Archive for February, 2008

Conference, Blueprints, and Interviews

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I haven’t had too many events to inspire a blog post lately, although laziness may have been a factor in my small hiatus from blogging. But I suppose three major events did happen in the past month that are worth mentioning and filing into my little “design milestones” virtual filing cabinet. One: I attended the first ever Interaction Design conference in Savannah, GA. Two: My blueprinting work at IBM this summer is being published and presented at the DMI Education Conference this April. Three: I completed first round interviews for my future (i.e., a job). A very brief summary below:

1. The IxDA conference

Six of us from CMU took the 10 hour drive down to Savannah, GA (where we met up with two more CMU folks) to attend the first ever Interaction Design conference. It was exciting because for the first time, all those who called themselves Interaction Designers (and those aspiring to be one) were in the same space for a weekend. While there were some good presentations and conversations with fellow Interaction Designers, I left the conference feeling a bit worried about the future of Interaction Design. It still feels like most people consider Interaction Design to be a discipline surrounding software and digital media/devices. Being educated at CMU, I often wonder if this view of Interaction Design is too deeply involved with the past, and not thinking enough towards the future. Or at least not broadening the field enough. I would have liked to see more talks hinting at the importance of service/system/environment design, as well as designing for management and organizations (I was glad to see that Bill Buxton touched on this in his talk). Maybe next year. Although I must say, the food at the conference was amazing, as was the venue!

2. My service blueprint enhancement work: published!

My mentor at IBM, Susan Spraragen has been diligently working on a paper regarding the work we did over the summer with service blueprinting. And good news! Our paper was recently accepted into the DMI Education Conference this April in Paris. I’m so glad to have worked with Susan this past summer… her motivation and drive to bring more design thinking to IBM was very inspiring, and made my job of trying to push design into IBM a little less intimidating.

3. Interviews, interviews, and more interviews

Last week was Confluence, the School of Design’s annual job fair. I had the chance to interview with eight companies: Intuit, Cooper, GE, GM, Sapient, IDEO, SAP and eBay. I was mostly very impressed with the companies. There’s a lot of good design work being done out there, even in companies where you wouldn’t think design thinking plays any sort of role in either their work, or their organization. I have yet to contact more companies as I can’t hold out hope on just the eight I’ve already interviewed with, but I’m hopeful that I’ll find something that I enjoy doing and can contribute my skills to.

I guess that’s my update for now. I can’t believe there’s less than three months before I can officially say I have a Masters degree in Design.