This is part 2 of a interview series on Interaction design, we will be sharing the series of posts via our blog from Darren Mealiff, a student from IT Carlow’s Product Design & Innovation Department, an Interview on Interaction Design with our Director of User Experience, Séamus Byrne. Follow along as Séamus answers some very interesting questions about Interaction Design.
If you missed Part 1 check it out now here.
Is there too much of a separation between or a snobbery of design disciplines to allow designers to come together for this to come to fruition?
It’s hard to say, sometimes I think designers are afraid of peers copying their homework and they may be reluctant to share ideas or show their work. This can be a big blocker to unifying and organising the design disciplines together. This perceived design snobbery may in fact be more attributed to shyness or introversion – which is part and parcel of creative folks. Communication and collaboration is such an important part of our work with our clients, so it’s key we practice this with our design peers too.
As designers we can be quite empathic and sensitive. The act of creating things can be challenging and very difficult. This makes the design area quite an emotive industry. Most folks in the design world have strong opinions and are natural problem solvers, so if you bring us together, there are no shortage of ideas and suggestions. Often when it comes to designers the problem comes from the non-creative aspects of the business like operations, pulling everything together and project management – we neeed to work on these aspects.
Time may also be an issue when it comes to bridging the divide between designers and between design disciplines. Designers are very busy with their day-to-day projects and with keeping up with the industry, which doesn’t leave much extra time for the macro, extra-curricular initiatives. There are also too many different design organisations and associations, all competing for members. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for innovation and evolution, but the sheer amount of choice can fragment the wider design community into mini-scenes, which may stifles cross-pollination a little. There are exceptions to this, events that seek to break the divide and are inclusive of designers (and non-designers) from all backgrounds like Dublin’s Refresh, Pub Standards and IxDA Dublin’s Defuse (which I helped to start up 5 years ago).
Some design organisations charge membership, which increases the competitiveness to recruit members which further fragments the overall community. I am in favour of not charging for membership and for the last 5 years have been deeply involved with the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) an “unorganisation” with a mission to advance the discipline of Interaction Design across many platforms, including an annual conference, an online forum, and with over a 150 local groups based in cities across the world. These local groups put on free events for their members, and tend to be focused on policies of inclusion and integration with other local design organisations.
IxDA Dublin’s next free event is a redux of the Interaction 14 Conference.
Just because designers in Ireland haven’t successfully organised in a super-macro capacity yet does not mean it can’t happen. To make it happen, we need the right people from the key design disciplines, government funding and support via a design-specific initiative, and time.
Without these ingredients, it’s not going to happen. As an island our approach has been proactive in attracting international business, but it is a very outside focused approach. We need to better organise and unify the talent we have locally in Ireland and show how serious we are about it by developing a dedicated DESIGN IRELAND hub space – this will help raise Ireland’s profile on the global design map. There are a lot of big technology and business initiatives already doing this, both of which can be vastly improved by including design.