Is the IXDA a well-kept secret? (was:InterestingArticle About Usability as a Career in New York Times.)

17 Jul 2007 - 12:56pm
7 years ago
2 replies
431 reads
White, Jeff
2007

I'm a member of UPA as well. My perception is that UPA is actually less
focused than IxDA.

>From their site:

"The UPA supports those who promote and advance the development of
usable products, reaching out to people who act as advocates for
usability and the user experience. Members come from across the broad
family of disciplines that create the user experience. We invite you to
network in our community."

An interaction designer easily fits this mission statement. However, a
usability engineer who only does research and no design wouldn't fit in
the IxDA.

Jeff

>>
Clearly the UPA and IxDA are wildly different demographics. I look at
the UPA conference speakers list (http://tinyurl.com/28owdb), and not
only do I not personally know any of the speakers, I only *recognize*
three names on the entire list! Everyone else is someone I've never
heard of.

So why the compartmentalization? (These same questions can also apply to
the other various factions: the meetups, the CHI groups, SIG-IA, the
AIGA's various efforts, local chapters, etc)

* Is the UPA more research-oriented, and IxDA more design-oriented?
* Does the UPA skew more academic, IxDA more professional? Vice versa?
* Does the UPA skew, older? Younger?
* Does the UPA skew more innie or outie?

I wasn't surprised that the NYT would call the UPA and not IxDA. The
writer probably dug into the same pile of contacts they would have
called 15 years ago.

But what do you think?

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

>>

Comments

17 Jul 2007 - 2:05pm
jrrogan
2005

So why the compartmentalization? (These same questions can also apply to
the other various factions: the meetups, the CHI groups, SIG-IA, the
AIGA's various efforts, local chapters, etc)

* Is the UPA more research-oriented, and IxDA more design-oriented?
* Does the UPA skew more academic, IxDA more professional? Vice versa?
* Does the UPA skew, older? Younger?
* Does the UPA skew more innie or outie?

> So why the compartmentalization? (These same questions can also apply to
> the other various factions: the meetups, the CHI groups, SIG-IA, the
> AIGA's various efforts, local chapters, etc)

> * Is the UPA more research-oriented, and IxDA more design-oriented?
> * Does the UPA skew more academic, IxDA more professional? Vice versa?
> * Does the UPA skew, older? Younger?
> * Does the UPA skew more innie or outie?

These are good questions, each one of these orgs would benefit in defining
where their core competence lies. As far as I know the groups core
competence is the following, (please correct me if I'm wrong):

UPA – testing oriented

CHI - grab bag of disciplines depending on which CHI you attend, could be
heavy library sciences, interaction design, upfront CI/Anthropological
disciplines, and/or testing.

SIG-IA – library sciences

AIGA - graphics.

IxDA - ... interaction design focused (?).

For sure there can be overlap, but core specialization should be a strength
of an organization and an individual.

If IxDA does focus mainly on the design side, this NY Times article doesn't
seem so wild in its lack of IxDA/design recognition.

Along with articles such as this, many "design" seem to stress experience in
testing, anthropological studies, library sciences, and possibly not
mentioning design at all. Sometimes it seems HR/ Managers believe
software/websites design themselves given the proper research.

17 Jul 2007 - 3:25pm
Carol J. Smith
2007

Rich Rogan said:
>UPA – testing oriented

UPA members do conduct usability tests in addition to a wide variety of
usability and UX methods such as user research (observations, interviews,
persona creation, etc.), interaction design, information architecture, etc.
For some members usability is their primary focus and for other's it is a
related discipline or interest.

> * Is the UPA more research-oriented, and IxDA more design-oriented?
> * Does the UPA skew more academic, IxDA more professional? Vice versa?

The UPA focuses on providing practical tools and content that can be applied
to projects that professionals are currently working on or will in the
future. We do have many academics and other's from outside the usability
community that we welcome to attend and/or present at the conference, but
the majority are practicing some aspect of usability.

You can find out more about the UPA at:
http://www.upassoc.org/about_upa/index.html

> * Does the UPA skew, older? Younger?

Of the 740+ attendees at this year's conference we seemed to have a nice mix
of ages and people both new to and expert in the profession.

Carol Smith

> > * Is the UPA more research-oriented, and IxDA more design-oriented?
> > * Does the UPA skew more academic, IxDA more professional? Vice versa?
> > * Does the UPA skew, older? Younger?
> > * Does the UPA skew more innie or outie?
>
>
>
>
>
> These are good questions, each one of these orgs would benefit in defining
> where their core competence lies. As far as I know the groups core
> competence is the following, (please correct me if I'm wrong):
>
>
>
> UPA – testing oriented
>
>
>
> CHI - grab bag of disciplines depending on which CHI you attend, could be
> heavy library sciences, interaction design, upfront CI/Anthropological
> disciplines, and/or testing.
>
>
>
> SIG-IA – library sciences
>
>
>
> AIGA - graphics.
>
>
>
> IxDA - ... interaction design focused (?).
>
>
>
> For sure there can be overlap, but core specialization should be a
> strength
> of an organization and an individual.
>
>
>
> If IxDA does focus mainly on the design side, this NY Times article
> doesn't
> seem so wild in its lack of IxDA/design recognition.
>
> Along with articles such as this, many "design" seem to stress experience
> in
> testing, anthropological studies, library sciences, and possibly not
> mentioning design at all. Sometimes it seems HR/ Managers believe
> software/websites design themselves given the proper research.
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