Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reading / Design / Experience

As Rob Wittig says in an Amerika Online column on Designwriting:
"Experience design (which is another way of looking at interface design) thinks about the time a user spends with a text in the most holistic possible way: what is going on with the user physically, cognitively, emotionally, psychologically, socially. My school of experience design is founded on the assumption that readers use and mold texts for use as fragments in the greater purpose that is the reader's life, rather than the assumption that whole texts mold and change readers in accordance with the whole purposes of the author."
Wittig plays around the idea of "correct reading" which he says consists primarily of
  • strict linear reading
  • reading of every word
  • reading with an equal amount of concentration and attention to every word
  • reading without other simultaneous input (music, radio, television, conversation)
  • monogamous reading (one text at a time, beginning to end, without interruption)
Does anybody still really read that way? I'm reading my video iPod as I type this while listening to The Herbaliser's "Blow Your Headphones". I have a few windows open on my HD monitor, including this one that has Kodwo Eshun telling Geert Lovink:
At some stage we will get music that amplifies the sound of the network. Soon we will witness the birth of an immanent Net sound which is produced and distributed within the networks. I got online only in 1998 and I turned this lateness into my advantage. Old media love the backlash of the Internet which is happening at the moment. Everybody gets caught in this fascination for rejection of no more online, back to the street, to drugs and sex. Under the radar of this fascination a net-based music culture could come into existence. Both the doom and boom aspect of the Net are over. Once they both collapse you get something else. Still, I feel this lack because it is still not there yet. Net theorists are hoping too much for something to come out of MP3, but nothing is happening. Sonic evolutions happen when people give up on things. It is when you give up on breakbeats, that's when drum 'n ' bass happens and nobody notices it. Hiphop is dead. That is when you get extreme mutations.

Somehow, it all feels as though it's happening in my head right now, and I'm not only blowing my headphones, I'm blowing my mind.

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