Back in February I was lucky enough to attend Interaction 12, the IxDA’s annual conference, in Dublin, Ireland. It was an incredibly well-produced event with lots of thoughtful sessions, interesting people and fun activities. One of those activities was the inaugural Great IxDA Debate. I was lucky enough to be a part of that debate. The brainchild of SapientNitro’s Dan Willis (aka @uxcrank), the debate put a bunch of interaction designers, creative directors and information architects on stage, in a bar, debating some fundamental questions of the interaction design profession – as the Guinness flowed.
Joining me on stage was a formidable (some would say motley) crew of folks from a variety of backgrounds and countries. The debaters included Andrea Resmini, Dave Malouf, Boon Yew Chew, Jason Mesut (my team mate), Pete Trainor, Abby Covert, Giles Colborne and Kieron Leppard (arguably the best name ever). We were paired up into teams of two and each foursome took on a divisive argument about the merits and roles of interaction design. Dan did a fantastic job, not just picking questions that were sure to get a spirited discussion, but also MC’ing the event and keeping things rolling all the while involving the crowd in the discussion as well.
The statement Jason and I debated was, “Interaction design is not a well-respected design profession.” Our job was to argue for the statement. You can imagine what it felt like to get up in front of a room of half-in-the-bag interaction designers and tell them their profession was suffering from a lack of respect. :-/