Next steps to get involved with interaction design

Just a few questions about some things…

I’ve worked on a handful of embedded interface projects for electronics. I’ve done the navigation and screen design, but not the actually prototyping/programming (Director was used to generate a prototype). What is the best way to show these projects in a portfolio?

Also, I’d like to get more involved in interaction design, there seems to be a greater supply of jobs in the field compared with pure ID work (in the US). I’m unsure what next steps I should take or what I should learn next. (my work background is graphics and design research, my education is industrial design)

I’m of course very confident with Illustrator/Photoshop, etc. I’ve used Dreamweaver before, but I don’t know Director or any programming languages that these sorts of jobs always require. As an ID guy, where should I start?

Just like in Industrial Design, the best way to show them is to walk through your process and show artifacts from the various stages. Show sketches, whiteboarding, wireframes, user-testing, final screens. You don’t need to actually show the interactive prototype if you can explain how you added value as a designer. (You will need to get used to photographing your process as you go so that you can later tell the story.)

In terms of tools, I would recommend picking up Flash–far more useful than Director these days. Visio is also commonly used for wireframes, but you can get by with Illustrator. There are plenty of other tools out there (we use Rapid and iRise, but they’re both expensive) but they’re all variations on a theme. It’s not the tools that matter, it’s the process.

Read up on the Process:
About Face 2.0, Alan Cooper
Contextual Design, Holtzblatt & Beyer

…And the Principles:
The Design of Everyday Things, Norman
The Inmates are Running the Asylum, Cooper

Thanks. What about HTML, XML, and CSS, and Java? I thought I’d start learning those as well. I already know Visio, I forgot to mention that one. I also conducted the usability testing for the device prototypes.

I’ll check out those books ASAP. Thanks!

Hi, I’m interested in getting into Interaction Design - - and I’d love to go to the Malmo University in Sweden for their Interaction Design Program.

Right now I’m finishing up my undergraduate at University of Illinois (Champaign) in ID, but I’ve been freelancing in Flash for six years now.

Could you guys take a look at my website and flash samples to see if this is the kind of thing they would be looking for? (either the swedish school or interaction design in general)

your input is appreciated! let me know if I posted this to the wrong place - -