Five things Interaction Design probably isn't

24 Mar 2009 - 9:26am
5 years ago
44 replies
2329 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

I'm stunned no one has commented on this Core77 article yet:

<http://www.coroflot.com/creativeseeds/2009/03/five_things_interaction_design.asp
>

"I went to Interaction09 in Vancouver with an intense personal mission
to nail down a clear definition of Interaction Designer, and what
abilities are needed in order to be one. Almost every time I asked
(and I asked a lot of times), the answer was "I have no idea." Which
is funny, because several hundred people with that title gathered
together in rooms every day of the conference to agree that the work
they were doing was necessary, and worthy of attention and
responsibility (much as people do at any other professional conference).

Playing devil's advocate, this raises the Wizard of Oz question: are
they really doing something new, unique, and especially useful, once
you pull back the curtain? Or are Interaction Designers merely the
beneficiaries of a fad, like so many mediocre Seattle bands that got
snapped up by labels in the early 90s, by virtue of where they
happened to live (I'm talking to you, Candlebox)? It's easy to read
things like the IxDA website's definition of the field with a cynical
eye, and conclude that intentional obfuscation is part of the
profession's appeal:

Interaction design (IxD) is a professional discipline that
illuminates
the relationship between people and the interactive products they
use.
While interaction design has a firm foundation in the theory,
practice,
and methodology of traditional design, its focus is on defining the
complex dialogues that occur between people and interactive
devices of
many types -- from computers to mobile communications devices to
appliances.

Ah, they define complex dialogues. Got it. About time someone started
doing that."

Another piece of what I would consider bad PR for our profession.

Dan

Comments

24 Mar 2009 - 9:32am
Peter Van Dijck
2008

"Interaction design" is a useful fuzzy abstraction, much like "Information
Architecture" or even "Design". Useful in the sense that:

- it allows people who do somewhat overlapping similar stuff to get
together around this title and discuss things, ie. it allows groups to form.
- it allows these people to communicate to non-members of this group that
they're needed (note I didn't say what for).
- and there's more, but gotta run

Note you'll never agree on a definition, just like (but worse than) you'll
never agree on the definition of "Christian".

Peter

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> I'm stunned no one has commented on this Core77 article yet:
>
> <
> http://www.coroflot.com/creativeseeds/2009/03/five_things_interaction_design.asp
> >
>
> "I went to Interaction09 in Vancouver with an intense personal mission to
> nail down a clear definition of Interaction Designer, and what abilities are
> needed in order to be one. Almost every time I asked (and I asked a lot of
> times), the answer was "I have no idea." Which is funny, because several
> hundred people with that title gathered together in rooms every day of the
> conference to agree that the work they were doing was necessary, and worthy
> of attention and responsibility (much as people do at any other professional
> conference).
>
> Playing devil's advocate, this raises the Wizard of Oz question: are they
> really doing something new, unique, and especially useful, once you pull
> back the curtain? Or are Interaction Designers merely the beneficiaries of a
> fad, like so many mediocre Seattle bands that got snapped up by labels in
> the early 90s, by virtue of where they happened to live (I'm talking to you,
> Candlebox)? It's easy to read things like the IxDA website's definition of
> the field with a cynical eye, and conclude that intentional obfuscation is
> part of the profession's appeal:
>
> Interaction design (IxD) is a professional discipline that illuminates
> the relationship between people and the interactive products they use.
> While interaction design has a firm foundation in the theory, practice,
> and methodology of traditional design, its focus is on defining the
> complex dialogues that occur between people and interactive devices of
> many types -- from computers to mobile communications devices to
> appliances.
>
> Ah, they define complex dialogues. Got it. About time someone started doing
> that."
>
>
> Another piece of what I would consider bad PR for our profession.
>
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
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free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
Skype id: peterkevandijck

24 Mar 2009 - 9:39am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Mar 24, 2009, at 10:26 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> "I went to Interaction09 in Vancouver with an intense personal
> mission to nail down a clear definition of Interaction Designer, and
> what abilities are needed in order to be one."
>
> Ah, they define complex dialogues. Got it. About time someone
> started doing that."

So, it seems that the expectation is that a definition would/should
include what abilities are needed to be considered an Interaction
Designer. I think that makes perfect sense. Solving complex problems
is really nothing new and doesn't do anything to distinguish IxD from
Physics, Biochemical Engineering, or a Mechanic.

Personally, I don't really care about defining IxD as a discipline, at
least in the sense that is being done today. I'm really more
interested in doing interaction design. I do think it's important to
understand the skills necessary, but in real speak, not PR speak.

And yes, I'll be bold enough to say that I don't really see that much
of a difference between IA and IxD. And frankly, I'm not that
interested in spending time creating a divide between the two. I've
been doing them in tandem for over a decade. They have the same goal
in mind—making products easier and more enjoyable to use. The only
real important distinction I see is that IA provides the foundation,
which IxD builds on top of.

In theory, they're different. But in reality, if you're doing one,
you're doing the other. Yeah, I said it.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

24 Mar 2009 - 9:51am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 24 Mar 2009, at 14:39, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
[snip]
> Personally, I don't really care about defining IxD as a discipline,
> at least in the sense that is being done today. I'm really more
> interested in doing interaction design. I do think it's important to
> understand the skills necessary, but in real speak, not PR speak.
[snip]

<round of applause>

Adrian
--
delicious.com/adrianh - twitter.com/adrianh - adrianh at quietstars.com

24 Mar 2009 - 10:06am
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh at quietstars.com> wrote:
>> Personally, I don't really care about defining IxD as a discipline, at
>> least in the sense that is being done today. I'm really more interested in
>> doing interaction design. I do think it's important to understand the skills
>> necessary, but in real speak, not PR speak.
> <round of applause>
>
> Adrian

I second that - but/and I'm finding that to recruiters these days, and
more and more internal use,
"Interaction Designer" means "Flash Designer". This is fine in some
sense, as Flash is an excellent
tool to have in one's toolbox, but I don't think it's being used in
the intent of, say, the IxDA.

