In case you are acronym challenged, that’s Interaction Design from an Industrial Design Point of View. What I’m talking about is the recently Coroflot post Interaction Designers, and How They Got that Way, which takes a few snarky jabs the profession. For example:

“Anyone who’s been following the creative job market at any point in the last few years is probably aware of the feeding frenzy currently going on, as companies large and small seek interaction designers to do…well…whatever it is that they do.”

I read this as more funny than offensive, because to a certain extent, it is difficult to describe exactly what an interaction designer does. Design for human behavior, improve the human condition, and facilitate connections between people are very difficult things to point to.

David Malouf, the IxDA’s vice president, identified the one crucial skill all Interaction Designers must have as “prototyping.” When pressed for greater specificity, none was to be found, and this in the end may be what makes IxD so useful. It is a continually self-evaluating field, but one content to let the process of asking be sufficient. Similarly, it is a field unwilling to cling to any particular tool, knowing that the selection of the right tool–even if it must be learned from scratch–is in fact the most important step.”

Definitely a funny comment from the IxD graduate student perspective. Learn tools from scratch is now second nature.

But in addition to tools, I would also add that interaction designers are technology and problem domain agnostic. We are useful all over the place, and not, as the articles suggests, indispensable.