Jon Kolko on Design

by Luke Wroblewski September 26, 2006

In a recent interview on Digit, Jon Kolko had some great things to say about Interaction Design and the existing perceptions of designer’s roles. Many of his comments echoed recent discussions on Functioning Form:

On Interaction Design & Language:

“Interaction Design is the creation of a dialogue between a person and a product, service or system. This dialogue is usually found in the world of behavior, and deals with issues such as experience, time, complexity and emotion.

Simply, interaction designers manage complexity. They make things that are difficult seem easy, and things that are overwhelming seem fluid, and they create structures for cohesive, enjoyable, and even poetic experiences of use.”

On Generalists:

“… the modern day definition of Designer is changing, and changing rapidly. While Designers have always considered themselves Renaissance types, I see a very obvious convergence between the Graphic Designer, Industrial Designer, and the aforementioned Interaction Designer. Part of this adaptation is a shift towards Designer as generalist, or one who can provide value regardless of the medium in which they are required to work.”

On the Rise of the Right Brain Thinkers:

“The importance of Design has never been higher; the attitude Designers have about themselves and of their work has never been stronger, and the media has begun to use the word "Design" rather haphazardly.”

Echoing the words of Richard Farson:

“Design is the only professional field that I can think of that accepts being paid as a result of what we make, rather than how we think. In a discipline destined, under the present trend, to commoditization, it seems like we have pushed ourselves into a rather dismal corner.”