Do you regard "Interaction Design" as good namefor your design practice? else, what's your prefer?

11 Oct 2008 - 2:44pm
6 years ago
3 replies
708 reads
Mary Deaton
2008

I do contract work for both private clients and through an agent. My resume
and my bio say "user experience specialist." I am finding that "user
experience" has taken hold in mainstream business and so people to whom I
pitch proposals understand it. To them, of course, I describe the exact
tasks I will do for their project and these can include requirements
gathering, user research, information architecture, interaction design,
wireframing, and usability evaluation and testing.

I find that if I use the term "designer," people expect me to be a graphic
designer - to do the visual design of the product, all the icons, and such.
I am a poor graphic designer and I prefer to work with someone who
specializes in visual design to provide that component of the project.

My experience using "interface designer" has also lead people to assume I am
a visual designer, but in many IT departments and small companies, and
interface designer is the developer who creates the interface. When I look
at requests for contractors that say "web designer," they want someone who
does everything I do and does visual design and the coding.

I believe that because many of us do multiple tasks within the overall
design and development of a product, we have to find a term that encompasses
this breadth of skills and experience.

Mary Deaton
Manager, STC Usability and User Experience Community
Deaton Interactive Design

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Malouf" <dave at ixda.org>
To: <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 5:13 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Do you regard "Interaction Design" as good
namefor your design practice? else, what's your prefer?

> Before I started doing hardware design, I said "software designer".
> Like Josh I thought it helpful to focus on the product and found that
> "interface" was too technical.
>
> Now that I do hardware, I'm "stuck" with "interaction designer"
> and the labor (of love) of explaining to people exactly what I do. In
> a way, It is actually a great opening ...
>
> "I'm an Interaction Designer"
> "What's that?"
> "Blah blah blah ... [chance to really teach people]."
>
> What I learned from "software designer" is that many people were
> left thinking I was a developer ... same for UI Designer, etc. This
> way I get to explain my role more completely. Sometimes a vague
> opening allows for a strong finish. :)
>
> -- dave
>
>

Comments

11 Oct 2008 - 10:07pm
Jarod Tang
2007

Hi Mary,

Appreciate your idea very much.
More and more, I found the term "use design/er" makes this situation
easier for me. I can explain what i do without difficulty [compare to
visual design/interface design, i design the use of the artifact], and
it's also avoid the problem on how i design the experience ( cause
it's felt by user, I can design to enable but cant design it
directly), while move my focus from interaction itself more to the
user side ( instead of the object side), which give more positive to
evaluate and seek the design solution.

Cheers,
-- Jarod

On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 3:44 AM, MMDeaton <mmdeaton at mmdeaton.com> wrote:
> I do contract work for both private clients and through an agent. My resume
> and my bio say "user experience specialist." I am finding that "user
> experience" has taken hold in mainstream business and so people to whom I
> pitch proposals understand it. To them, of course, I describe the exact
> tasks I will do for their project and these can include requirements
> gathering, user research, information architecture, interaction design,
> wireframing, and usability evaluation and testing.
>
> I find that if I use the term "designer," people expect me to be a graphic
> designer - to do the visual design of the product, all the icons, and such.
> I am a poor graphic designer and I prefer to work with someone who
> specializes in visual design to provide that component of the project.
>
> My experience using "interface designer" has also lead people to assume I am
> a visual designer, but in many IT departments and small companies, and
> interface designer is the developer who creates the interface. When I look
> at requests for contractors that say "web designer," they want someone who
> does everything I do and does visual design and the coding.
>
> I believe that because many of us do multiple tasks within the overall
> design and development of a product, we have to find a term that encompasses
> this breadth of skills and experience.
>
> Mary Deaton
> Manager, STC Usability and User Experience Community
> Deaton Interactive Design
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Malouf" <dave at ixda.org>
> To: <discuss at ixda.org>
> Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 5:13 AM
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Do you regard "Interaction Design" as good
> namefor your design practice? else, what's your prefer?
>
>
>> Before I started doing hardware design, I said "software designer".
>> Like Josh I thought it helpful to focus on the product and found that
>> "interface" was too technical.
>>
>> Now that I do hardware, I'm "stuck" with "interaction designer"
>> and the labor (of love) of explaining to people exactly what I do. In
>> a way, It is actually a great opening ...
>>
>> "I'm an Interaction Designer"
>> "What's that?"
>> "Blah blah blah ... [chance to really teach people]."
>>
>> What I learned from "software designer" is that many people were
>> left thinking I was a developer ... same for UI Designer, etc. This
>> way I get to explain my role more completely. Sometimes a vague
>> opening allows for a strong finish. :)
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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>

--
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

12 Oct 2008 - 10:24am
kmohnkern
2008

For Jack's reasons I go with Interaction Designer.

"Architect" sounds like an analog rather than what I actually do. In
fact, I sometimes describe what I do as analogous to an architect.
I'll also use terms like "user experience" in my explanations, which
makes people say "Oh - user friendly!" "Yes, exactly."

"Interface Designer" implies, I think, that I primarily design screen
visuals when really that's just a minor aspect of my job (and I do
that only when there's nobody else on the team who can do it better).

I'm an Interaction Designer and it takes some explanation but I'm okay
with that.

ken

12 Oct 2008 - 3:07pm
j.scot
2008

I prefer User Experience Strategist. Sometimes I'm doing IA, sometimes
IxD, sometimes visual design... sometimes even working with the back-
end crew because, as we all know, a poorly executed back-end can
*also* precipitate bad user experiences. There are many ways to skin a
cat (and I certainly don't know them all), but thinking critically
about user experience -- from all angles -- in order to devise a
strategy that hopefully ensures a good one, is what I'm all about.

scot

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