I saw a screening of the film Objectified, after which the director, Gary Hustwit, and two of the designers featured in the film, Bill Moggridge (IDEO) and Dan Formosa (Smart Design), did a little Q&A.

One audience member asked Moggridge to reflect on defining interaction design as a discipline. In his response, he said that it was necessary at the time to define it as a discipline because software was so new and no one knew how to design it. But now that it’s pervasive, interaction design as a discipline may no longer be necessary.

As someone with a masters degree in interaction design, this caught my attention. Though because I have a design job that is neither industrial design nor communication design, it seems that interaction design, or at least some form of design that deals with the less tangible, is needed. However, his statement speaks to the many communication and industrial designers who feel they have had the same focus on behavior that interaction designers, including myself, like to refer to as their domain.

With the interaction design community still struggling to define itself, this statement is worth some thought.