As we move forward, digital experiences are permeating our lives at a staggering rate. The separation between the digital realm and human existence is getting smaller and smaller, and in some cases, almost indistinguishable. Digital products are permeating our homes (Nest), our cars (Tesla), monitoring our health (Fitbit) and hitching a ride in our pockets at all times (hello, smartphone). Some of us can hardly imagine our lives without some of these technologies, yet the only reason they’ve been so intimately absorbed into our lives is due to their thoughtful design.
Our challenge as interaction designers is to help bring these experiences to life during the early ideation phases, prototyping early and often. In order to help build a future where we are not run by machines nor bothered by their existence, we need to help build a society that views technology as a facility, enhancing life experiences rather than detracting from them. Our job is to know our users better than they know themselves, designing experiences that feel natural, grounded in human characteristics. As Steve Jobs said, “It is not the customers job to know what they want.” By considering each and every micro-interaction, tested and iterated through the help of prototypes, we can only hope to create products that are invited into our user’s selectively permeable lives. As designers, it is our responsibility and our biggest challenge.