This paper explores new methodology, tools, and techniques for ideation of interaction design. On one hand, our work takes a mixed approach to developing design methodology by integrating usability tests and ethnographic studies in the ideation process. On the other hand, parallel design with user participation is attempted to reduce interactive design life cycle. An interaction design example is drawn from i-Awn project, an activity-coordination and reminding system in smart homes. This example demonstrates our mixed approach and shows how a new methodology is developed for validating the quality of user experience in a critical process of designing. The objective is to get the right interaction and the interaction right, provoking new ways of thinking about usability evaluation in the ideation process. The social, cultural and emotional uses of interactive systems in smart homes are discussed.