Scott
--
"I have mad skills at doing spazzy things." - Janiene West

24 Mar 2009 - 10:27am
Joshua Porter
2007

This topic is fresh in my mind since I just got back from IAS09.

How about defining the type of designer according to what you
actually design?

Like, an interface designer designs software interfaces.

An information architect designs the structural plans for a web site.

A graphic designer designs graphics for publication.

This is why I'm not so crazy about "interaction" or "experience"
design, as they refer to something a bit more abstract. But that
doesn't mean they can't be used, but it takes a bit of extra effort
to explain it:

An "interaction designer" designs screens, pages, kiosks,
touch-screens, and other interaction points.

And, as Dan reiterates, IxDA's don't "define complex
dialogs"...that just sounds like a professional in search of a
profession.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 10:28am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Mar 24, 2009, at 7:39 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> And yes, I'll be bold enough to say that I don't really see that
> much of a difference between IA and IxD. And frankly, I'm not that
> interested in spending time creating a divide between the two. I've
> been doing them in tandem for over a decade. They have the same goal
> in mind—making products easier and more enjoyable to use. The only
> real important distinction I see is that IA provides the foundation,
> which IxD builds on top of.
>
> In theory, they're different. But in reality, if you're doing one,
> you're doing the other. Yeah, I said it.

This really bothers me because it is so untrue and we've spent
countless hours as a group outlining the differences between the two.
The methodologies, history, and focus are all different.

Just because you do both things doesn't make them the same. I'd posit
yours is a very web-centric POV. The farther away from the web you go,
the less information architecture work you are likely to do. It's
easily less than 1 percent of my work. There's a reason no one at frog
or IDEO has the title Information Architect.

Dan

24 Mar 2009 - 10:02am
dtm82
2008

I don't think traditional education paradigms should or would work
with IxD. One could even argue that barring some large-scale
reorientation, there are some people who just will not think in these
paradigms. Others just will.

Also, one could consider that IxD may always need to operate within a
context. IxD designers and architects may not be swappable between
the financial field (where I work) and the medical field or whatever.
Some ideas/paradigms are transferable, but there is a complexity of
the context that cannot be overlooked.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 10:52am
Hugh Griffith
2007

I really think we're over complicating the whole thing.

As far as "designers" go in the interactive world, I think they now fall
into two distinct types: visual and interaction (or UI).

In my mind, Interaction/UI Designers define how a web app/system/gadget
works. Or, how someone uses it. Visual designers define how something *looks
*. They choose the colors, fonts, and images.

Visual designers are a dime a dozen, but interaction/ui designers are rare.
A combination of the two is even more rare.

It's a simple view, and it could be worded much better, but that's my two
cents.

Hugh Griffith
User Interface Designer

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 9:28 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Mar 24, 2009, at 7:39 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
>
> And yes, I'll be bold enough to say that I don't really see that much of a
>> difference between IA and IxD. And frankly, I'm not that interested in
>> spending time creating a divide between the two. I've been doing them in
>> tandem for over a decade. They have the same goal in mind—making products
>> easier and more enjoyable to use. The only real important distinction I see
>> is that IA provides the foundation, which IxD builds on top of.
>>
>> In theory, they're different. But in reality, if you're doing one, you're
>> doing the other. Yeah, I said it.
>>
>
> This really bothers me because it is so untrue and we've spent countless
> hours as a group outlining the differences between the two. The
> methodologies, history, and focus are all different.
>
> Just because you do both things doesn't make them the same. I'd posit yours
> is a very web-centric POV. The farther away from the web you go, the less
> information architecture work you are likely to do. It's easily less than 1
> percent of my work. There's a reason no one at frog or IDEO has the title
> Information Architect.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

24 Mar 2009 - 10:21am
Brad Ty Nunnally
2008

"Job titles and descriptions only matter to me when I am looking for a job,
not when I am doing my job"

This was a comment made to me when I was discussing the issue of 'Defining
the damn thing..' at the IA Summit this past weekend. I fully agree that my
current job title doesn't mean squat when it comes to the day to day
activities at work. When I am interviewing for a job however, it is very
important because the hiring manager has a concept about what that job title
entails.

Personally, I would love to see recruiters and hiring managers stop using
job titles and simply publish what their needs are. This would provide
people looking for a job a better representation on what they are getting
themselves into, and allow the designer to properly assess if they can
actually do the job.

