Bill Moggridge on Interaction and Service Design

IDEO's Bill Moggridge was on campus this week, giving a series of design talks and doing some recruiting. I sat in on two of the talks, on interaction and service design.

Moggridge, along with Bill Verplank, coined the term "interaction design" (after "SoftFace" was deemed too weird) to take the values that design had to computer science. Interaction design is about feeling results more than knowing them. Designers, unlike other disciplines, are able to move toward solutions that aren't wholly understood.

Interaction design, for Moggridge, is at two levels. At the broad level is that it's the design of everything that has technology in it. At the narrow level, it's about the subjective and qualitative in technology design. The main quality that determines something's interactiveness is its responsiveness.

Moggridge defined six categories of interaction design: games, screens (software), products (screens in an object), places, internet, and services. Games have the best feedback for failure in interaction design, because they vanish quickly if they don’t work well.

Services are the next frontier in design. The reason service design has become a design subject is because of technology--balancing technology with humans. Services are things we pay to use, not own. They are environmentally good.

Each service design project will have a different way of mapping it. Finding that "map" and analyzing it is part of designing.

Failing frequently means you are going to succeed sooner, so prototype things as quickly as possible. Don't worry about it being crude.

Couch important decisions as the client's. Put the information in front of them and let them choose. You can tell them you disagree, but you need to be modest--it's important that clients comes to the decision themselves.

Originally posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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