erica cheng

Monday, January 16, 2006

Notes on “Internet Standards, Protocols, and Languages” and “Information Interaction Design”

In the article “Internet Standards, Protocols, and Languages”, the author introduces how different standards impact people’s lives by giving examples of different “standards” set on language, metric system, and electrical standards among countries. The different standards have caused communication gaps and thus need translators or converters to bridge the gap. Similar concept can be applied to the electronic systems such as the Internet. As the Internet has become a critical global communication channel, the different Internet standards, protocols and languages must be interoperable so as to make the data conversions proceed smoothly and enable people to share messages and resources. If the standards are incompatible, the distribution of messages and information will be limited and thus hinders communicators’ ability to reach their target audiences. The globally applicable standards will become one of the primary driving forces to support international electronic data exchange and commerce transaction. The same standards or interoperable standards can facilitate global communications, like English as an international language for people from different countries to communicate with one another, and translators as the interoperable tools to bridge the gap between different languages.

Unlike “Internet Standards, Protocols, and Languages”, the other article “Information Interaction Design” focuses on the process of creating an effective information design, which includes information design, interaction Design, and sensorial Design. Information design emphasizes much on the representation of data and its presentation; while interaction design aims to creating compelling experiences for target audiences and sensorial design affects audiences’ perception on the message being delivered. I think the organization of data, which is the critical process of information design according to the author, as well as the various ways to organize data that the author mentions, are pretty important and can be very helpful in our class project design. Besides, in order to achieve an successful information interaction design, the author points out that the designers have to first bear in mind the goals and messages they aim to convey, and to build a meaningful experience for target audiences. It is necessary to clarify the goals and understand the target audiences, including what their needs, abilities, interests, and expectations are and how to reach them, so as to build useful and effective experiences for both the designers and audiences.

When the author mentions about the interactivity with audiences, it reminds me of cases about standards influencing communications. The author suggests the designers to pay attention to the limitations of the technologies and media through which their messages are conveyed when designing the interactivity with audiences. As far as I am concerned, the limitations can be referred to different or incompatible standards, which hinder the process of communication. In addition, the author asserts that people can be more willing to express their creativity toward the designed product if they are accustomed to performing with the tools or techniques. The author suggests that this can be achieved either through the careful design of the experience or offered assistance from the designers. Yet, I think an universal agreed-upon and adopted standard, or interoperable standards, can also provide the accustomed tools or techniques for audiences to reflect their creation on the designed product.

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