Brad Ty Nunnally
----------------------------------------
Interaction Designer
Twitter: bnunnally
Blog: http://bnunnally.tumblr.com

24 Mar 2009 - 11:20am
Peter Van Dijck
2008

Can everyone who doesn't care about the specific title stand on the right,
and everyone who wants to define "Interaction design" stand on the left?
Thanks!
Peter

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM, Brad Nunnally <bnunnally at gmail.com> wrote:

> "Job titles and descriptions only matter to me when I am looking for a job,
> not when I am doing my job"
>
> This was a comment made to me when I was discussing the issue of 'Defining
> the damn thing..' at the IA Summit this past weekend. I fully agree that my
> current job title doesn't mean squat when it comes to the day to day
> activities at work. When I am interviewing for a job however, it is very
> important because the hiring manager has a concept about what that job
> title
> entails.
>
> Personally, I would love to see recruiters and hiring managers stop using
> job titles and simply publish what their needs are. This would provide
> people looking for a job a better representation on what they are getting
> themselves into, and allow the designer to properly assess if they can
> actually do the job.
>
>
> Brad Ty Nunnally
> ----------------------------------------
> Interaction Designer
> Twitter: bnunnally
> Blog: http://bnunnally.tumblr.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
me: http://petervandijck.com
blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
global UX consulting: http://290s.com
free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
Skype id: peterkevandijck

24 Mar 2009 - 11:24am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> This really bothers me because it is so untrue and we've spent countless
> hours as a group outlining the differences between the two.

Agreed. I rarely do IA work, and although I do take on that role on
occasion, I wouldn't dare call myself an IA.

Christina Wodtke all but demolishes the distinction between IA and IxD in
her book, *Information Architecture*, but it's unsettling to me. On the web,
maybe those lines blur a lot more than in other types of design, but my
specialty has always been in *designing **interaction*, not architecting
information. There is definitely a difference. I design how people will
interact with web products and services based on an understanding of why
they might do so. Information is certainly part of that, but I'm less
concerned with the information than how people will encounter it in the
context of some interactive experience.

-r-

24 Mar 2009 - 11:25am
Peter Van Dijck
2008

Dudes, take a step back.

People need groups (for identity creation and support), professions need
recognition (for money and power, basically). The "Information Archtitects"
group was pretty good at this. The "Interaction Design" group is doing it's
best, but less successfully to be honest. Other groups haven't done so well
- "Knowledge management" comes to mind - who calls themselves that anymore?

Cheers,
Peter

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 5:20 PM, Peter Van Dijck <petervandijck at gmail.com>wrote:

> Can everyone who doesn't care about the specific title stand on the right,
> and everyone who wants to define "Interaction design" stand on the left?
> Thanks!
> Peter
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM, Brad Nunnally <bnunnally at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> "Job titles and descriptions only matter to me when I am looking for a
>> job,
>> not when I am doing my job"
>>
>> This was a comment made to me when I was discussing the issue of 'Defining
>> the damn thing..' at the IA Summit this past weekend. I fully agree that
>> my
>> current job title doesn't mean squat when it comes to the day to day
>> activities at work. When I am interviewing for a job however, it is very
>> important because the hiring manager has a concept about what that job
>> title
>> entails.
>>
>> Personally, I would love to see recruiters and hiring managers stop using
>> job titles and simply publish what their needs are. This would provide
>> people looking for a job a better representation on what they are getting
>> themselves into, and allow the designer to properly assess if they can
>> actually do the job.
>>
>>
>> Brad Ty Nunnally
>> ----------------------------------------
>> Interaction Designer
>> Twitter: bnunnally
>> Blog: http://bnunnally.tumblr.com
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
> --
> me: http://petervandijck.com
> blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
> global UX consulting: http://290s.com
> free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
> Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
> Skype id: peterkevandijck
>

--
me: http://petervandijck.com
blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
global UX consulting: http://290s.com
free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
Skype id: peterkevandijck

24 Mar 2009 - 11:46am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Mar 24, 2009, at 11:28 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> This really bothers me because it is so untrue and we've spent
> countless hours as a group outlining the differences between the
> two. The methodologies, history, and focus are all different.

How is it untrue that while in theory they are different, or
technically, while they are different, if you're doing one, you're
doing the other? IA provides underlying structure and IxD provides the
model to move through those structures. This applies to web and non-
web systems.

Yes, most of my work is web-centric, but in the non-web-centric
environments I've worked on (e.g. handhelds, iPhone apps, kiosks,
ATMs, desktop apps) the underlying structure is still technically IA
work and the model of moving through that structure is IxD.

Again, technically, they are different, but if you're doing one,
you're doing the other.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

24 Mar 2009 - 11:48am
Todd Warfel
2003

(moving to the right....)

On Mar 24, 2009, at 12:20 PM, Peter Van Dijck wrote:

> Can everyone who doesn't care about the specific title stand on the
> right,
> and everyone who wants to define "Interaction design" stand on the
> left?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

24 Mar 2009 - 11:52am
.pauric
2006

What follows is not an attempt at defining our domain, although it can
be read that way, but it is my understanding as to why IxD currently
evades a concise definition.

Interaction design is, for me and in a sentence, the creation of a
contextual language that allows systems to interact.

At a very high level I see humans & machines as systems with
capabilities, limitations and very different methods of communicating
with their surroundings. I would also point out that one of those
'systems' is currently experiencing an exponential growth in
complexity.

The role of Interaction design has come about as a result of Moore's
Law (which in itself is a product of human evolution). As computer
systems and their capabilities have become more complex, so to has
its vocabulary when tasked with interacting with us, the human
'system'.

As technology, at a singular level and as a network, evolves it is
the role of those responsible for effective communication to
reinterpret the playing field and create a language suitable for the
given capabilities, goal & context for that point in time. What we
create today would not be the same a year ago, or a year from now, if
goals/motivations/users we the same. Technology evolves and so to
does our understanding of it both as users and designers.

