Is the IXDA a well-kept secret?

17 Jul 2007 - 2:38pm
455 reads
Elizabeth Buie

Robert Reimann writes:

>Usability, HCI, and IxD practitioners really
>come from a different academic and industry backgrounds, with
>surprisingly few overlaps in terms of shared canonical works (I think
>the knowledge itself may in many cases be analogous, but from
>different sources with different pedigrees).

I'd add "human factors" to that list as well. And I have sometimes been amazed
by how little some usability practitioners know about human factors. In a recent
conversation with some fellow usability folk, I mentioned Alphonse Chapanis; and
one of the group asked, "Who?"

"Who?" indeed! Harumph.


(This is not to diss usability people in particular, but that's the professional
community in which I hang out more than any other, and of the UX components it's
the one that I would expect to be the most informed about its HF background. HF
is usability's roots, after all.)

>UXNet is endeavoring to remedy this situation by building more bridges
>bewteen the many distinct UX subcommunities. The cause of better
>product/service interactions is well-served by a more unified voice in
>advocacy of better user experiences.

Robert, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that this morning on the
Metro I started reading "About Face 3", and I like it very much. (I had not
read either of the earlier versions.) I was especially struck by your characterization of UX as the one that brings together the other design
disciplines and ensures that all aspects of the design are covered. This is an excellent analogue to a concept with which I have much longer familiarity: the role
of system engineering in building large systems -- it brings together the specific
engineering disciplines (software, human factors, hardware, data base, performance,
etc.) and ensures that all aspects of the larger system are covered and the
system-level requirements are met.

>The cause of better
>product/service interactions is well-served by a more unified voice in
>advocacy of better user experiences.

Agreed, and I'm thinking of getting involved. What I could bring to UXNet that I
think is not so common is the perspective of complex systems -- I have a background
in control centers (NASA, ESA, FAA), and although HF has long had a presence in
these areas, it doesn't seem to be prominent in the newer communities such as IxD
and UXNet. What do you think?


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