dezembro 01, 2022

Make It New: A History of Silicon Valley Design

Não sei como passei ao lado de "Make It New: A History of Silicon Valley Design", um livro já de 2015, mas é uma das maiores jóias sobre a História de Silicon Valley, sobre o nascimento das tecnologias multimédia, mas em particular sobre o modo como o design, e não o desenvolvimento, se tornou no centro da criação tecnológica. Li já dezenas de livros sobre esta história, mas este livro de Barry M. Katz, Professor de Design Industrial e Interação no California College of the Arts e Colaborador da IDEO, Inc., distingue-se por apresentar pela primeira vez uma perspectiva completa a partir do design. Foi, sem dúvida, uma das minhas leituras mais gratificantes de 2022.

O livro está editado pela MIT Press

Katz criou um livro com apenas 6 grandes capítulos, sendo os mais importantes o "2.Research and Development", "3. Sea of Change", e o "4.The Genealogy of Design". Da minha leitura extraí destes 10 momentos chave sobre a História do Design de Multimédia que tocam várias formas do design de tecnologia, desde o design industrial e produto ao design de interação e de jogos, e que listo abaixo com excertos: 

1. Douglas Engelbart 

"at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Douglas Engelbart was setting up the Augmented Human Intellect Research Center to explore collaborative tools that could “raise the collective IQ” of knowledge workers distributed across time and space."

"Engelbart’s lab is the iconic case in point. In 1968, supported by an $80,000 grant from NASA and a blossoming friendship with Herman Miller research director Robert Propst, Engelbart set out in search of inspirational design concepts that might guide him in equipping his lab and its centerpiece, a networked installation he called the oN-LineSystem (NLS)."

"the [design of the] first personal computer... had been publicly revealed in December 1968 at the semiannual meeting of the Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. With Bill English serving as the wizard behind the curtain, Douglas Engelbart had demonstrated to a spellbound gathering of computer scientists accustomed to punched cards and coils of paper tape how the computer might be used as an interactive medium of communication and collaboration."

"The Mother of All Demos", 1968

2. Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

"When Associate Director Bill English left SRI for the Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), he brought with him key elements of NLS where they contributed to the evolution of the prototype Alto and its commercial successor, the Star workstation." 

"As a corporate research lab, the mandate of PARC was to prove the viability of the automated office by building functioning machines in sufficient numbers to be used, tested, and studied. This program represented an obvious advance over the conceptual research program of Engelbart’s Augmentation Research Center at SRI, but it was nevertheless a transitional stage. Although working models would find their way into university labs at Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon, into the corporate headquarters of various customers of the Xerox Corporation, and even into the Carter White House, the Alto was fundamentally a research platform. This is clear from the casual voice of the Alto User’s Handbook, an internal Xerox document created to initiate neophytes into the mysteries of personal computing: If you’ve gotten this far, “take a rest.” If you’re stuck, “ask an expert.” If it breaks, “get it fixed.” And following one particularly thorny set of instructions, “This is best understood by watching someone else do it.” PARC had been chartered as a corporate research center, even if the Systems Science and Computer Science Labs did not pursue “research” in the academic sense of uncovering new knowledge. “We were basically building stuff,” explained Tim Mott. “It was not, ‘Look at this important paper I published,’ so much as, ‘Look at this cool thing I made’”— even if the “cool thing’” was just a string of code or a wireframe prototype.

