by Jonas Lowgren
What is a “designerly way of working”? In my view, the core elements of design are to investigate possible futures, to address all aspects of quality in parallel (think aesthetics and utility), to grow an understanding of the “problem” by developing attempts to “solve” it, and to think through sketching and other tangible forms of representation.
In interaction design practice, I find that a designerly stance based on the elements outlined above most often manifests itself in Exploring and Sketching.
Exploring as in assuming that there is a wide space of possible designs ahead of us, and we need to learn about its topology to know where the most promising directions are. Moreover, we can involve users in exploring the possibilities together, rather than merely asking them about the point in the space they currently inhabit.
The main vehicle for exploration is Sketching, where possible designs are materialized in ways that are specific enough to assess their qualities, yet lightweight enough to be disposable. Sketching interaction design comes with a set of particular challenges, since the essence of the sketched idea is nearly always in its temporal properties – how the interaction unfolds over time.
In this keynote, I will examine Exploration, Sketching and other designerly ways of working in interaction design practice, illustrate them by means of examples and assess them in relation to professional standards.
1st–4th February 2012