Interaction Design

defined by Interaction Design Students

Edna Hirsbrunner
2 min readMar 28, 2018
© Edna Hirsbrunner

I’m an Interaction Design Student, hereafter abbreviated as IAD, in the second Bachelor semester at the Zurich University of the Arts, ZHdK in Switzerland. This week we started with a new module called “Interaction Design Methods”. In the coming weeks I’m going to write a few lines about the course on this platform. The description of the module is the following:

“This course proposes to investigate the methods of interaction design and the challenges they pose, with a particular focus on human-centered design. With notions of cultural contexts, historical overviews, and case studies, we’ll discuss the foundations of interaction design methods and their evolution.”

The first lesson was about what Interaction Design in general is. Which leads to the title of this article. In class we agreed that it is a big digital field, but not only, what most outsider don’t associate with IAD, also analog. Furthermore IAD is always in movement, has to think constantly out of the box and prototyping is an important part of it.

Interaction itself means and is a lot. It can be a human to human interaction but also human and computer or human — computer — human, computer — computer, human — city, human — nature, human — environment and so on. The design part can be the connection between the two or more involved parties or the impact of the connection.

An Interaction Designer try to understand who we are, why we are here and what we do while we’re here. She investigates human and others participators or things and connect skills, fields and people. She enables for example accessibility to certain things and services and help people to interact with so-called “Black Boxes”, a part of a technology that people don’t understand and have no idea how it works. The power of designing for people and not against them is huge and the designer constantly has to be aware of her role and the impact she can have as a designer. The chance that something is brought out to the world and will be misunderstood is omnipresent and has to be minimized.

The last point that stood out was that one major part of IAD is free software, open source and hacking. We learn from blogs and from each other, one Interaction Designer teaches another Interaction Designer who teaches another.