As the capabilities of technology accelerate the field of design
responsible for enabling communication will evolve. We will
constantly re-evaluate the rules and re-invent our roles.
Definitions be damned, we are fulfilling a role. We do not need PR,
good or bad, we do not need to market our trade. The forces that
brought about our role are too strong to be swayed imho.

regards /pauric

p.s. Its with a little trepidation that I post this, I'll be the
first to admit that it sounds a little nuts. Again I'm not defining
our role but trying (poorly) to explain why it came about and why it
will continue to change. Kevin Kelly proposes that Technology is the
7th kingdom and I see us as the translators to that 'domain'
http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge217.html#kelly

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 11:28am
Michael Kay
2009

I see interaction designer as a general title similar to graphic
designer. An interaction designer is a person that works with
interactive media, and designs and produces more than just visual
representations. Behind that it it can include any or all of
designing interactions, information architecture, user experience,
project management, and some front-end coding and even visual design.
Plus more.

Using it in such a broad way can be convenient. I work independently,
and thus my role varies a lot depending on the project. On smaller
projects I work alone or with 1-2 others and might do everything from
identity to production. In larger ones, I may be responsible for just
the wireframes. Whatever the role, I am the same person with the same
background that propels me to think interactively with the user in the
center. I am an interaction designer. Thanks, I've been wondering how
to title myself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 1:26pm
Dan Saffer
2003

This is not a definition problem (or at least so only indirectly):
it's a PR problem. And in this, the IxDA has failed one of its core
missions, I think: creating tools to help interaction designers
promote our value to our organizations and those who don't know
anything about us. We don't need mission statements; we need a
communications strategy.

Dan

24 Mar 2009 - 1:29pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Mar 24, 2009, at 2:26 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> We don't need mission statements; we need a communications strategy.

Agree 1001%.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

24 Mar 2009 - 1:30pm
Peter Van Dijck
2008

I agree 99.7% :)
P

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:

>
> On Mar 24, 2009, at 2:26 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:
>
> We don't need mission statements; we need a communications strategy.
>>
>
> Agree 1001%.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> Principal Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
me: http://petervandijck.com
blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
global UX consulting: http://290s.com
free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
Skype id: peterkevandijck

24 Mar 2009 - 3:17pm
Brad Ty Nunnally
2008

I totally agree with Dan on needing a communication strategy. Having one
though means we need to be able to differentiate ourselves from everyone
else. If you explain a set of values that an interaction designer brings to
an industry/company/etc and someone simply states 'Well that sounds just
like ...' then we have a problem. I have been doing this for 3 years and it
still takes me a conversation with someone to explain what I do. If we were
able to develop a one-liner that sums up all the value we bring to people
and gets our message across, that would be a total win.

Here I am though helping to point out the problem without offering a
solution. Guess it is time to do some brainstorming.

Brad Ty Nunnally
----------------------------------------
Interaction Designer
Twitter: bnunnally
Blog: http://bnunnally.tumblr.com

24 Mar 2009 - 3:31pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

One problem about not defining the field is that recruiters will do it
for us - and they can make mistakes. For example, there are already
jobs out there that demand a BA or MA in a design related discipline
as part of the qualifications. This means that all the artists, the
engineers, psychologists, people with bags of experience but no
direct qualifications etc, are left out regardless of their
competence. This is no problem for the gurus but for most of us, it
presents a real challenge to even get a foot in the door because the
initial criteria filter us out.

Having said that, it is a hard field to define because it is so
multi-disciplinary. The beings an outstanding issue: many recruiters
don't realise this and assume that IxD is uniquely associated with
one particular approach. So some will say they want an interaction
designer with X years flash experience and a fine arts degree; others
will want business analysis skills; and yet others will want 5 years
of programming GUIs in C . All of these can be relevant, but they
focus too hard on one approach and don't seem to realise that while
our current jobs are similar, our backgrounds are strikingly
different.

I' m quite lucky. I have a good job now where I was taken on for my
research skills and this should give me the experience I need to grow
and be able to prove it, but I had an awful lot of rejections on the
way without getting past the first stage of recruitment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 3:58pm
SteveJBayer
2008

In the communication material, I would add:

-What is interaction design
-How is interaction design practised (the methodologies/tools
utilized)
-Professional fields that interaction design is related to/can be
confused with/is not
-What is the differentiating factor/when does a practitioner of a
related field have to perform as an interaction designer instead of a
practitioner of their own field for accomplishing a task (even better
add what would those tasks be.)
-Why would a company need a full time interaction designer to solve
tasks best tended to by a full fledged interaction designer.

As a start how about a couple of printable pages that can be tacked
on college notice boards, technology camps or handed out at
technology expos?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 4:07pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Interaction designers are like moms that want to build skate parks for their
kids.

24 Mar 2009 - 4:09pm
Brad Ty Nunnally
2008

"Interaction designers are like moms that want to build skate parks for
their kids."

That is awesome. This is how I am going to explain it to my mom from now on.

Brad

24 Mar 2009 - 4:14pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Why is the ground made of rubber mom? So you don't get hurt honey. But
how do I go fast to catch air mom?

The pattented interaction designer response:

'you don't need to go fast'

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 24, 2009, at 2:09 PM, Brad Nunnally <bnunnally at gmail.com> wrote:

> "Interaction designers are like moms that want to build skate parks
> for
> their kids."
>
> That is awesome. This is how I am going to explain it to my mom from
> now on.
>
>
> Brad
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

24 Mar 2009 - 4:23pm
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

Hi folks,

If, as Dan says, "the IxDA has failed one of its core missions...:
creating tools to help interaction designers promote our value to our
organizations and those who don't know anything about us" then it's
because this issue has not previously risen to the level of critical
need. We deliberately focused on building our own community first,
and only now that we are established and vital are we able to look
outwards more actively.

