Interaction 09: Coming Into Your Own

by Luke Wroblewski February 8, 2009

Jared Spool’s panel Interaction Deign: Coming Into Your Own at Interaction 09 explored what the interaction design profession would need to do in order to bring an additional 10,000 practitioners into the workforce.

  • On conference call with investors, Meg Whitman (former eBay CEO), told shareholders that the way the company was going to fix their financial woes was by focusing on user experience. First time Jared had heard a public CEP say that (2007).
  • What happens if half of Fortune global 2,000 companies invest 2.5M (small number for them) in user experience? It would mean we need 10,000 new interaction designers. Where will they come from?
  • SAP (large corporation): looking for people who can put together a business case for interaction design. At eBay designers had to figure out the NPV of projects. Act like a designer but bring other skills to the table.
  • Involution (agency): focus more on day-to-day of getting things done. Look mostly at portfolio instead of resume.
  • Certain things you can’t train: collaborative approach, passion for design, interest in the role.
  • The hardest thing to train is how to talk in the boardroom.
  • Interaction design profession needs to focus less on labels and work toward a standard of what interaction designers do. The world knows what they are going to get when they hire a mechanical engineer.
  • The interaction design profession should focus on: educating the general public on what we do, integrate profession and education, keep investing in our practice, have a better shared vocabulary, focus more on a business justification in design