🦆 Interaction Nerds by UXA
This week from Archive & Collection: can trust be designed, rethinking the future role of designers, and ways to use ADPList.
Table of Contents:
Happy *sad frozen weather* February! ☃️ Hopefully y’all have been staying warm (but still going outside and getting Vitamin D). You might be wondering why you are receiving email from IN on a Tuesday—yes! Interaction Nerds will from now on release on Tuesdays 9AM! Remember to check your email inbox on Tuesdays instead of Mondays now! 👀
UXA is kicking off our “Lunch & Learn with Prof” series today with Prof. Roberta Klatzky at Lucca Ristorante from 11:30am-12:30pm. We’ll be having lunch chats (free lunch!) every other week with a different professor, so keep an eye out for the sign up in next week’s issue! 💬
We are also holding an exciting Alumni Panel event on Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm in Tepper 2611! Come meet alumni with experience in Product Management, Product Design, and Design Consulting. Learn about their day in life, and fulfill your curiosity about working in the industry! RSVP through the link below! 💻
Last but not least, come check out some new opportunities in the database! 👀
🍀 Industry — Can Trust be Designed?
Is money real? 💸
Are countries real? 🇺🇸
Is the law real? ⚖️
Yet why is it that (nearly) 7.837 billion of us abide by these fictions every single day? Our modern institutions are just mental models - yet because billions of us believe in them, they have immense power. These fictions only have such power because they’re constantly reinforced by symbols.
💰 For example, money is a construct that our world revolves around. A dollar bill is just a slip of paper, but its layers of symbolism convey a sense of legitimacy & trustworthiness. 🏛️
Designers can use symbols to draw upon these fictions to evoke certain emotions or create feelings of familiarity.
🌕 Yet if everything is built from past symbols, will we ever escape the Eurocentric models from centuries ago? What futures can we create by freeing ourselves from old symbols?
In the following article, Teixeira explores the power of visual symbols in building credibility and designers can leverage them for good or bad.
🌱 To Summarize:
Power relies on shared fictions encoded through meaningful symbols (eg. a dollar bill).
New fictions can tap into existing fictions to create familiarity, helping people more easily believe in the new fiction.
Symbols can mislead people by stimulating trust or familiarity without logical backing.
🌾 Opinion — Re-thinking the Future Role of Designers
Is the purpose of design to solve problems? As designers, what if we pose problems, rather than just addressing the ones handed to us?
In this article, Apoorvajain dives into how, through speculative design, we can start designing a future we want, rather than reacting to a future we don’t want.
🌈 speculative design is a tool to not just predict, but design a better future. By creating space to ask “what if” questions, designers can start addressing people as citizens with dreams rather than just consumers with wants and work together to shift to the looming, complex problems of the future.
Even when you have no idea what the future might look like, speculative design as an exercise to imagine possibilities for the future can give us an idea as to what a better future might look like.
🎯 Resource — Ways to Use ADPlist
In school, feedback is typically a given. But when applying for internships or jobs, feedback is rare! But without feedback, how are you supposed to improve?
ADPList, a free mentorship platform, is an amazing resource for everything from practicing portfolio walkthroughs to figuring out what working as a designer is really like.
In this article, Arshla explains some of the many ways you can utilize ADPList to get you where you want to be.
💡 User Test Portfolio & Case Studies Have your mentor pretend to be an interviewer and think aloud through your portfolio or listen to you present your case study and ask questions.
🧠 Learn from their ways of thinking Ask mentors to share how they approach storytelling, pitching, or anything else. Even if their method isn’t your cup of tea, practice understand why other people think & act the way they do.
🦜 Mock Interviews Interviews can be nerve wracking! The best way to be a good interviewee is to practice, get & apply feedback, and practice again.
🌏 Build a network of people you can ask for advice, introductions, or opportunities. The more people you know, the more resources, opportunities, and exposure to ideas you’ll get!
🎆 Fun — Random Cool Things!
🤔 Who’s behind the scenes?
Thanks for reading this week’s Interaction Nerds by CMU UXA! The editors behind this work are Alana Wu, Sean Shen, and Rebecca Jiang.
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