Does Forrester know about interaction design?

22 May 2008 - 4:43am
6 years ago
17 replies
874 reads
Fredrik Matheson
2005

I was just reading through Forrester's report "The Seven Tenets Of The
Information Workplace" by Erica Driver and Connie Moore.

Among others, it recommends that IT departments acquire usability and
design skills. Note the last sentence in the quote:

"We're just starting to see IT groups design applications first and
foremost to adapt to change and give business people powerful
workplaces. These skills will be in short supply, and so consulting
firms will initially fill the needs of most organizations. The best
usability-design skills are generally found in advertising agencies
and media shops."

While I'm glad to see Forrester recommend that companies invest in
design and usability, it's clear that we would do well to market our
profession to the analysts.

- Fredrik

Comments

22 May 2008 - 5:35am
dmitryn
2004

The Forrester people probably do know about IxD (or at least UX), but
they may not expect their target audience to understand these terms,
hence the odd terminology in the quote.

Dmitry

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 5:43 AM, Fredrik Matheson
<fredrik.matheson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was just reading through Forrester's report "The Seven Tenets Of The
> Information Workplace" by Erica Driver and Connie Moore.
>
> Among others, it recommends that IT departments acquire usability and
> design skills. Note the last sentence in the quote:
>
> "We're just starting to see IT groups design applications first and
> foremost to adapt to change and give business people powerful
> workplaces. These skills will be in short supply, and so consulting
> firms will initially fill the needs of most organizations. The best
> usability-design skills are generally found in advertising agencies
> and media shops."
>
> While I'm glad to see Forrester recommend that companies invest in
> design and usability, it's clear that we would do well to market our
> profession to the analysts.
>
> - Fredrik
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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22 May 2008 - 5:50am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

That might be a reason, yes. I'd love to hear the answer from them directly,
because wordings like that make me wonder how well they really know the area
they're advising on.
I've tried contacting the authors at Forrester, but the report doesn't
mention their e-mail addresses, nor is any offered on their profile pages at
Forrester.com.

- Fredrik

22 May 2008 - 5:53am
Mario Bourque
2008

I have a contact at Forrester; I'll ping him and ask.

Mario

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 6:50 AM, Fredrik Matheson <
fredrik.matheson at gmail.com> wrote:

> That might be a reason, yes. I'd love to hear the answer from them
> directly,
> because wordings like that make me wonder how well they really know the
> area
> they're advising on.
> I've tried contacting the authors at Forrester, but the report doesn't
> mention their e-mail addresses, nor is any offered on their profile pages
> at
> Forrester.com.
>
> - Fredrik
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Mario Bourque
mariobourque.com / mario at mariobourque.com

22 May 2008 - 7:43am
SemanticWill
2007

I know Harley Manning at Forrrester. He has been there since around 1998/9 -
and has focused mostly on UX/UI -- back then there really wasn't any concept
of IxD in the business world. He had written quite a bit about design and
user experience - but remember, these guys are essentially
journalists/pundits -- not designers themselves. The can call themselved
researchers because in some areas they actually do surveys, publish reports,
etc. At one point Harley and the UX group there was pimping themselves out
to companies as UX consultants - but they had a hard time positioning
themselves that way against the Coopers and NN/g people.
See: http://www.forrester.com/rb/analyst/harley_manning

As for Ad Agencies having most of the UX/Usability folks - that is simply
not true. Except for the marketing companies and ad agencies that bought
companies like MarchFirst, Razorfish, Zentropy Partners - most have amazing
in house designers - but not usability, IA, or IxDers -- not a lot anyway.
That being said - just about every agency out there is heavily recruiting to
fill those ranks - and for many people, it may be a great environment to get
involved with cool projects, have support, have a career path, etc.

-w

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 6:35 AM, Dmitry Nekrasovski <mail.dmitry at gmail.com>
wrote:

> The Forrester people probably do know about IxD (or at least UX), but
> they may not expect their target audience to understand these terms,
> hence the odd terminology in the quote.
>
> Dmitry
>
> On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 5:43 AM, Fredrik Matheson
> <fredrik.matheson at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I was just reading through Forrester's report "The Seven Tenets Of The
> > Information Workplace" by Erica Driver and Connie Moore.
> >
> > Among others, it recommends that IT departments acquire usability and
> > design skills. Note the last sentence in the quote:
> >
> > "We're just starting to see IT groups design applications first and
> > foremost to adapt to change and give business people powerful
> > workplaces. These skills will be in short supply, and so consulting
> > firms will initially fill the needs of most organizations. The best
> > usability-design skills are generally found in advertising agencies
> > and media shops."
> >
> > While I'm glad to see Forrester recommend that companies invest in
> > design and usability, it's clear that we would do well to market our
> > profession to the analysts.
> >
> > - Fredrik
>

22 May 2008 - 8:22am
Anonymous

> The Forrester people probably do know about IxD (or at least UX), but
> they may not expect their target audience to understand these terms,
> hence the odd terminology in the quote.

