In Jeroen van Geel’s article for Core77, Jack of All Trades, Master of None: Danger for Interaction Design, he expresses his concern that Interaction Designers are overreaching their bounds, trying to assimilate too many other areas of expertise.
There is a growing understanding of human behavior, but currently our weakness (and chances) lie in developing more knowledge around the business side. And that is where it becomes slippery, because in our enthusiasm we want to pull business strategy into the field of interaction design. Some of us even talk about UX strategy, which is in my mind putting things out of perspective. Let’s stay curious and connect with other fields, but be aware that in our youthful enthousiasm we don’t try to assimilate everything.
I see things differently. Realize, first, that Interaction Design is one facet of a much larger landscape. Design has a history of branching out, applying itself to new fields, diversifying, and specializing. That is how the field of Interaction Design came to be. So too with Service Design. There is currently a lot of debate about “Design Thinking” and where (or whether) it fits, but I think everyone will agree that “business people” see value in what designers do and want to apply it to “business problems”. The founders of Airbnb may not call themselves interaction designers, as Jeroen claims, but the fact remains that they are designers (Graphic and Industrial), graduates of RISD. They are part of a growing group of designer founders.
Putting a fence around any area of design and saying, “Stop. Grow no further. You have reached your limit.” is an unrealistic, untenable stance. Design is as relevant today as it is because it continues to redefine itself.