3 Questions with Jeff McCloud, Interaction Designer

April 28, 2015

What is an interaction designer? My role is to design digital interactions with technology that fit within people’s lives. The growing trend of mobile and wearable technology means these interactions with users take place more frequently and have more meaningful impacts on relationships with other users, information and their devices. It is very important that the visual and gestural presentation match the user’s personality, location, and even mood. Getting this right can create delightful and potentially life-changing experiences.

How does this role relate to medical devices?

Fundamentally interaction design is about marrying applications to experiences. These experiences can be designed to motivate and reinforce healthy behavior such as taking medications on time or maintaining an active lifestyle and much more. Social networks can also be leveraged to provide encouragement and empathy to help those suffering from chronic diseases and other ailments. Tracking progress can help individuals take an active role in their care and promote self-efficacy.

Do interaction designers also code?

Yes to some extent. So often I see beautiful static designs that just won’t work as responsive-interactive applications. It’s pretty much essential to be able to prototype these interactions on the devices and in context. Having a working knowledge of web technologies such as (HTML5, CSS3, JS) can give an interaction designer the power to create and understand what is possible now and in the near future. This enables stronger collaboration with software developers to ensure that the design is perfect and appropriate for the intended users.