The saturation point of interaction design

The saturation point is generally referred to a product in society when it has reached the tipping point to use a more common metaphor. Some examples are the abundance of cell phones, text messaging, and in the early 90’s fax machines.

Interaction design has reached a saturation point in my personal life. I realized that this holiday season as I bought gifts.

I hate wrapping gifts and have been known for giving them to people in the store bag. My plan was to follow this tradition.

That was until I realized the whole point of gifts is the experience of unwrapping them. I don’t see the purpose of wasting paper wrapping a gift but I more than respect the experience expected. Receiving a gift is not about what is inside. Instead it is similar to a video game. What I am talking about is the element of discovery.

Give someone a bagged gift and it is opened and done with. Wrap it and there is the piece by piece reveal of what’s inside.

I took this a step further this year. Giving one friend a series of similarly sized gifts I wrapped each in white printer paper. This effectivley blindboxed the gifts in the baseball card or Kid Robot style of packaging.

After wrapping these toys I could not help but laugh at how much design has saturated my personal life. I have been examining signs and interfaces for years now but this is the first time I conciouslly designed an experience for a friend knowing both the expected goal and the work flow to reach it.

Now at what point is the line drawn between designing social interactions and me just being crazy?

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