How many of us (interaction designers) are there?

15 Mar 2007 - 8:27pm
7 years ago
8 replies
941 reads
Brian Williams
2006

I am trying size the Interaction Design market. Does anyone have data
on the number of interaction designers in the US and world wide?
I found some oblique references, but nothing that could give an
accurate picture of the general population.

I looked at the online job postings to see how many open positions
there are (about 1600) and at conference attendance and various
organization's membership numbers but all those data points require
some ridiculous amount of guessing. What's the ratio of open
positions to total positions? 10 to 1? Anyone have a guess? It must
be highly variable in any case.

Ultimately the best data for my purposes would be sales figures for
software like Axure or some other special interaction design type of
software, but I don't imagine that I'll be getting ahold of that kind
of information :)

So, any guesses, or bright ideas on other data points?

Thanks,
Brian

Comments

16 Mar 2007 - 2:27am
mprove
2004

According to http://ixda.org/en/join_us/ixd_discussion_list/index.shtml this list has 900 subscribers. Sure, there are many more of us. But it's another data point.
Matthias

--

User Experience and Interaction Design :: http://www.mprove.de

16 Mar 2007 - 2:33am
Navneet Nair
2004

On 3/16/07, Matthias Mueller-Prove <mprove at acm.org> wrote:According to
http://ixda.org/en/join_us/ixd
>
> _discussion_list/index.shtml this list has 900 subscribers. Sure, there
> are many more of us. But it's another data point.
> Matthias

Please note that this is an international data point...

HCIIDC, a popular mailing list in India has 1181 subscribers as of today.
Though how many of them are actually interaction designers is difficult to
determine. Same goes with this number.

Cheers
Navneet

--
----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://enterframe.blogspot.com/

16 Mar 2007 - 6:47am
Dave Malouf
2005

If people are curious.
1) the IxDA web site hasn't been updated in about a year. My bad ..
mea culpa but we are working on it. That 900 # is ancient history and
even then it wasn't right.

2) We now have internationally 3100+ discussion list subscribers and
1200+ announcement list subscribers.

Most of these people belong to other organizations such as CHI, UPA,
IAI, HFES, AIGA, IIDI, IDSA, ASIS&T, ICONGRAD, ICSID, etc. not to
mention local chapters of all those organizations, and non-affiliated
ones. So don't go adding up membership #'s.

3) A vast majority of our membership is currently US base. A lot of
this has to do with language issues but also because that is where the
group was "born". We have always had international leadership and
international face-to-face groups though.

One thing about IxDA specifically, is that we don't really think of
our subscribers as Interaction Designers per se, but rather they are
people who are interested in the practice of IxD. I know this is
splitting hairs, but what it means is the opposite is also true that
there are many many people who are doing interaction design but don't
really know they are doing it. ;) ... It is also true that many people
think they are doing interaction design and probably aren't. But this
is a whole other thread. ;)

If I was forced to make a guess of the #'s of people who are doing IxD
with any sort of integrity to the discipline, I would put out a number
of 50k in the US and 100k worldwide. But I can't substantiate that #
at all. 8-)

-- dave

On 3/16/07, Navneet Nair <navneet.nair at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/16/07, Matthias Mueller-Prove <mprove at acm.org> wrote:According to
> http://ixda.org/en/join_us/ixd
> >
> > _discussion_list/index.shtml this list has 900 subscribers. Sure, there
> > are many more of us. But it's another data point.
> > Matthias
>
>
>
> Please note that this is an international data point...
>
> HCIIDC, a popular mailing list in India has 1181 subscribers as of today.
> Though how many of them are actually interaction designers is difficult to
> determine. Same goes with this number.
>
> Cheers
> Navneet
>
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Navneet Nair
> Interaction Architect
> onClipEvent: form follows function();
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
> Blog: http://enterframe.blogspot.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
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

20 Mar 2007 - 11:22am
Brian Williams
2006

Thanks to those that replied to my question.
I though I would share my findings on how many Interaction designers
there are.

There isn't a definitive number that I can find so I figured it out
by looking at a stat that I did have.
The number of Software Engineers in the US is 455,980 according to
the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
The number of open positions for "Software Engineer" posted to the
major job sites on the web is 34,000 (indeed.com).

