Anxiety and trust and other expressions of interaction
Doctoral thesis, 2009
The thesis discusses and explores aesthetics within the field of interaction design. The most important contributions are: a) design experiments, as examples of work exploring aesthetics of interaction, b) a framework and concepts to support reflection on, and the understanding of forms and expressions of interactive computational devices, c) methods and exercises that exemplify how to develop a better sensibility to aesthetics of interaction.
The concepts and methods presented aim to contribute to a language that can be used in the design process, in personal reflections, in discussions with colleagues and as a basis for decision making. The background is the need and wish for a richer language in the interaction design process – to be able to put words to, and communicate matters of interaction in a precise way.
The thesis presents an alternative approach to the recent trends within the field of interaction design that focus on user experience and aesthetic experience. The framework and concepts introduced are intended to be of use when talking about interaction before there is any, i.e., before any design exists that people can interact with. Therefore, the framework and the concepts do not refer to actual use or people’s experiences. Instead they refer to the device itself, to how the device relates possible interaction to its functions, and how this relation can be expressed in certain context of use. Aesthetics is seen as the whole of how a design relates interaction and function to each other and how that relation is being expressed by and through the design.