Interaction Designers: What is your elevator pitch?

17 Dec 2008 - 4:40pm
3 years ago
60 replies
4022 reads
R. Groot
2006

Interaction Designers,

how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social introduction?

Curious regards,
Rein

Comments

17 Dec 2008 - 4:44pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social introduction?

"I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why, and then
design how people will perform those tasks."

It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
interaction designer", and they look at you funny.

-r-

17 Dec 2008 - 4:56pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

"Remember the last time you were yelling at your <<insert device here>>?
Interaction Designers are being brought in to make sure that doesn't happen
again."

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:

> >
> > how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social introduction?
>
>
> "I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why, and then
> design how people will perform those tasks."
>
> It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
> interaction designer", and they look at you funny.
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

17 Dec 2008 - 5:10pm
Hugh Griffith
2007

I keep it simple:

"I help make web sites and applications easy to use, *and *look good."

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 2:56 PM, Shaun Bergmann <shaunbergmann at gmail.com>wrote:

> "Remember the last time you were yelling at your <<insert device here>>?
> Interaction Designers are being brought in to make sure that doesn't happen
> again."
>
> On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net>
> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social
> introduction?
> >
> >
> > "I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why, and
> then
> > design how people will perform those tasks."
> >
> > It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
> > interaction designer", and they look at you funny.
> >
> > -r-
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Hugh Griffith
User Interface Designer

17 Dec 2008 - 5:13pm
Katie Albers
2005

" I make sure the computer works to make *your* life easier, instead
of requiring you to make your work match the way the computer wants
things"

Also incomplete by a mile, but I find most people understand it
relatively well.

kt

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:44 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr wrote:

>>
>> how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social
>> introduction?
>
>
> "I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why,
> and then
> design how people will perform those tasks."
>
> It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
> interaction designer", and they look at you funny.
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

17 Dec 2008 - 6:27pm
Joanne Weaver
2007

This is the best thread! As a UX recruiter I get asked this question a lot
too + I've always wondered how to encapsulate it best.

I usually try to frame it in context to web designers, as that's what most
laypeople seem to recognize best, ie:
"UX folks create the underlying framework and skeleton and *logic* of a
site, and work very closely with the designers, to make it not only
beautiful, but usable, too."

Joanne

Joanne Weaver
President
The Joanne Weaver Group
UX + Creative Talent Acquisition
http://www.joanneweavergroup.com
+1 917 623 9369

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Katie
Albers
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:13 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Cc: R. Groot
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interaction Designers: What is your elevator
pitch?

" I make sure the computer works to make *your* life easier, instead
of requiring you to make your work match the way the computer wants
things"

Also incomplete by a mile, but I find most people understand it
relatively well.

kt

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:44 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr wrote:

>>
>> how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social
>> introduction?
>
>
> "I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why,
> and then
> design how people will perform those tasks."
>
> It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
> interaction designer", and they look at you funny.
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

17 Dec 2008 - 6:49pm
Alex ONeal
2008

I tell them, "I manage user experience. This means I not only help design
easily used and navigated applications, but also provide strategic input on
what your users value, what technology they use, how to make content
findable, even how to integrate major site changes with email and off-site
content campaigns. I do testing to provide solid feedback."

Sometimes I tell them "I organize information from the inside out to make
the most intuitive, useful, findable web site possible, and make sure it
coordinates with the rest of the user experience (email, atomized off-ste
content, etc.)." You have to be careful of your audience, though - a word
like "atomized" will intrigue some and lead to interesting conversation
about the "atomize and distribute" content model, but others may simply tune
you out.

If they ask for an example, I say, "A good UX manager will not only make
sure your new splash page matches your e-postcard and advertising, they'll
tell you the best time of the day and week to send the email and how
frequently your users like to be contacted about site updates." Or I might
talk about structuring information around the content and audience
("taxonomy" is another word to be careful using ;-) in order to make an
easy-to-use, easy-to-maintain site that's a joy to experience.

bests,

Alex O'Neal
UX manager/social network analyst

--
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is
now.

