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Interaction Design Methods

Interaction Design Methods

The tools and techniques used to shape the potential of interaction.

Interaction designers design for the possibility of interaction. The interaction itself takes place between people, machines, and systems, in a variety of combinations … All interaction is a form of communication.
—Dan Saffer

Objective & Outcomes

This course introduces methods for modeling the dynamic nature of interactions and prepares students for practice that goes beyond artifact-driven design. Students will learn how to model and evaluate actions and conditions of user and system activities, and posit them amid user needs and the increasing interdependencies of complex systems. Foundational theories and principles of interaction design will be introduced, as well as cognitive foundations of interaction design such as mental models and metaphor.

Upon completing this course, students will learn to apply responsible frameworks for their roles as designers of interactions within services, communities, and platforms. Students will also be able to articulate the various roles of products, human agents, and organizations in dynamic interaction designs.

Typical Schedule

  • Session 1: Historical Development & Precedents of Interaction Design
  • Session 2: User-Centered Design for Interactions
  • Session 3: Activity-Centered Design for Interactions
  • Session 4: Systems Design for Interactions
  • Session 5: Principles of Interaction Design
  • Session 6: Cognitive Foundations
  • Session 7: Final Project Presentations