Defining Interaction Design

Written for MDes Seminar, taught at Carnegie Mellon University by Molly Steenson

Whenever I tell people I am studying Design, they inevitably ask, “what kind of design?” “Interaction Design” doesn’t seem to mean anything to non-designers, and the ambiguity of the term “interaction” makes it difficult to pin down. While the emphasis largely seems to be on designing digital interfaces, in my mind, interactions can be interpreted as any of the myriad of ways we interact with and experience the world around us, including people, technology, objects, environments, and organizations. As Interaction Designers, then, we can play some role in making those interactions and experiences more streamlined, human-centered, user-friendly, and delightful.

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