After bouncing from room to room today to coach team members through their interaction design problems, I realized that my poking and prodding seemed harsh and arbitrary. Maybe I was doing too much head banging, and not enough ego stroking, to get the ideas to stick.
A couple years ago I put together a well received list on being a design strategist (that I later presented to Yahoo from the maternity ward... but that's a different story), so I used this piece as an inspiration to create a list of great interaction designer traits.
You might be a great interaction designer if you:
- explain, present and create interactions and ideas that are conceptual.
- broadly shape how people use products and services, but get compulsive over the little details that make them great.
- work furiously and productively without ever touching a computer.
- create sparks that can't be visualized in a static mock-up or screen.
- have the ability to implement ideas, not just tell people how to do them.
- understand computers and digital interactions, but spend just as much time uncovering other interesting things in life.
- 'do' more than 'observe', and even more than 'say'.
- care more about how people feel using a product or service than the 'right' way to use them.
- are light blue collar- craftsman and salesman merged into one.
- speak geek (work with engineers), tell stories (gab about marketing) and help businesses make money (sit in the big-kids meetings).
- love challenges, thrive in unknowns and win teams over with results.
- get excited about the smell of new sharpies (or new product and service challenges).