If the audience isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy

This is one of the first readings that feels very “current” in the sense of my daily work.  In the world of web development, the work of designing user interfaces (UI) has given way to a much better conversation about designing user experiences (UX).

To me, this is what Brenda Laurel was getting to with comparing our “new media” experiences with Aristotle’s Poetics and his rules of the theater:  how does the audience perceive the “organic whole?”  If the audience doesn’t leave happy with their experience of a work, your work is a failure.

So often, on the web or elsewhere, we throw technology at a problem — “look, it’s got bells and whistles!” — instead of considering how best, how simply, how elegantly to solve the problem.

How wonderful then, to look back to the concepts and structure of ancient media to inform our use of the new?

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