Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/The master model (or mind)?
The Master (Mind) (Sivabalan Umapathy)
Interaction design gets applied to various contexts. Tangible products, User operated devices, Display enabled applications are few samples of this breadth. Even within a specific breadth, numerous variations exists that calls for subtle to large variations. Display design for web vs. mobile, Industrial vs. ecommerce expect different problems to be solved. ANT provides a generic framework to start on such a design process.
ANT requires a designer to be a systems person. A good ethnographer should be able to perform an ANT model for the problem space as well. However once an ANT model is formed, it becomes easier for any other players in the design space to work on top of it. Not all ANT model will translate into design. But carefully modeled ANT will make sure that no part of the system is left. This of course will lead into clutter. Then it becomes the responsibility of the interaction designer and architect to define the subset of the ANT ( i.e. sub network of interest ) to select. ANT holds another hidden power. For instance, it enables a proponent to plan "diffusion".
ANT will provide a "beyond normal vision" approach to designers. It will help to look beyond the obvious things and look into the future changes as well. ANT would also help to eliminate guess works.
A small screen application prototype was developed using "corporate color schemes". The prototype passed the acceptance by all parties involved ( including the actual operators ). However when the application went production, operators felt that the readability was poor. The reason was the industrial situation that application was used.
Since ANT allows everything to be an actant the specific environment and the screen itself would have been actant. A well done design process would have caught such things in the early stages.
Reference : Reducing Uncertainty In Human centered Design Approach : Using Actor-Network Theory Analysis To Establish Fluid Design Guidelines, Ryan Kirk & Anna Priscari, ISU