Survey result interpretation

12 Nov 2003 - 3:44am
10 years ago
8 replies
453 reads
Jonas Löwgren
2003

39% in favor of creating a new org, 61% not in favor of creating a new
org. That is not exactly conclusive, is it? Or am I missing something?

My (quick) reading of the free-form comments suggests more than anything
else that the list participants who chose to elaborate on their answer
do not form a homogeneous group or a unified opinion. There is huge
variability in assessments of existing organizations, in the value of
practical tips vs. foundational debate, in expectations on the list and
the possibly new organization, etc.., etc., and, of course, on the
meaning of 'interaction design' (or whatever we choose to call the
interest that we seem to think we share to some extent).

Regards,
Jonas Lowgren

Quoting Brad Lauster:

> The amount of spelling errors in the comments was a bit disturbing,
> but at least the vote went the way I hoped it would. It's time for an
> organization of our own.
>
> It seemed like there were two themes for the argument against creating
> our own organization:
>
> 1. Interaction Design isn't significantly different from existing
> disciplines to warrant its own organization. (I completely disagree.
> I'd be interested to know if anyone who made this argument also
> considers themselves an Interaction Designer. I doubt it.)
>
> 2. There are already too many organizations; we shouldn't create
> another one. (Perhaps they feel this way because the existing orgs.
> don't address their needs, so they've joined a bunch, hoping to find a
> home? Or maybe they don't understand the differences between the
> existing orgs, which is a problem with the existing orgs, not with us.)
>
> Thoughts? Other themes?
>
> Cheers!

Comments

12 Nov 2003 - 8:48am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Jonas,
How did you get 61% NOT in favor?
>From the math it looks like you combined 28% from the use existing orgs and
the 33% from the do not care column and added them. But aren't the do no
care people an abstention and neither for nore against, so therefore it is
39% for a new org and 28% against.

I do however, agree w/ you that one of the main problems moving forward is a
lack of definition within our existing organizations (some of that is
political, some historical) as well as a lack of agreement about what is
needed to make our lives and our careers go better.

I do think though while this isn't a mandate by any means, we do have enough
of a go ahead suggested in the numbers to just run w/ it and see what
happens. The SC and the Working Group (those people who have volunteered to
do the heavy lifting) now need to do their own evaluation of the totals and
the comments and make a decision based on the concensus they form. In the
end, the only real power here is with those who say, "I'll do it!". I say
this b/c if you have a strong opinion and think you can offer your energy
and conviction to the formation of this group (within an existing or as a
new foundation) please raise your hand high (or actually e-mail
volunteers at interactiondesigners.com) and let us know you are there.

-- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Jonas Löwgren
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 3:45 AM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Survey result interpretation

39% in favor of creating a new org, 61% not in favor of creating a new org.
That is not exactly conclusive, is it? Or am I missing something?

My (quick) reading of the free-form comments suggests more than anything
else that the list participants who chose to elaborate on their answer do
not form a homogeneous group or a unified opinion. There is huge variability
in assessments of existing organizations, in the value of practical tips vs.
foundational debate, in expectations on the list and the possibly new
organization, etc.., etc., and, of course, on the meaning of 'interaction
design' (or whatever we choose to call the interest that we seem to think we
share to some extent).

Regards,
Jonas Lowgren

Quoting Brad Lauster:

> The amount of spelling errors in the comments was a bit disturbing,
> but at least the vote went the way I hoped it would. It's time for an
> organization of our own.
>
> It seemed like there were two themes for the argument against creating
> our own organization:
>
> 1. Interaction Design isn't significantly different from existing
> disciplines to warrant its own organization. (I completely disagree.
> I'd be interested to know if anyone who made this argument also
> considers themselves an Interaction Designer. I doubt it.)
>
> 2. There are already too many organizations; we shouldn't create
> another one. (Perhaps they feel this way because the existing orgs.
> don't address their needs, so they've joined a bunch, hoping to find a
> home? Or maybe they don't understand the differences between the
> existing orgs, which is a problem with the existing orgs, not with
> us.)
>
> Thoughts? Other themes?
>
> Cheers!

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12 Nov 2003 - 9:30am
Challis Hodge
2003

Jonas Lowgren wrote:
> My (quick) reading of the free-form comments suggests more than
> anything else that the list participants who chose to elaborate
> on their answer do not form a homogeneous group or a unified
> opinion.

