I got my control redesign grade: 88.

It’s a decent grade, though I’m not that concerned about the grade. Since giving my presentation, John’s question, “Who wants gas without flame?” has bubbled to the surface of my brain now and again.

So it wasn’t a surprised when his feedback said the problem with my solution was in the framing of the problem. “Push the boundaries of what is—try to go to the root of the problem by exploring a larger problem.”

That’s the challenge and the excitement of interaction design, I’m learning. Our job is to invent things that don’t exist. Interaction design is different from industrial design and communication design because of the aspect of invention. That is our real value, says JZ.

He reminded us that our projects will become part of our portfolio. He stressed the importance of demonstrating the ability to invent as absolutely critical in getting a job as an interaction designer.

Mobile Project

Our second project is a group project. My group is designing a mobile phone interface to help people find a coffee shop. We chose this of four options. The other three were finding a movie theater, finding tourists venues, and finding a music event.

We are currently conducting user research to help develop personas and frame the problem. It is proving to be rather challenging.

JZ told us to take risks. I’m trying to keep the idea of invention in the back of my mind, and also the recurrent question, “What is the real problem?”

In the next few weeks we will develop wireframes and flow diagrams, and ultimately create a Flash Lite application that we will load onto a mobile phone to see how our idea executes.