The Importance of Facial Features

Session Title

The Importance of Facial Features


Gretchen Anderson, Lunar

Session Type: Presentation

The tactile controls of an electronic, interactive product form its most recognizable aspects, or “facial features.” Choosing which controls to use and how they appear has an enormous impact on the impact the product makes on first impression. The process of deciding on your product’s facial features is tricky; a team must collaborate closely across multiple disciplines to determine what controls are needed, how they should appear and how they relate to the product’s form. Even with touch- and gesture-based interfaces, people need cues that point to (or obscure) the function, value, and lust-factor of the product.

This session will look at some well-known products and illuminate best practices for integrating interaction designers, industrial designers, and engineers to make well-informed decisions about a product’s (inter)face. This session looks at how design teams can make sense of user research to inform the design of the user interface as well as the aesthetic expression. It will also look at how emerging interactive models (gesture, touch and voice) change the historical relationship of industrial and interaction design.


As LUNAR’s Director of User Interface Design, Gretchen designs products that are as pleasurable to use as they are powerful in expression. She seeks out those design challenges that ultimately make a positive impact on people’s daily lives and environment. With a design philosophy rooted in the belief that a user interface should be seamless and invisible, she has designed a wide variety of products and experiences: from medical devices to casino entertainment to business productivity tools. Gretchen graduated with honors from Harvard University. Her experience spans 15 years, and prior to joining LUNAR, she worked for several Bay Area design consultancies. Her clients include: Johnson & Johnson, TurboChef, Microsoft, Virgin Records and HP. She also enjoys teaching design and research methodologies to fellow designers and business people alike.