…and have them try an infinite number of careers, and eventually you’ll get lucky.
Actually, I got lucky ten years ago, when I switched into my current career. And it seems that people are finally sitting up and noticing, as FastCompany’s list of “Ten Jobs You Didn’t Know You Wanted” does:
Interaction designers work at all stages of product development to design innovative and user-friendly products. In addition to wearing the traditional hat of a designer, they work with executives to define goals for products and systems in development. They also investigate how people actually engage with new products and systems by creating “personas,” hypothetical users with constructed life stories, to predict their reactions.
Although many interaction designers have advanced degrees in design, such a background isn’t a prerequisite, says David Fore, head of consulting services at Cooper, a pioneering interaction design firm. Fore previously worked as a reporter for industry publications — valuable experience, given that interaction designers’ research requires “the skills of a reporter and an anthropologist,” according to him.
Reporter and anthropologist? Sure. Add engineer, negotiator and psychologist.
In addition to the competitive salary, interaction designers enjoy the opportunity “to learn about every walk of life and industry imaginable,” says Fore. “There’s working with stock brokers, working with a golf course superintendent, an advertising creative director, working with a nurse to build infusion pumps. Everyone needs product design.”
They don’t all know it, but they do, indeed.