All the work of the hand is rooted in thinking. -David Sudnow
There has been little formal study of social factors influencing HCI innovation, although has received limited attention by HCI researchers William Buxton, Paul Dourish and Lucy Suchman. These researchers have each commented on the issue of HCI innovation. Suchman researching the configurations of the “human-machine interface” writes, “tracing the differences within specific sociomaterial arrangements” is needed, but that “this requires expanding our unit of analysis, which the inevitable cuts or boundaries through which technological systems are constituted” (2007, loc. 2).
This research applies Suchman’s suggestion to a particular set of technological systems that is consumer multitouch devices, by focusing on three social factors influencing innovation in interaction design. This study employs the notion of design space as a conceptual frame. Design space is the totality of design choices available to the designer. The Interaction Design Space (IDS) takes the abstract ontology human computer interaction and applies physical characteristics to this ontology as to better understand it as a concrete terrain that can be measured and mapped. Thus here “interaction” refers to interaction with computing devices.
There are limits to spoken and written language’s ability to describe interaction in any form. John McHale wrote,
… one of our major problems in thinking today is the use of language systems which still represent a fixed compartmentalized world view. The terms available to us for the expression of dynamic, rather than static, concepts are far from satisfactory (McHale, 1965 as cited by Friedman, 1997, p. 12).