This yields a ratio of 13:1, jobs to postings.

The number of postings for "Interaction Design" 1,725 for a total
22,425 jobs
I figure that there are jobs that require interaction design but
don't say it, like Information Architecture, and User Experience.
If you add all those together you get 16,000 postings for a total of
104,000. Obviously not everyone in that group is really doing the work.
So I think that we are back to David Malouf's number of about 50k in
the US.

Does this sound sensible?

On Mar 16, 2007, at 4:47, David Malouf wrote:

>
> If I was forced to make a guess of the #'s of people who are doing IxD
> with any sort of integrity to the discipline, I would put out a number
> of 50k in the US and 100k worldwide. But I can't substantiate that #
> at all. 8-)
>
>
> -- dave
>

20 Mar 2007 - 11:47am
UI Desginer
2007

Note: forwarded message attached.

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20 Mar 2007 - 11:50am
Dave Malouf
2005

On 3/20/07, Brian Williams
<lists.interactiondesigners at chromaticgray.com> wrote:> The number of
postings for "Interaction Design" 1,725 for a total
> 22,425 jobs
> I figure that there are jobs that require interaction design but
> don't say it, like Information Architecture, and User Experience.
> If you add all those together you get 16,000 postings for a total of
> 104,000. Obviously not everyone in that group is really doing the work.
> So I think that we are back to David Malouf's number of about 50k in
> the US.

Wow! that was a total wild-ass guess. 8-)
Amazing!!!!!

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

20 Mar 2007 - 12:07pm
jstanford
2003

Out of curiosity, I decided to go to the US Dept of Labor Bureau of Labor
Statistics to see stats for other professions because 50K actually seems a
little high to me. Here are some comparative stats from the list of all
occupations (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_alph.htm). I looked into
design related professions just to see how many people were doing these
other professions.

178,530 Graphic dDesigners
- 24,800 in specialized design services subindustry - (not sure
what this subindustry is)

96,740 Architects

31,650 Industrial Designers

12,980 Fashion Designers

50,020 Interior Designers

12,410 Designers -- All other (not sure what that category includes)

----
I am not going to use these stats to draw any conclusions about our industry
as it is just speculation on my part, but I am sharing them because I think
it is interesting to think anecdotally about how many people you know/run
across in each of these fields versus in interaction design and how that
influences how many interaction designers you think are out there.

Julie
________________________________
Julie Stanford
Principal, Sliced Bread Design
650-969-0400 / 800-969-0434 x706

20 Mar 2007 - 12:23pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Taking Brian's research and your research there is a big discrempency.
B/c it says there are only 78,300 or so engineers compared to the
450,000 that Brian got for a number.

That right there is pretty huge.

I stick by my 50k b/c I think I'm including anyone who does
interaction design as opposed to just those very limited people who
have it as a title.
IAs. Usabiliy Engineers, HCI Researchers, UI Designers, UI Developers,
User Experience Designers, etc. etc. It starts to add up pretty high.

-- dave

On 3/20/07, Julie Stanford <julie at slicedbreaddesign.com> wrote:
> Out of curiosity, I decided to go to the US Dept of Labor Bureau of Labor
> Statistics to see stats for other professions because 50K actually seems a
> little high to me. Here are some comparative stats from the list of all
> occupations (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_alph.htm). I looked into
> design related professions just to see how many people were doing these
> other professions.
>
> 178,530 Graphic dDesigners
> - 24,800 in specialized design services subindustry - (not sure
> what this subindustry is)
>
> 96,740 Architects
>
> 31,650 Industrial Designers
>
> 12,980 Fashion Designers
>
> 50,020 Interior Designers
>
> 12,410 Designers -- All other (not sure what that category includes)
>
> ----
> I am not going to use these stats to draw any conclusions about our industry
> as it is just speculation on my part, but I am sharing them because I think
> it is interesting to think anecdotally about how many people you know/run
> across in each of these fields versus in interaction design and how that
> influences how many interaction designers you think are out there.
>
> Julie
> ________________________________
> Julie Stanford
> Principal, Sliced Bread Design
> 650-969-0400 / 800-969-0434 x706
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

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