Xerox Alto, 1973, Wikipedia

"The Star incorporated all of Alto’s essential innovations—the bitmapped display, the icon-based graphical user interface with its distinctive simulated “desktop” and popup menus; documents that integrated formatted text, tables, formulas, pictures, charts, and graphics in overlapping “windows”; electronic mail; printing. These were all subsumed under the category of what was variously called “user-interface” or “dialog design,” concepts that were at that time very poorly understood and certainly no part of the training of any designer. Indeed, the universal adoption of such terms may obscure just how opaque they were in the mid-1970s: Budd Steinhilber recalled the day that a PARC scientist visited the offices of as Microsoft Word; Robert Metcalf used the Ethernet protocol he had invented at PARC to found the networking giant, 3Com; John Warnock and Charles Geschke, tiring of an unresponsive bureaucracy, took their InterPress page description language and founded Adobe Systems; Tesler himself brought the icon-based, object-oriented Smalltalk programming language with him when he joined the Lisa engineering team at Apple, and Tim Mott, his codeveloper of the Gypsy desktop interface, became one of the founders of Electronic Arts—five startups that would ultimately pay off the mortgages and student loans of many hundreds of industrial, graphic, and interaction designers, and provide the tools of the trade for untold thousands of others."

Xerox Star, 1981 Wikipedia

3. Stanford Design

"A team of social scientists from the Stanford Research Institute laid out three future scenarios—“dynamic status quo extended,” “economic disappointment,” and “cultural transformation”—as a framework for long-term planning.13 The keynote address was delivered by Ralph Nader, who opened the conference with a blistering attack on the design profession for its complicity in fouling the planet with products that are unnecessary, unhealthful, and unsafe at any speed—and was jeered and heckled by those in the audience who made their living doing so. The emerging generation felt that Nader had given them a voice"

"The members of the San Francisco Bay chapter—scorned by the national leadership as “hippies” afflicted with “the apparent disrespect of youth,” came away focused, energized, and determined to seize the day. (...) And in summer 1977, as the planning for Thrival was getting under way, a San Francisco graphic designer named James Stockton conceived the idea of an intimate, multidisciplinary gathering where professionals could explore ideas at the margins of their respective fields; out of this initiative the Stanford Design Conference was born."

"At a time when the venerable International Design Conference in Aspen and the annual meetings of the various professional societies were almost the only opportunities for creative comingling, the Stanford Design Conference quickly became yet another touchpoint for a community whose intellectual appetite had been whetted. Over the course of fourteen consecutive summers the organizers went out of their way to stretch the boundaries of the disciplines to the point of questioning the very concept of “design.” Indeed, it was less a design conference than a designed conference: physicists and geneticists rubbed shoulders with architects and urban planners; engineers and inventors shared box lunches with photographers and cartoonists; writers and critics hiked through the foothills with dancers and musicians, while graduate students, in a bizarre saturnalian reversal, shielded their professors from the out-of-control, flame-throwing robots unleashed by Survival Research Labs."

"Victor Papanek, purged from the IDSA and persona non grata at most professional gatherings, was the first of the invited speakers. A barefooted Steve Jobs sat on the grass and captivated a circle of fellow twenty-somethings with his vision of the seamless integration of design and engineering."

"the impact of the Stanford Design Conference was catalytic, viral, and rhizomatic, and folded into Silicon Valley’s larger design culture"

4. Bill Moggridge - criador do IxD

Such was the state of affairs that prevailed when Bill Moggridge walked in off the street in 1979. The Europeans—starting with Moggridge and Mike Nuttall from the UK, followed by Hartmut Esslinger and his team from Germany—did not find in the new world a trackless desert but fertile soil that had been worked by many hands. Peter Lowe nevertheless remembers asking himself, “Why are these guys coming here? What opportunities did they see in Silicon Valley that the American designers did not?”

Moggridge Associates was a respected industrial design consultancy in London, with a decade’s worth of notable products in its portfolio: a prototype desktop minicomputer for Computer Technology had him thinking about ventilation, connectors, and interfaces already in 1973;

In contrast to old Britain—beset by restive trade unions, declining productivity, factory closures, and low profit margins—Silicon Valley seemed to Moggridge to be an unreal paradise. Where the European design culture was elitist and hierarchical, in California he quickly found himself embedded in “information networks,” enrolled in “invisible colleges,” and enjoying an unheard of level of cooperation between industry and academia, between individuals working for competitive companies, and sometimes between competing companies themselves.

