Sunday, August 06, 2006

Interaction Design: An Introduction

An interview wit the author of a new UI book ...

"Adaptive Path's Dan Saffer explains the emerging field of designing interactive systems for everyday products and services like iPods and TiVo

Liz Danzico: How would you describe interaction design? And why is it important to write this book now?

Dan Saffer: I have a fairly expansive view of what interaction design is, which is that interaction design is about people: how people connect through products and services. Now, what does that mean?

Interaction design is about behavior, how things work. I push a button on my mobile phone and something happens. Or I enter a fast food restaurant, walk up to the counter, and something happens. Defining what happens when a person uses a product or service is what interaction designers do.

The reason we do it is to enable connections — interactions — between people. People want email and instant messaging and their mobile phones to be easy and fun to use. They want their trips to the DMV to be pleasant and efficient. They want the check-in kiosks in airports to work smoothly and well. All of these things — and many, many more — are about connecting people and helping them communicate better between themselves and the world.

This book is important now because we need new interaction designers and people who understand what interaction design encompasses. Technology is spreading into all corners of our lives, whether we want it to or not. Political, social, and economic forces are making it so. In order to make all this new technology useful and usable by humans, it needs to be designed with humans in mind. That's where interaction designers come in."   (Continued via Business Week)               [Usability Resources]

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