1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article?

Most people were interested in the idea of using computers as distinct appliances (each built to perform a specific task) rather than the one-size-fits-all concept of current personal computers. Theoretically, this would make computers easier to use, much like common appliances. Several people also touched Burton's story of drawing computers.

"...It’s true that we don’t really think about the “waternet.” We don’t “use the indoor plumbing” the way we “use the internet,” we just wash our hands or flush a toilet..." - magill

1.2. not interesting about the article?

A large majority of the class really enjoyed this article and had little to state against it. However, a few people mentioned dissatisfaction with uninteresting (or even inaccurate) examples. Adam used this section to point out one poor analogy Burton used:

"...The radio market is rather cutthroat, you would never have one radio station advertising for another, but once again this is precisely what happens via Internet links. One website latches onto the ideas of another and provides a link to that other website. Many websites are even dedicated to simply providing links to other interesting websites..." - torgerson

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

Everyone said in one way or another that the main message of this article was that computer design needs to be changed from technology-centric to human-centric. Computers need to move away from the idea of one-size-fits-all to more specialized components.

"...Buxton is trying to convey the need for a change in the way technology is designed from the technically-capable view to a more human-centric one. By stressing a “think outside of the box” approach, he presents suggestions on how the design of technology should be attuned to human-capability versus system functionality..." - kiefer

3. Please comment on the following claim: “Despite the increasing reliance on technology in our society, in my view, the key to designing a different future is to focus less on technology and engineering, and far more on the humanities and the design arts.”

3.1. agree / disagree?

A majority of the class was split on this, while a few others agreed but with reservations.

"...I would agree. However, I believe that society deal with technology, especially new technology, in a cycle where we get really excited by technology for its own sake, then assess whether is it really useful to us, then incorporate it into our own lives (where they become invisible). I would argue that with respect to information technology we are in the early stages of infatuation and we are just beginning to assess how and in what form it would be useful to us..." - phong

3.2. which are the personal consequences which you draw from this statement?

Here, many students argued for a middle-ground between technology and design. Most were apprehensive to completely switch focus from technology to design, claiming that, of the failures of computers in terms of usability, this does not justify a complete shift in focus.

"...I think we need to concentrate on technology as well as design at this point. I do agree that we have more technology than design but not enough to say well we can now stop worrying about technology and start concentrating on design. I do agree that we need to work on design as in the essay it showed that our image of a computer has not changed from 1980's machine..." - DivyaAshok

3.3. are the educational programs you are involved addressing this claim?

Most people in this class are CS majors. The Computer Science major only requires 24 hours of Humanities courses (out of 128 total hours needed for the degree). Understandably, the emphasis in the CS curriculum is specialization in technology and engineering. Therefore, the most frequent answer was that the coursework undertaken by CS students lacks emphasis on humanities and the design arts. There were some exceptions, but the vast majority of students in this class said that even if they felt their coursework was addressing the claim, much more could be done.

“Not in the computer science undergraduate curriculum; at least not in a serious manner.” - phong

4. Please comment on the following claim: “Given the much discussed constraints on human ability, how can we expect an individual to maintain the requisite specialist knowledge in their technological discipline, while at the same time have the needed competence in industrial design, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc., which this essay implies are required to do one’s job?”

4.1. agree / disagree?

Most people agreed, at least in part, with the statement in the question. Among those that elaborated on their answer of ‘agree/disagree’, there seemed to be a consensus that a team consisting of both generalists and specialists in many different fields would be best able to solve problems.

“I agree that there is a need to pull our strengths and skill sets from the different disciplines to benefit human kind. Creating mediocre generalists or short-sighted specialists is not an option – as Buxton recommends, “Renaissance teams” are viable and necessary.” – Nathan B.

4.2. which are the personal consequences which you draw from this statement?

Most people thought that the article stressed being well rounded as the ideal, but many people pointed out that an employer, particularly a technical employer, needs not generalists, but specialists in a given field.

“I feel like there is a lot of pressure from school and industry put on you to be not only an expert in your own field, but any field you need to draw knowledge from also. The impression given is that the more completely well rounded you are the better. However, most fields are too in depth today to be a general user in the field and succeed. Today experts are highly sought after over employees with a large but shallow knowledge base.” -Schram

4.3. are the educational programs you are involved addressing this claim?

Responses here mirrored the answers for 3.3. Most people mentioned Humanities requirements in addition to this course.

"...students should be able to take courses which complement their education and make it so that the student has a more open view about his field and the world in general..." - velezmor/alwa

5. Do you feel that the “Design, Learning, and Collaboration” course addresses these two claims?

Everyone agreed that this course addresses the two claims. Most made a point to acknowledge that this opportunity is lacking within the CS department as a whole and more courses like this one should be offered where we're exposed to more than just the technical aspects.

"...I do feel that this course addresses these two issues. In this course we see a very broad range of technologies and their interactions with the general users. This helps us to learn how to use these general users to our advantages. Which in turn helps not only us, but them by developing a better product..." - schram