Over the next few years, Moggridge steadily built up a staff, a network, and a client base, and learned to play by a different set of rules. “In an established company lots of time and effort is spent on persuading management to accept an idea after it has been formulated by the design team,” he noted (...) The result was a rigorous body of work that brought the technical into line with the human: “We shared a common feeling that engineering design and industrial design could be compatibly blended,” stated one of his first clients; “I saw that his work married form and ergonomics with solid engineering design; and that’s what I wanted.”

This space of uncertainty, ambiguity, and compromise, however, is the native habitat of the designer: An engineer will typically focus on the technology and ask, “How does it work?” Designers, in this climate of open-ended innovation, were learning to start with the human being and ask, “How will people use it?”

5. Steve Jobs

"The tidal current that would drive the transatlantic sea change in Silicon Valley design originated not in Britain, however, but in the iconic, garage-based startup founded in 1976 by the unlikely team of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. (...) While the crowd studied Wozniak’s innovative microcomputer, so the story goes, Jobs studied the crowd."

"It is best captured by Steve Jobs himself: "It was our belief that for every hardware hobbyist who was capable of assembling his own computer there were a thousand software hobbyists who were not. We thought that if we could make a computer that people didn't have to assemble you could sell a lot more—and we were right. So we wanted to put the Apple II in a housing that would reflect more of a humanistic point of view. Once we found a way to do that, the next question was, “What should it look like?” “What should it express?” “How should it work?” And that led us down the path of having to think about those things."

Jobs’s alleged fixation on “design,” in other words, was a function of a strategic objective, not—as innumerable commentators have wrongly supposed—the primordial force driving it. Having committed himself to the idea of the computer as a sealed, self-contained consumer appliance, questions of design necessarily followed: the aesthetic statement of the enclosure; the software interface; the experience of unpacking the box or browsing through the user’s manual—in short, the emotional valence of the entire product in all its details. 

The idea of an accessible “personal” computer certainly had its origins in Alan Kay’s Dynabook, but Jobs’s actual education in design can be traced more directly to his association with James Ferris, who handled the Apple account at Regis McKenna, Inc., the valley’s iconic marketing firm.

James Ferris recalls that “for Steve it was not just a focus on product or even brand design, but a complete design mindset, a way of thinking and making sense of things.”

Steve Jobs enters the picture precisely at midpoint in the history of Silicon Valley design, and is the hinge on which the entire story pivots for the simple reason that he accorded to design a place it had not heretofore occupied in any major technology corporation. This occurred both at the level of product design, but also—and of equal importance—in the design of the company itself and the image it sought to project: “Looking back,” remarked Clement Mok, who in 1984 assumed leadership of Apple creative services, “I learned from him how to design an idea: you design the inside, the outside, and everything around.” As Apple’s design philosophy matured, it came to encompass hardware and software, communication and advertising, annual reports, trade show booths, and Apple’s famous concept of “event marketing.” “When Steve Jobs used the word ‘design,’” continued Mok, “he was advocating everything from hardware, software, advertising, communication, and user experience design. … Projects large and small were given the same level of scrutiny and attention, whether it was warranted or not.”

The three-button, $500 “mouse” Jobs had seen at his storied visit o Xerox PARC two days earlier was the input device, based on Engelbart’s “x-y position indicator,” engineered for the Alto and refined for the STAR workstation. What PARC’s researchers saw as a sensitive laboratory instrument, however, Jobs perceived as a key component in an emerging vision of how novices might work with computers in a way that was personal, comfortable, and even intimate (during a subsequent conversation with Hovey he ran his hand along his thigh and said that he wanted a device that would work on his jeans)."

6. Macintosh - Project Snow White

"In these explorations Raskin visualized an “anthropophilic” machine that would weigh under ten pounds, sell for under $500, and appeal even to people who took what he described as “a perverse pride” in knowing nothing about computers: ”Seeing the guts is taboo. Things in sockets is taboo. Billions of keys on the keyboard is taboo. Computerese is taboo. Large manuals … (a sure sign of bad design) is taboo.” Above all, “The computer must be in one lump.” Disliking the ritual use of female names to refer to computers, Raskin’s papers came to known internally as “The Book of Macintosh.”