Please also see this recent Discussion thread:
http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=39978#39978 . Here the group
already has identified the urgent need for a public communications
strategy, more specifically targeted at the recruiting/hiring side of
things. Those who would like to help Scott Berkun with that effort,
please say so somehow, either here or by emailing him or myself
directly. We can create a forum for you in IxDA's "back room"
(Basecamp ;) where members principally work to get things done for
the organization as a whole.

All I want to say further right now is that IxDA is addressing as
much as we can as quickly as we can, but our pace does not always
keep up with the real world. We are an *entirely* volunteer-driven
organization and depend on our members to achieve our ends. Dan, of
course, knows this well since he himself spent several years on the
Board of Directors.

So, *we need your help* to make all of our hopes & dreams come to
life. Step up and contribute if you want to help IxDA help make a
difference in our professional lives.

Cheers,
Liz, IxDA Vice-President

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

24 Mar 2009 - 4:37pm
Janna DeVylder
2006

This conversation is very timely for IxDA. We are creating an IxDA
Communications Initiative which will address both internal (keeping you all
up-to-date on what IxDA is doing and encouraging participation) and external
PR (which can mean many things), as a part of a larger communication
strategy. In fact, we started outlining a communication strategy just three
days ago. Timely, indeed.

This IxDA Communications initiative will certainly have broad reach across
(and awareness of) many of our current initiatives, such as:

Education (the outreach we need to institutions and students)

Conferences (both our global, annual conference and potential regional
conferences that may occur)

Local Groups (how can we arm local groups with talking points)

Business Outreach (still a gem of an idea, but start to think specifically
about how we can raise awareness of IxD and provide guidance for businesses)

As Liz mentioned, we are purely volunteer-driven, so if you would like to be
a part in crafting the IxDA Communication Strategy with us and even taking
some leadership of how we execute parts of that, email me directly and we
will get this thing jump-started.

At the end of the day, we have 10,000+ people on the mailing list, and
almost 10,000 people on LinkedIn, to name a few of the places IxDA has a
presence. It's high time to tap into you all and move people from passive
affiliates to active participants. Who's in?

Janna DeVylder
President, IxDA

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> This is not a definition problem (or at least so only indirectly): it's a
> PR problem. And in this, the IxDA has failed one of its core missions, I
> think: creating tools to help interaction designers promote our value to our
> organizations and those who don't know anything about us. We don't need
> mission statements; we need a communications strategy.
>
> Dan
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

24 Mar 2009 - 8:51pm
Jeremy Yuille
2007

weighing in late here - Dan you're right that "This is not a
definition problem (or at least so only indirectly): it's a PR
problem."

and to add to Janna's post above, I would like to say that a group
of volunteers are working on one aspect of this in what we're
calling an Awareness initiative (I prefer Jon's original term,
cultural injection.. but you get the idea)

This initiative is growing out of the education volunteers, so it has
that kind of flavour.. eg

Initiative Goal: To develop awareness about IxDA as a potential
career path among two key groups:

a) K-12 teachers, students, parents and guidance councilors
b) Undergraduate faculty and students in programs related to
interaction design

It has a number of sub-teams working on distinct projects to get us
to the short term goal: ways to engage education to build wider
awareness.

These are:

1. Common person interaction design description.

Develop a set of materials that describe, through words, diagrams,
pictures, and other elements, what interaction design is to the
%u201Ccommon person%u201D %u2013 someone who isn%u2019t necessarily
trained in design, art, computer science, psychology, or any related
discipline.

volunteers: Patricia Barford, Tien Yang

2. Education workshop material.

Develop a set of exercises and content aimed at 9th and 10th grade
students, in an effort to introduce them to interaction design
fundamentals and generate interest and enthusiasm in this as a
professional direction to pursue.

volunteers: Meredith Noble, Adam Lerner, Tien Yang

3. Capability and aptitude assessment.

Develop a set of characteristics (capabilities and aptitudes) that
can be used to identify when someone might make a good interaction
designer. Can be used as self assessment, or by guidance councilors.

volunteers: Jack Moffett, Linda Chen, Camille Moussette

we have deadlines for these projects (May 1 for v1, April 1 for
progress reports)

It goes without saying that people are more than welcome to volunteer
to help out here.. please get in touch with either education at ixda.org
or me or Jon Kolko to put your hand up, we'd love to have your
input.

cheers!
jy

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

25 Mar 2009 - 7:02pm
Dave Cortright
2005

Perhaps this is too high-level and abstract for the discussion here, but I
consider interaction design to be all about *problem solving*. This involves
two distinct parts:

1. Defining the problem
2. Designing a solution

So if I had to say it in one sentence:
*IxDs design simple, useful, usable, desirable [insert other adjectives
here] solutions to well-defined, people-center problems.
*

Here's the presentation I put together that expands on my thinking:
http://www.slideshare.net/davecortright/designing-with-vision-presentation

26 Mar 2009 - 5:42am
Andy Polaine
2008

I still think we're making this more complicated than it is. The more
I thought about it after my comment on Core77 the more I feel the
answer is simply in the name:

Interaction Designers design interactions.

That covers enough possibilities in my book - from screen/computer to
person, person-to-person, service design interactions, gestural
interactions. From tiny UI interactive flows through to much larger,
more complex interactions and more. The approaches and methodologies
will vary, but we're still designing interactions.

