I have always been a huge fan of Noam Chomsky. He revolutionized linguistics with a way of explaining the building blocks of all language. He broke linguistics down to its basics in a way that it could be understood, built upon, and extrapolated from to form a system of thought and construction. From this system other scholars were able to begin building rules and intricate patterns. These rules and patterns can be used to build a new language. A language in any form, sound, motion, math, or any other means available for that matter.
- Using the base definition of an object and container, you can easily classify all objects of an interface.
- Using the base definition of a manipulation and a gesture, you can easily classify all interactions of an interface.
The approach I am taking may seem simple minded and unsophisticated, but never the less, correct.
So what is the purpose? The purpose of classifying all objects and actions for an interface is to help build a language of interaction. We rely on this language when we create patterns or rules. Then rules become laws. This brings me to my second point.
“Creativity is only possible within a system of rules.” -Noam Chomsky
Free creation, without arbitrary limitations of computers and interaction. Humans are genetically pre-programmed to interact with things in a certain way. The way we pick up a stone to throw or food to eat. If we take those simple interactions and put them into two categories, we start to see evidence of a ruleset. We take simple actions, things that only contain one element of motion, and we take complex actions, things that contain more than one element, each into their own piles. These two piles can be used to classify all interactions. It’s a very simple way of thinking about interaction. We have simple actions and we have complex actions. This same way of thinking can be used in defining objects and containers.
If we have these four categories, two for each type of object. We can begin to understand the framework for creativity. Using those simple classifications we try to look at ways that humans will naturally interact with computers and devices. This is the basis for Natural User Interfaces.
Innovation does not necessarily mean invention.