"Project “Snow White,” as this initiative was called, would ultimately stretch far beyond Apple’s seven divisional dwarves to complete the sea change that transformed Silicon Valley from a provincial outpost to the imperial capital design."

"The Snow White competition was driven by Rob Gemmell, an industrial designer working in the Apple II Division. Although he could scarcely have been aware of it at the time, Gemmell was instrumental in bringing European design to the shores of the New World."

"He also benefited from RichardsonSmith’s close relationship with the design department at Ohio State University where he came into contact with Reinhart Bütter, one of the architects of “design semantics,” the post-Bauhausian idea that “form follows meaning, not function.”

"By December 1980, Gemmell had entered the master’s program at OSU and was working on a thesis on “The Use of Computers for Creative Professionals” 

"Emboldened by his global perspective and corporate branding experience, Gemmell embarked almost immediately on a campaign “to get Apple thinking bigger.” Manock was receptive, Oyama was enthusiastic, and Steve Jobs — who had announced to the Product Design Guild that, “I want our design not just to be the best in the personal computer industry, but to be the best in the world” — approved a budget to send the three designers to Europe to assess the state of the art.

"London where they met with principals at Pentagram and Moggridge Associates, and then to Paris to see the industrial designer Roger Tallon. In Milan they interviewed the iconoclastic Ettore Sottsass, who had lately jolted the European design establishment with the undecipherable products of his Memphis studio. Mario Bellini declined on account of potential conflicts of interest with Olivetti, as did Dieter Rams because of his work for Siemens. Within two months they had narrowed the field to Esslinger Design, located in the tiny village of Altensteig on the edge of the Black Forest, and BIB, the London consultancy run by Nick Butler and Stephen Bartlett. Each firm was presented with an eleven-part brief, a set of product specifications covering everything from radio frequency interference shielding to cable management, and a description of the seven product categories to be unified under a common “Snow White” design language: a business work station based on the Lisa computer (“Doc”), a home computer based on the Apple II (“Sneezy”), an entry-level Macintosh (“Happy”), a “book” computer imagined as an electronic clipboard (“Bashful”), a mouse (“Sleepy”), a desktop dot matrix printer (“Grumpy”), and an external floppy disk drive (“Dopey”) (...) Each firm was given six months, and a budget of $50,000."

Snow White design language (1984-1990)

Stephen Bartlett, who led the initiative for BIB, likened the opportunity to Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author:

"The absolute fascination of the Snow White challenge was that in Apple we found a set of characters in search of their identity. What were these products for? What were they going to become? How could we develop a visual language that would be functional but at the same time capture the romance and poetry of what would be seen as an extraordinary episode of innovation?"

Both designer and client understood themselves to be exploring territory that was largely uncharted under rules of engagement that had yet to be written.

Hartmut Esslinger had approached Snow White less as a design competition than a world-historical clash of Weltanschauungen. The Americans had gotten stuck, he felt, because they had defined the problem in the reductive terms of design language, whereas the stakes were actually much higher: “Olivetti never had a design language; they had a design philosophy. Braun had a philosophy behind it. At Sony we had a philosophy of how to do things.” It was not that his American counterparts were not competent designers, but that they had been trained to approach their work either as stylists or as engineers. This discipline-bound parochialism prevented them from seeing the larger challenge, which was “to find a way to give cultural expression to a new technology,” and to do so in a way that captured the essence of the new company: “simple, white, innocent, sexy, and a bit more radical.”

The language of “culture” and “philosophy” may seem eccentric in the mundane context of product design, but it is crucial to appreciating the “fusion of horizons” that would impart a European character to the products, process, and profession of design in Silicon Valley. Esslinger’s roots in the spiritually dense environment of Swabian Pietism show up clearly in his uncompromising manner and his postfunctionalist philosophy that “form follows emotion.” His education at what was then the craft-oriented Werkkunstschule in Schwäbische Gmünd grounded him in the history of aesthetics—from the Babylonians to the Bauhaus—to a depth that was uncommon in American art schools and unheard of in the American engineering curriculum.

7. Genealogy of Design: ID-Two, IDEO, frogdesign, and Lunar

"IDEO, formed out of the merger of Moggridge’s ID Two, Mike Nuttall’s Matrix Design, and David Kelley Design, was literally a union of European design and American engineering. (...) frogdesign brought to California a tradition of Continental design theory with roots in the Bauhaus and Ulm, if not Kant and Schiller. "

"We can visualize the design firms of the valley as a subsystem within this densely integrated network. At its source are IDEO, frogdesign, and Lunar, the friendly rivals that begat much of the complex ecosystem of studios, partnerships"

"In terms of sheer numbers, the proliferation of design offices located or headquartered in the Bay Area is unequalled anywhere in the world, but that is only one part—albeit a very large part—of the story. The other concerns the continuous expansion of the field of professional practice itself. New product categories—interactive video games, educational software, telepresence surgical equipment—called forth new methodologies and even whole new fields of design practice. Industrial design, having exhausted the modernist dogma that “form must ever follow function,” incubated the field of interaction design. Market research was supplanted by user experience design. Ergonomics, with its preponderant focus on physical affordances, evolved into human factors, which extended the field of analysis to the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions of product use.2 In successive waves, a new cast of specialists trained in the social and behavioral sciences took their seats alongside the artists and engineers who had already laid claim to the title of “designer.”"

"the designers at Lunar developed a process that focused on the human experience. This began with a series of “immersion studies” intended to engage the client in a discussion of possible operator environments, from a fully enclosed module to an open frame that fell somewhere between a racing motorcycle and an exercise machine. Back in their Palo Alto studio they built adjustable mockups of an interactive console that both male and female surgeons would find approachable, comfortable, and that allowed them sufficient freedom of movement. "

"Lunar rallied behind the slogan that “Form Follows It All” to capture the idea that a product’s “function” had to include emotional appeal, ease of use, manufacturability, and the integrity of a brand."

8. IxD and Videogames Design

"Although the designers at ID Two —principally Moggridge and Bill Verplank—may have earned what Nietzsche called “the lordly right of giving names,” the foundations of the new discipline of interaction design had been laid at least a decade earlier by a familiar cast of players." 

"Bushnell had supported his engineering studies at the University of Utah (which, under the leadership of Ivan Sutherland, had built one of the world’s pioneering computer science departments) by working at an amusement park outside of Salt Lake City—an oft-cited detail that neatly captures his lifelong fascination with the intersection of high technology and popular culture. Unable to land his dream job at Disney, Bushnell settled for Ampex, which provided him with enough spare time and spare parts to experiment with inexpensive transistor-to-transistor logic (TTL) circuits that he attached to a modified black-and-white television set. In 1972, together with fellow Ampex engineer Ted Dabney, he launched his own company."

"It was the designers of the games themselves, however, who formed the head and heart of the company. Many of them—beginning with Al Alcorn, creator of the original Pong—became high priests of a cult-like community they were conjuring in real time. Long before undergraduates could major in game design at USC or the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, these sorcerers practiced a dark art for which precedents did not exist and parameters had yet to be defined. 

“During a visit to Atari’s manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, one of the suits from Chicago peered at the hyperkinetic visuals of a game called Video Music and innocently asked, “What were you guys smoking when you did that?”

"In the early years, the same individual was responsible for everything from concept to execution: “You had the idea, wrote the program, created the graphics, did the sound effects, chased down bugs, tested the game on kids, revised it until you were satisfied, and wrote a draft of the game manual.”

"As the underlying technology progressed, design became an increasingly distinct function. And as had been the case of its neighbors in adjacent disciplines, the professionalization of game design brought with it the expectation that game designers be treated like professionals."

