Research Output

Enlightened trial and error.

  Human-computer interaction as a rationalistic, engineering discipline has been taught successfully for more than 25 years. The established narrative is one of designing usable systems for users, some of whom have been described as “naïve”, safely installed behind their desktop personal computers. But the world is changed. All aspects of society use interactive technology, it is frequently carried about with us, we talk to it, gesture at it, caress it and check it compulsively. The original emphasis on designing for usability has given way to creating an optimal “user experience”. So we are faced with two distinct but related issues: firstly, how do we characterise this new technology and our relationship with it and secondly, how do we teach to design for it. We have developed an approach, which might formally be described as being based on a “convergent-divergent dialectic” but is, at its heart, recognisably playful.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2011

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Interaction Design and Architecture(s)

  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    004 Data processing & computer science


Turner, P., Turner, S. & Flint, T. (2011). Enlightened trial and error. Interaction Design and Architecture(s) IxDetA. 13/14, 64-83. ISSN 1826-9745



human-computer interaction; user experience;

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