Interaction Design is an emerging area of design research and practice that is concerned with those aspects of the design of interactive technology that shape people’s experience when they use the technology. It is the design of the potentials for possible action by real, living people when they use information and communications technologies to support, mediate and/or enable their activities in some way.
Our starting point for the design of any technology for human use is the recognition that all human action is embodied, situated and social and that the creation and maintenance of shared meaning is the central focus of interaction between people and also between people and interactive technologies. An understanding of actual human practice is basic to our research and this is reflected in the design of our projects and in the interdisciplinary approaches, techniques and methodologies we use. This is the lab where human-computer interaction (HCI) and usability design research is done.
The lab was established in 2002 as the Interaction Design and Work Practice lab (IDWoP). Its name acknowledged its intellectual, philosophical and ethical debt to those design traditions committed to the use of design tools, techniques and methods that seek to ground technology design in the real world contexts of embodiment, situated meanings, values and social issues.
In 2009 it was renamed the Interaction Design and Human Practice lab (IDHuP) because we don’t just design technology for use at work any more!