Me, Myself & IxD

Before CMU

Since I played with my first new Macintosh II, I’ve always fascinated by high-tech toys and new technology. Luckily, I had a chance to work for a big tech company as soon as I finished my undergrad and spent several years for application store service management. While doing UX researches for our service, I felt a strong need that I want to learn deeper about user experience design. I attended weekly design meetups and taught myself with several books. Coincidentally, all the authors of my books are CMU design school alumni. I decided to take the program at CMU and now here I am.

Get Inspired

A part of El Camino de Santiago.

It was just right after being accepted to the design program that I had more concrete interest in user experience design. Last April, I went on the most amazing journey I have ever taken, traveling from El Camino de Santiago. Pilgrims walk on the ancient route stretching more than 770km from the French-Spanish border to the west end of Spain, at Santiago de Compostela. Over the course of this long journey, I visited more than 50 villages, interacted with people from all around the world and discovered fascinating legends and stories about each town. This experience changed my idea of traveling and inspired me to begin thinking about how to shift the paradigm of spending one’s vacation.

Design for Unique Experience

Airbnb’s new ad video shows that they provide unique experience to travelers

Ever since then I have more interest in designing the real-world experience, which relates to service design. During my first year at CMU, I did my own projects about creating new travel experience and collected opinions from people from all around the world. It was quite interesting that many people picked ‘interaction with local people’ as the most exciting experience while traveling, regardless of their cultural background. Through the research, I found that people get more pleasure from emotional, nicely unexpected and unique experience. It is not surprising that Airbnb recently changed their catchphrase as “Don’t go there, live there”.

Interaction at Touch Points

When I worked for my company, I only considered interactions happen between human and smartphones. However, most major online services these days provide values to their customers through various touch points. They might be personal devices, people in the space or even the space itself. And people interact with their service provider at those touch points.

Travel is the best topic to think about designing interactions for all different kinds of touch points. In most case, people get travel information from their smart devices and do activities in their traveling area. If they experience any annoying moment in the middle, their overall rating on their travel will be lower. That’s why I need to think about both human-device interaction and that happening in the real world.

Summary

My definition of interaction design is a type of design about providing pleasant experience to users. Considering most online-based services expand their touch points to actual space and physical objects, I want to focus on creating consistent, integrated service experience from online to offline.