What do you think should be the 3 primary roles/objectives of an interaction designer?

2 Feb 2009 - 1:12am
5 years ago
4 replies
1241 reads
Marcus Coghlan
2007

Hi all,

I've been asked to update a job description for the purpose of
performance reviews, etc. over the coming year. I'd be interested in
hearing what you think the primary 3 roles of interaction designer
should be.

For a bit of context, the role sits in the IT projects team along
with project managers, business analysts and the in-house developers.
The organisation is small-medium but with multiple international
presences and would be best classed as a membership body / service
provider.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks.

Marcus

Comments

2 Feb 2009 - 11:11am
Samantha LeVan
2009

Marcus,

Your post mentions which roles for interaction designers but most of
what I could think of fit best in a "skills" category. These are my
top three:

1. Designing interactions best suited to the needs of the user
2. Having strong wireframing and documentation skills
3. Genius presentation abilities

Samantha

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2 Feb 2009 - 11:59am
Anonymous

1. Synthesis capacity (to analyze and conceptualize).

2. Visual or aesthetic sensitivity (to imagine and wireframe).

3. Understanding of the environment (to keep in mind the limitations
and possibilities).

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2 Feb 2009 - 5:29pm
Heather Searl
2008

1. User Advocate.
2. User Advocate.
3. User Advocate.

Seriously though. Someone who can create the most innovative and
beautiful wireframes and prototypes etc. is not as useful as someone
who promotes the end user's views to the larger project team.

A second key role is to interact and often translate between
marketing and development. A good interaction designer needs to be
able to speak both marketese and developerese. He/she needs to be
able to create wireframes, prototypes and specs need to be meaningful
to both marketing and developers.

Third role is to own the design and make sure it meets internal
stakeholder and end user needs. By this I don't mean "I own it
therefore what I say goes." I mean that the interaction designer is
the central resource for the interaction design -- taking feedback
from marketing and development to ensure the design meets business
needs and works within technical constraints etc. etc.

Heather

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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2 Feb 2009 - 11:20pm
Marcus Coghlan
2007

Thanks all for your feedback.

I purposely left my original question very vague so as not to lead
responses, but I'm particularly interested in the split between what
I tend to describe as technical skills ( wireframing, workshops, user
research and testing, etc. ) and the other stuff ( evangelizing IxD
within the organisation, stakeholder education, strategic consulting,
etc.). I'm sure there are many valid reasons that split would change
depending on the IxDer you speak to. I guess I was really just
fishing for a fresh perspective from outside of my own little bubble.

Heather, your second and third key roles hit a particular note for
me. My list already mentioned user advocacy (whew!) and promoting the
role of IxD within the organisation, but I can certainly identify with
the translation and balancing act responsibilities.

What tools do you find most successful for bringing marketing and
developers toward a common ground?

Thanks again,

Marcus

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=38049

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