I believe that one of the toughest struggles people suffer in life results from over-complicating things. These are usually everyday things that could be expressed in simple terms, but aren't. I am thinking of that calendar overloaded with commitments versus a week designed to set and fulfill personally satisfying goals. Or I think of a chain restaurant with a complicated 88-page menu compared to that local Italian restaurant with five dishes with only three basic tomato sauces, one of which you would be happy eating any night of the week. Design is how people deliberately make simple things of value out of a complicated mess of options. With that in mind I thought I'd apply a simple design technique and define 10 terms in small sketches: people, interaction, vocation, relationship, organization, money, business, customer, commerce and customer relationship. I consider all of these terms fundamental to why everyone at ZURB gets up in the morning. I believe these explain some of what interaction design is and should be about.
1. People have basic needs. As each day passes they make things to sustain or improve upon their lives. They don't sit still.
2. Interactions are exchanges of one thing of value for another between two people. The exchange needs to be reciprocal or it won't happen twice.
3. Vocations (or people's callings in life) are how people make things of value for each other. These become more specialized the more people interact.
4. Relationships are interactions over time between people with different vocations. Relationships will only keep going if the value exchanged continues to be mutually beneficial.
5. Organizations are autonomous groups of people operating in a relationship together toward a common goal.
6. Money is stored value. It is a common medium of exchange allowing very different goods and services to still be exchanged as though they have mutual or equal value.
7. Businesses are organizations that have basic needs. They exchange goods and services with people to sustain or improve on the life of the organization and its employees. They don't sit still.
8. Customers are people with evolving needs that only businesses can fulfill. They can offer a fair exchange in money for a business' goods or services.
9. Commerce is an exchange of one thing of value for money between a business and a customer.
10. Customer relationships are a form of interaction over time. They will only keep going if the value exchanged continues to be mutually beneficial!