I was Forrester analyst covering user experience from 2000 - late 2002
(and worked on the team that covered UX from 1998 - 2002). Our target
audience was indeed director-level folks at large firms, and one of
our goals was to popularize usability, user research, interaction
design, etc. with this crowd. So we did, often, have to use what felt
like odd terminology. But we did try to stay in close contact with the
UX community.

As for the bit about ad agencies/media shops being the best source for
UX/IxD help; it does feel off to me. I certainly wouldn't have written
that in 2002. But it's been quite a while, something in the market
must have caused Forrester to shift their opinion.

/randy

22 May 2008 - 8:30am
james horgan
2008

i think because its a popular term with clients, most ad agencies are
actively encouraging an interaction design type role that isnt as reflective
as what most UXers actually do (forget about case studies for example). Its
good business for them so its become popular practice.

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:22 AM, Randy Souza <randy at randysouza.com> wrote:

> > The Forrester people probably do know about IxD (or at least UX), but
> > they may not expect their target audience to understand these terms,
> > hence the odd terminology in the quote.
>
> I was Forrester analyst covering user experience from 2000 - late 2002
> (and worked on the team that covered UX from 1998 - 2002). Our target
> audience was indeed director-level folks at large firms, and one of
> our goals was to popularize usability, user research, interaction
> design, etc. with this crowd. So we did, often, have to use what felt
> like odd terminology. But we did try to stay in close contact with the
> UX community.
>
> As for the bit about ad agencies/media shops being the best source for
> UX/IxD help; it does feel off to me. I certainly wouldn't have written
> that in 2002. But it's been quite a while, something in the market
> must have caused Forrester to shift their opinion.
>
> /randy
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

22 May 2008 - 8:36am
suewah
2008

I have leveraged many reports from Forrester to help define solutions
in the banking and eretail worlds. They are not usability specialists
or designers so I won't go to them about tactical issues of designing
any UI.

But they have a deep understanding of consumer needs, behaviour, and
marketplace trends that are applicable to designing customer centric
solutions both in the online and offline channels. Also consider
their field of research explores trends in customer experiences in
North America, EU and Asia.

As for IT departments integrating usability and design. Many of my
clients have some capability internally. And that's a good move to
internalize usability best practices within. I find comfort that they
have bought into the need. At the same time they still need outside
consultants and agencies who can provide a wider and objective
perspective of what's going on online to product managers and
business stakeholders.

Charles

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29337

22 May 2008 - 8:50am
SemanticWill
2007

" As for the bit about ad agencies/media shops being the best source for
UX/IxD help; it does feel off to me. I certainly wouldn't have written
that in 2002. But it's been quite a while, something in the market
must have caused Forrester to shift their opinion."

We -- as the "in" group - know where the best places are for companies to
look if they need deep UX expertise - but the marketplace in general
doesn't. Truth is, all Fortune 2000 companies here in the US have an agency.
The first place they are going to go is not Coopers or Adaptive Path or
NavigationArts unless they have an in-house UX champion that has their
fingers on the pulse. This is why many, I would say all, agencies have been
building real UX capabilities over the past 5-10 years. Some still don't
"get-it" and are ruled by their creative departments that focus on flash,
sizzle, shock-and-awe -- but those groups are now having to integrate more
with IxD/UX folks under the direction of VPs within the agency that
understand the value and importance of an integrated approach that doesn't
put flashy design in front of the complete user experience - which includes
IxD and usability. (IMHO).

- W

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:36 AM, charles Sue-Wah-Sing <charless at nexklix.com>
wrote:

> I have leveraged many reports from Forrester to help define solutions
> in the banking and eretail worlds. They are not usability specialists
> or designers so I won't go to them about tactical issues of designing
> any UI.
>
> But they have a deep understanding of consumer needs, behaviour, and
> marketplace trends that are applicable to designing customer centric
> solutions both in the online and offline channels. Also consider
> their field of research explores trends in customer experiences in
> North America, EU and Asia.
>
> As for IT departments integrating usability and design. Many of my
> clients have some capability internally. And that's a good move to
> internalize usability best practices within. I find comfort that they
> have bought into the need. At the same time they still need outside
> consultants and agencies who can provide a wider and objective
> perspective of what's going on online to product managers and
> business stakeholders.
>
> Charles
>
>
>
>

