Video of Kim Goodwin speaking about how to integrate interaction, visual and industrial design at IxDA NYC

Last night, our own Kim Goodwin presented her talk “Designing a Unified Experience” at the IxDA NYC, generously hosted by our friends at LiquidNet.


(Click the button on the bottom right of the “screen” for a fullscreen view.)

About the talk

Interaction design, visual design, and industrial design are distinct disciplines for good reason: Each excels in different ways. Interaction designers must be good at imagining structure and flow, which requires strong analytical skills and a high degree of rigor, especially for complex systems. Visual designers and industrial designers are masters of visual and physical usability but are also masters of emotion: They know how to evoke caution, attract attention, and instill desire for a product at first glance. Users have just one experience of a product, though. All three aspects of the design must work in concert, or the product will fail to satisfy. Integration of the three disciplines is a central theme of Kim’s new book, Designing for the Digital Age.

4 Comments

Dan McKenzie
Thanks for making this talk available. It's great to see Kim speaking after reading her book.
Paul Neervoort
This is a great presentation very clearly brought. I like to think that this is exactly the way we work in our company too and I have been evangelizing for many years now. However it tends to be less well integrated throughout the project. Also for repeat series, i.e. when developing a whole range this approach tends to be abandoned. Just another note. I like to consider Visual Design as Kim used it more as Visual Interaction Designers. In my experience VID is essential in communicating how things work. Visual designs can make or break a usable interaction design. It struck me that you mentioned the dynamic aspect of the user experience but it seems a bit under-emphasized in most designs we see. Whether it is websites or embedded user interfaces, there isn’t a lot of dynamic behavior. One of my observations is that this comes because we still think in screens and wire frames, or as you indicated industrial designers always tend to design objects not adaptive subjects. This thinking is like iron-wrought mindsets disabling a flow like dynamic experience. I believe we need to train our designers, more and more to stop thinking static but dynamic. I hope this presentation will help achieving that. For the rest, great, right on the dot!
Caroline Jones
Thanks for sharing this presentation online. Kim, you mention that during stakeholder meetings Coopers likes to keep communication about the structure, form and conceptual model of a design separate from any visual design discussions. It sounds as though you sometimes go as far as to remove style/design elements from commnication tools used during these meetings (e.g. powerpoint presentations) to help avoid confusing any interaction design discussions/decisions with those relating to visual design. On the flip side the Coopers interaction designers and visual designers work closely together in parallel, with interaction designers applying the style elements provided by the visual designers sooner rather than later in the process. I am wondering how this plays out during user testing? Is the skeleton/structure of the design tested without a visual treatment first in order to validate the underlying structure, and then again after any styling has been applied? Do you think testing the visual design at the same time as testing the interaction design may reduce the tester's ability to establish the underlying root of an issue? I've been doing a lot of thinking around this area lately and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks again for sharing your process!
Ashis Dutta
Very informative and insightful.

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