Describing Interaction Design

This is a talk I put together in 2011 for the IxDA Interaction conference in Boulder, Colorado. And although I’m speaking at a design conference here, the topic isn’t really design, but storytelling. Specifically, the stories that designers tell when they’re trying to describe what they do, and what value they add, to the non-designer public.

My experience as a writer and observer of the creative professions since my Core77 days has made it pretty clear that most designers do a pretty poor job of this — not because they aren’t good storytellers, but because they don’t have a clear sense of the difference between internal stories and external ones. This was my brief attempt to define this difference, and give a few pointers on how to respond when someone asks, “So, what exactly do you do anyway?”


photo credit: Johnny Holland