A free-body problem: Catch me when i fall

Mis-tapping, imprecise hand-eye coordination, hesitation, mistakes, confusing signals all affect and influence the way we interact with techology. To stray is human. It is natural to do what is different, than to do what is expected or demanded. Therefore, devices and technologies need to be designed with this in mind. And better yet, to encourage and allow for it.

It is in those rare, surprisingly unintended moments that a person reaches a state of genius. A random convergence of events that leads somewhere unique and unexpected: to not do what has always been done. Because it is tried and true, does not necessarily make it good, better or best. In fact, quite the contrary, it often makes it too easy, lazy and boring.

Mis-tapping can happen when buttons on an app are too small or grouped too closely together. This is typical in most apps designed for “expert” users. The more proficient the user, the smaller and smaller the buttons get, for example, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office products, Sketch Up, Unity, just to name a few. They do not allow for mis-tapping, and they set you up to fail.

Hand-eye coordination is not just about the communication between hands and eyes. It is also about what the ears hear (or feel or resonate), a sense of balance and gut instinct. A sense of balance is guided by all senses and how your body interprets: touch, sight, sound, taste and smell, as well as one’s emotional wellbeing which can be influenced by the stories a person is exposed to.

All these senses are activated or engaged in one way or another. Even standing still in a room: you smell and taste the air you breathe, feel the ground below, feel and listen to the sound or lack of sound, and see what is more or less around you. Then there are all the ideas inside you that seem to come out of nowhere (or somewhere). All of these can affect and influence your sense of balanced, direction, place and purpose. And they all could be a cause which strays humans from intended or desired results of interaction techniques.

The aim is to somehow maintain a personal centre while still being able to stray in new directions and make use of novel interaction techniques. Moreover, not to feel hesitant to challenge or shift the established practices, principles and expectations of previous or existing designers and users. To do this is to discover, or rediscover, unique forms of motion and action. And reflect upon the uniquness of each individual’s interaction technique. And finally, to be more aware of our own interaction, expectations and feelings with the aim of attaining personal freedom-of-body and movement, without compromising someone else’s.

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