Winner of the 2016 Innovation in Print Design Award from the American Alliance of Museums.

The last forty years have seen the rise of the personal computer, a device that has enabled ordinary individuals to access a tool that had been exclusive to laboratories and corporate technology centers. During this time, computers have become smaller, faster, more powerful, and more complex. So much has happened with so many products, in fact, that we often take for granted the uniqueness of our experiences with different machines over time.

The Interface Experience surveys some of the landmark devices in the history of personal computing—including the Commodore 64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Palm Pilot Professional, and Microsoft Kinect—and helps us to better understand the historical shifts that have occurred with the design and material experience of each machine. With its spiral-bound design reminiscent of early computer user manuals and thorough consideration of the cultural moment represented by each device, The Interface Experience is a one-of-a-kind tour of modern computing technology.

Kimon Keramidas is assistant professor and director of the Digital Media Lab at the Bard Graduate Center.

Table of Contents
Director’s Foreword



Introduction: What’s Wrong With This Object?

What Is Interface Experience?

Performing the Experience of Interaction

Objects of Experience

The Commodore 64—Embodying a Revolution

The Apple Macintosh—The Mouse and GUI Enter the Scene

The PalmPilot—Making the Personal Truly Portable

The Apple iPad—Touching the Next Era of Computing

The Microsoft Kinect—Computing Here, There, Everywhere,But Not There at All