Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

itsme: Interaction Design Innovating Workstations

  • Giorgio De Michelis
  • Marco Loregian
  • Claudio Moderini
Original Paper



In the last 30 years, there has been little innovation in workstations. The desktop metaphor has become the standard user interface, with its pros (e.g., ease of learning) and cons (e.g., interaction constraints for skilled users, lack of context awareness).


In this paper, we present itsme, an Italian initiative to design the next-generation workstation. Interaction design is the basis of the project, as well as the involvement of a wide community of contributing users.


The early design phases of the project led to the definition of a new metaphor for personal computing, based on stories and venues. The metaphor is being adopted for the development of a novel front-end for the Linux operating system, aimed at fulfilling the needs and desires of knowledge workers.


Interaction design Design case presentation Innovation Personal computing Stories and venues 


  1. Agostini A, De Michelis G, Grasso MA, Prinz W, Syri A. Contexts, work processes, and workspaces. Comput. Supported Coop. Work 1996;52–3:223–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker HR, Bardman JE, Baudisch P, Boardman R, Czerwinski M, Duarte NB, Fisher D, Freeman E, Gelernter D, Haririnia A (2007) Beyond the Desktop Metaphor. The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. De Michelis G (2003) The design of interactive applications: A different way. In Proceedings of International Workshop on Ambient Intelligence Computing. CTI press.Google Scholar
  4. De Michelis G, Grasso MA (1994) Situating conversations within the language/action perspective: the Milan conversation model. In CSCW ’94: Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, pages 89–100. ACM.Google Scholar
  5. De Paoli F, Loregian M (2006) Enhancing Semantic Interoperability in Collaborative Systems. In Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE 2006), pages 29–34. Knowledge System Institute Graduate School.Google Scholar
  6. Eppler MJ, Mengis J. The concept of information overload: A review of literature from organization science, accounting, marketing, MIS, and related disciplines. The Information Society 2004;20(5):325–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ford H, Crowther S (1922) My Life and Work. Doubleday.Google Scholar
  8. Kay A. Microelectronics and the personal computer. Scientific American 1977;237(3):230–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Oulasvirta A. Feature when users “do” the ubicomp. Interactions 2008;15(2):6–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio De Michelis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marco Loregian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudio Moderini
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.ITSME srlMilanoItaly
  2. 2.University of Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Domus AcademyMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations