors: Dave Cronin of Cooper, Katie Scott of Maya Design; and Ame Elliott of IDEO. 

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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