We do not need an homogenous group. What we need is a group of people who
think it's important to preserve, promote and grow the practice/profession
of interaction design. If we focus on members we will fail. This is a lesson
I learned from watching aifia evolve. If they had focused on information
architects instead of information architecture, I believe they would have
splintered and failed.

-challis

12 Nov 2003 - 5:03pm
Christian Simon
2003

The fact that this group sees itself as similar to so many other orgs is for
me an indication that there is an essential aspect to the group that would
eventually manifest elsewhere. A good example is the AIGA ED. Graphics
professionals were confronted with new problems, then there was a need for
peer support.

IMHO, quality assurance people need better software and marketing promises
needs to be accountable to customer. As far as this is true then groups like
ACM will strike accords with groups like AIGA to examine the ways HCI and
graphics professionals create their products. (DUX was an example of this).

The ACM chapters do have a facility for this type of sub-group. It is called
a BOF or bird of feather group. These are wholly autonomous in their agenda.

With any new group there is a collective need to create. The new discussions
and the web site address this issue. I for one am surprised that an article
on a web page initiated such a strong reaction. There is some pride in the
quality of responses to the group. For me the test is, will the group
disappear once it has a name and a home?

It is my opinion, there is another way to see what is obviously there. What
other ways can this group can reach out to other orgs besides joining them?
AIFIA is one example, another is through a conference or trade show that
invites other groups to participate, or a publication that is mailed out to
every design firm and software department for free. Do the latter, and this
group will definitely encounter challenges of credibility, resources and
organization.

Xtian

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
Christian Simon
Graphic and User Interface Design
www.christiansimon.com

12 Nov 2003 - 6:11pm
Challis Hodge
2003

Christian Simon:
"With any new group there is a collective need to create. The new
discussions and the web site address this issue. I for one am surprised that
an article on a web page initiated such a strong reaction. There is some
pride in the quality of responses to the group. For me the test is, will the
group disappear once it has a name and a home?

It is my opinion, there is another way to see what is obviously there. What
other ways can this group can reach out to other orgs besides joining them?
AIFIA is one example, another is through a conference or trade show that
invites other groups to participate, or a publication that is mailed out to
every design firm and software department for free. Do the latter, and this
group will definitely encounter challenges of credibility, resources and
organization."

I had been working on the idea of an interaction design org for sometime
before Tog's article appeared. Once I saw the article I knew I had to move
because there probably wouldn't be a second chance to do this if it failed
the first time. I stirred up a bunch of discussion on several email lists by
pinging a couple dozen senior folks for their opinions. Soon after I stepped
in to assist with moving this thing forward and the rest, as they say, is
history.

I have been involved in many of the orgs that we've discussed on this list
and none of them were in a position to further the pratice/profession of
interaction design. I believe this group can and will do that. That's not to
say that the groups like AIGA ED, UPA, CHI and others don't play a valuable
role. I believe they do. It's just a different role.

I believe AIFIA is a good model for us to study. I have supported AIFIA from
the beginning and believe so much in the org that I joined the Advisory
Board for 03-04. AIFIA has made certain to focus not on membership but on
furthering information architecture. I believe they have a good model that
will serve a broad audience well into the future. I also believe there are
huge opportunities for us to partner with AIFIA in many different ways.

-challis

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12 Nov 2003 - 6:32pm
Brad Lauster
2003

Christian,
Aren't you being too broad with your generalization?

If you go by the survey results, this group does not see itself as
similar to other organizations. Only a small percentage of the small
percentage of people who think this group should not form a new
organization believe that this group is similar to other existing
organizations.

About 28% of people who answered thought this group should pursue a
home in an existing organization. Of those people, less than half made
comments suggesting that this group was similar to other existing
organizations.

So at best, 14% of us see this group as similar to other organizations.

