Design of Digital Products in the Future

A paper titled “Design of Digital Products in the Future: A Study of Interaction Design Students and Their Perceptions on Design Issues” by Hanne Sørum was presented at the conference HCI International 2017 in Vancouver, Canada,  9-14 July 2017. Today’s students on programs covering interaction design will most likely contribute to the development of products that we will use in the future. The roles they will play in this regard will of course depend on various factors. Regardless of this, their educational background is a vital component, along with their motivation, personality, knowledge, and ideas. The present study reports on an online questionnaire (n = 82) given to students on interaction design programs. Additionally, eight qualitative interviews were performed to gain more insight. The findings show that, in general, the students of today perceive themselves to be in great shape for the development of future products. However, the majority of the respondents have also considered other study areas that might be relevant to them, grounded in shared backgrounds and interests. They also enjoy working individually with design ideas and prototypes, and they generally prefer working with digital solutions over working with print and physical products. User testing is found to be a vital element within the design process, although the analysis of such  data  is  found  to  be  somewhat  difficult. Concerning  industrial  needs,  the students struggle to clearly define the role of an interaction designer and the tasks they are expected to perform when taking on a job within the design industry. This paper ends with concluding remarks and suggestions for upcoming research contributions.