Shane Morris – Interaction design school 101

Web Directions South 2010, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, October 15 1.40pm.

Presentation slides

Session description

When I first picked up Matthew Frederick’s book: “101 Things I Learned in Architecture School” I was struck by the number of principles of architecture that can be directly applied to interaction design, but also disillusioned by the fact that Interaction Designers generally do not have a similar body of knowledge to draw on. Sure we have lots of “process”, but relatively little “wisdom” of the sort found in this book.

The field of Interaction Design isn’t very old – If we’re talking purely software interface design, then let’s say about 25 years old. No surprise, then, that we borrow heavily (and unashamedly) from a range of other, more established, disciplines. We try to compensate for our relative lack of a history, tradition or body of knowledge by leveraging others’. That’s entirely appropriate – but how far does it get us? Interaction Design is an essential component of the delivery of virtually any product or service today. Many of us may already be at the point where we interact with more digital products in a day than we do physical products, and many of the most important transactions in our lives are entirely virtual. Maybe Interaction Design needs to be taken a bit more seriously?

In this talk I’d like to reflect on my almost 20 years as an interaction designer – the things I’ve learned along the way, and the things I wish I would have learned at Interaction Design School, if such a thing had existed back then. Along the way we’ll review some of the 101 things we all should have learned in Interaction Design School, sourced from (the blog I share with Matt Morphett), and beyond.

About Shane Morris

Shane Morris PortraitShane Morris is one of Australia’s most respected user experience professionals. Through consulting, mentoring and training he has helped organisations create compelling digital experiences since 1991. In that time he has worked on desktop applications, internet applications, mobile user interfaces, physical devices and web sites. Shane has taught user experience topics around the world and is a key contributor to “101 Things I Learned in Interaction Design School” at

Shane has worked with companies like Microsoft, Lonely Planet, M&C Saatchi, Cochlear, Amnesia Razorfish and Sensis – helping creative and technical professionals collaborate to create services that empower, inspire and reward. His passion is transforming the complex and constrained into the simple and powerful. Not just because it’s valuable endeavour, but because it’s hard – and therefore immensely rewarding.

Shane’s experience includes:

  • Director of Automatic Studio (Formerly Echo Interaction Design)
  • One of Microsoft’s first User Experience Evangelists world-wide
  • General Manager and Principal Consultant at The Hiser Group

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