What I’ve Learned #4: Skills

Knowing how to build something, physically or virtually, will get your designs further.

Sometimes when I’m learning a new programming language, arduino, or electronics, I wonder if my time is best spent learning something that isn’t specifically about interaction design. I know I will never be a pro at object-oriented programming, fully understand what a capacitor does, or be able to hack an arduino to control my twitter feed.

But… it does feel great to build something and see it working in front of you! …it does feel great to take a crazy idea that is impossible to explain to someone and build it for them to understand firsthand!

Learning bits and pieces of PHP, Processing, Flash, electronics, and Arduino during my time in the Masters program has been invaluable knowledge. It isn’t directly about interaction design, but they allow me to directly demonstrate and explain my interaction design.

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