|a very scattered post roughly about HCI
||[Apr. 8th, 2006|04:19 pm]
My new favorite interdisciplinary field: Human-Computer Interaction.|
I just went to this panel discussion talk thing which was part of a conference at I-House held by Mephistos (Medicine, Philosophy, History, Science, Technology, and Sociology), the panel was called "Smart, Fun and Healthy in a Material World." It was pretty much really awesome. The last guy who spoke in the panel had a degree in HCI (the other 3 people had other focuses), and he talked about his project designing more accessible and useable consumer health information systems.
... Should I consider going into this? Am I being too fickle and changing my mind too much? There are too many scattered things that I'm interested in, and that I could work on for some limited amount of time before getting more interested in something else and wanting to move on to that. This is what worries me most about entering with any depth into any one field. And maybe academic research isn't actually the only or the best way to discover truths of the world....
I can't wait until keyboard designers stop making such HUGE FUCKING SPACEBARS. The other day in the Maclab, I turned to Steven and asked, "why are spacebars so big?" He looked at his keyboard for a second and said, "so you can press it with either of your thumbs." The next day at work, I looked at the (communal) computer I was on and noticed that there was a shiny spot on the spacebar right below the N and M keys. And I noticed that I NEVER press the spacebar with my left hand. And I'm always frustrated that I have to reach so far over to the left just to press the freaking Ctrl key, which I use ALL the time. Hhhmmmmm...... Also, what ever happened to the function key?? We could do so much more with keyboards if there were more function keys, to create "layers" of commands that would be reachable without craning your wrists.
So yeah, I think HCI (or at least HCI-related stuff) has been more interesting to me lately than neuro.
On that note, I'm just using Google Earth for the first time, and holy shit, this program is brilliant, beautiful, and awesome. That's all I can say. It still has the same funny leaning/slanted skyscrapers downtown (which look even funnier when they stay plastered to the ground when you change the tilt aspect), but the program itself fucking rocks.
(EDIT: Okay, I just discovered the 3-d buildings feature. Holy crap.)
I decided today that even though currently software and websites are designed and programmed by the same person (I think), there will eventaily be a division of labor in programming and design that you see in most other fields (fashion designers and people on sewing machines; furniture designers and carpenters; etc), which I think is a good thing. Not all programmers have an intuitive esthetic sense of what kind of appearance would be best for a program, and not all people designing programs have an ability to code efficiently and cleanly. Maybe I'm just being hopeful because I want to design stuff and not put in the time and effort to learn all the languages necessary for creating the things I want, but I think things will eventually go in that direction if they're not already.