Cheers!
--Brad Lauster

On Nov 12, 2003, at 2:03 PM, Christian Simon wrote:
> The fact that this group sees itself as similar to so many other orgs
> is for
> me an indication that there is an essential aspect to the group that
> would
> eventually manifest elsewhere. A good example is the AIGA ED. Graphics
> professionals were confronted with new problems, then there was a need
> for
> peer support.
>
> IMHO, quality assurance people need better software and marketing
> promises
> needs to be accountable to customer. As far as this is true then
> groups like
> ACM will strike accords with groups like AIGA to examine the ways HCI
> and
> graphics professionals create their products. (DUX was an example of
> this).
>
> The ACM chapters do have a facility for this type of sub-group. It is
> called
> a BOF or bird of feather group. These are wholly autonomous in their
> agenda.
>
> With any new group there is a collective need to create. The new
> discussions
> and the web site address this issue. I for one am surprised that an
> article
> on a web page initiated such a strong reaction. There is some pride in
> the
> quality of responses to the group. For me the test is, will the group
> disappear once it has a name and a home?
>
> It is my opinion, there is another way to see what is obviously there.
> What
> other ways can this group can reach out to other orgs besides joining
> them?
> AIFIA is one example, another is through a conference or trade show
> that
> invites other groups to participate, or a publication that is mailed
> out to
> every design firm and software department for free. Do the latter, and
> this
> group will definitely encounter challenges of credibility, resources
> and
> organization.
>
> Xtian
>
>
> """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
> ""
> Christian Simon
> Graphic and User Interface Design
> www.christiansimon.com
** SNIP **

12 Nov 2003 - 6:43pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Maybe the problem is the use of the org AIfIA as a model.
Maybe it is too close to home and confusing people who might even think that
this org is not necessary. That is fair.

I think I want to harken back to the AMA model.

There is an AMA, but there is also an association of Opthamologists,
Podiatrists, Surgeons, and even Thorasic Surgeons (please don't judge on
spelling). Are there similarities in these orgs? Of course! There has to be.
Is there a need for the AMA to be a binding umbrella? Or course there is. So
IMHO AIfIA and IDG are like Opthamology and Surgery. And I believe one of
the goals of both of these groups down the line is to work with the other
orgs like UPA (a group that might be best served by focusing instead of
broadening) and AIGA-ED and SIGCHI to form the mother of all UX umbrella
groups.

Well, that's my take on all this.

Last more direct point. If everyone felt there was no need for a specific
new group of any kind then we wouldn't have 800+ people registered to our
two e-mail lists (discuss@ and announce@).

-- dave

_____

From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Challis Hodge
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 6:11 PM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Survey result interpretation

Christian Simon:
"With any new group there is a collective need to create. The new
discussions and the web site address this issue. I for one am surprised that
an article on a web page initiated such a strong reaction. There is some
pride in the quality of responses to the group. For me the test is, will the
group disappear once it has a name and a home?

It is my opinion, there is another way to see what is obviously there. What
other ways can this group can reach out to other orgs besides joining them?
AIFIA is one example, another is through a conference or trade show that
invites other groups to participate, or a publication that is mailed out to
every design firm and software department for free. Do the latter, and this
group will definitely encounter challenges of credibility, resources and
organization."

I had been working on the idea of an interaction design org for sometime
before Tog's article appeared. Once I saw the article I knew I had to move
because there probably wouldn't be a second chance to do this if it failed
the first time. I stirred up a bunch of discussion on several email lists by
pinging a couple dozen senior folks for their opinions. Soon after I stepped
in to assist with moving this thing forward and the rest, as they say, is
history.

I have been involved in many of the orgs that we've discussed on this list
and none of them were in a position to further the pratice/profession of
interaction design. I believe this group can and will do that. That's not to
say that the groups like AIGA ED, UPA, CHI and others don't play a valuable
role. I believe they do. It's just a different role.

I believe AIFIA is a good model for us to study. I have supported AIFIA from
the beginning and believe so much in the org that I joined the Advisory
Board for 03-04. AIFIA has made certain to focus not on membership but on
furthering information architecture. I believe they have a good model that
will serve a broad audience well into the future. I also believe there are
huge opportunities for us to partner with AIFIA in many different ways.

-challis

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12 Nov 2003 - 9:50pm
Nick Ragouzis
2004

Thinking about what relationship a new group might have with other groups, I
thought to pretty-up an analysis I did on the subject-matter categories that
authors provided in their submissions to DUX2003. You can pick it up at
<http://www.enosis.com/resources/dux2003-casestudydisciplines.pdf>.

