Designing Interactions

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Rikako Sakai

Rikako Sakai is interviewed in Chapter 4 – Adopting Technology.Her story builds on the example used by David Liddle to illustrate the phases of adoption of new technologies, and the interaction architecture for Kodak cameras described by Mat Hunter.

Including industrial and graphic designers, human factors people, and interaction designers, there are close to 180 people in the Canon Design Center in Tokyo. Each year, two or three outstanding engineers and researchers from key areas receive scholarships from Canon to study in any overseas postgraduate program that they wish. Rikako Sakai won a scholarship for 2002–2003 and elected to go to the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) for the master’s program. Her thesis project was about wearables, worn by objects such as tables and chairs rather than people, whose goal is to stimulate interpersonal communication. Back at Canon, Rikako says, “My big dream is to be able to control all the design decisions in a development process. I want to design whole products; both the hardware and software.” The closest that she had come to realizing that ambition before going to Ivrea was in the design of version 3 of the PhotoStitch software; for this project she had control of every aspect of the human factors, but she did not have the chance to design the screen graphics or the camera interface.

Kenji Hatori, a software engineer at Canon who developed PhotoStitch, describes the stitch assist mode for cameras. Rikako recounts the process used to design the screen behaviors for the PhotoStitch software, with a clear structure indicated by tabs and actions clarified by animations.

Rikako with her work at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. Photo Ivan Gasparini