Going digital: No more feedback

When I was studying Industrial Design in University, I learned about the importance of feedback and feedforward. To operate anything, we are dependent on feedback. When you use a pair of scissors you can feel how the paper is reacting to being cut. You can see, feel and even hear if everything is going the way you want. When we design digital products, the inherent Feedback of physical tools is gone. UI designers therefore need to create something called Augmented Feedback. Just think about a hover effect on a virtual button, or a loading spinner when the content is not quite there yet. People learn to replace the need for Inherent feedback with this Augmented feedback. I was watching a movie the other day about the new FIA Formula-E. I just can help myself thinking that something very important is missing for the driver to be able to drive the car well. He can’t hear the electric engine over the sound of the wind, and he can probably also not feel it vibrating the car body.

I’m curious to see what the different racing car brands will invent to bring this back, and give their driver an edge over all of the other that are basically driving blind. Will it be a wristband that vibrates with the RPM your engine is going? Or even some data analysis that can send shiver down your spine when you approach a corner too fast? Or will we just plug-in to the matrix of the car. The car has become digital, not it’s the drivers’ turn.

If you want to learn more about the different types of interaction I’m talking about, this would be an interesting read for you.