Make It So Forward-Chapter 3 Thoughts

Make It So’s premise of using sci-fi movies and TV shows to inform real-life interface devices is an extremely interesting and useful lens to view these works! I definitely agree that while not always that realistic, sci-fi is widely creative when it comes to technology and so many ideas from them can be used to derive new devices and interactions.

Many of the trends and lessons brought up articulated feelings I’ve had while watching sci-fi, but never took the time to group and think further on. The move to and away from mechanical controls as well as the seamless coupling of them is something on screen that is reflected in our own lives when we look at the evolution of phones especially. Thinking back, most sci-fi things that I’ve watched have glowing screens often with blue and so I automatically think of the feature shown as advanced when I see this; there’s something about glowing that just makes it seem so much cooler. The use of command line and text based computer control, usually in green, is so ubiquitous that when seen it is an easy assumption to know that someone is hacking into something even without any context. I’ve often seen interface layers for heads up displays and holographic boards, but without the glowing effect, it doesn’t quite invoke the feeling of advanced technology for me anymore from its repeated use because fully manipulable holographic 3D displays have been shown in quite a few things now. To me when done with a cascading 3D effect, file management systems can look futuristic, while¬† 2 1/2 D designs actually make an interface look older. The connections and lessons pointed out so far in this book are fascinating and I look forward to reading more of it:)

Author: sakamath@andrew.cmu.edu

Hey everyone! I'm a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in physical computing. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and build some cool projects:)

One thought on “Make It So Forward-Chapter 3 Thoughts”

  1. After reading Make it so, and about science fiction, I both agree and disagree. Yes, science fiction is loaded with imagination and creativity, and it is rooted in what we have in present; however, I think science fiction became not only predictive but also very clich√©. The technology we see and feel from Iron Man may be fascinating, yet the technology from those movies always brushes the mechanism of “how” it works under the rug and shows the sci-fi genius Tony Stark. (and it is always the job of modern-day real engineers to figure out the “how” part.) The depressing part of this, though, is that people just glances and walks pass thinking “meh, I’ve already seen Tony Stark doing it.”
    And Make it so also goes over about the interface design and interaction. As great as it seems from the sci-fi movies, it may not be as amazing. For example, those holographic screens that moves with the user’s action. Interaction wise, maybe it’s great that it involves natural interaction, meaning that like Wii from Nintendo, the user naturally figures out because it is in their physical movement. However, the user experience wise, it is not great, indeed, it is very opposite to being friendly. Those hologram panels always appear to be exclusive for those nerdy characters in the movies.
    Like I mentioned in my bath buddy presentation, users happen to have some sort of mental model in their minds. The mental model for high-tech panels would be those hologram panels; therefore, the designers present something like a laser keyboard. The thought of it was great, and it perfectly matched the users’ mental model; however, it wasn’t quite successful because the user experience of the keyboard wasn’t a good representation of what people sought for other than looking cool. That is why I think the conceptual model should sometimes look away from people’s expectations because it does not always promise that was exactly what they are looking for.

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