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:27 PM, Joanne Weaver <joanne at joanneweavergroup.com
> wrote:

> This is the best thread! As a UX recruiter I get asked this question a lot
> too + I've always wondered how to encapsulate it best.
>
> I usually try to frame it in context to web designers, as that's what most
> laypeople seem to recognize best, ie:
> "UX folks create the underlying framework and skeleton and *logic* of a
> site, and work very closely with the designers, to make it not only
> beautiful, but usable, too."
>
> Joanne
>
> Joanne Weaver
> President
> The Joanne Weaver Group
> UX + Creative Talent Acquisition
> http://www.joanneweavergroup.com
> +1 917 623 9369
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Katie
> Albers
> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:13 PM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Cc: R. Groot
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interaction Designers: What is your elevator
> pitch?
>
> " I make sure the computer works to make *your* life easier, instead
> of requiring you to make your work match the way the computer wants
> things"
>
> Also incomplete by a mile, but I find most people understand it
> relatively well.
>
> kt
>
> Katie Albers
> Founder & Principal Consultant
> FirstThought
> User Experience Strategy & Project Management
> 310 356 7550
> katie at firstthought.com
>
>
>
>
>
> On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:44 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr wrote:
>
> >>
> >> how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social
> >> introduction?
> >
> >
> > "I figure out what a web site or application needs to do, and why,
> > and then
> > design how people will perform those tasks."
> >
> > It's incomplete by a mile, but it works well after you say, "I'm an
> > interaction designer", and they look at you funny.
> >
> > -r-
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

17 Dec 2008 - 6:53pm
Tori Breitling
2007

My party version: "I make the web easier to use... one page at a time."

tori

17 Dec 2008 - 7:54pm
Mitchell Joe
2007

I mention the example of stove top controls in Norman's The Design of
Everyday Things. (If the formation of the controls resembles the
formation of the burners (2x2 not 4x1), then it's easier to figure out
which dial controls the right rear burner.) Or the (push? pull? where
to push?) doors. I think it's about saving people little bits of time
here and there. And of course you can do it on webpages as well.

"You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right"
-Bob Dylan

We're the people who think twice.

Mitch

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Tori Breitling
<tori.breitling at gmail.com> wrote:
> My party version: "I make the web easier to use... one page at a time."
>
> tori
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Dec 2008 - 3:45am
Mike Padgett
2008

Strictly speaking, I think of myself as an Information Designer, which means I allow myself the luxury of being a little more vague and abstract:

"My job is to convert data into knowledge"

Of course you can see that it's probably more effective at stopping awkward elevator conversations than starting business ones. And it's unlikely it would ever get me a date; fortunately when I met my partner I was doing a different job...

>Interaction Designers,
>
>how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social introduction?
>
>Curious regards,
>Rein
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

18 Dec 2008 - 7:38am
Andy Polaine
2008

I don't get invited to parties.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

18 Dec 2008 - 9:16am
Tonia M Bartz
2008

I used to get a lot of blank stares when I would give my job title.
For years many of my friends and family weren't quite sure. Then this
past summer I went to the zoo with my fam. They had arrows that were
supposed to give you the best complete path through the zoo but
instead we got lost. I took that opportunity to explain. I told them I
make sure things like that don't happen to users. It worked! Now I try
to use everyday examples since interaction design is more than
computers. I think I am done hearing "so you are good at computers."
*sigh*

On Thu, 18 Dec 2008 04:38:59, Andy Polaine <andy at polaine.com> wrote:
> I don't get invited to parties.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Sent from my mobile device

Tonia M. Bartz
tonia.m.bartz at gmail.com

17 Dec 2008 - 6:50pm
Jane Mountain
2008

I just say, it's like a normal architect, but instead of buildings, I
plan websites.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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17 Dec 2008 - 6:22pm
Jen Randolph
2008

I have a number of elevator pitches. I don't prefer one over the
other - I kind of flip through them like a rolodex. These, however,
are some of my most successful ones:

"I help clients make their products/sites more user-friendly"

"When it comes to web or application design, I advocate on the
user's behalf, rather than the client's"

Once I mention that I'm an interaction designer, I usually have all
ears at the table because most people have never heard of that
before. So, post-elevator pitch, I elaborate with something along the
lines of:

"I help clients figure out what kinds of information needs to be on
the site, how it should be organized, and how people will navigate
through it in order to have the best experience possible."

