Observed: Do Interactions go Stale?

To-Genkyo, a Japanese design studio, offers a new way to mark the freshness of produce. Based on the amount of ammonia in a product the label will darken in color until the barcode is no longer readable. This is an interesting interaction for produce, where we often look for the longest shelf life as we go shopping. How does this relate to interactions though? Can applications have shelf lives? Can the barcode on the Creative Suite darken until unreadable letting us know the next version is around the corner? Or do interactions themselves have shelf lives?

As interaction design has developed as a profession we have seen various platforms and tools wax and wane; Flash was used as a key tool for many system that are now being developed with the newest html and css scripts. Is it valuable or even possible to determine time stamps on interaction models? When will the accordion fall by the wayside to something else? Or when will the save icon be represented by something other than a floppy disc? Produce isn’t timeless, and this is for health reasons. However many systems (especially business systems) are implemented for significant periods of time and are not updated as often as might be expected. What could visual expirations of software and interaction models provide to designers, customers, and businesses as a whole?

Images: The Dieline

David Farkas

David is an interaction(s) designer working in the online and mobile realm. He focuses on the relation between the digital and the physical. Usability, goal oriented design, and consistency are key.

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