This Fall I had the opportunity to facilitate my very first conference all day workshop. I must admit that when FOWD asked if I would be interested in conducting a workshop I was terrified at the thought. But, in true FOWD fashion, they saw something that I clearly had not yet seen… that I really could conduct this type of thing. So, with the help and advice of some amazingly generous colleagues (thanks Jeff Gothelf, Christian Crumlish, Donna Lichaw, Ray DeLaPena, Andrea Mignolo, Julie Blitzer and all others that helped me out!) I was able to present the workshop, Interaction Design Beyond the Interface, at both The Future of Web Design NYC conference as well as The Future of Web Design Prague conference, to pretty positive reviews (and to some amazing feedback on how to make the workshop even better).
The basis of the workshop is to instill in Interaction Designers the knowledge that we are the ones ultimately responsible for the design of the solution (we, of course, do not do this in a silo and are supported by our teams. But when #$%^ hits the fan we are usually to blame. ), and also to point out that the interface itself is NOT the solution, but instead is the medium through which users interact with the solution.
The workshop focuses on curating essential design skills including understanding and utilizing the step in the solution process of first identifying and exploring the problem space, and then understanding the solution at a conceptual level before transmitting that solution into one or multiple interfaces (Think about responsive design. How can we really do this well without understanding the solution in a conceptual way first?). We end the workshop by modeling the soultion, without doing an interface, and then we work on how to present this solution model to our teams for consensus.
All in all the workshop was a great experience for me, and I look forward to bringing it to more conferences and work places in 2013. If you enjoy the slides, have feedback, have complaints, or want to know more about how to bring it to your company please let me know! I’d love to help spread the word about how interaction design is beyond the interface… and is, instead, the solution creator.