With the majority of my readings behind me—How Designers Think, The Reflective Practitioner, Thoughtful Interaction Design—I took a stab at rewriting my thesis paper abstract. I wrote the original abstract a few weeks ago, but it was still too abstract for…um…an abstract, so I didn’t share it.
The result is a shift, I believe, from my original proposal, but still within the same vein.
Interaction design’s strongest ties are to design. To understand the value of interaction design, the process of the interaction designer, and what is good interaction design, we need to understand the process of design, and the process of a designer. It is not a scientific process, and therefore difficult to describe the rigor of the process. Some ascribe the design process as a black box or a magical process where you put something in and without explanation a solution pops out. While the design process is difficult for designers to explain, there is strong evidence of a rigorous process that designers follow based on skill and knowledge that enhances a designer’s ability to consistently produce quality solutions. How do interaction designers make the leap that enables them to envision and design what could be? This paper will examine the process, what makes a good designer, how it applies to interaction, and what interaction designers can do to advance their design ability.
It’s still not quite right, but it’s getting there.
What I’m interested in most (maybe) is understanding the actual design process, the simultaneous problem framing and problem solving, and the rigor of design that differs from a scientific approach. I’m also curious about the role of design process models, and ways to communicate the process and the value of design to non-designers.
I have a laundry list of other things I find interesting, and a few more books to digest—The Design Way, Designerly Ways of Knowing. But I’m going to lay off the readings for a while, and begin making my thoughts more concrete through writing.