Need Input - Generation Y Interactions

26 Apr 2010 - 7:53am
6 years ago
2 replies
869 reads

Dear all,

Greetings from Holland!

My name is Wei. I am doing my PhD at the Industrial Design Faculty at Delft University of Technology. My project is 'Generation Y Interactions', it aims at designing and developing new interactions for 'Generation Y' user group (the digital natives / net generation / millennials). More information on

Since you are experts in the interaction design domain, as well as a large number of you are 'Generation Y', it will be so great if you share your experiences and ideas that relevant to my research. If you would like to share, please input/discuss your thoughts here or on I am especially looking for your input for the following questions:

a) What are the characteristics/classifications of 'Generation Y'?

b) What are the relevant trends/opportunities in interaction design?

c) How to map these characteristics into the development of 'Generation Y' interface? 

Thank you in advance!

best regards,
PhD & UX Researcher
Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
Delft University of Technology
Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE
Delft, The Netherlands



26 Apr 2010 - 12:26pm
zheng dai

Hi Wei


As a generation Y, I would like to share some thought


a) What are the characteristics/classifications of 'Generation Y'?


1.        As you said in the poster, the time of born could be one main definition.   So some special even happened when we growing up.  I think one of the characteristics is that this generation was starting to get effect of globalization. As I can see that, the culture boundary is much smaller that generation Z. such as the international products/media/service… were becoming popular during last 30 years. The product development, manufacture, and sales have strong cooperation in the world. So generation Y shared the culture from the influence of these international products a lot. When a young Generation Y who is from Asia go to America at the first time, he can talk about the same topic of the same experience on Nokia mobile phone, the movie of “the lord of ring”, and even RFID Bus card in city. The culture is mixing faster than ever before.

2.       Another characteristic is people are getting dreamful and pursuing individuality. This point is from the compression with last generation.  Generation Z and baby boom are more familiar with modernism, which produce product simply, easier, same, and for mass production. That was due to low productivity after war. And through the time new generation have more space and possibility to get different product. The productivity is much higher than before, the all society are becoming diverse, and turning to different emotion need. IT product should have different Pattern and colors. Buildings should show the culture and feature of a certain place.


b) What are the relevant trends/opportunities in interaction design?

   I think generation Y watch a lot futuristic movie, and these movies are more practical than last generation. And of course new technology gave us great confidence to realize the entire dream. But in another way, the dream of magic and spiritual power is more amusing and interesting to our generation.  That is something seems hard to be realize. But new technology could simulate this magic and effect. In another word, that is due to the feeling and emotion of people. We need more magical, amusing, strange feeling in new product. The new product always tries to give us a feeling of “cool”. Such as when some experienced developer got interview on magazine or on TV , they always like to describe their criteria is to make people feel their product “looks really cool”.


c) How to map these characteristics into the development of 'Generation Y' interface?

Again I think these characters are the basic source of generation Y to feel the world. That is kind of emotional effect. So if you have a map of the development of interface, these characters should connected and represent by each experience. Such as the visualization always can be customize, and updating through the fashion. And function should give new experience. They always could get firmware updating to get new and convenient function.

Good Luck for your project!

27 Apr 2010 - 7:33am

Hi Wei,

Gen Y is marked by activist sentiments. Appealing to these sympathies in interaction design is a good start. The Pepsi campaign around the time of the 2008 election is a good example of appealing to Gen Y activist sentiments. The campaign used social media and viral videos to appeal this target audience. It is a very social conscious generation. Think green design!

Gen Y tend to live in urban settings, make lesser income then their older counterparts, are early adopters of technology, and create online content. They are strong adopters of mobile technology and texting is a big activity. They like to share their point of view. Word of mouth is a strong player in their decision making process. Due to their urban setting and mobile adoption, thinking about ubiquitious computing and how to integrate gen y interactions in the context of city living is a strong approach.

I think that online video is another opportunity for this generation, which watches more video content online now then on traditional televisions. They are also big contributers to generating online video, whether on YouTube or uploading videos for twittering purposes or hosting a streaming show on Video responses, as an alternate to text comments, are a trend appearing that I think speaks to this generation.

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