Interactions: Time for Some Change
This issue marks a quiet milestone for us: the
beginning of our second year as editors in chief.
Year one brought six quality issues, a new look and
feel, a new website, a new team of contributors
and advisors, a presence at more than two dozen
premier conferences, and greatly renewed and
expanded respect for the magazine. Our second
year begins with a bang, as we are proud to present
a very strong January+February issue and several
additions to the interactions team.
Our cover story, by Apala Chavan and her team
at Human Factors International, describes the trials
and tribulations that brands face as they bring their
products into the global marketplace. This is accompanied by Jonathan Lazar’s entreaty that these
same brands consider an aging audience, and by Eli
Blevis’s illustration of the global need for sustain-ability in corporate product offerings. These pieces
reflect the major theme of this issue: the need for
companies to change their ways and to ensure
appropriate social and cultural resonance of the
products they make and the services they provide.
Rachel Hinman presents a very personal view
into the design process with her examination of
the highs and lows associated with project-based
creativity. Her piece reflects on the often emotional
nature of creating. Steve Portigal offers his equally
personal view of creative output—often wrapped in
the absurdity of corporate language and presented
in a way to convince, manipulate, and persuade.
James Hudson and Kay Viswanadha also explore
this use of corporate language, as they look into the
concept of “wowing” customers.
This issue also includes analyses of: different
approaches to design and innovation; different
types of interaction; the history of sound in computing; the potential of social network sites to
affect society; and much more. You can see why
we think this issue is particularly likely to “wow”
Look for even stronger issues as our tenure con-
tinues, with the following new contributing editors:
• Elaine Ann joins us from Asia. She is the founder of Kaizor Innovation, a consulting company positioned to develop innovation strategies, research,
and designs for the emerging Chinese market.
• Lauren Serota is a design researcher with
Lextant in Columbus, Ohio, where her work incor-
porates an ever-present passion for cultural diversity and objectivity in the acquisition and analysis
of consumer insights for product and service
• Mark Vanderbeeken is one of four founding
partners of the young and dynamic international
experience design consultancy Experientia in Italy.
Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development, and strategic communications, as reflected
in his wonderful blog, “Putting People First.”
• Molly Wright Steenson, forever the “
girlwon-der,” is an interaction designer and design researcher with roots in Web, mobile, and service design.
Molly was an associate professor of connected
communities at the Interaction Design Institute in
• Marc Rettig, former chief experience officer at
Hanna Hodge, is cofounder of Fit Associates. Marc’s
20-plus-year career has been guided by an interest
in people, systems, communication, and the power
of design. Marc served as features editor for
interactions during the mid-’90s.
And joining us as the new (P)reviews Editor is
Alex Wright. Alex wrote a great article—“Primal
Interactions”—for our first issue, the same issue in
which his book, Glut: Mastering Information Through
the Ages was reviewed.
We are delighted to have all six of these fabulous
people join interactions. More additions as well as
changes of a very different nature are in the works;
we will unveil them in upcoming issues and on the
Yet with all of these changes, we are proud
to reemphasize and rearticulate our vision represented in the magazine’s title: interactions, or
the many types of interactions essential for, on
which are based, and that comprise good practice. The human-built world can afford a sense of
beauty, sublimity, and resonance, and through our
advancements in technology can come advances in
society. At the center of these advances are interactions—conversations, connections, collaborations,
and relationships—within and across multiple disciplines, with and without technology.
—Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko
© 2009 ACM 1072-5220/09/0100 $5.00
• Richard Anderson
• Jon Kolko