A constructively critical approach to interaction design

Improving interactive tech­no­logy by scruti­nizing main­stream trends and their impact on people and society — for human-centred digital design

Deeply enthusiastic about the potential of digital technology, the core proposition of this approach is a deep understanding of social context and values to inform interaction design, under holistic consideration of technology's impact on individuals and society.

The goal is to develop, promote and utilize approaches, methods and tools that integrate easily neglected aspects like

  • user value,
  • social use experience and life context,
  • conceptual usability, and
  • data ownership and privacy,

with traditional user-centred design.

Value of the approach

While sceptical about many shortcomings in current interactive design, Critical Interaction Design is not negative. Quite the opposite: the considerate evaluation of alternatives...

  • reveals "given truths" (aka. "best practices", "industry standards") worth reassessing
  • triggers ideas for innovative, human-centred developments in interaction design practice
  • helps develop novel, unique solutions to yield highest provider, user, and societal, value
  • acknowledges "users" as people, with human values and individual life contexts - and that interaction design has influence far beyond users
  • pinpoints prevalent oversimplification in technology development and develops holistic alternatives

For whom

A wide range of stakeholders benefits from off-mainstream solutions for better interaction design:

  • commercial services and products looking for differentiation or better fit-to-market
  • public services wanting to benefit citizens independently from corporate surveillance
  • third-sector actors aiming to do responsible interaction design in people-centred manner
  • employers and professionals searching for inspiration to do things differently
  • the general public, developing a deeper, reflected understanding of the implications of technology use

Example themes

The wide range of topics covered by a critical attitude toward current developments in interaction design are presented on this website and blog. To summarize a few of the core topics:

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