• “There has been an increasing interest in objects within the HCI field particularly with a view to designing tangible interfaces. However, little is known about how people make sense of objects and how objects support thinking. This paper presents a study of groups of engineers using physical objects to prototype designs, and articulates the roles that physical objects play in supporting their design thinking and communications. The study finds that design thinking is heavily dependent upon physical objects, that designers are active and opportunistic in seeking out physical props and that the interpretation and use of an object depends heavily on the activity. The paper discusses the trade-offs that designers make between speed and accuracy of models, and specificity and generality in choice of representations. Implications for design of tangible interfaces are discussed.”
[To the tune of Air, “Alone In Kyoto,” from the album Lost In Translation (a 2-star song, imo).]