Putting in all the stuff about making things easier to use or
people-centered, etc. only helps different interaction designers
communicate their particular flavours. There are plenty of
interaction design situations that don't do that (e.g. an
interactive installation that is deliberately enigmatic, a gadget for
animals to use, etc.). It just makes it more confusing to lump that
into the definition.

I really think the what gets confused with the how most of the time.
Recruiters, in particular, advertise a role with the tools the people
are expected to use. That's where most of the mix up comes from. A
graphic designer isn't just someone who uses Photoshop and
Illustrator. It's a certain way of thinking about visual design.

Another comparison, Product designers design products %u2013 those
might be produced in all sorts of ways with all sorts of tools and
techniques. It's still product design.

So, let's keep it simple: Interaction Designers design interactions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

26 Mar 2009 - 6:33am
Dave Malouf
2005

Coming in VERY late (for me).
1. I DO think this is a definition problem. Or more accurately a lack
of consensus around both definition and practice.

2. I also think this is a PR problem. They are interrelated.

In this message, I'll take on #1. More about PR coming.

Andy, I wish it was that easy.
I just started teaching an interaction design graduate studio. These
are industrial design grad students (for the most part) who want some
experience in IxD. Everyone of them want to know what's the
difference between "interaction design" and "interactive design".
At SCAD we have different programs using both of those names.

My take on all this is that it depends on context unfortunately, b/c
it adds a layer of complication.

I"m growing toward the opinion that "interaction design" (wait for
it) doesn't exist for a whole group of people. as a construct, it
just won't map against anything that is relevant to them. I.e. 99.9%
of the non-design world. While "interactive design" is VERY
meaningful as it describes the design practice of giving form to
interactive media. (Yes, it is multi-disciplinary and that's a
different issue right now.)

Now, the other .1% are designers who may or may not currently or in
the future as part of their practice have interactivity as part of
the solutions to what they design. To these people Interaction Design
is a lens or framework they have to incorporate within what they
already do: software/interactivity, architecture, service, industrial
design, graphic design, etc.

In the case of Interactive/software, service (and I'd argue a huge
segment of ID), I would say that interaction design is a requirement
to understand and have a level of mastery of in order to do well.

Now putting all this into context, I believe if I was to come up with
a real definition at this point, it would concentrate on Behavior and
there are 2 axis to behavior.

Interaction Design is a design discipline used within many different
design practices applying specific theories of current understanding
of human behavior & psychology towards:

* Designing the behavior (I.e. what products are listening for & how
they should respond) of products or systems in response to human &
environmental stimulus.

* Design the encouragement or facilitation of human behaviors through
the above designs.

The overall goal of applying interaction design within any design
practice is to not only make products & systems more useful, usable
and desirable, but to create moments of engagement through an
understanding of not only efficiency within these systems but also of
applying a definition of aesthetics that goes beyond visual and
includes: audio, tactile, & kinetic.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

26 Mar 2009 - 6:43am
Dave Malouf
2005

All I got to say about the PR issue is GO For it!!!

It is important on so many fronts. I just don't think you can do it
w/o a clearly messaged consensus of who we are.

The definition of a rose is embedded in the reality of its existence,
so its "name" will never change its sweetness. The definition of
love while more difficult has a ubiquitous ephemeral quality of "I
know it, when I experience it" that requires no hard definition.

IxD is neither of these. It is completely intangible and completely
dependent on others. This makes for a VERY difficult thing to
communicate in a way that many can understand.

I'd still love to put some cycles on a contest idea I had awhile
back that could be connected to the/a conference. I'd love to ask
students and practitioners to "use interaction design to define
interaction design".

As David Cronin tweeted a couple of days ago, "Design is what design
does." http://twitter.com/davcron/status/1368548073

So lets do just that. I know my students would already love to be
engaged in it.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

26 Mar 2009 - 10:28am
.pauric
2006

Dave, context implies competition. I personally would prefer to see
the idea take the form of an exhibition. A space of I10 is set aside
for individuals, groups (local or otherwise), agencies & orgs to
submit their _perspective_ on how they use or apply IxD in their
practices.

I feel this, competition or exhibition, will help us understand what
we practice as a collective.

As an aside, and while I missed I09, based on I08 I think this would
make for a much more engaging Sponsors area.

/pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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26 Mar 2009 - 10:29am
.pauric
2006

apologies: conteSt implies competition....
/pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

26 Mar 2009 - 10:51am
Fred van Amstel
2005

I find easier to explain what Interaction Design is after defining
Design in broader term. I find the definition of The International
Council of Design Societies very useful:

"Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the
multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their
systems in whole life cycles. Therefore, design is the central factor
of innovative humanisation of technologies and the crucial factor of
cultural and economic exchange."

http://www.icsid.org/about/about/articles31.htm

There´s plenty room in this definition to address Interaction Design issues.

2009/3/26 Pauric <radiorental at gmail.com>:
> apologies: conteSt implies competition....
> /pauric
>

--
.
.{ Frederick van Amstel }. Curitiba ´´ PR
¶ ...''''''''''|| www.usabilidoido.com.br
Instituto www.faberludens.com.br
.
MSN e Gtalk usabilidoido at gmail.com
\\...................

