A unified approach to visual and interaction design

Cooper Journal: A unified approach to visual and interaction design

At the end of the day, as designers, we want to look for a set of attributes that tells a comprehensive story that resonates with both stakeholders and users, and has a healthy amount of tension which will be productive for exploring and establishing boundaries. For example, the attributes innovative and mature create some natural, productive tension. This contrast establishes a continuum that we can explore between the attributes, while establishing an extreme for each opposing attribute. For instance, a design language that takes the concept of innovation to the bleeding edge can no longer be considered stable and mature, and therefore falls outside the boundaries of the strategy defined by the overall attribute set.


A set of four experience attributes, along with their supporting terms.
A good attribute set always contains productive tension that is good
for establishing the boundaries of a design language strategy.

A set of four experience attributes, along with their supporting terms. A good attribute set always contains productive tension that is good for establishing the boundaries of a design language strategy.

Along these lines, it is often as productive to describe the negative space as it is to discuss the positive. In other words, make sure you spend some time discussing and explaining what it is categorically not, as well as what it is. For instance, the product should be brilliant, but not “bleeding edge.” An ideal negative attribute is one that represents a good thing taken to its extreme, rather than an inherently negative concept. For all experience attributes, but especially for expressing the significance of negative attributes, providing a visual reference can be very effective.

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