Ian Coyle

Thoughts on interaction models
and open source.

Like many of us, I am self-taught. Design and code is a craft I've honed for the last decade.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of this industry is that we learn from each other. Without the ideal of shared knowledge, open source (and view-source), I am quite positive I would not be in this industry.

I'd like to chat briefly (or not) about interaction models and the code that powers them.

Once or twice a year, a designer or developer comes up with a new model for interaction. Be it our work with Nike Better World, or the "Pull to Refresh" model created by Tweetie (now Twitter), or recently with Edits.

If you're lucky, it takes off and it enters into the lexicon and history of the interactive industry. It is an honor to be the source of inspiration. However, with it comes a few questions.

  1. What is the line between inspiration and imitation?
  2. Is there a line between imitating interaction models and copying code?
  3. Can one claim ownership over an interaction model or the code and design that created it?
  4. What is the difference between apps adopting the "pull to refresh" model and someone copying a website interaction model?
  5. Is it simply how progress works in this digital age?

I don't have definitive answers to these questions. I do know that I do not want to obfuscate or minimize my code. It is important to me for others to learn (as I have) by example.

From now on, I'll be open-sourcing most of my personal projects.

Take it. Use it. Learn from it. Will this change my approach to my work? I don't know. But I'm excited to see.

You'll soon be able to find the code and design files for new and past projects at github/iancoyle