Interface Culture

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“An interface may be described as a common boundary between two systems. The interface between transportation systems is the most neglected element that the passenger is force to tolerate. The attitude of transportation system operators seems to be, ‘leave the driving to us but how you get aboard and where you go when you get off is your problem’. Improvement in the attraction and holding of riders is needed more than anything else except frequent service.”

Interface culture is now occurring when with the rise of fractal prosthetics. We have screens inside of machines, prostheses inside of prostheses. Software is the liquid manifestation of our prosthetic devices.

The point is that our daily existence is normally filled with short walks and passing through interfaces. It is not the number that we remember but rather the poor quality of them and the time spent in moving through them. Comments and Excerpts from Urban Structure, 1968. Paul Elek. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. The Interfaces (Page 76-77).

What does it take to listen to music on a CD? You get in the car, drive to the mall or CD store, you search for a parking space, you park, you find that the CD store is on the other side of the mall, you walk there. Along the way you remember you need new shoes, you try them on, you get shoes, when you finally make it to the CD store, it is crowded. You spend a while browsing, pick out a few CDs and maybe listen to a few songs on your headphones. You check out all of the hot people in the store, and then you wait anxiously in line. You drive home, get to your stereo or computer, place the CD in the drive, and listen. You can only have one CD in the drive at a time. You have to have room for a CD case. The CD case sometimes gets lost. The CD sometimes gets scratched. There's cover art. That's kind of nice, but it was much cooler on records, because the cover art was massive, and the cases were soft cardboard, instead of plastics.

How many interface changes did it get to the music? What if you had no case, no drives to the store? What if you could click a few buttons, send out a search query and either download or purchase music online from anywhere with an Internet connection? Sure, you lose the hot people in the store, but you get what you want. And for those that cell CDs in real life, it might be better to pack it up, drop the inventory, or hoard it and ship it out through eBAY.

-Several things must be done. Transit service must be improved to eliminate waiting times for all practical purposes at all hours. -Interference interchanges must be fast, convenient, comfortable, without undue effort in a controlled environment. The interface between two systems is a meter of performance to the passenger. And its performance depends on the expertness of the plan and its execution as well as the performance of the two systems which share it.

People will take the route with less interface changes, and CDs are no longer lightweight. That is, they involve more activation energy to achieve their goal than does digital media.

The smallest company can often move the quickest. A storefront is becoming a liability. A store that sells CD's is now a liability to itself. CD's are no longer light. MP3's are. CD's must be inserted into computers or players manually. MP3's require less effort. Keeping music inside computers, without tangible essence, is the genius of itunes. The only hardware is a liquid device - the ipod, which is tiny, mobile, and automatically updated and changed at will. Everything that requires less human action (movements, clicks, material) will succeed.

"At a time when so many products have become mere commodities and when advertising doesn’t have the effect it once did, design is the best way to differentiate yourself from the pack. And, hipster t-shirts notwithstanding, people will pay more for good design, because good design has a halo effect and makes the product seem more valuable”.

In terms of stores having good design, it is more the 'experience' of design that makes design so successful. We are transitioning into an experience/attention economy, which makes the experience of the product (the product and the universe associated with the product) the upmost priority. Starbucks coffee would be nothing without its label, without its atmosphere, without that experience. As the architecture of experience goes online, design will be the ultimate harbinger of visitor success. It will be the ultimate, the everything. The design becomes the product.

Design is what people experience, what they see...all text, all seen and unseen material. Online voluntary communities need a base under which to interact. They cant be forced into acting voluntarily.

Every page on a site can be a front door to content without the time liability that an extra click creates for a user trying to find the correct content. Networks that shorten the distance between content an action while reducing unnecessary and awkward interface transitions are generally more successful online than those that do not

Every interaction we have is trying to get something done. Every button we push we're having an interaction that has a specific goal in mind. At his task that hse as a, point -- how do we balence this idea of acheiing certian goals -- press buttons and ahcieve these certain sorts of organic relationships.

There's design to make that flow manageable. There are also creative experiences that disrupt that flow -- stop, and look at whatever is here. Even mixing it with street theatree.You have people congregate that has flows of information that cause people to make decisions on future actions. We're tryin to get something done on these interfaces.

All of these online media are just tools -- pople have a dificult time taking that moment and doing that in front of them in the gallery.

I think that oslutin can nebver be in trerms of just UI design.

"But I think that these interfaces really do shpe the ways in which we have interacitons. he shape of space influcens motion, and the motion influences hte shape of space.

We are hungy to have a way to interat with the world.

How much do these interfaces related to what we're actually doing, and how much do these interfaces actually reflect what we're actually doing, how much does detract from what we're really doing. How much does it shape what we're actually doing?

For instance, a hammer, whose general shape has not changed much over the past thousand years, is perfectly suited to a series of specific tasks - namely hammering. It's a verb now. The object itself represents its action, and the verb form of the object represents the action as well. You can have attach adjectives, such as "shiny hammer" or “big hammer:.

When does the amount of information become too much for us to handle? Where does it begin to start losing value? In "media unlimited", by Todd Gitlan, he counters the idea of adopting and creating new and “supposedly efficient systems for getting things done”, because there’s an inherent irony in these systems when we adopt them but do not get stuff done.

In Ambient Findability, Peter Morville stresses the importance of making things findable. out that making things difficult to find can often result in life or death situations. For instance, if you have a medical emergency in an unfamiliar location and the way to the nearest hospital is not clearly marked could result in a life or death situation. While the general online experience does not involve

You know the process -- so you can use the same thing over and over again. It becomes muscle memory - like typing for me is like playing the piano.

You have to see that each tool is suited to a different purpose.

In June 2004, Tim O'Reilly suggested using the phrase "Architecture of Participation" describe the nature of systems that are designed for user contribution. How is the architecture of information influencing how we move in the ecosystem?

"Larry Lessig's book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, which he characterizes as an extended meditation on Mitch Kapor's maxim, "architecture is politics", made the case that we need to pay attention to the architecture of systems if we want to understand their effects." - Tim O'Reilly, 2004.

Postmodern cyberanthropological theorists like Sandy Stone define the hyperreality of the cyberspace and discuss the absorbtion of the individual into the cell phone. They discuss the cyberspace as a hyperspace, but do not apply this theoretical analysis to cell phones. This is what I'd like to do. I'd like to take my observations and apply Goffman and others as a theoretical framework. Then I'd like to take the same observations and apply a cyberanthropological background to them; something from cyberspace analysis that compares this new spatial architecture to the postmodern condition of mobility. I'd also like to add in the soundtrack for the new body, which would include the ringtone and the immersion into the "cinema". Cyberspace may be a cinema in visual terms, but a cell phone is an auditory cinema. A voice helps to make it real in the mind of the user, and helps to immerse the user in a space that is more engaging than the non-directed auditory space of real life.

Additional Reading