26 Mar 2009 - 11:09am
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:43 AM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> All I got to say about the PR issue is GO For it!!!
>
> It is important on so many fronts. I just don't think you can do it
> w/o a clearly messaged consensus of who we are.
>
> The definition of a rose is embedded in the reality of its existence,
> so its "name" will never change its sweetness. The definition of
> love while more difficult has a ubiquitous ephemeral quality of "I
> know it, when I experience it" that requires no hard definition.
>
> IxD is neither of these. It is completely intangible and completely
> dependent on others. This makes for a VERY difficult thing to
> communicate in a way that many can understand.
>
> I'd still love to put some cycles on a contest idea I had awhile
> back that could be connected to the/a conference. I'd love to ask
> students and practitioners to "use interaction design to define
> interaction design".
>
> As David Cronin tweeted a couple of days ago, "Design is what design
> does." http://twitter.com/davcron/status/1368548073
>
> So lets do just that. I know my students would already love to be
> engaged in it.
>
> -- dave

I sincerely appreciate that this thread has been moving in the direction
of calls to action, as much as I enjoy theorycraft.

The contest/exhibition ideas sounds very "this thing we have here", as
most visual definitions I've ever seen for IxD ( as well as UX, IA,
et.al) involves
overlapping circles and moving regions - both within a particular
media, industry
and conceptual area and between them. While contest does imply competition,
I think it's safe to say it could be shaped to be non-zero-sum, as I'm sure any
aspect of any defining and angle on PR would be, at best, "most suited for this
situation or product" - and who better to depict moving targets and convey
abstract ideas in a visual medium than those who would put themselves under this
IxD umbrella.

Pollyannaishly yours,
Scott
--
"I have mad skills at doing spazzy things." - Janiene West

26 Mar 2009 - 12:00pm
Adam Korman
2004

On Mar 26, 2009, at 4:33 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> Coming in VERY late (for me).
> 1. I DO think this is a definition problem. Or more accurately a lack
> of consensus around both definition and practice.

[snipped a bunch of stuff]

> Now putting all this into context, I believe if I was to come up with
> a real definition at this point...

There's already a great description of interaction design here: http://www.ixda.org/about_interaction.php
. It is well written, thoughtfully crafted and can be found in a handy
place (highlighted on the home page for the Interaction Design
Association). Rather than start from scratch again (and again) to
define interaction design, this seems like a good point of reference
for what it is we want to promote. And, PR within our own community is
probably the first priority!

Regards, Adam

26 Mar 2009 - 12:40pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Mar 26, 2009, at 10:00 AM, Adam Korman wrote:

> On Mar 26, 2009, at 4:33 AM, dave malouf wrote:
>
>> Now putting all this into context, I believe if I was to come up with
>> a real definition at this point...
>
> There's already a great description of interaction design here: http://www.ixda.org/about_interaction.php
> . It is well written, thoughtfully crafted and can be found in a
> handy place (highlighted on the home page for the Interaction Design
> Association). Rather than start from scratch again (and again) to
> define interaction design, this seems like a good point of reference
> for what it is we want to promote. And, PR within our own community
> is probably the first priority!

The irony in this post has now made reading the IxDA for so many years
beyond worth it.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

26 Mar 2009 - 1:51pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

Designers who give a shit about how people really think and behave.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

26 Mar 2009 - 3:10pm
Carl Alviani
2009

If Monday's article has in fact been responsible for sparking a
timely conversation in the IxD community, I'm happy to help, and
honored to have had it taken so seriously by such a thoughtful group
of creative professionals. To be honest though, it was written out of
something more like self-interest: Coroflot is a creative employment
website above all else, and getting information out to designers and
employers that's going to improve their ability to connect, and
develop their careers, is our bread and butter.

I get asked frequently by working designers and design students about
the specifics of the IxD field, and with good reason: it's a rapidly
growing branch of design whose relevance to real world problems
increases constantly. It comes across as a great field to be working
in, both in terms of how interesting the work is, and how needed it
is. And the frustration that led to the article mostly arises from
not being able to answer these questions in a satisfying way.

It may be true that this is a PR problem rather than a definition
problem, but regardless of the reason, hardly anyone outside the IxD
field (in my experience) seems to know what exactly you guys do all
day. Not in an overarching, theoretical sense, but in a specific,
rubber-on-the-road sense. And contrary to some arguments I've heard,
I don't think this is true of every other creative discipline.

Most of my direct experience is in Industrial Design, and yeah,
there's all sorts of back-and-forth about What Exactly Is Industrial
Design? -- check out the boards at Core77 for an endless array of
examples. But when a student pipes up and asks "I want to get a job
in ID, what do I need to learn and what will I be doing all day?"
there are a few solid answers: you need to know how to sketch, you
should probably learn a CAD package or two, you should study
manufacturing methods, you need to know about materials, you need to
learn some user research skills, etc. There's a clear agreement on
what traits a good portfolio needs, and there are archetypal examples
of the ID process. The actual skill set used by any individual working
designer may differ from this dramatically, of course, and there are
plenty of ID pros who don't sketch, model or specify materials at
all. But the existence of this diversity doesn't impede the
enumeration of a core set of techniques that can be used as a
starting point, much as the commenter I quoted remarked about web
design having HTML and CSS as a core, from which one can extend into
specialized skills. It's also entirely possible that 10 years on,
sketching with a pencil and coding HTML with both be obsolete -- that
doesn't mean we can't use them as a core skill set *now*.

The level of discourse and soul-searching within the IxD community is
incredibly high, and its theoretical tenets get debated with a
precision rarely seen in ID, but that discourse rarely seems to
extend beyond the realm of theory, at least in the view of the
outside observer. What I haven't seen is a similarly precise
discussion of what you need to be able to do in order to be good in
this field. Words like "define," "discuss," and "understand"
are not precise enough.

