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About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by David Cronin, Robert Reimann, Alan Cooper

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Appendix . Afterword: On Collaboration

We think of the Goal-Directed method as consisting of four p’s: processes, patterns, principles, and practices. This book mostly concerns itself with the first three. In closing, we’d like to share a few thoughts about the practice of interaction design.

Interaction design is largely a difficult and messy affair (which is not to say that we don’t love it). Interaction designers are often asked to help imagine and define something that has never been seen before, using new technology on an ambitious timeline. They must develop a sophisticated understanding of a complex domain, balance competing priorities, and understand the limitations and opportunities associated with the technology at their disposal and the business context of the project at hand.

The vertigo caused by these struggles and challenges has motivated us to take a very methodical approach. When we work according to the processes described in Part I, we know that we will have the benefit of the appropriate information to answer the right questions at the right time, a sense of predictability and an audit trail for design decisions back through requirements, scenarios, personas, and research. Patterns and principles are useful because they help us avoid wasted effort of continually examining first assumptions and reinventing the wheel.

But ultimately, these things are not enough. Process, patterns, and principles are necessary, but not sufficient, for a successful interaction design ...

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