"I interview real people (or target users) and find out what they
want and need from a site like the one I'm supposed to build, and
then I translate those needs into design/business goals for the
client"

Then I finish off with something like:

"I find it very rewarding because I get to help improve people's
experiences with websites/products/life"

And then we all invariably start to talk about websites that we hate.

-Jen

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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18 Dec 2008 - 11:00am
SemanticWill
2007

Plan of design?

will evans
emotive architect &
hedonic designer
will at semanticfoundry.com
617.281.1281
twitter: semanticwill
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: wkevans4
skype: semanticwill
_________________________
Sent via iPhone

On Dec 17, 2008, at 3:50 PM, Jane Mountain <awry at rocketmail.com> wrote:

> I just say, it's like a normal architect, but instead of buildings, I
> plan websites.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

18 Dec 2008 - 12:53am
Uday Gajendar
2007

You mean for holiday parties coming up? Here's what I usually say (or
some variation thereof):

"I design attractive, intuitive software for digital products, like
websites, desktop apps, etc."

(note that I distinctly say "I design" in the active voice)

And then I throw in some names like Frog, Adobe, Oracle, where I've
worked. Finally, I just pull out my iPhone. Seriously. Works every
time!

If the other person is genuinely interested and wants to learn more,
then I go on about user experience, humanism, rhetoric, etc. but no
way do I mention that stuff right off the bat! :-) Some liquid
courage often helps too...hehe.

-uday

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

18 Dec 2008 - 11:35am
Michael Micheletti
2006

I've been known to say, "I design software and websites that people don't
hate."

That's usually gets a good conversation going. In design circles, we all
speak about usability and delight as if these were commonplace. But out in
the world, everyone works with software or websites that drive them crazy. I
often get an earful, and learn something.
Michael Micheletti
On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 1:40 PM, R. Groot <rein.groot at gmail.com> wrote:

> Interaction Designers,
>
> how do you introduce the work you do when you have a social introduction?
>
> Curious regards,
> Rein
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Dec 2008 - 12:18pm
Christian Ellis
2008

I'm with Tonia.

Unless the person asking doesn't already know software and therefore
already knows what usability/UX/ID is. Yo either get a drool face or
the good ole "Oh you work in IT" epiphany.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

18 Dec 2008 - 4:29pm
Michael Williamson
2008

I frequently say, "I make computers more human so that humans can act less like computers."

18 Dec 2008 - 7:13pm
Anonymous

I plan and build online experiences for people by focusing on making
things easy to use and enjoyable.

I do that by listening to people and working to incorporate solutions
to meet the needs of the people that will use it.

I pretty much just love efficiency and optimizing things for others
as best as I can.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

18 Dec 2008 - 7:27pm
Dan Saffer
2003

"I make technology easy and fun to use."

(via Matt "Blackbelt" Jones, explaining what he does to a taxi driver)

18 Dec 2008 - 7:41pm
Angel Marquez
2008

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
depends on the unreasonable man.an.

On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> "I make technology easy and fun to use."
>
> (via Matt "Blackbelt" Jones, explaining what he does to a taxi driver)
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Dec 2008 - 11:45pm
Krystal Higgins
2008

I also stick with a design/ease-of use comment:

"I create the visual experience of websites and software
applications"

And, of course, I augment around this basic comment depending on the
person asking (ie business acquaintance vs. my mom).

But yes, "user experience/interaction design" is still a relatively
new concept for those outside of the industry.

Cheers!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

19 Dec 2008 - 12:01am
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 9:16 AM, Tonia M. Bartz <tonia.m.bartz at gmail.com> wrote:
> I used to get a lot of blank stares when I would give my job title.

