IxD definition WAS Interaction Design forESL Textbooks?

15 Sep 2007 - 4:16am
7 years ago
4 replies
672 reads
Peter Boersma
2003

[I love it how Andrew is now defining IxD, after he did a great job of defining the IA CoP at the IA Summit!]

> Like many newer practices (sociobiology, psycholinguistics, etc), isn't
> Interaction Design a hybrid of other, earlier practices, that coalesced to
> solve the new problems created by trying to make very complex, powerful
> devices for personal consumer use?

Just as IxD is a hybrid of other, earlier practices, so will IxD be seen as a pre-cursor to the User Experience practice.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. And there are giants standing next to our giants, with people on their shoulders.

Do I really need to refer to my T-model again, where I say:
"Now, what if we look at this model from the perspective of, say, an Interaction Designer (IxD)? I am sure the subscribers to the IxD mailinglist have little IxD's and Big IxD's amongst them. They have their own T-model, with the vertical line standing next to "our" vertical line, but their horizontal line overlaps with ours! And the same is true for usability specialists, copywriters, information designers, etc."
(http://www.peterboersma.com/blog/2004/11/t-model-big-ia-is-now-ux.html)

Interaction Designers should focus on defining/defending their vertical line of the T first and foremost, while looking left and right to the fields next to them.

Andrew suggested as the vertical line:
> "improving the interactive experience of complex, powerful
> devices for personal consumer use"

As much as I like this, I would like to point people to the IxDA website, where it says:
"While interaction design has a firm foundation in the theory, practice, and methodology of traditional user interface design, its focus is on defining the complex dialogues that occur between people and interactive devices of many types—from computers to mobile communications devices to appliances."
(http://www.ixda.org/en/about_ixdg/what_is_interaction_design.shtml)

I think this neatly combines Andrews history with a definition.

Peter
--
Peter Boersma | Senior Interaction Designer | Info.nl
http://www.peterboersma.com/blog | http://www.info.nl

Comments

15 Sep 2007 - 8:47am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi gang,

a few thoughts:

1. There is no process or methodology specific to only IxD that is
not used by other design disciplines. Not a one! I say this b/c when
people say that IxDers can add to any problem solving exercise, so
can any other form of design. ANY! Design process and design thinking
cross mediums way beyond anything IxD does.

2. I think Andrew Hinton's concentration on our history is good.
Andrew and I have spoken on a separate list about gravitational pulls
that define and bound communities, but like cell-membranes these
boundaries are fluid and filtering and not really meant to be
exclusionary in either direction. The nucleus though is the defining
element where gravity pulls people in at various levels of
attraction.

I have had discussions about foundations of interaction from many
different design disciplines. They all have a twist to offer as well
as their own personal reasons for being interested.

3. What is our result? Andrie's question which while I didn't read
the thread thoroughly (32 messages in my overnight RSS feed) I
didn't see an answer to.

My answer would be direction, strategy, and structure. That is our
purest deliverable. I would agree with you that like an architect, if
I only delivered the blue prints, but didn't do a model I would find
myself with some communication, implementation, and political
problems. Delivering a completed model is a heck of a lot more
powerful than delivering direction and specification.

Where I disagree with you is that models need to be owned by one
practice. I still don't buy that you can't have a practice around
interaction separate but collaborative with formative design
disciplines.

I do put IxD at the center of my universal models because I see
context of behavior philosophically as the primary driver for the
design of interactive systems. The rest communicates on top of that.
If you can't communicate the intent of the interaction design, you
don't have a product worth poop, but that just suggests the need for
stronger collaboration.

It is similar in advertising where the story or narrative that is
derived from copy is often the primary driver of a campaign that
informs the direction of the visual compositions. Storyboarding in
film, etc.

That isn't to say that there isn't a dialectic between direction
and form, but often (not always) the the starting point derives from
direction.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the improved ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=20369

15 Sep 2007 - 11:19am
Mark Schraad
2006

When I made the assertion that IxD has within it differential methods
and thinking (not sure what my exact words were) I was not claiming
the genesis of those methods, but the maturation and broadest use. I
also believe that this discipline has pushed many of them to an
additional level of refinement. That said, you nailed what is in my
mind likely the most powerful tool we use, that of context. Certainly
context is not new to ID or architecture, but it is not common in
many other design disciplines. I think it has much broader relevance
in those areas, but that is a topic for another day and another string.

I put IxD at the center of my model because (as grand a statement as
some may think it is) it is at the very forefront of design thinking
pushing the entire field of design.

Mark

On Sep 15, 2007, at 2:47 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> I do put IxD at the center of my universal models because I see
> context of behavior philosophically as the primary driver for the
> design of interactive systems. The rest communicates on top of that.
> If you can't communicate the intent of the interaction design, you
> don't have a product worth poop, but that just suggests the need for
> stronger collaboration.

15 Sep 2007 - 12:07pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Sep 15, 2007, at 9:19 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> I put IxD at the center of my model because (as grand a statement as
> some may think it is) it is at the very forefront of design thinking
> pushing the entire field of design.

Where is there any proof of this statement?

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

15 Sep 2007 - 12:38pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Well it is certainly outside of this forum - for no other reason that
we tend to be very IxD specific. Listen to the discussions at CMU,
IIT and Stanford. Read recent papers at Rotman, Harvard and Business
Week. Watch as the AIGA and the ISDA have moved to embrace IxD. Read
countless blogs on design. I am not sure Andrei how I can 'prove' my
or any other observation to you. You seem to reside primarily in the
software world.

Mark

On Sep 15, 2007, at 1:07 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> On Sep 15, 2007, at 9:19 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:
>
>> I put IxD at the center of my model because (as grand a statement as
>> some may think it is) it is at the very forefront of design thinking
>> pushing the entire field of design.
>
> Where is there any proof of this statement?
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
>
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