What is interaction design history? In a blog post over the new year, faculty member Karen McGrane, who taught a course on the History of Interaction Design last semester, investigates the topic at length with classroom presentation slides, as well a list of interaction design history sources. Below is an excerpt from her blog:
Photo Credit: Columbia University Computing History
Learning more about computing history is a sort of professional hobby of mine; I have a fetish for pictures of old mainframes and this research lets me indulge my proclivities. When I tell people in the user experience field about my studies the most common response I hear is “I don’t know anything about the history of computers.” I think that’s sad. Practitioners in other design disciplines—architecture, graphic design, fashion—would be expected to have some grounding in historical movements and trends. But most people have no formal education in interaction design, and so they’ve never learned the roots of the discipline. I taught a short course in IxD history in the MFA program in Interaction Design at SVA, and I hope that the students in the program know enough now to at least recognize key people and events when they come up, even if their introduction was a whirlwind 5-week tour.