Coping with servos
We start this module by reading Designing for coping by Clint Heyer. He introduces four lenses we can use to identify different kinds of coping mechanisms we have with and through our artifacts.
Malleability is the properties we change outside of our intended action, like setting thing up for our activity. They are more or less permanent, like changing tyres on our car, once we have done it it stays like that until we change it again.
Meta Manipulability happens inside our activity but is not really a part of it, it is more about facilitating our activity by adjusting tools and the like. Handing over a tool in the wrong way does not stop the activity but it can break a flow. When you are drawing you constantly adjust your position and the paper to keep make it less physically demanding to draw.
Direct Manipulability could be described as the coupling between the action and the way I use the object. It can be the feedback I get from my engine revving or the thicker line I get when I press harder with my pen.
Social Manipulability is what your actions express in a social context the act of writing a document on a computer has a lot of social expressions, like how hard you type, if you move away from others to do it or if you just start writing in the middle of a meeting. All these qualities are lost in your document as the only thing that is left is text.
These four concept are reduced or even often lost in digital products. We have no richness in our impression and expression, text is text, the computer is a black box and you are left with really poor abilities to interact with our artifacts. We seldom get the a fraction of the nuance we get from mechanical products. Even if you don't know what way to screw in a screw, you can feel the when it is tightening or loosening. The same is not true for most digital stuff, I can't feel when I am nearing the edge of the screen with my mouse.
One of the few places I have found a richer input is in my wacom tablet. I can feel how hard I press and that translates to the screen, and I am always aware of where my pen will land on the screen when I put it to the tablet, the direct manipulability. Rearranging the tablet to give me a better position is meta manipulability. Theses qualities make my work easier, I guess this is what Clint talks about when he talks about coping.
The text is a hard read and I'm pretty sure I have misunderstood at least some parts of it but I like how it makes me think about aspects of artefacts that I have not been thinking of before.
Brief: Design a fluid, nuanced interaction with servos
Materials: Servos and the text "Designing for Coping"
Team: Josefine and me
We kick this off by examining the text, discussing it with each other and with our class mates.