Of the first generation of polymorphs and polymaths, a few, like Warren Robinett, were trained in computer science; others, like Alan Miller and Rob Fulop, had studied electrical engineering; Dona Bailey, the only woman in an original group of about thirty, was a software engineer; as their numbers swelled they would be joined by artists, musicians, zoologists, or college dropouts who simply had a gift for conceiving a primitive story and crafting it in code. None of them, obviously, was trained in the field they were collectively inventing. Indeed, it was largely a desire to be recognized as masters of a new art

9. Multimedia (Atari & Apple)

"Alan Miller, Dave Crane, Bob Whitehead, and Larry Kaplan—the “gang of four”—left Atari in 1980 to found Activision, the first third-party game developer; Howard Delman, Roger Hector, and Ed Rotberg—the “three stooges”—launched the electronic entertainment company, Videa. Bill Grubb, Bob Smith, Denis Koble, Mark Bradley, and Rob Fulop—the “Numb Thumb Club”— founded the short-lived Imagic; Warren Robinett recalled that “those of us who stayed at Atari called ourselves the Dumb Shits Club.”

Atari Research Labs

The details, of course, are somewhat more complicated. In 1982, the year in which the video game industry crested and began its precipitous decline, the cash-rich company asked Kay to help set up a corporate research center with the mission of conducting basic research into the future of interactive multimedia.

"Kay acknowledged that this was a risky venture and that a respectable company such as Hewlett-Packard would have been a more logical career move. It was precisely Atari’s consumer orientation, however, that appealed to Kay’s populist vision of transparent interfaces and $1,000 computers that were simple enough to be used by children: “You cannot beat Atari’s base,” he told an interviewer in explaining his decision to join Atari Research Labs. “They are the very people I said I was interested in for 15 years, so it’s really put-up-or-shut-up time.”

“It is the first metamedium,” Kay argued, “and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered and as yet barely investigated.” Even more important, he felt compelled to add, “it is fun, and therefore intrinsically worth doing.”33 Here was the ultimate opportunity to engage in what Douglas Engelbart had called “bootstrapping,”develop the conceptual tools of a discipline in formation."

"Formally, this program was pursued within “visibility clusters” representing such hybrid practices as interactive animation, a games research group under the erratic guidance of ludiologist Chris Crawford, and information environments, which included a media room outfitted to study the integration of voice, touch, gesture, image, and sound. "

"Randy Smith, who had been laboring to explain relativity theory to his undergraduates at U.C. Davis by means of equations, found that at Atari he could build interactive simulations that slowed the speed of light to ten or twenty miles per hour without otherwise violating fundamental laws of physics: “Here was a way to get a feeling in your bones for the meaning of relativity. Here was a way for people of any age to learn about what the universe is like and how it works.” Brenda Laurel applied her background in theater to the study the poetics of narrative fantasy on the interactive stage of electronic games. Robert Stein, wishing to understand how people will navigate the coming world of ubiquitous information, designed an imaginary question machine and recruited a twelve-year-old faculty brat from Stanford to record every question that occurred to him in the course of an average day; Michael Naimark, not to be outdone, conducted a parallel experiment with the twelve-year-old descendant of an Ifugao headhunter in the Philippines."

"The program that most ambitiously embraced the lab’s interests in education and entertainment was a collaborative effort to build an “Intelligent Encyclopedia”—an idea first broached by Vannevar Bush in his 1945 vision of the “Memex,” driven forward by ARPA’s Information Processing Technology Office (IPTO), and given its first incarnation in Project Xanadu, the hypertext protocol conceived in 1960 by Ted Nelson. "

Apple Multimedia Lab

"If the Knowledge Navigator suggested a vision of a fully interactive multimedia experience, the HyperCard application and programming tool, provided multimedia designers with a tool for realizing it. Developed by Bill Atkinson of the original Macintosh team, HyperCard used the visual metaphor of stacked index cards and allowed designers to address a set of challenges that had been incubating throughout much of the preceding decade: How might new technologies support creative investigation and expression? How might technology and media companies collaborate to create products that enliven the educational experience? How might multimedia help “smudge the line” between teaching and learning?

