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The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Interaction Design

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Video: Argentina versus Serbia-Montenegro, World Cup 2006.

The joy, in sport, is watching – or participating in – the skill, the ups and downs, the challenges.

In football (soccer, sorry) in particular, the goal is not the goal. Well, it is, to be honest, but how you get there is important too. This goal, by Argentina against Serbia-Montenegro in the World Cup, was the best goal of the tournament – and arguably of 2006 – not because it was a great strike on the back of the net, but because of the 25 or so passes leading up to it. That’s the kind of game teams aspire to, and that we want to watch. The goal is not the goal.

Let’s extend this a little, and see where it takes us.

I contend that modern sports are all about tidying up. Snooker is a popular game in the UK. Pool and billiards are played here in the US, I believe. What are they, if not elaborate forms of tidying up?

Field sports, football, hockey, other games like that… these are all about taking the thing which is out of place, the ball, and putting it neatly away.

Likewise tennis… only in that case it’s two or more people repeatedly disagreeing about who touched the ball last and will therefore have to tidy it away.

What if we treated tidying up our homes more like we treat sport?

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January 25, 2007

This presentation is on how to design products for Generation C, and is called The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Interaction Design. It was originally delivered in January 2007.