If I had a nickel for every conversation I have where a senior-level practice manager or executive considers Interaction Design to be the same thing as Interface Design…I’d be retired and living on an island and not bothering to complain about this stuff here.
The belief seems to be that that Interaction Design starts and ends with coming up with metaphors for the system. And that’s precisely what drives me crazy. Interaction designers don’t deal in metaphors or ways of information presentation – information architects and interface designers do that. What interaction designers focus on is human behavior, with what the solution should be and is going to be, in order to provide value, in order to address inherent human behavior.The stuff several firms I know leave to their software engineering group.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again: if you leave system behavior design solely up to software engineers, you will NEVER end up with a product that is truly useful, valuable and which delivers a positive, compelling user experience. It simply is not possible. No Interaction Designer = No UX. No UX = no one uses.
I’ll leave the last word to Alan Cooper:
“‘Interaction Designer’ is not title inflation for ‘Interface Designer.'”