Benchmarking Interaction Design practice.

IXD Awards


The Interaction 17 conference (IXD) is an annual conference bringing together the best of the global community to discuss the latest challenges and developments within the practice of Interaction Design. When Stacey Orr and Charlene Turei head to New York to attend in February, they'll have a few hectic days in the Big Apple and will be soaking up knowledge in workshops and sessions, plus attending the awards night.

In anticipation, Stacey and Charlene share what they’re looking forward to seeing and hearing at the conference.

Stacey Orr - Digital Design Director

Attending the Interaction 17 conference gives us the opportunity to assess how we are working, and the calibre of our outcomes against some of the biggest and the best organisations in the world. We also get the chance to connect with our international peers (1000+ fellow design leaders will be attending this year), compare notes, learn from others insights (the good and bad), and get a feeling for international themes in interaction design. I’m sure we’ll both most definitely come away inspired. 

Interaction design principles are ingrained across all of our teams at DNA, from research and design through to development. I hope to hear how other companies ensure interaction and experience design are at the heart of every phase and project they work on and consider how we can further continue to integrate interaction design into all parts of our process. 

Attending the IXD Awards ceremony with our work as a finalist will be a highlight for me. The Awards allow us to see how we stack up and how the value of design is embraced around the world. Although our entry, is in many respects, seen as a digital project, it has been designed with organisation-wide efficiency at its core. The user interactions are simpler, but so too is the fulfilment and integration behind the scenes. 

Charlene Turei - Interaction Design Director

At DNA our design practice is heavily based on Interaction Design principles and methodologies and we’re constantly evolving our practice to meet the ever changing challenges our clients face. An important aspect to this is understanding what’s happening on the global stage and drawing learning from international sources. One thing I’ve seen from other international learning opportunities is that everything must be adapted to our own unique situation in New Zealand, but exposure to such opportunities is key to continuing the evolution of our own practice.

5 years ago I attended the Interaction 12 conference in Dublin. Back then, the New Zealand industry was still very much focused on Usability and Information Architecture. At DNA we were in the early stages of developing our Interaction Design practice and attending the conference was a chance to gain some focused learning and to broaden our understanding in order to develop our own thinking and practice. The topics discussed during the conference and the projects celebrated as part of the IXD Awards were hugely inspirational. They highlighted a gap in the New Zealand industry and confirmed that DNA was heading in the right direction, albeit with some way to go. 

5 years on and we have come a long way as an agency – as has the New Zealand industry as a whole. This time I’m looking forward to seeing how we stack up against the global community and to gain new perspective and inspiration. I’m looking to again find new approaches to add to the development of our practice which can add value for our clients. 

This time we have an entry in the awards and are delighted to have been selected as a finalist. It will be a proud moment for DNA and New Zealand to see the Immigration New Zealand Visa Gateway project up on the big screen alongside some other great work from around the world. 

The IXD awards are all about user needs and how well the solution meets that need across a diverse range of categories – which are:

 > Optimising: Making daily activities more efficient

> Connecting: Facilitating communication between people and communities

> Engaging: Capturing attention, creating delight and delivering meaning

> Empowering: Enabling people to go beyond their limits

> Expressing: Encouraging self-expression and/or creativity

Disrupting: Re-imagining completely an existing product or service by creating new behaviours, usages or markets.

The interest we have in IXD is that far from being merely digitally focussed, the awards orientation is value and effect based, plus they are agnostic – product, service and channel solutions are all up against each other in the award categories. In the IXD awards, the 'sum of the parts' is often what defines the winning entries, and the value of a solution is celebrated over the design inputs.

The winners will be announced during the conference on the 8th of February 2017 in New York, so watch this space.