MIX07: Futures in Design

by May 3, 2007

Kip Voytek’s Futures in Design talk at MIX07 outlined a number of trends happening in design today. In particular, he addressed the increasing impact of emotional design and multiple customer touch-points on the work of Interaction Designers.

  • Design is the difference between love and hate
  • Designers need to get past the success of individual interactions and focus instead on the full spectrum of touch-points between customers and products, brands, and companies including: pre/post purchase, out of box, cross-channel, support, etc.
  • In recent years, we’ve seen powerful emotional experiences. In addition to games, community experiences, and more –even error messages can be delightful. Example: Apple login shakes the screen when you enter a wrong password.
  • There’s a trend of design pundits going beyond the functional: Donald Norman wrote Emotional Design, Edward Tufte wrote Beautiful Design.
  • The Nielsen Echo: Clients catching up to usability considerations and beginning to hold back what can be done. What are we after is grins of delight and discovery in addition to efficiency.
  • Bandwidth leap backward: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  • Interaction designers have design accountability: usability, task completion, revenue goals.
  • Small pieces barley joined: design sites so they can be distributed. Bake this into early thinking.
  • Complexity needs to be managed not stripped out. Simplicity isn’t only subtraction.
  • Need new tools to do design work: richer design management not document management tools. Rich experiences require rich tools. If working in flatland, are likely not communicating effectively. Do our tools allow us to do the design we want?
  • Effective, not best practices: need to describe many effective solutions that people can select from in context.
  • User-centered design tends to focus too much on numbers. We’ll take all the numbers we can, but if we find a universal truth –that will guide the way.
  • Prototyping lets you play with real data and adjust experiences accordingly.
  • Comprehensive designers operate at the edge of their disciplines, which is where innovation happens.
  • Solid-state Web design: almost page-less interactions.
  • Get out of the way of a user with a task, save the user a click is precious, break any of these rules if there is an opportunity to delight a user.
  • Do more. Strive for delight. Break efficiency when delight can occur.