Announcing The User Experience Team of One (2nd edition)!

Chris Noessel on learning from science fiction interface failures


Chris, managing director and practice lead at Cooper and co-author (with Nathan Shedroff) of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction, is the subject of today’s mini-interview. Make It So should go on sale in early September; sign up and we’ll email you a notice and a swell discount code as soon as it goes on sale.

RM: What came as the biggest surprise during the writing of your book, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction?

Chris Noessel: It’s the seeming “failures” in SciFi interfaces that can be the most rewarding to analyze. Yes, some are just nonsensical even after careful consideration. But most every interface that characters deal with serve a purpose, and their design has some core sense to it. If you can just hold on to that core sense and find a way to redesign or reconceive the parts that seem broken, you can have “Eureka!” moments that result in new, cool concepts. In the book we call this “apologetics,” and it’s one of the most surprising and rewarding concepts to emerge from the work.