I say my job title, wait for the pause, then shout "I ARCHITECT
INFORMATION! MUHAHAHAHAHA!"
while making puppetmaster gestures with both hands.

Scott
--
"In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you
proceed with balance and stealth." -Patti Smith

19 Dec 2008 - 1:42am
jstanford
2003

That's exactly what I say! Sometimes I follow up with "You know that person
who figures out what goes where on the screen on sites like Amazon so that
you can figure out what to do? That would be me."

Julie

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

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan
Saffer
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:28 PM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interaction Designers: What is your elevator
pitch?

"I make technology easy and fun to use."

(via Matt "Blackbelt" Jones, explaining what he does to a taxi driver)
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

19 Dec 2008 - 9:21am
kimbieler
2007

I'm stealing this one:

On Dec 18, 2008, at 11:35 AM, Michael Micheletti wrote:

> I've been known to say, "I design software and websites that people
> don't
> hate."

-- Kim

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
www.kbgd.com
twitter: @feadog
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

19 Dec 2008 - 10:37am
Morten Just
2008

I figure out where to put buttons on websites, then decide what they
should say and do

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

19 Dec 2008 - 3:12pm
jamin
2007

I say: "I'm a designer," or, "I design stuff."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

19 Dec 2008 - 3:53pm
stauciuc
2006

I'm stealing this one and a few others.

Until now I've used:
"I design (technology-enabled) things that are useful and easy to use".
"I design the behavior of websites/devices/etc."
"Have you seen the iPhone? ..."

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Kim Bieler <kimbieler at mindspring.com>wrote:

> I'm stealing this one:
>
> On Dec 18, 2008, at 11:35 AM, Michael Micheletti wrote:
>
> I've been known to say, "I design software and websites that people don't
>> hate."
>>
>
>
>
> -- Kim
>
> + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> www.kbgd.com
> twitter: @feadog
> + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

19 Dec 2008 - 4:32pm
Bryan J Busch
2006

I have been saying "I use science to make Web sites better," because
people aren't pushing the science angle enough, I think.

I want people to know that there are reasons why we put things in
grid layouts, and the logo links to the home page, etc.

But things are moving farther away from the page, and the site, so
I'll have to re-work it somehow.

I really like Michael Williamson's ""I make computers more human
so that humans can act less like computers."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

19 Dec 2008 - 5:57pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 19, 2008, at 1:32 PM, Bryan J Busch wrote:

> I have been saying "I use science to make Web sites better," because
> people aren't pushing the science angle enough, I think.
>
> I want people to know that there are reasons why we put things in
> grid layouts, and the logo links to the home page, etc.

I think people don't push the science angle because interaction design
isn't a science. It's an applied art based on a small set of known
principles, some of which are based on science, but most are not.

Unlike science, the results of a design process (and often even the
exact process itself) aren't repeatable. Context of use (and creation)
are incredibly important in design, in a way that they typically
aren't in the scientific process.

Dan

19 Dec 2008 - 7:02pm
Angel Marquez
2008

So, are you saying their is no underlying design behind the cosmos and say
something like horticulture? Aren't science and nature friends, partners?

Wouldn't the ultimate design objective be to create something that
appears unrepeatable but the underlying pattern could never be discovered,
uncertainty principle esque...

I've always thought this line from the movie Tron would be an accurate
design moto:
Kevin Flynn: Who's that guy?Program: That's Tron. He fights for the Users.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td3J2bEzyFo

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker about forms and used it as an
opportunity to open it up to system design in general. I said 'You know when
you are surfing the web and you come across a form you have to fill out, do
you frown or smile?" and he said bright eyed "frown"

I said "I turn that frown upside down sunshine, you are going to be smiling
if I was involved in the design process".

I also said something to the affect that I wanted to make peoples
interaction experiences pleasant and remove all frown possibilities...

