Challenges for the Interaction Design Community

I attended the conference Business to Buttons in Malmö last week. Two very interesting days with lots of seminars and discussions with interaction design colleagues. Amongst many other things I attended a workshop about the future of media interfaces and got some interesting new ideas.

The three greatest challenges for media interfaces in the future are according to Karen McGrane and Kevin Kearney:

  1. Designing the physical interfaces, interactions and affordances of whatever kind of devices people will have. The new multi functional mobile devices will need to do everything well and therefore the interfaces will become increasingly complex.
  2. Finding and designing tools for navigating, finding, and filtering information. With all the new kinds of content (traditional media, user generated media and things you didn’t even know existed) available on the internet the challenge for interaction designers will be to help people filter through all the different kinds of information to find what they are looking for.
  3. … and off course, it has to make money.

In his seminar, Jonas Löwgren talked about pliability and how you can create user interfaces that encourage exploration. He showed some interesting examples of how that can be done. Another cool way of visualizing large amounts of information is Photosynth, recently presented by Microsoft. You can watch the presentation at Youtube or try the demo yourself.

All of this have interesting implications for the importance of search technology. Search solutions in the future must aid users in navigating through vast amounts of information as well as encourage exploration. This is a challenge I look forward to as a designer.