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Visualizing the invisible, from service design to sustainability.

The Language of Interaction

I was recently invited to deliver a talk at Emily Carr University of Art and Design about what interaction designers do and how interaction design factors into the worlds of design and art.

My talk "The Language of Interaction" (slides above) was my attempt to summarize the critical role that language plays in our efforts as designers and artists. In doing so, I touched upon the three challenges that all designers and artists face in trying to craft interactions…

1. Establishing a vocabulary, which allows you to articulate what discrete points of a systemic problem you may influence
2. Considering what metaphors may aid you in the modelling of an interactive product or service
3. Understanding how we weave together what we've experienced from our interaction with lateral disciplines to become better at practicing interaction design

To illustrate the last point, I created a timeline of my lifelong explorations as a designer and artist, and discussed how I couldn't have been an effective interaction designer without traveling through a range of related (and seemingly unrelated) disciplines. Over time, all of them were threaded together.

David Sherwin is an interaction design director at frog. He has built his reputation as a design leader, interaction designer, and researcher with 17 years of experience in generating compelling solutions for systemic business problems. David is the author of Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills and Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers. You can follow David on Twitter @changeorder.