Good ol’ design constraints. They definitely keep life interesting. On good days, they are important drivers for innovation because of their ability to clearly outline what is not possible–subsequently giving shape to what *is* possible. On bad days, they can become the designers worst enemy: derailing design direction or collapsing the solution space to an unworkable singularity.
So how can we have mostly good days? One instructive way is to understand how things can go awry.
During this year’s CHI conference, Bill Buxton organized a panel at CHI to present the work of a group he felt pioneered much of what we work on. [The MIT Lincoln Laboratories]. Bill’s site explains the background of the group and the individual accomplishments of those involved far better than I could here so I encourage you to check it out.
What I’d like to talk about, though, is how that panel made me feel at the end of it. Several demonstrations in particular struck out at me and humbled me. Humbled and to some extent, humiliated. I’ll talk about a few of the demos, videotaped in the 60s at the lab to illustrate why.
:http://www.billbuxton.com/Lincoln.html “MIT Lincoln Laboratories”