IxD and related roles - is it about naming or type of company/products?

10 Jul 2006 - 12:10pm
8 years ago
5 replies
1071 reads
Adler
2006

hi,

Does anyone know of a diagram or scheme that situates IxD and other
related (or somewhat) positions?

Last weekend I met a few friends all coming from an engineering
degree, working in different countries and having related roles (I'm
simplifying a bit!!) but with different names. To mention a few of the
roles: Interaction Designer, Functional Analyst, User Experience,
Business Analyst.

The work is done and presented in different ways, however there is a
common item - gathering user needs and specifying them. (ok, the
design part quite different in each position, I said - I'm simplifying
a "bit")

At the end everyone wants to design usable products though some do
more or less design than others. I start to think that it would be
interesting to map these roles is some sort of diagram or scheme,
e.g.:
Interaction Designer, User Experience, Usability, Business Analyst,
Functional Analyst
(maybe add others)

and then see what's overlapping and what's missing. I guess many
companies never heard about Interaction Design and if they hear about
it they might think they have already a similar role (though, we know
it isn't covering many important details of IxD...)

I have the feeling that this would help us and the companies to
understand where IxD stands in relation to other disciplines (or
company positions) and will help us to better evangelise the need for
Interaction Designers ;-)

what others think?

Cheers,
Adler

--
Interaction Design
HCI Group, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
adler at BEST.eu.org | http://www.nada.kth.se/~adler/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/adler

Comments

10 Jul 2006 - 2:33pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 10, 2006, at 11:10 AM, Adler wrote:

> Does anyone know of a diagram or scheme that situates IxD and other
> related (or somewhat) positions?

http://safari.peachpit.com/0321447123/ch01lev1sec4

Dan

10 Jul 2006 - 6:03pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Adler wrote:
> Does anyone know of a diagram or scheme that situates IxD
> and other related (or somewhat) positions?

Challis Hodge posted this diagram to the list back in April. It's
not a full ecology, but it's a start:

http://www.challishodge.com/images/ed_equation.gif

// jeff

10 Jul 2006 - 8:04pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Dan,

Can you help me understand why so much of the Human Computer
Interaction area is outside of Interaction Design?

Mark

On Jul 10, 2006, at 3:33 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>
> On Jul 10, 2006, at 11:10 AM, Adler wrote:
>
>> Does anyone know of a diagram or scheme that situates IxD and other
>> related (or somewhat) positions?
>
> http://safari.peachpit.com/0321447123/ch01lev1sec4
>
> Dan
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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10 Jul 2006 - 9:02pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 10, 2006, at 7:04 PM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> Can you help me understand why so much of the Human Computer
> Interaction area is outside of Interaction Design?

All those lines are blurry, I should note. (By request, I also posted
a stand-alone version of this diagram: http://www.odannyboy.com/id/
ixd_relationships.pdf (24k).)

In its purest form, I think the purpose of interaction design is to
engender interactions between people, through products and services.
A good portion of HCI is dedicated to the interactions between humans
and computers (thus the name).

Be that as it may, I also think that the methods and methodology of
HCI are frequently different from those of interaction design: HCI
springing from computer science and IxD coming from a design
tradition. HCI has a lot of great quantitative tools that we can use,
and they are great especially for testing solutions (see the earlier
eye-tracking thread). I find HCI methods don't work for me personally
in the creation of new products, however.

Jonas Lowgren wrote an article on this topic:

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/
just_how_far_beyond_hci_is_interaction_design_

(Great discussion there too!)

In it, he makes 3 points that I agree with:

"First, interaction design is a design discipline, which means
something other than the science-and-engineering perspectives of HCI."

"Secondly, the notion of quality in interaction design is not well
developed. Neither are the social structures needed to develop and
sustain the notion. A HCI perspective is not the most appropriate
starting point."

"Third, it makes sense to talk about aesthetic qualities of
interaction, even though we lack an adequate language as yet to do
so. But the language of HCI is not the best place to look for
inspiration."

Dan

Dan Saffer
Designing for Interaction
New Riders, August 2006
http://www.designingforinteraction.com

10 Jul 2006 - 9:59pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Thanks Dan - very well explained.

I have tried putting together a similar diagram many times and began
to a) second guess the point, and b) realize that the 2D format is
insufficient. Yours is as good as I have seen. That the lines are
blurry is what I was really after (or thinking). I really think we
get a bit too caught up in the categorization of design disciplines,
but the dialog is helpful in furthering how we explain what we do and
why. But then, my design education was intentionally cross
disciplinary in order to blur those lines a bit further.

I have never really put Interaction Design in that specific context.
I see it as a more general area that HCI resides within. Similar to
the relationship between user centered and human centered.
Additionally, I think the HCI label goes well beyond computers at
this stage. Phones, iPods, etc are all now essentially computers with
very specific functionality sets.

I will check out the Lowgren article... and likely your book as well.

Thanks,

Mark

On Jul 10, 2006, at 10:02 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>
> On Jul 10, 2006, at 7:04 PM, Mark Schraad wrote:
>
>> Can you help me understand why so much of the Human Computer
>> Interaction area is outside of Interaction Design?
>
> All those lines are blurry, I should note. (By request, I also posted
> a stand-alone version of this diagram: http://www.odannyboy.com/id/
> ixd_relationships.pdf (24k).)
>
> In its purest form, I think the purpose of interaction design is to
> engender interactions between people, through products and services.
> A good portion of HCI is dedicated to the interactions between humans
> and computers (thus the name).
>
> Be that as it may, I also think that the methods and methodology of
> HCI are frequently different from those of interaction design: HCI
> springing from computer science and IxD coming from a design
> tradition. HCI has a lot of great quantitative tools that we can use,
> and they are great especially for testing solutions (see the earlier
> eye-tracking thread). I find HCI methods don't work for me personally
> in the creation of new products, however.
>
> Jonas Lowgren wrote an article on this topic:
>
> http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/
> just_how_far_beyond_hci_is_interaction_design_
>
> (Great discussion there too!)
>
> In it, he makes 3 points that I agree with:
>
> "First, interaction design is a design discipline, which means
> something other than the science-and-engineering perspectives of HCI."
>
> "Secondly, the notion of quality in interaction design is not well
> developed. Neither are the social structures needed to develop and
> sustain the notion. A HCI perspective is not the most appropriate
> starting point."
>
> "Third, it makes sense to talk about aesthetic qualities of
> interaction, even though we lack an adequate language as yet to do
> so. But the language of HCI is not the best place to look for
> inspiration."
>
>
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Designing for Interaction
> New Riders, August 2006
> http://www.designingforinteraction.com
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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