Interaction13 – Day 4 Recap

Ah, the final day of IxD13 has come to an end. Day 4 was comprised of panels, debates, and rapid ingenuity cycles. It was a blast to cover this conference. If you missed any of the other days, check out our recaps from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. Can’t wait to meet up again next year in Amsterdam!

Interaction Design Education Panel: Report Back

Dave Malouf, Haig Armen, Kristian Simsarian, Dianna Miller

IxDEdu ColorCheck

Demand for Interaction Designers has grown, but because IxD is so new, education programs are being developed independently. With no single organization curating a design education program, there is little chance for design educators to share information and techniques. This panel was brought together to discuss patterns in design education, and as a platform for designer educators to connect with each other.

How do we make IxD training more widely available?

Lots of small design shops don’t have budgets to send people to conference or for extra training. And a lack of guidance can lead to people to seek other employment. At the IxD13 Education panel, these were some of the ideas discussed to build skills without breaking the bank.

    Apprenticeship programs: (younger person paired with a senior designer) The junior designer would do smaller tasks and begin learn through doing.
    Partner with universities: Students gain real-world experience by working on client projects.. Design studios get fresh ideas and build relationships with future recruits.
    In-house training: How do you evaluate people’s aptitudes when they apply to an organization? Studios need better evaluation of applicants because people come with such mixed backgrounds.

There is a disconnect amongst what students think they are prepared to do, what they can actually do, and what employers want. Grads are not prepared to do high-level strategy. Many think they are, but it takes time to build that skill set.

Design fundamentals should be taught in middle and high schools, but if we can’t teach design curriculum in schools, we can host junior conference or 1 day UX Camps. Design principles are valuable to students of all ages. Design can teach people how to fail and how to take risks early in their development

How do we start to informally formalize where and how to find good teachers, mentors, programs, and studios?

We can spread good design education through our current network. Go to schools and give talks. As your relationship develops, schools will start to see you as a resource, and you can spread your design philosophy to new generations of movers and shakers.

The Great UX Debate

With Lou Lenzi, Donald Chestnut, Angel Anderson, Mikkel Michelsen, and Teresa Brazen
Moderated by Robb Stevenson

During the Great UX Debate Twitter crashed but lucky for us the nice folks at idea engineers captured a great run down of how the event played out. Check it out here.
You can also follow what happened on the Twitter feed of @UXdebate

KEYNOTE: Rubber Ducks and Hockey Gloves (Or, how to jump the ingenuity gap)

By John Bielenberg (FUTURE)

How the brain works for most people:


This tendency is called heuristic bias. Heuristic bias is the propensity to think or act in the way that we always have “going through the motions”.

How do you disrupt this pattern of thinking to come up with new, ingenious ideas?

    PieLab: This was way to bring people together to talk over a piece of pie and some coffee in a deeply segregated area. Because it was a neutral space created by hipsters from NYC, there was no code of conduct. PieLab became a fully functioning business and community hang out with open mic nights and community dancing.
    Nada: For this website, you paid $100 to be a member and were given a raw steel bike frame as your membership card. Then you built your bike however you wanted. The bike you created was unique from any other bike. Eventually, Nada started making and sending bamboo bike frames.

Do disruptive things to get people thinking “wrong”

How do you unlock ingenuity in people & use that to have a positive impact?

The Rapid Ingenuity Cycle

  • Be bold.
  • Get out. (of your workplace, community)
  • Think wrong.
  • Make stuff.
  • Bet small. (When you frame something as a small bet, it allows people to get past the fear of failure)
  • Fast forward.

For example, at the beginning of one project John Bielenberg kicked off with a project called 10x10x10. Each person to go to 10 places, meet 10 people, and come back with 10 new stories. This approach was so fun and impactful that he shut down his studio in SF and opened up FUTURE on the east coast. The rest is history.

Walking across an empty room does not require ingenuity. But add bears, alligators, and land mines, and ingenuity will be required to get across safely. We live in an increasingly complex world where the bears, alligators and land mines are replaced with climate change, peak oil, and population growth to name a few. However, humans have the capacity for developing ingenious solutions to these challenges by using the process of rapid ingenuity.

Related Reading

Here’s the full recap of each day at Ixd13:
Interaction13 – Day 1 recap

Interaction13 – Day 2 recap

Interaction13 – Day 3 recap

The Editors

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