Interaction Design asa worldwide-accepted profession

13 Sep 2006 - 4:54pm
7 years ago
1 reply
473 reads
Lorne Trudeau
2006

I sure hope so; otherwise I've got to get my business cards reprinted!

Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dave
(Heller) Malouf
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 2:44 PM
To: Dave (Heller) Malouf
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interaction Design asa worldwide-accepted
profession

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

While I answered this more directly as where are there programs, I think
there is an implicit question in Estaban's posting. Is IxD a profession?

I'm not so confident that it is a profession. I am confident that it is
a discipline, but I don't think it makes sense for almost any of us to
be exclusively interaction designers. We have to incorporate so many
different design facets into our work.

I don't think this is a question of specialization vs. generalization
either.

I do deeply believe that IxD is a deep discipline yet to be uncovered
completely. I think that some of these schools are just getting to the
tip of the iceberg as to the effects a concentration in IxD foundational
principles can have on design as a whole.

-- dave

Dave (Heller) Malouf wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> There is a list of educational programs listed on the IxDA Resource
> Library.
>
> Resource Library: http://resources.ixda.org/archive/category/education/
>
> -- dave
>
> Cecily Walker wrote:
>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>>
>> On 9/13/06, Esteban Barahona <esteban.barahona at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Is
>>> there at least one University in the world that accepts and teach
Interaction
>>> Design as a profession/career on its own?
>>>
>>>
>> The Illinois Institute of Technology has an Institute of Design. I
>> didn't go there myself so I can't comment on the program.
>>
>> http://id.iit.edu/
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>
>

--

David (Heller) Malouf
Vice President
dave(at)ixda(dot)org
http://ixda.org/
http://synapticburn.com/

AIM: bolinhanyc // Y!: dave_ux //
MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com // Gtalk: dave.ixd(at)gmail.com

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Comments

14 Sep 2006 - 1:15pm
leo.frishberg a...
2005

From: Dave (Heller) Malouf
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 2:44 PM

>While I answered this more directly as where are there programs, I
think
>there is an implicit question in Estaban's posting. Is IxD a
profession?

Ahhh, the opening of Pandora's box...yet again.

Okay, CHIFOO (Portland's local ACM Chapter for Computer-Human
Interaction) has just spent the last year's programs focusing on what it
means to be a professional. That question alone is an interesting one
to tackle outside the context of any specific body of practice.

Legally, what do our courts recognize as a profession?
Operationally, what do practitioners consider "professional behavior?"

Whenever I refer to IxD I make a specific effort to not refer to it as a
profession, but as a body of practice, a discipline, etc. What's the
difference for me? Well, for one, a license. Professionals are
licensed, often by the government, but sometimes by private trade
organizations.

Architects are not licensed by the AIA, they can choose to purchase
membership in that "professional trade organization" to have the letters
after their name. They cannot call themselves Architect without a
government issued license, involving very expensive, time consuming and
extraordinarily difficult tests. Not to mention at least 7 years
apprenticeship before being permitted to take the tests (accredited
schooling can apply towards that apprenticeship).

Some argue that this is the way it should be, given the health and
safety issues associated with our built environment. Others suggest it
is an elitist approach that doesn't filter for quality of work,
designerly abilities or any of the other vectors that comprise the
practice of Architecture.

It doesn't matter to me either way, the point here is that to be a
"profession" must mean something more than simply "a passionate pursuit
of greatness in one's discipline." Or, "I'm a professional because I
say I am." I believe there is some element of peer review, of basic
criteria for qualification decided by "the profession," for the term to
be applied. If those are distasteful in your mind, then perhaps the
term "profession" shouldn't be used. If you think that applying the
label "professional" to your practice is a marketable attribute, then
what is it about your practice can be substantiated as "professional,"
as opposed to the hack who merely claims to do "professional" work?

This is not just a matter of ego-inflation (although I'm sure there's
plenty of that, too), but of providing a united front to our
constituents - our employers, our clients, our users. When we claim to
do a level of work considered "professional," we can point to an agreed
upon criteria.

Leo

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