19 Dec 2008 - 7:35pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 19, 2008, at 4:02 PM, Angel Marquez wrote:

> So, are you saying their is no underlying design behind the cosmos
> and say something like horticulture? Aren't science and nature
> friends, partners?

Science is the discovery of the natural. We're veering onto theology
here, but there is no "design" in the natural because nothing was
created specifically to meet a human need. Instead, humans adapted to
the natural world, which evolved to meet its own needs which are
determined by natural laws. Of course, there are exceptions to this:
man-manipulated natural objects: everything from corn to dogs and bio-
engineered tomatoes.

But for the most part, the products we make (houses, bridges,
websites, toasters) are unnatural. They obey the laws of nature, of
course, because...well, they aren't magic. But, with the exception of
perhaps some feats of engineering, they aren't created only by science.

Our work can be guided by science: "soft" sciences like sociology and
anthropology and even harder sciences such as cognitive psychology.
But to call what we do a science is erroneous. There is no repeatable
formula that will expose a "natural" product because there is no such
thing.

The best patterns in our work do seem to emerge organically, but that
doesn't mean they are organic.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Principal, Kicker Studio
http://www.kickerstudio.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

19 Dec 2008 - 7:40pm
Steve Baty
2009

'Design' implies purpose or intent. There are organizing principles to the
cosmos; and chaos theory, or non-linear dynamical systems theory,
demonstrates that quite complex - and unpredictable - behaviour can result
from a few simple rules. In fact, we can predict the point at which things
will become unpredictable, but then we're out of luck.

However, that isn't "science" in the context that Dan was using it, I
believe. If I understand his reference correctly, and the original comment
regarding science that triggered it, he was referring to scientific method -
hypothesis, experiment, observation, conclusion - and I'd agree that the
role of science in interaction design is not that central, whilst still be
useful in many contexts.

Steve

2008/12/20 Angel Marquez <angel.marquez at gmail.com>

> So, are you saying their is no underlying design behind the cosmos and say
> something like horticulture? Aren't science and nature friends, partners?
>
> Wouldn't the ultimate design objective be to create something that
> appears unrepeatable but the underlying pattern could never be discovered,
> uncertainty principle esque...
>

--
Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal Consultant | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061
292 | E: stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty

Blog: http://docholdsfourth.blogspot.com
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
UX Book Club: http://uxbookclub.org/ - Read, discuss, connect.

19 Dec 2008 - 7:40pm
Angel Marquez
2008

lol
>>There is no repeatable formula that will expose a "natural" product
because there is no such thing.

Yet.

>>nothing was created specifically to meet a human need

I'm not sure if I agree with this. I just ate a banana and it was good. Did
my ancestors not eat bananas?

I am enjoying your book 'designing for interaction'

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 4:35 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Dec 19, 2008, at 4:02 PM, Angel Marquez wrote:
>
> So, are you saying their is no underlying design behind the cosmos and say
>> something like horticulture? Aren't science and nature friends, partners?
>>
>
> Science is the discovery of the natural. We're veering onto theology here,
> but there is no "design" in the natural because nothing was created
> specifically to meet a human need. Instead, humans adapted to the natural
> world, which evolved to meet its own needs which are determined by natural
> laws. Of course, there are exceptions to this: man-manipulated natural
> objects: everything from corn to dogs and bio-engineered tomatoes.
>
> But for the most part, the products we make (houses, bridges, websites,
> toasters) are unnatural. They obey the laws of nature, of course,
> because...well, they aren't magic. But, with the exception of perhaps some
> feats of engineering, they aren't created only by science.
>
> Our work can be guided by science: "soft" sciences like sociology and
> anthropology and even harder sciences such as cognitive psychology. But to
> call what we do a science is erroneous. There is no repeatable formula that
> will expose a "natural" product because there is no such thing.
>
> The best patterns in our work do seem to emerge organically, but that
> doesn't mean they are organic.
>
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Principal, Kicker Studio
> http://www.kickerstudio.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
>
>
>

19 Dec 2008 - 8:27pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Dec 19, 2008, at 4:40 PM, Angel Marquez wrote:

> >>nothing was created specifically to meet a human need
>
> I'm not sure if I agree with this. I just ate a banana and it was
> good. Did my ancestors not eat bananas?

