Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bridging communities via interactions

The title of this blog entry is intended to have a double meaning. First, it references how interactions are essential to bridging communities -- something essential for "user experience" to play the role it should be playing in business. Second, it references how interactions magazine will increasingly reflect and attempt to facilitate this process.

Jon Kolko and I -- Co-Editors-in-Chief of interactions magazine -- have talked about the latter in the magazine, particularly in the introduction to our second issue. We elaborated on this and described other aspects of our goals and vision during a session we put together about the magazine for CHI 2008 in Florence. Here are the slides we used during that session:

interactions magazine has been around for awhile -- since January 1994 to be exact. During the CHI conference session, Timelines editor Jonathan Grudin and Advisory Board member Shelley Evanson described what it took to get ACM to begin publication.

We also "performed" the magazine to give attendees a rich sense of what the magazine is now about and of who its regular contributors are. (Thanks to Allison Druin, Fred Sampson, Eli Blevis, Jonathan Grudin, and Elizabeth Churchill who, along with Jon and myself, contributed readings during this part of the session.)

Additionally, Jon facilitated an important discussion between Elizabeth and special guest Mark Vanderbeeken about the concept of open access to intellectual content and its relevance to interactions magazine. (Sorry that Mark's head is largely obscured by Elizabeth's in the nearby photo.) One might argue that open -- i.e., free -- online access to interactions magazine content would in and of itself help to bridge the communities for which interactions magazine is of relevance. However... (Portions of and extensions to the CHI 2008 discussion will appear in Elizabeth's column and in "interactions cafe" in the September+October issue; both of those articles will be made available via the interactions website to all, facilitating everyone's opportunity to respond and share his or her perspective.)

Note that you can hear me talk a bit about interactions magazine via a podcast created during the Mx 2008 conference for Boxes and Arrows. See "Leading Designers to New Frontiers: Podcasts from MX San Francisco."

Black and white photo above by Eli Blevis.