Notes, pictures, and recaps from the last day of Interaction15

Catch up with everything that went down on Day 1 and Day 2

Keynote: Design as Language

by Ayah Bdeir 

"The electronics are not the point. Technology is not the point. It’s about the poetry you can make."

Picture by Julie Celia, recap by Shahrzad Samadzadeh

The problem

Electronics are everywhere, yet their language is closed, cryptic, and ugly. We generally don’t know what our electronics are doing, and consider them consumable and disposable, yet we rely on them as a fundamental part of everyday life. This is a strange and dangerous state of things. 

The big shift

Instead of a closed discipline, how can electrical devices become a shared language? This is an extraordinary shift, and LittleBits made it happen by doing the following.

  • Make the language usable and accessible; “It’s not about the technology, it’s what you can do with it."
  • Make the language inviting and coherent, so users feel in control.
  • Define the alphabet, the grammar, and the context, then let users build a community around the new language. 

The outcome

The gap between defined market and one-off individual need is bridged, and users feel empowered to break down barriers and create new interactions in the world. 


Beyond Handwaving: The Role of Performance in Interaction Design 

by Elizabeth Goodman

"You have to perform the project to make the product."

Sketchnote by Jim Dibble

Don't Have a UX Career

by Bill DeRouchey

"Having an open mind is what will save the world"

Sketchnote by Chris Noessel

This One Goes to 11

by Tad Toulis

"What happens when the physical world is the interface?"

Sketchnote by Jim Dibble

Keynote: 13 Mistakes Designers Make in Presentations

by Mike Monterio 

"Be a scientist when you work, and a snake-charmer when you present."

Picture and recap by Julie Celia and Shahrzad Samadzadeh

This well-crafted and well-performed talk was quoted almost verbatim on Twitter, as it unfolded. Essentially, “presenting is the life force of staying in business” and connecting the dots between user and client is the key to selling that story. 

13 mistakes designers make during client presentations 

  1. You are not there to be the client’s friend. 
  2. Get off your a**.
  3. Starting with an apology.
  4. Not setting the stage properly - tell people why they are in the meeting. 
  5. Giving the real estate tour.
  6. Taking notes. 
  7. Reading a script. 
  8. Getting defensive. 
  9. Mentioning typefaces. 
  10. Talking about how hard you worked. 
  11. Reacting to questions as change requests. 
  12. Not guiding the feedback loop.
  13. Asking "Do you like it?".

Themes seen throughout Interaction15 

by Shahrzad Samadzadeh

“They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

-Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park (1993)

Materials of design

We’re long past “toasters and posters,” and well into the era of systems and broad definitions of interaction. Today designers build visions, services, businesses, and experiences; The materials of design are time, human needs, and (let’s just say it) money. Let’s make sure we’re building a world we want to live in. 

Design at a turning point 

Design is not a magic bullet, but the rise of “design thinking” has helped us secure that coveted seat at the table. Now what? While we’re at it, is all of design moving in-house? Or are consulting firms still going to exist? To the last question: Cooper will continue to exist. The future of design hinges on our recognition of the responsibility we have to our users, our stakeholders, and our planet to ask “Why?” and “Is this really a good thing to do?” 

Meaning and impact

We have methods, processes, and tools that give us superpowers. We can design our way to social impact, create or destroy culture, build a bridge between businesses and users, and tell stories that shape the world. We all choose how we wield that power. Instead of creating value for our users or business stakeholders, let’s think critically about how we can create meaning in the world. These don’t have to be mutually exclusively goals. 

Did you notice any themes you don’t see here? What were your big takeaways?

Student Design Challenge

On the final day of the challenge, the students share their designs with the conference first thing in the morning. After the jury deliberated, the winner was announced at the Interaction Awards. 

Interaction Awards 

At the closing party, the Interaction Jury handed out their awards including Best in Show and People's Choice.

Best in Show

MyMilkman.ie by Frontend.com

People's Choice

Breast Cancer Diagnostics by Designit

You can see the full list of winner, finalists, and short-listed projects on here on the Interaction Awards website


What's next? 

A huge thank you to all of the volunteers, the IxDA Board, the IxDA SF chapter and all of the folks who make this conference possible. 

We can't wait to see you all in Helsinki, Finland next year!