three hands hovering over a laptop, two pointing at the screen, the other on the mouse

This website can be used as a discussion starter, assignment prompt, or virtual field trip.

The gallery is open to all. However, it is primarily designed as a pedagogical tool, and teachers and students are especially encouraged to construct meaningful visits together.

For example, design students may use their visit to find inspiration for designing past the current limits of everyday interfaces. Technical communication students can discuss the interlocking roles of usability, writing, and design for reaching specific audiences. Education students could use their visit to ask questions about the interfaces of the learning technologies they may use in their classrooms. In sum, students learning about media, technology, literacy, design, and digital culture in any form are encouraged to visit the gallery and to use it as a launchpad for discussing the material, historical, social, and technical dimensions of the interfaces represented here and others they may encounter on a daily basis.

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Try to identify the cultural and social assumptions embedded within an interface's design.
  • Discuss how to critically evaluate interfaces' impact on those who do not approach digital tools with the same levels of familiarity or the same types of abilities.
  • Talk about how interfaces can better embrace under-recognized people's knowledge and experiential resources.
  • Describe potential barriers designed into our digital lives.
  • Design your own "speculative interface" and reflect on the process of critically re-imagining interfaces. (Here is an example of how to incorporate this kind of assignment into a class.)