Inspired by Interaction 19: Design in the Wild

by Olivia G. March 13, 2019

The three-day lineup was packed with workshops, breakout sessions and energizing keynotes from industry leaders like Bill Buxton, Liz Jackson, Don Norman and John Maeda. Attendees from around the globe united at Interaction 19 to explore the latest industry topics, share perspectives from the field and most importantly to consider the importance of interaction design. Kaitlin Carano shared how the conference challenged her to consider limitless opportunities for impactful design:

"My biggest takeaway was to be careful about getting so caught up in the latest tech and remember to ask yourself why you're making something. How can it be seamless in someone's life and what is the entire ecosystem like? There have been things built with cool technology that are missing a key purpose, or other applications of tech that were incredible but got tossed out for something trendier."

Liz Jackson giving her keynote address, "Empathy Reifies Disability Stigmas"

Liz Jackson, founder of The Disabled List, spoke about the importance of understanding implicit biases and long-term consequences surrounding design for disability in her keynote address. Jackson’s perspective as the creator of a design-focused organization for disability self-advocacy gave unique insight into how, even with the best empathetic intentions, designers can perpetuate disability stigmas without even realizing. She reminded the audience to avoid being "abled saviors" who pop into groups to design for them but to elevate each other as equally talented members of the community.

Thinking back to the multitude of voices heard over the course of Interaction 19, first-year student attendee Leanne Caroll found insight in discussions surrounding inclusion and diversity, particularly the idea of “not just ticking boxes to adhere to compliance, but truly looking at why we make decisions and how we can do better for people through design.”

SVA IxD students at Interaction 19

Interaction 19 proved to be another electrifying exploration of design for practitioners and academics from around the world. Students are looking forward to attending next year’s IxDA Annual Conference, Interaction 20, in Milan.

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