Most Interaction Designers like to drink. Let’s face it, it’s a part of our professional culture - the happy hours, the conferences, the karaoke. While cocktails come in a variety of forms, mixing drinks is actually an artform - a special classification of alcohol. Mixology is the process of combining flavors and layering alcohol for complex and often savory experiences.
Mixology and Interaction Design in many ways are one and the same. Over the last year, I have adopted mixology as a hobby and in doing so found more similarities to my professional work than I initially wanted to admit. As in Interaction Design, mixology is about iterations, trial and error. There is no such thing as a design that comes out perfect in the first pass, regardless of how much research is performed. Similarly: There is no perfect cocktail the first time around, whether you are dealing with something as complex as ginger and lemon infused vodka with iced tea or something as basic as cucumber gin and tonic. User testing is key--my tastes are not like everyone else’--and mixologists must elicit feedback from others in everything they do. As with designer’s process and methodology, no two mixologists are the same.
My talk is intended for practitioners of all levels. Young practitioners may see a new way to approach Interaction Design as the learning curve is reduced from an esoteric field to something we address every day. More seasoned veterans will enjoy an opportunity to connect their social hour to work in a manner providing both personal satisfaction and client understanding (they drink too, right?).
Together we will address the shift around process, training and methodology as some bartenders are classically trained and others self taught; some use traditional methods and others use more modern technology. Attendees will leave with an appreciation for the complexity of Interaction Design in a more analog and tangible form and, timing permitting, with a homemade infusion in hand.
IxD, IA, UX, UI, there are really too many names, titles, acronyms... you choose what you want to call me as long as it uses sharpies and post-it notes bio from Twitter
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