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★ Non 'design' disciplines


I was digging through a few old drafts and this one emerged from 2009, having never before seen the light of day:

Lately I’ve been thinking more on the different pieces of knowledge required to pull together an interactive project / visualisation / installation / design, especially one which needs to be in some way demonstrable in front of a live audience. Yesterday I was speaking with Stephen Viller at the OzCHI conference, about the difference between IT/ICT and Design education methodology. It seems that (any maybe this shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise as it was) that those in the computer sciences or IT streams of education don’t have much call to give verbal account or critique of their work.

As a designer/practitioner/academic/venn diagram inhabitant, I’m painfully aware of the constant requirement of the profession to be able to present, demo and explain your work – even moreso to potentially negative or critical audiences. This verbal technique is just one big part of the profession, you really can’t escape it.  It became clear to me during the week, that many of those in the disparate fields claiming some form of involvement in the HCI community, perhaps do not come from a design paradigm background – and as such do not verbally or even visually present their work to audiences. Textual accounts were common, as were scientific breakdown and analyses, however it really came as a surprise to me that the participants of a conference in “interaction design” (call it what you will) were not very adept at communication in either the verbal or visual form.

There were some notable exceptions, of course – Bill Moggridge’s keynote was engaging if a little dated, and Patrick Hofmann’s User Experience keynote was definitely a highlight.  One other note that I’d like to add is that I very recently forced myself to sit through the length of the Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughan ‘comedy’ Dodgeball. I would highly recommend you avoid this movie at all costs, however one of the funnier moments involves the absurdist acronym ADAA, or the American Dodgeball Association of America – which I must say prepared me very well for the assault of acronyms during the OzCHI week! HISER, HFESA, CHI, CHISIG and many more..

I thought it was worth sharing — my old criticism of the non-design discipline education was just yesterday reinforced by another ICT related encounter which I might see fit to write about in another two years time.