"The signature achievement of the lab, however, was a sprawling Visual Almanac [1988–89] that can be seen as a first step toward fulfillment of Atari’s unrealized vision of an electronic encyclopedia. Consisting of a videodisc, CD-ROM, and companion volume, it brought together a vast repository of information, graphics, video clips, images, and sounds, encoded onto 7,000 hyperlinked “data cards” from which students could build their own dynamic presentations."

"The Multimedia Lab never found a viable business model for its new media creations, and the closed world of the videodisc was soon to be overtaken by the infinite universe of the World Wide Web."

10. Psychology of Interaction

"John C. Wakefield, Atari’s first president, insisted from the very outset that game development involves more than coding and storytelling and requires “an in-depth understanding of human behavior to determine what challenges, frustrates, gratifies, and motivates people.” This would have been unusual language coming from an engineer or an MBA, but was lingua franca for Dr. Wakefield, a clinical psychiatrist."

"Wakefield recognized that in contrast to the passive, inflexible, and nonprogrammable character of broadcast television, video games are inherently interactive. Indeed, to an extraordinary degree, the professionalization of interaction design at Atari can be traced to an intensifying scientific interest in the fundamental cognitive structures, behavioral processes, and learning strategies that are mobilized during creative play. In that respect, Atari’s program ran almost exactly parallel to those of a cluster of advanced research centers including the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory directed by Seymour Papert and Marvin Minsky at MIT, the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), founded by John McCarthy, and the Learning Research Group (LRG) at Xerox PARC, led by the visionary Alan Kay."

"Only a few years earlier, Bill Moggridge and his associates at ID Two had concluded that a new framework was called for that could humanize the digital experience, just as he had been trained to do in the weighty realm of the physical: “Like industrial design, the discipline would be concerned with subjective and qualitative values, would start from the needs and desires of the people who use the product or service, and strive to create designs that would give aesthetic pleasure as well as lasting satisfaction and enjoyment.”

At a conference in 1984 Moggridge proposed the term “soft-face” design, but the appearance that season of the puffy-cheeked Cabbage Patch dolls upstaged him and he thought it best to reconsider. “Interface design” had already been claimed by the software community even before the landmark Gaithersburg Conference on Human Factors in Computing in 1982, and “dialog design” seems never to have left the hillside redoubt of Xerox PARC. “Interaction analysis” was an increasingly popular field among anthropologists, but for the design community it represented a postindustrial terra incognita. For that very reason they settled, ultimately, upon “interaction design.”

Recapitulating the process by which “game design” evolved out of the enforced cohabitation of computer scientists, software engineers, and hackers, “interaction design” had to be cobbled together out of existing specializations: Starting with the multifaceted Verplank, whose work on the Xerox STAR interface has earned him widespread renown within this emergent community, Moggridge went on a hiring spree that ultimately netted Tim Brown, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art; psychologist Jane Fulton Suri, who would move “human factors” from ex post evaluation of defective products to a proactive role in the design process itself; Naoto Fukasawa, who had left the corporate design office at Seiko Epson and was en route to becoming a superstar in the Japanese design firmament; and Peter Spreenberg, among the first to have put the words “Interaction Designer” on his business card.

"PARC’s most forward-thinking researchers shifted from “How do we build them?” to “How do they use them?”"

“There is a substantial payoff (in dollars) to be had by really designing systems with detailed understanding of the way the human must process the information." He went on to suggest that “a psychological research unit within a computer science-oriented industrial research laboratory” might be the ideal context in which to redress this imbalance."

"But the importation of psychology and linguistics—albeit a heavily mathematicized cognitive psychology and a rigorously computational linguistics—was only the beginning." 

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