Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Undergoing Reinvention

Friday was a doggy sort of day, perfect for a barbecue, at least at the tail end, once it was no longer quite so ferally "on heat".

We eventually made it to Frode's just in time for some of the best grilled steak we've ever tasted. Not far behind us was Ted Nelson. who was taking a break from his reinvention in Oxford.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ted is a kindred spirit when it comes to viewing the production of software (and Web) interfaces as an analogue of film-making, where the role of the Director is paramount.

It took Hollywood a decade or so to even realise the need for someone called the Director, Ted informed me. Back in the world of modern human-computer interaction, we've been living with the consequences of techy ways of thinking for half a century, he went on to assert.

We ended up agreeing that Revenge of the Sith has a 'user experience' like many contemporary websites - one where the designers and technicians appear to have had a field day before narrative and direction are slapped on almost as an afterthought.

Ted's not short of the odd nerdy tic himself though - underneath his jacket he wears a strap with an assortment of coloured pens and a tape recorder which he uses to keep a record of every conversation he participates (or lurks) in! And his choice of interface device for driving his ZigZag omni-dimensional database is a Gravis Gamepad.

No comments: