Interaction Design tools

…or lack thereof.

Today, on the Interaction Designers discuss list, CD Evans mentioned the lack of tools for Interaction Designers.

I suppose I’m an exception, because I come from a programming background, but I agree with his assertion about lack of tools.

For example, we Interaction Designers don’t have anything like what this Industrial Designer has. (That’s a car she’s prototyping, by the way.)

I don’t know if any of you mentor students, but one thing I always discuss with those interested in software is how much leverage I get from my programming background. The interesting thing is, I find the prototyping skills that come from my programming knowledge are far less valuable than the related language skills. Being able to talk about and empathize with the development team concerning programming issues gives me so much more credibility in their eyes.

I don’t think Interaction Designers should need programming skills, but until our tools get better, I guess were stuck with it as a work-around.

2 thoughts on “Interaction Design tools”

  1. very interesting – was doing a some research on Interaction Design in general and stumbled on here. Im wondering if ‘Denim’ (http://guir.berkeley.edu/projects/denim/) would qualify to be a tool. Im biased towards the web, and to a slighter extent GUI’d software here. Recall using this tool 3-4 years back experimentally, as i was just executing plain vanilla HTML work straight off a skeletal design provided as a template. Was quite impressed, as until then tools to get the ok from the client included Visio, quick-and-dirty HTML screens, the inevitable linked PPT etc.

    On a different note, and wrt my skills i think there are just too many ‘accesskeys’ in there or at least the keys may just need some change. Being more of an interface designer, whenever i come across interesting and different sites i tend to to an +V and then C to get to the source to sniff under the hood (if its a blog, whats the blog software of choice, if its not even better, whats the DTD doing, whats the JS library of choice if any and some other mundane stuff) . I got a form submit! I guess the usual IE behaviour of expecting an additional (or just redirecting and focussing on the object) came to a null because it was an explicit Submit button and had to be executed.

  2. Corection in bold – words missing as they were interpreted as HTML:

    "… sites i tend to to an <Alt> +V and then C to get to the source to sniff under the hood (if its a blog, whats the blog software of choice, if its not even better, whats the DTD doing, whats the JS library of choice if any and some other mundane stuff) . I got a form submit! I guess the usual IE behaviour of expecting an additional <Enter> (or just redirecting and focussing on the object) …"

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