I'm sure they did, but the banana wasn't "designed" to be eaten by
humans, to fulfill our hunger. (Your theology may vary.)

Like all plants, its purpose is to reproduce itself, and the fruit
evolved as an efficient means to assist the plant in doing that.

Dan

19 Dec 2008 - 8:38pm
Angel Marquez
2008

What good is a banana that doesn't get eaten?

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Dec 19, 2008, at 4:40 PM, Angel Marquez wrote:
>
> >>nothing was created specifically to meet a human need
>
> I'm not sure if I agree with this. I just ate a banana and it was good. Did
> my ancestors not eat bananas?
>
>
> I'm sure they did, but the banana wasn't "designed" to be eaten by humans,
> to fulfill our hunger. (Your theology may vary.)
>
> Like all plants, its purpose is to reproduce itself, and the fruit evolved
> as an efficient means to assist the plant in doing that.
>
> Dan
>
>
>

19 Dec 2008 - 10:04pm
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 8:38 PM, Angel Marquez <angel.marquez at gmail.com> wrote:
> What good is a banana that doesn't get eaten?
>

Ask the banana trees! :)

Scott

--
"In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you
proceed with balance and stealth." -Patti Smith

19 Dec 2008 - 11:03pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

This is getting way off topic.. but I just have to post this link in
support of Dan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfv-Qn1M58I

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
> On Dec 19, 2008, at 4:40 PM, Angel Marquez wrote:
>
>> >>nothing was created specifically to meet a human need
>>
>> I'm not sure if I agree with this. I just ate a banana and it was good.
>> Did my ancestors not eat bananas?
>
> I'm sure they did, but the banana wasn't "designed" to be eaten by humans,
> to fulfill our hunger. (Your theology may vary.)
>
> Like all plants, its purpose is to reproduce itself, and the fruit evolved
> as an efficient means to assist the plant in doing that.
>
> Dan
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com
twitter: emenel

20 Dec 2008 - 9:43am
Todd Warfel
2003

Unless the entire system was designed to support itself and humans
were figured into that mix. Theoretically it's possible.

Makes me think of farming and natural ecosystems. Grass feeds the
cattle. The cattle's waste feeds the grass. It's an entire system that
works best when all parts, dependent on each other, are present.

Just a thought.

On Dec 19, 2008, at 7:35 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> We're veering onto theology here, but there is no "design" in the
> natural because nothing was created specifically to meet a human need.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

20 Dec 2008 - 9:45am
Todd Warfel
2003

Elements can have more than one purpose. The banana could have been
designed for the purpose of reproducing itself and sustaining other
life, human or otherwise.

On Dec 19, 2008, at 8:27 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> its purpose is to reproduce itself,

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

20 Dec 2008 - 10:16am
SemanticWill
2007

Theoretically the flying purple spagetti monster designed the banana :-)

will evans
emotive architect &
hedonic designer
will at semanticfoundry.com
617.281.1281
twitter: semanticwill
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: wkevans4
skype: semanticwill
_________________________
Sent via iPhone

On Dec 20, 2008, at 9:43 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>
wrote:

> Unless the entire system was designed to support itself and humans
> were figured into that mix. Theoretically it's possible.
>
> Makes me think of farming and natural ecosystems. Grass feeds the
> cattle. The cattle's waste feeds the grass. It's an entire system
> that works best when all parts, dependent on each other, are present.
>
> Just a thought.
>
> On Dec 19, 2008, at 7:35 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:
>
>> We're veering onto theology here, but there is no "design" in the
>> natural because nothing was created specifically to meet a human
>> need.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

20 Dec 2008 - 12:38pm
Todd Warfel
2003

I thought it was the flying purple people eater.

