Components to User? or Vice Versa?

I’m sure that you can agree with me that digital products are becoming increasingly common place in society today. Any child born from this day forward would not be able to fathom a time without touchscreen devices. With that said, it becomes increasingly important in this deluge of devices to stand out if a living is to be made.

I draw upon this example because a) it is easy to demonstrate my point, and b) we can learn from it.

a) It is easy to demonstrate my point

Considering the deluge of new human interaction devices like kinect, the playstation move, the Wii, multi touch devices and other devices like this that are going to keep introducing new ways in which people interact with machines and each other mediated by machines. Eventually, the one thing that is going to be the way in which we determine the success of the product is the humanity of the interaction. Consider the BBVA ATM redesign that was posted earlier on in my blog. When IDEO set out to create that system that aimed to develop a system that stemmed from the user interaction as opposed to developing the system and then thinking about the user interaction.

b) we can learn from it

In developing games these days, think about what is fun that people do in their day to day lives, the thrill of driving fast, the fun of paint ball, general sports etc., think of how those interactions can be represented and brought to digitally while retaining the joy that comes from such interactions, then build the game around that. In my experience this requires a radical shift of mind. It would mean not by starting on paper but by observation. It would mean that the first thing that is produced is not a GDD but a methodology of transforming fun human interactions that allow us to cooperate and have fun into something that can be experienced using the multitude of devices on the market today. Unfortunately all too often, publishers demand a GDD or a game idea thats fun, and then they build the interactions basically forcing humans to adopt a new different way of doing things that more often than not does not work too well.

Of course I could be completely wrong. Perhaps the next generation of people will not react the same way as we do to machines. Perhaps the definition of humanity will change… But until then… the more human a system is the easier it will be for individuals to interact with that particular system, and the more successful that system will be.

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