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interactions Reports: Designing Products that Meet Social, Cultural Concerns to Succeed in Global Markets

Current Issue Also Highlights How Social Networks Change the Way We Connect and Communicate

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

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, NY, January 28, 2009 –  Addressing the need to ensure appropriate social and cultural resonance of products and services, the January+February 2009 issue of interactions magazine explores companies that have tried and failed to meet this critical requirement of the global marketplace.  Topics range from selling products in emerging markets for which they have not been designed, to forcing new technology on aging customers; from designing homogeneous homes that do not fit the heterogeneous lives of their residents, to arbitrarily separating hardware, software, and interface designs that should work together to benefit users.  interactions, a bimonthly publication of the ACM Media Group, focuses on the interactions among experiences, people, and technology.

            The cover story by Apala Chavan and her team at Human Factors International describes the trials and tribulations that brands face as they bring their products into the global marketplace. This article is accompanied by Jonathan Lazar's entreaty that these same brands consider an aging audience, and by Eli Blevis’s illustration of the global need for sustainability in corporate product offerings.

            A story by Donald A. Norman facetiously calls on the electronic appliances that we find tucked away in kitchen drawers, bathroom cupboards, and closet shelves to overcome their antisocial, irritating ways and learn the basic rules of communication and machine etiquette.  His aim is to help these visitors "from outer space" to overcome the contempt they feel for the human beings who worship them.

            Another theme in this issue addresses the potential impact of social networks on society. An article by Nicole Ellison and others describes how social network sites have the potential to fundamentally change the character of our social lives by encouraging disparate individuals to connect, communicate, and take action.  This article and others explore examples of this potential for change as well as additional uses of social networks.

             The January+February 2009 issue also includes analyses of different approaches to design and innovation, a short history of sound in computing, the extent to which products should "wow" their users, and the impact of our choice of language on interactions.


About interactions

interactions, under editors-in-chief Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, 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 forum 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; and Lifelong interactions Editor Alison Druin of the University of Maryland. The (P)reviews Editor is Alex Wright of The New York Times. Contributing editors are: Dave Cronin of Cooper; Katie Scott of Maya Design; Ame Elliott of IDEO; Elaine Ann of Kaizor Innovation; Lauren Serota of Lextant; Mark Vanderbeeken of Experientia; Molly Wright Steenson at Princeton; and Marc Rettig of Fit Associates.


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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