On Dec 20, 2008, at 10:16 AM, Will Evans wrote:

> Theoretically the flying purple spagetti monster designed the
> banana :-)

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

20 Dec 2008 - 1:36pm
Katie Albers
2005

Right! The Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't purple! <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_spaghetti_monster
>! Blasphemer!

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Dec 20, 2008, at 9:38 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> I thought it was the flying purple people eater.
>
> On Dec 20, 2008, at 10:16 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>
>> Theoretically the flying purple spagetti monster designed the
>> banana :-)
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

20 Dec 2008 - 3:33pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

I design "the Easy Button"

20 Dec 2008 - 3:52pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

On second thought:

The appropriate answer (and it's all about context, isn't it?) would have to
be ... "It Depends on the Audience"

General Public: "You've seen the TV ad for that Easy Button? I do that."

IT Manager: "Making your 50,000 lines of code usable by Normal People"

Marketing: "I'm the Competitive Edge."

CIO: "What's the main difference between a conventional IT shop and a
professional software development house? Me."

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Vaughan" <vaughan1 at optonline.net>
To: "IxDA Discuss" <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:33 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interaction Designers: What is your elevator
pitch?

>I design "the Easy Button"
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

19 Dec 2008 - 3:28pm
Andrew S Allen
2008

I've played with a few different responses%u2014trying to give the
field its due recognition. I've attempted going into detail about
the intersection of human needs and technology be it online, with a
product, or in an environment and how everything around us involves
interactions with objects, people, and places.

But to those who's minds refuse to be blown, I tell them:

"I make complex technology easy to use."

Ultimately, there is some piece of equipment, device, or website that
a person considers to be a very important part of their life. Whatever
it may be, let them know it took a brilliant mind to bring it to life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

18 Dec 2008 - 7:34pm
Matthew Ventre
2008

I typically give some anecdotal explanation about a product or web
site that is particularly frustrating and how I work to improve
things like that.

Reaching common understanding with your inquisitor as quickly as
possible is key to keeping them on board and not just thinking of you
as another "web designer."

Chances are, they'll walk away thinking you're a certain
"special" kind of web designer.

Better than nothing!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

21 Dec 2008 - 11:49am
Mayur Karnik
2007

Most people I meet are ones who know about design. So I just megaphone what
I have read somewhere before (unfortunately, I forget where)...

"Design is about giving form to an idea. Communication designers give visual
form to an idea, product designers give structural phone to an idea and
interaction designers give behavioral form to an idea.. for instance if you
look at Iphone (of course u know Iphone), then.. blah blah blah"

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 6:04 AM, Matthew Ventre <matthew.ventre at gmail.com>wrote:

> I typically give some anecdotal explanation about a product or web
> site that is particularly frustrating and how I work to improve
> things like that.
>
> Reaching common understanding with your inquisitor as quickly as
> possible is key to keeping them on board and not just thinking of you
> as another "web designer."
>
> Chances are, they'll walk away thinking you're a certain
> "special" kind of web designer.
>
> Better than nothing!
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

22 Dec 2008 - 12:53am
DampeS8N
2008

"I'm an interaction designer"

"What's that?"

"I design how things should behave and then get ignored by everyone
else."

"Oh, like what?"

"Like that your TV remote should have a dial, like a mouse wheel,
for volume and channel changing. Because you can skip ahead much
faster and count how many notches you've clicked. It could even
depress so an on-screen number could rapidly change, and then
pressing shoots off to that channel."

"That's a good idea, why aren't they like that?"

"Because they ignore me and tell me it isn't consistent with how
every other remote works."

"Oh..."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

22 Dec 2008 - 2:16pm
Anonymous

Dan, are you saying that there is no repeatable process involved in
interaction design?

The scientific method, if that's what you meant by "science", can
be repeatedly applied to help explain many occurances in nature, such
as gravity or magnetism, or the lifecycle of a star vs the lifecycle
of a banana tree. The scientific process is the same, but the
outcomes are different, just as (I think) it happens in interaction
design.

As for the banana vs human argument, perhaps we were designed to eat
bananas - not bananas were designed to be eaten by us....

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36473

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