November 7, 2008


Sometimes the most obvious ideas are the hardest ones to have. Who could imagine in our recent political climate that the executive branch of our government would open the floodgates to ask the entire world for their advise on how to set up the government? The thinking of the status quo might think that is a sign of weakness - but of course the "new" model interprets this as a sign of strength. To ask for other's opinions shows that you are sure in what you know, and that you don't know everything. Yesterday, the Obama office of the President-Elect announced, a site asking for advise and ideas on every policy issue.

That is, interestingly enough, the essence of the approach of interface designers. Designers are experts. They are confident in balancing the many conflicting requirements of what it takes to solve hard problems. They also know that they don't know everything - and thus the work with their users through particpatory design and a million other approaches for learning from the broadest set of stakeholders.

It looks like our new government is thinking the same way that us HCI'ers have for decades.

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