So I spent most of last week in Dublin where I was lucky enough to attend the Interaction Design Association’s Interaction12 conference. And oh was a good time had by all. I will spare you the nose rubbing details of what went down out of hours but suffice it to say that it was held in Ireland where the people are friendly and the Guinness plentiful and fresh. Instead I will give you a super-brief recap of each workshop and session that I attended.



Design With Intent with Dan Lockton
Walls are not ashtrays. Machiavelli would have made a great ad man. Ignorance can sometimes be the better part of heuristic evaluations.

Sketching Interfaces with Sam Smith and Jason Mesut
You are not drawing you are sketching. Draw lines plentifully and straight. Say things with your pens and kill your eraser. Lean UX!


The Disruptive Age: Thriving in an Era of Constant Change with Luke Williams
Incremental change is for sissies. The best ideas should scare the shit out of you. Avoid product clichés like the plague. Disruption is about being unreasonable and I will not listen to arguments to the contrary.

Design Language for Interactions with Michael Lemmon
Try making a great product without design. Go ahead. I dare you.

I Hate Process. I Love Process: Why designers are divided about process and what to do about it with Christina Persson and Joan Vermette
Process is bad. No, process is good. Either way, make sure you use the process that suits your team best. Or don’t. Totally your call.

Imagination and Identity with Tom O’Rahilly
If you ever want to open a museum that gets you death threats, then this is the guy you need to talk to.

Design for the Unknown: Healthcare and Ambiguity with Maggie Breslin
Sometimes telling people that they are likely to die motivates them and sometime it just scares the bejeezus out of ’em.

The Aesthetics of Motion in the age of Natural User Interfaces with Dave Malouf
Gestures – while vague and often hard to define – are great for telling data to do stuff. Once everyone knows exactly what the hell you are doing with your hands.


Exploring, sketching and other designerly ways of working with Jonas Löwgren
Sketching is fast, cheap and pretty much understood by everyone. So sketch. A lot.

Building a Better Starship: Scaling Design Systems into Humanity’s Future with Scott Nazarian
Spaceships? Pffftttt! We’re talking about STARships son. And the people who talk about them use words like extropian, epilithic and capacitant.

Understanding Us: The Next Frontier with Dirk Knemeyer
Technology and progress are a form of magic. Ads won’t matter soon because products will be custom and personalized. Stop designing for demographics and design for individuals.

Why is no one using your product? with Julie Baher
You are not designing for yourself. Hipsters make horrible research subjects. Refuse to not learn.

Designing the mobile wallet experience with Jonathan Rez
You either read that and said “Finally!” or “Oh, shit.” You’re both right.

Input/Output: Interaction design at the intersection of city and its interfaces with Sami Niemelä
The new hotness is city maps with services and dynamic information at your fingertips. Take that old and busted paper subway map!

Research for Behavior Change: The MAO Model with Sebastian Deterding
Not that Mao. Rather: Motivation, Ability and Opportunity as a design framework. The Great Design Leap Forward if you will.

From Solid to Liquid to Air: Interaction Design and the Future of the Interface with Amber Case
We are all cyborgs. Technology as fashion statement. Skeumorphics suck. Oh, and will someone please sort out Microsoft PowerPoint please!


Hack to the Future with Fabian Hemmert
Let design hijack your traditional research process. Do whatever it takes to visualize your ideas and no matter what, never, ever grow up.

Does it have legs? Information Architecture Heuristics for Interaction Designers with Abby Covert
Learn how to speak in a critique so you are actually being helpful by following these 9 principles of information architecture heuristics.

Critical Design: Restoring a sense of wonder to Interaction Design with Dr. Michael Smyth and Ingi Helgason
Possibility is inversely proportional to wonder. Reinvigorating the commonplace with meaning by changing its context.

How to Lie with Design Thinking with Dan Saffer
Post-Its are an acceptable alternative to actual work where design thinking is concerned.

Interacting with Sound with John Finley
Using sound wisely frees up visual acuity to carry more of the burden of overall interactivity. Hear evil. Don’t see it.

Ritual in Interaction Design with Matt Nish-Lapidus
We are nothing without our rituals so it’s about time we started putting more of them into our day to day interactions.

User experience is important but it’s not everything: Designing for physical versus digital products with Chui Chui Tan
Designing physical objects is more frequently involving design for digital as well. The internet of things means more than just internet enabled toasters.

And that is – as the Porky Pig says – all folks….