Non-user-friendly

Staging resistance with interpassive user experience design

  • Tomasz Hollanek

Abstract

User-friendly design makes our use of emerging technologies intuitive and seamless, but it also conceals the new solutions’ influence over how we act, think and plan. In this paper, I analyze the logic of our newly developed ‘touchscreen sensibilities’ to speculate on alternative, ‘non-user-friendly’ design practices that, by invading intuitive interfaces, could make the users aware of their reliance on invisible algorithmic operations to learn and to feel. I revisit Žižek and Pfaller’s conception of ‘interpassivity’ to explore its potential as a means of resisting interactivity and inciting consciousness in contemporary speculative design. The critical interface I envision must defamiliarize consumption, prevent participation, and de-frame perception — make the user experience what lack of control feels like, and do so to encourage resistance.

Published
2019-08-15