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jeffreycarver
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Assume that the other person is not in the design field. If you had to describe, in 30 seconds, what IxD is, what would you say?

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TaylorWelden
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The visual digital screens you see when you're using an iPod, an ATM, or a computer program - and the careful design to make them beautiful and easy for the human mind to interact with.
Taylor Welden

Industrial Designer

Industrial Design Portfolio

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tarngerine
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^ That's more just interface design. I think interaction is much broader, and more vague. It stretches into the realm of experience and physical design, too. How the form influences you to use the product, inviting you to look at specific parts, direct your actions... Could go on and on about it. I don't have an elevator pitch for it yet... too young ;p

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rachelkroft
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I am just a recent grad (still basically a student) but this is what I think...

maybe....????

Interaction designers focus on how services, products and technology can be better for people. They design and empathize with the emotional usage, need and bond that we have with our servies, products and technology.

the value of it is that interaction design can have a more holistic way of approaching design- seeing people as the medium (not bound to any particular material, form or language).

frog's David Sherwin has a good definition in his presentation "The Language of Interaction"
http://www.slideshare.net/frogdesign/th ... m=ss_embed


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rachelkroft wrote:I am just a recent grad (still basically a student) but this is what I think...

_________ focus on how services, products and technology can be better for people. They design and empathize with the emotional usage, need and bond that we have with our servies, products and technology.


Take out Interaction Designers and replace it with marketers, managers, researcher, sustainable designers...and it'll still make the same amount of sense. I don't think this is specific enough.

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rachelkroft
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hmm I see your point- the definition is quite broad and general.

I do think that interaction design does tend to focus on digital experiences (bridging the virtual and physical).

But it might help to explain the specifics through an example from a company that does interaction design and/or a designer. I think for people who don't know anything about it would need a concrete example.

So maybe if it were to be explained with an overview/broad definition and then paired with a specific of work done?


franj771
 
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just stumbled upon @Usablexperience on twitter, whose headline reads "We convert your online visitors into customers." I like this.


eobet
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My 5 second pitch:

"To make things easy and enjoyable to use."

Applies to any design field, really.

EDIT: Whoah, topic was a yeard old! Things doesn't move fast in this sub-forum, does it? :)

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yo
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eobet wrote:Applies to any design field, really.


Which might make it not the best pitch for interaction design. The follow up question might literally be, "so what is interaction design again?"


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yo wrote:
eobet wrote:Applies to any design field, really.


Which might make it not the best pitch for interaction design. The follow question might literally be, "so what is interaction design again?"


Well, my answer then would be that when you apply design to a hair dryer it's called product or industrial design, when you apply design to a car it's called automotive design and when you apply design to an interface, that's what you call interaction design. It's still trying to make things easy and enjoyable to use. Only the "thing" changes, really. :)

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“Interaction design is about shaping digital things for people’s use”
Source: http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/interaction_design.html

Includes Bill Moggridge quote from his Designing Interactions book:
“I felt that there was an opportunity to create a new design discipline, dedicated to creating imaginative and attractive solutions in a virtual world, where one could design behaviors, animations, and sounds as well as shapes. This would be the equivalent of industrial design but in software rather than three-dimensional objects. Like industrial design, the discipline would start from the needs and desires of the people who use a product or service, and strive to create designs that would give aesthetic pleasure as well as lasting satisfaction and enjoyment.

I gave my first conference presentation on the subject in 1984, and at that time I described it as “Soft-face”, thinking of a combination between software and user-interface design […] we went on thinking of possible names until I eventually settled on “interaction design” with the help of Bill Verplank.”
-- Moggridge, 2007

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yo
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But there is a lot interaction design going with physical interfaces, not to mention the digital interfaces with physical inputs or digital inputs that control physical actions, so limiting it to "on the glass" is not quite right. It goes beyond the GUI. Part of the issue is that interaction design is a task that is associated with the design of anything, and industrial designers practice interaction design every day.

Think of the interface in a vehicle... not the one on the 6"x9" screen, the one that actually controls the conveyance. Designing the steering wheel, the shifter, the pedals, the assorted switch gear that control any numb of function, that is all a part of interaction design. It has been so standardized that we don't think about it anymore, but when you get in a rental with oddly placed headlamp switch beer, or a hard to use wiper stalk, the importance becomes more evident again. Especially if you are in that rental, going 80MPH down the freeway and the sun goes down and it starts to rain! ;-)

My favorite example of poorly integrated physical/digital interfaces are the ATM machine and the Self Check out at the grocery store. Here we have two pretty amazing interfaces in terms of the service they provide. I can fly anywhere in the world with nothing in my pocket, land in Hong Kong, pop over to the ATM and take out money in at the local currency from my bank account. Amazing. Yet the experience and interface are so poor, with such slip shod integration between the tiny screen, a limited array of hard keys, and the card input, money output slots that the whole thing feels sub par.

The self check out is even worse. Instead of a single experience, we have a collection of off the shelf parts that someone has tried to marry together...

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tally-ho
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But there is a lot interaction design going with physical interfaces, not to mention the digital interfaces with physical inputs or digital inputs that control physical actions, so limiting it to "on the glass" is not quite right. It goes beyond the GUI. Part of the issue is that interaction design is a task that is associated with the design of anything, and industrial designers practice interaction design every day.


I completely agree here with Yo. Interaction Design is quite broad indeed and shouldn´t be limited to display applications only.

Going back to the original question of this post, I guess you could say that Interaction Design deals with the way people (sub)consiously interact with products and services.

T


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