Friday, May 23, 2008

Thoughts on Interaction Design

Paper available for PDF download ...

"Interaction Designers are the shapers of behavior. Behavior is a large idea, and may, at first blush, seem too large to warrant a single profession. But a profession has emerged nonetheless. This professional category includes the complexity of information architecture, the anthropologic desire to understand humanity, the altruistic nature of usability engineering, and the creation of dialogue. These topics are discussed in the four sections of this text.

Section One explores the foundation of the rich field of Interaction Design.

In Chapter One (Multiple Roots, and an Uncertain Future), the historic roots of this field are described, and the relationship between engineering and business is explored. Additionally, the future is painted as an unknown field of potential for this field, as the study of human behavior has become of a primary interest to the worlds of business and marketing in recent years.

Chapter Two (Computing and Human Computer Interaction) describes how Human Computer Interaction arose as a field advocating for usability and efficiency. This is paralleled by a similar growth in the field of Industrial Design, with emphasis placed on human factors and anthropometrics. Both fields have evolved as user-centered professions, laying the groundwork for the field of Interaction Design (which, as practiced presently, seems to combine both physical and digital design into artifacts, services or systems).

Section One is concluded with a contributed article by Chris Connors, entitled Interaction Design in an Engineering Centric World.

Section Two describes the three facets of Interaction Design as related to Usable, Useful and Desirable, and the Interaction Design Process that is used in creating designed artifacts.

Chapter Three (A Process for Thinking About People) discusses the procedural focus of Interaction Design as it pertains to designing what people want and need. The role of intuition is examined as compared to the necessity for ethnographic user research.

Chapter Four (Managing Complexity) examines the role technology plays in the development of Interaction Design solutions, with attention placed on the relatively new subfield of Information Architecture as applied to the design of technology-driven products.

Chapter Five (Shaping Aesthetics to Inform Experience) investigates the role aesthetics play in the development of Interaction Design solutions, specifically with regard to brand and identity.

Section Two is concluded with a contributed article by Justin Petro, entitled Interaction Design as Business Lubricant."    (Continued via Thoughts on Interaction Design)    [Usability Resources]

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