Just more reading of tea leaves, for sure. But, it might be interesting in
reference to the differences between how AIFIA's landscape differs from that
of a potential interaction design membership organization.

The patterns in those submissions are the ones I see broadly. In particular:
there are many specific disciplines which [will] have a strong relationship
with interaction design. The more specific, and in some way separate, these
disciplines are the more likely they will have a strong, separate, primary
membership and discipline/practice-focused organization of their own.

So at this point I see:

1) A need to confirm recognition of "so-what?" threshold characteristics for
interaction design. What makes it not just another thing/discipline, not
just to us but to potential audiences, enterprises, other practice
communities. This is why I agree with others on the list that one might best
read the survey's neutrals as "Not Affirmatives". The difficulty here, with
the clustering we see, is the necessity to define those characteristics in
terms of 5 years out.

2) An opportunity to be the "go-to" group for these other proffsnl orgs for
interaction design aspects. This might be a group of a different type than
is currently under consideration. Indeed, as mentioned on the list, like a
BOF -- but more. In writing that I'm reminded of the W3C's special super-BOF
position in the IW3C2 meetings -- always a track, etc. Perhaps extending
this to the academic and enterprise sphere. This is somewhat different and
less than AIFIA, maybe an AFID. Specialists within other groups.

3) Little opportunity for a full-fledged UPA-like ACMSIG-like IDSA-like etc.
organization.

But things will change ... the moment will grow more propitious.

Just so there's no confusion, I'm positively inclined. When in January,
1997, I wrote[1] that "It takes an interaction design professional to do
professional interaction design" I believed (as I do now) that interaction
design is the root of this domain. Writing in that same piece, I talked
about "designing for experience," making experience design more like the
*trunk.* None of this was so early ... but then, as now, I think we're still
steps away from understanding what interaction design really entails.
Leaves, branches, trunks ... these come first. Perhaps. Plus, I dare say
that this practice might turn out to be a bit different than we now think.

A strong confirmation of that time's arrival and our having grasped the
nature of the offering will be that among a group of self-declared
interested and forward-looking parties (like folks here) there will be a
strong majority saying "Let's Go."

Best,
--Nick
[1] <http://www.enosis.com/resources/10drules.html>

- - - - -

Challis wrote:

I had been working on the idea of an interaction design org for sometime
before Tog's article appeared. Once I saw the article I knew I had to move
because there probably wouldn't be a second chance to do this if it failed
the first time. I stirred up a bunch of discussion on several email lists by
pinging a couple dozen senior folks for their opinions. Soon after I stepped
in to assist with moving this thing forward and the rest, as they say, is
history.

I have been involved in many of the orgs that we've discussed on this list
and none of them were in a position to further the pratice/profession of
interaction design. I believe this group can and will do that. That's not to
say that the groups like AIGA ED, UPA, CHI and others don't play a valuable
role. I believe they do. It's just a different role.

I believe AIFIA is a good model for us to study. I have supported AIFIA from
the beginning and believe so much in the org that I joined the Advisory
Board for 03-04. AIFIA has made certain to focus not on membership but on
furthering information architecture. I believe they have a good model that
will serve a broad audience well into the future. I also believe there are
huge opportunities for us to partner with AIFIA in many different ways.

-challis

13 Nov 2003 - 11:20am
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

> Last more direct point. If everyone felt there was no need

> for a specific new group of any kind then we wouldn't have

> 800+ people registered to our two e-mail lists (discuss@

> and announce@).

Dave,

More information is to be found in the results of the survey than in
membership numbers alone. It is entirely possible that a large number of the
membership is lurking, just to see what happens - but not because they want
to get involved.

The survey is a much more accurate snapshot. Of the 800 people subscribed to
the list, 610 abstained from the survey. Of the 190 that participated, 74
felt strongly enough to indicate that this 'group' needs its own new
organization.

A wide variety of conclusions could come from this data in its entirety.
However, to say that because 800 people are subscribed to a list is an
indication that a new group is needed when you have better, more precise
data at hand, might not be the best approach.

At any rate, this group will stand and fall on a the efforts of a small
number of 'early adopters'. Those early adopters take on the venture at high
risk, but also with high potential payoff. I applaud the effort, and hope to
see something of use - wherever it is finally housed.

-Gerard

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