Let’s talk about Design !

An architect transitioning to Interaction Design. Design to me transcends beyond words. I guess it reflects in my routine(first three days of college and i am constantly designing/re-designing my routine). Sometimes design is about making choices for the aftermath it holds. Like yesterday i had to choose between reading up for Molly’s Class next day or to post on Medium. I chose to read up for the following class. Not that posting on Medium was not important, it was just more important to read up.

What is DESIGN ?

I have no constant definition of Design. It is volatile but effective. Design to me is consciousness. If you observe things, you will make them better. But in this design, consciousness equation, there is a variable which affects the equation. This variable is “TIME”.

With “TIME” comes new needs, aspirations and sensibilities. I think Time is one important factor to validate DESIGN. Now for the objective part, Design is art that provides a Solution. Design could be built on a new need or better(lies in the eyes of the beholder) the already existing.

What is INTERACTION ?

Sometimes i go to basic concepts when i don’t understand something, with basic i mean really basic, like elementary school basic. That how i have learned about nebulas, coding, electronics, everything. I understand interaction on an atomic level.

I will try to explain; When two atoms interact, they share their valency and bond if they are compatible. Sometimes this bond is strong, sometimes it is weak sometimes it is explosive.

Interaction as a “Phenomena” is the effect two atoms have on each other. But to understand in the context of Design, it is the influence one has on the other.

Interaction is mostly Tangible, however, interactions can be intangible but very difficult to identify as it can be personal.

“Interaction Design”

Now for the interesting part. Before exposing myself, i want to tell you something about myself. I have pliable opinions, mostly reasoned by scientific and rational thinking. I have opinions fueled by my pond of knowledge. This pond will definitely expand and so will my opinion about Interaction Design.

Whenever we talk about Interaction Design, it revolves around products(digital or physical) and humans. I think Interaction Design interventions will always have the component of a product. Although, this product does not have to be Physical or Digital. Product manifestation could be as different as a strategy, story or even a song. However, since it has been designed, it is meant to address an issue (a solution).

Looking forward to modifying this statement by the end of the semester.

NOV 27

Today we are close to this semester end. I remember i explained interaction design by breaking it etymologically. First semester at CMU was full of learning but most importantly it rewired my understanding on Interaction Design. People, companies, job profiles have defined interaction design as :

(by GOOGLE)

  • Helps to define the user model and user interface for new and existing Google products and features.
  • Develops high level and/or detailed storyboards, mockups, and prototypes to effectively communicate interaction and design ideas.
  • Gauge the usability of new and existing products and making constructive suggestions for change.

(by LinkedIN)

  • Effectively communicate conceptual ideas, design rationale and the specifics of user-centered design process
  • Create holistic design solutions that address business, brand and user requirements
  • Work with web developers and engineers to deliver final products

(by Mercedes Benz)

  • The Interaction designer will work with user experience experts and researchers, UX Software Engineers and other engineers on a wide range of implementations and technologies.
  • You will provide input ranging from conceptual storyboards to interactive prototypes and UI flow documentation. In our team we aim at finding paths to bring disruptive user interaction concepts and technologies into Mercedes-Benz products.

I looked up these job posting on Linkedin. These three companies work in different sectors thus their demands from Interaction Design are reflected from the kind of work they do. This indicates that an aspiring Interaction Designer shall always be updated about the field he/she wants to work in.

This semester we understood the origin of computers alongside social transformations and how those values get embedded in the creation of times. We understood solely technical driven developments could lead to clash between product and user’s values and ethics. We also saw when narrow scoped developments scale, they could lead to some detrimental impacts in society (discussing filter bubbles). These things indicate the need of well rounded Interaction Designers.

In a nutshell, Interaction Design to me is a lifestyle which involves constant observation and creative creation throughout interaction designer’s lifetime and an Interaction Designer as a well rounded individual always pushing to acquire broader knowledge.