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A Passion for Interaction Design with Lydia from The Home Office

At Manchester Digital, we like to interview members to find out a bit more about their passions to help you get to know them.

This week we spoke to Lydia, Senior Interaction Designer at The Home Office. An interaction designer works out the best way to let users interact with services, in terms of both overall flow and at the level of individual design elements.

1) Let’s start from the beginning. What got you into the role of Interaction Design?

Design has always been my passion and I started off my career teaching design, although teaching wasn’t my long-term goal. I wanted to be hands on and although I initially saw my future as an Industrial Designer, human factors design really sparked my interest and passion. During my Master's studies, I investigated how online shopping has changed our perception of the world around us, and this ultimately lead me down the path of interaction design, helping people navigate the online world as efficiently as possible. 

2) How different was Interaction Design back then from how it is now?

Covid has a huge impact on the industry. It has opened a lot of doors to be able to easily work with different people located all over the country, however, we have lost some of the 'human factors'' to our design and research, which is also now often done remotely. The requirement for design to be centred around the users has grown and we are becoming better at designing products that are inclusive. We still have a long way to go, as well as people to convince, but this will continue to improve as the industry grows and strengthens. 

3) What excites you the most about your work?

When you do make changes to the services people use regularly and they give you feedback on how much it has improved their day-to-day job, you really get that feeling of satisfaction. I also love working with people who want to get into design or strengthen their skills. I mentor and support a diverse range of people, and this is what I love the most about my job. 

4) What technologies can we look forward to in your profession?

I think Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have the biggest impact on our profession. I work in the public sector so I’m sure this will be a gradual and careful adoption of this technology. It’s an exciting prospect that something is on the horizon that could revolutionise the way we work. 

5) Who are your Interaction Design heroes? (Or if there are no heroes, who can you recommend others to follow) 

I like the old school way of having books on my shelf to inspire me when I'm in need. A few recommendations would be: 

The Design Thinking Toolbox - Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer

Laws of UX - Jon Yablonski

Emotional Design - Don Norman 

Thank you Lydia.

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