Interaction design is the design discipline for the third industrial revolution. The origins of design as a practice lie in the first industrial revolution. With the second, electronic products became design objects. The third industrial revolution is digital. The computer – in all its forms and appearances – permeates our everyday life. Design for the digital revolution is not concerned with objects and surfaces but with systems, software and interactions. Not the outer form of a product is relevant but its ease of use, its elegance and the seamless integration into our lives. The aim of interaction design is to make complex technology usable, understandable and enjoyable.
I consult companies and institutions on the design and implementation of extensive digital projects. The complexity of many digital projects if very high. And in many cases, matters of design and usability are not adequately considered. In the planning stage of a project, I support the framing and development of the project call. Furthermore, I participate in the ideation phase and the identification of potential innovations. By organizing workshops, presentations and discussions, I help to discover creative possibilities and define the strategic aims and objectives of the project.
During the project call, I assist in finding the right partners for the realization of the project. Here, my focus is on technical, conceptual and design competences.
In the implementation stage, I support the project by advising the team on matters of design quality, usability, and conceptual consistency.
Additionally, I give lectures on interaction design and data visualization.
For over 15 years, I am working at the intersection of design and digital technology. I have received a diploma in Graphic Design from the Art College in Bremen and an MA in Computer Related Design from the Royal College of Art in London. I worked for MetaDesign San Francisco, the Fraunhofer Research Society in Bonn and for one/one in Amsterdam. After being a visiting Professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Italy), I became a professor for Interaction Design at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam where I have played a major role in the set-up of the interface design programme. Since April 2014, I am also head of the university’s design department.
My research at the university is focused on generative design, user interface and data visualization. I am also director of the Urban Complexity Lab at the university, a position I hold jointly since January 2015 with my colleague Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk.
In the last few years, I have worked for a number of clients, supporting them in the ideation, design and implementation of digital projects. Among others, I have worked for:
- Bertelsmann Foundation: ideation, concept, design and consulting for the development and implementation of the visualization tool GED Viz. The tool focuses on relational data such as flows of trade, finance and migration.
- Jewish Museum Berlin: concept and design consulting for the re-design of the digital learning center.
- MTV: ideation, design and consulting for the development of an interactive clip creator that allows MTV viewers to create their own clips.
- Philips: ideation and consulting for the »dynamic lighting« website. The aim was to convey the experience of interactive light control.
- Poetry on the Road: design and development of a generative corporate identity.
Process and Dialog
It is difficult to define creativity, innovation and usability in product specifications. However, these qualities are fundamental for the success of any digital project. In order to achieve them, you need to moderate between clients, designers, users and developers. I understand my role as interaction designer not only as an expert on certain formal and technical questions – but also as a moderator in a complex process with very different stake holders.
For my work, I have received the following awards:
- Deutscher Infografikpreis for Ged VIZ
- Information is Beautiful Silver Award for GED Viz
- iF design award for the Philips Dynamic Lighting Website
- 100 beste Plakate for Poetry on the Road
- Certificate of Typographic Excellence of the Type Directors Club New York for Poetry on the Road
- Excellence Award des 4th ACA Media Arts Festival Tokyo for Forest of Thought
- First prize, Student Category of EuroPrix 2000 for Rund um den Domshof in Bremen
- Lucky Strike Junior Designer Award – Special Distinction for fragments
The subject-matter of interaction design is not technology but the human hand and the human imagination.