Most of the theoretical definitions of the IxD field that I've seen
so far could apply to nearly any design discipline without much
alteration. Architects "define complex dialogues" too. Industrial
designers "define how products and services work" as well.

Now, none of this should be construed for a second as proposing that
Interaction Designers aren't doing valuable work, because they
undeniably are. But the degree to which the work they do crosses over
with other, better-defined disciplines leaves a lot of us wondering
two things:

What do Interaction Designers do that nobody else does?

And what don't Interaction Designers do, that other designers do?

I'm eager to continue this dialogue, because, well, having better
answers to these questions would make my job a lot easier. So please
feel free to drop me a line (alviani -at- coroflot -dot- com), or
continue the discussion here or in the comments on the original
article on Creative Seeds. I guarantee I will be paying attention.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

27 Mar 2009 - 10:54am
ambroselittle
2008

On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 9:10 AM, Carl Alviani <alviani at core77.com> wrote:

> The level of discourse and soul-searching within the IxD community is
> incredibly high, and its theoretical tenets get debated with a
> precision rarely seen in [many other professional communities], but that
> discourse rarely seems to
> extend beyond the realm of theory, at least in the view of the
> outside observer.
>

Took the words right out of my [draft]! ;o)

> What do Interaction Designers do that nobody else does?
>
> And what don't Interaction Designers do, that other designers do?

Great questions. I feel like it is less important to draw distinctions than
to just describe the activities. I'd suggest the key question is just "what
do those who call themselves 'interaction designers' do?" It's not so much
how they define themselves or how they think about themselves or how they
call themselves.

>From what I've observed of the state of the industry today, at least, there
is both a lot of diversity in focus/subject matter but a lot of overlap in
essential activities. And as I said in the other related thread, it seems to
me that "ux designer" is a better term to describe those essential, common
activities. Actually, the summary on the IxDA about page is pretty good,
IMO, though still kinda vague.

Anyways, Carl, nice to have you here. I hope your questions will be
answered.

-ambrose

28 Mar 2009 - 6:06am
Andy Polaine
2008

David - I would be interested to know how you differentiate
Interaction Design from Interactive Design at SCA.

I've used many different titles over the last 15 years. I used to
call myself and interactive designer, but so many people thought that
meant I was a graphic/product designer that designed in a certain
manner (i.e., jumping about or grabbing people or dancing or
something) that I dropped it in favour of interaction designer. Most
accurately, I design interactive experiences which could range from
milliseconds in an UI to much longer experiences. I think the shift
from the adjective 'interactive' to the noun 'interaction' is
important in helping people understand that we actually design
'things', it's not just an approach.

Carl - the problem is still, as I see it, that those 'things' we
design as interaction designer aren't very tangible, they're
experiential even if they have physical (or screen) elements. Those
intangibles are often the difference between something engineered and
functional and something pleasant and engaging to use. Those
intangibles are largely what gets measured by the variety of
techniques used here.

To answer your two very good questions:

"What do Interaction Designers do that nobody else does?"

We spend more time designing the interactions between people and
things (and people and people in service design) and work out how to
make those interactive experiences 'better', for want of a better
word.

"And what don't Interaction Designers do, that other designers
do?"

I can code a bit and I can design a bit, but I don't call myself a
graphic designer or a coder, but knowing that stuff helps me work
with those people. I certainly don't call myself a product designer
because I have two left-thumbs in the workshop.

For my part, I don't make the final parts, be it the UI visual
elements, the code (or at least the core code) or the object.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

30 Mar 2009 - 12:18am
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

Carl,

Did you read the definitions on the page that Adam pointed you to?
You have been citing an outdated definition with all the harping on
the "dialogs" word.

Our home page says: Interaction Design (IxD) defines the structure
and behavior of interactive products and services. Interaction
Designers create compelling relationships between people and the
interactive systems they use, from computers to mobile devices to
appliances; Interaction Designers lay the groundwork for intangible
experiences.

And then we have more in-depth definition here:
http://www.ixda.org/about_interaction.php. Enjoy!

Cheers,
Liz

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Mar 2009 - 11:57am
Carl Alviani
2009

Liz:

The "About Interaction Design" page you and Adam pointed to
(http://www.ixda.org/about_interaction.php) was a primary direct
reference in researching last Monday's article, and the "defining
complex dialogues" quote comes from its first paragraph, which I
quoted in its entirety (though I should probably add a link to clear
up any confusion). My assumption was that this constituted a current
consensus on the profession's definition, though if there's another
description that's more up-to-date, please let me know.

The response you left last night over on Creative Seeds makes an
excellent point about the nature of these definitions, and I thank
you for elaborating on the difficulties of generating them. The
observation that the web has increased in complexity to the point
where we need people working full-time on a very abstract level just
to make sense of it is an illuminating one, and does a lot to
distinguish the profession from other disciplines.

Andy's response has been particularly helpful, and suggests that
getting more responses from more Interaction Designers to those two
questions --

"What do Interaction Designers do that nobody else does?"

and

"What don't Interaction Designers do, that other designers do?"

-- could be an effective strategy for de-mystifying the field to the
larger design community.

It might even be more effective to take these questions into the
second person: "What do YOU do that other (non-IxD) designers
don't?" etc.

If anyone else cares to offer their own answers, I'd be grateful.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40375

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