What is interaction design?

Jonas Löwgren have a really lovely description of interaction design in a discussion currently underway over on the IXDA discussion list.

The gist is, good interaction designers “sketch" out interactivity (often by making interactive prototypes), and they think about aesthetics. Or, to put it another way…

Formula for what makes a good interaction designer

I’m not actually sure if I agree, but I like the focus on making things that demonstrate the interactive stuff, and also the understanding that how it looks matters.

The problem is, by this definition, a lot of the interaction designers that I know are not that “good." Many of them don’t have a very sophisticated aesthetic sensibility. And even more of them don’t regularly sketch out their ideas in a form that’s interactive. (They fall back on static wireframes and then use their words to try to create that sense of interactivity instead.)  And of course, by they I mean me.

So maybe I’ll take this as a challenge. Start getting dirty with the concept of clickable sketching. And also, uh, get more, um, aesthetic? Yikes, I think I need to take some typography and color theory classes.