Winograd, T. (1997) The Design of Interaction

“The Design of Interaction” is an interesting essay by Terry Winograd. The essay is pulished in a book titled “Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing”, which was part of  ACM’s 50th birthday celebrations. In the book leading experts of computers and computer science envision the next fifty years of computer science. In his essay Winograd identifies three trends: computation to communication, machinery to habitat, and aliens to agents, and based on these envisions a future that is very interesting from HCI’s UCD’s perspective.

Winograd predicts that “In the next fifty years, the increasing importance of designing spaces for human communication and interaction will lead to expansion in those aspects of computing that are focused on people, rather than machinery. The methods, skills, and techniques concerning these human aspects are generally foreigh to those of mainstream computer science, and its likely that they will detach (at least partially) from their historical root to create a new field of  ‘interaction design’.” Winograd goes on to compare the relationship between interaction design and software engineering to the relationship between architecture and civil engineering.

Interestingly, Winograd’s prediction seems to be coming true. Interaction design and user-centred design are being established as independent research field and the their momentum seems to be growing in design research instead of computer science and HCI.

Winograd, T. (1997) The Design of Interaction. In Beyond Calculation: The  Next Fifty Years of Computers, Denning, P.J. & Metcalfe, R.M. (Eds.) Copernicus, New York, pp. 149-161.