Response 2 – 10 and 2, Are You ? (3.1)

By Casey McArdle

The design sentiments of “style reflecting substance” come to fruition in “10 and 2, Are You?” The discussion of texting while driving within an interactive online text in the form of an iPhone showcases the symmetry of such thought and action. The target audience consists of those who text while they drive and also use mobile devices, specifically a smart phone, to commit the act. The use of the simulated iPhone as the means of disseminating information streams a less cumbersome interface that communicates and reminds at the same time. The choice of such a design is an excellent construct that unifies the element of cellular technologies and normal computer interfaces – the one drawback being the use of an iPhone as a model given that the flash based WYSIWYG Wix website does not work on the Apple mobile device. However, this has a possible intended impact in that we should not be interacting with such complicated web content while driving.

Each icon on the iPhone represents a stable and forward line of reasoning for the problems and consequences of texting while driving – it almost appears to be more of a game than a webtext, which is a good thing given an audience’s tendency to want to interact with texts and be a part of the subject discussed. The “Background” icon provides alphabetical text and videotexts to utilize multiple modes of information dissemination. With each subsequent icon, the audience is brought into another fact or study that reaffirms the complications of texting and even talking while driving. The “Videos” icon contains relative videos, “Maps” contains a detailed map of the United States and statistics associated with texting and talking while driving, “Apps” showcases certain applications to help the driver put the phone down, and the “Game Center” gives the audience a chance to play a simulation game of driving while texting (a game impossible to pass, one that I would compare to the infamous “Star Trek” Kobayashi Maru – a test with no real outcome other than failure). Again, the emphasis on style reflecting substance is a current and extremely effective theme. As a result, I see this webtext as a tool that could be used at driving schools or by the police as they visit high schools to discuss not only the dangers of driving under the influence of a substance, but also driving under the influence of a phone.

The key elements of the webtext help to reinforce a consistent emphasis on alternatives and research to support them. The author has also created a section under the “Email” icon to create a more linear interface of a research project. This provides the audience with another avenue for understanding, a more traditional one, than those used in an interactive webtext. There is also a space where “visitors can print out a pledge form for themselves that includes tips on how to stay focused on the road that they can post somewhere in their car.”

As for the next step, I see the creation of an application that knows when it is in motion and can automatically pop up when the user tries to create a text or make a call without using the hands free software already installed on the device. While the end goal of this webtext is to persuade a safer way of using phones in the car, such an application may be the bridge between thought and action. For not only does the author advocate a better and safer understanding of using technology while driving, but she could also showcase an application specifically designed to do just that.