22 May 2008 - 8:51am
Chris Pallé
2007

There was a recent comparative study at Rosenfeld Media around
research/analyst firms and Forrester ranked really well:

>From the Post:

Forrester appears relatively strong in areas that are relatively new,
such as experience design (2% versus 0.7%), interaction design (2.1%
versus 0.2%), interface design (2.5% versus 0.9%), SEO (2.8% versus
0.5%), UCD (2.7% versus 0.2%), and web analytics (8.4% versus 3.8%).
User experience, itself a recent term, is the most common term among
Forrester's search results (16.4% versus 11%).

http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/announcements/2007/08/user_experience_and_the_analys.php

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29337

22 May 2008 - 8:53am
John Gibbard
2008

> As for Ad Agencies having most of the UX/Usability
> folks - that is simply not true

Grr, as an ad/media agency employee I'd like to counter. Our
approach is to design 'ideas that work'. Work for the user and for
the business. All too often I have seen Ux consultants present
gigantic decks of user-research and proposed architecture which
simply isn't deliverable beyond the perfect world when the demands
of the bottom-line begin to dilute the purity of entirely
user-centred design.

There are, of course, great Ux/Ix people embedded in all sorts of
organisations and (I'm quite sure Will wasn't suggesting anything
otherwise) to generalise that one group of people are the best source
and another not isn't particularly helpful.

Not intending to start a flame war. I'm now off to read the PDF of
the Forrester article...

J.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29337

22 May 2008 - 9:35am
Charles Zicari
2007

I suspect that when Forrester mentions ad agencies, they are talking
about ad agencies that do interactive advertising. As Will mentioned,
the agencies that started out in the interactive space have always had
some flavor of Interaction Design at their core. After the dot com
crash many of these interactive agencies were purchased by larger media
holding companies (e.g., Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic). And so those
Fortune 2000 companies who have always had a traditional advertising
agencies now also most likely have access to a sister interactive
agency.

Charlie Zicari
Manager - Information Architecture
Organic

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Will Evans
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:50 AM
To: charles Sue-Wah-Sing
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Does Forrester know about interaction
design?

" As for the bit about ad agencies/media shops being the best source for
UX/IxD help; it does feel off to me. I certainly wouldn't have written
that in 2002. But it's been quite a while, something in the market
must have caused Forrester to shift their opinion."

We -- as the "in" group - know where the best places are for companies
to
look if they need deep UX expertise - but the marketplace in general
doesn't. Truth is, all Fortune 2000 companies here in the US have an
agency.
The first place they are going to go is not Coopers or Adaptive Path or
NavigationArts unless they have an in-house UX champion that has their
fingers on the pulse. This is why many, I would say all, agencies have
been
building real UX capabilities over the past 5-10 years. Some still don't
"get-it" and are ruled by their creative departments that focus on
flash,
sizzle, shock-and-awe -- but those groups are now having to integrate
more
with IxD/UX folks under the direction of VPs within the agency that
understand the value and importance of an integrated approach that
doesn't
put flashy design in front of the complete user experience - which
includes
IxD and usability. (IMHO).

- W

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:36 AM, charles Sue-Wah-Sing
<charless at nexklix.com>
wrote:

> I have leveraged many reports from Forrester to help define solutions
> in the banking and eretail worlds. They are not usability specialists
> or designers so I won't go to them about tactical issues of designing
> any UI.
>
> But they have a deep understanding of consumer needs, behaviour, and
> marketplace trends that are applicable to designing customer centric
> solutions both in the online and offline channels. Also consider
> their field of research explores trends in customer experiences in
> North America, EU and Asia.
>
> As for IT departments integrating usability and design. Many of my
> clients have some capability internally. And that's a good move to
> internalize usability best practices within. I find comfort that they
> have bought into the need. At the same time they still need outside
> consultants and agencies who can provide a wider and objective
> perspective of what's going on online to product managers and
> business stakeholders.
>
> Charles
>
>
>
>
________________________________________________________________
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22 May 2008 - 9:02am
Pierre Roberge
2005

Off of the top of my head, I recall Forrester talking to Alan (Cooper)
at some point in the early 2000s I believe. And I remember seeing
articles quoting Alan.

So yes I think that Forrester is more aware of Interaction Design than
Gartner for example.

Pierre Roberge
User Experience Designer - Business Analyst
etfs

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22 May 2008 - 11:12am
Mark Schraad
2006

I have to think they were talking about interactive agencies and not
ad agencies. Over the last 5-10 years, telling the difference between
a design studio (IDEO, Gravity Tank, etc), an ad agency, high end IT
shop, and consultancy, can be difficult for a business looking for web
and interactive expertise. Of those buckets... it would seem that the
ad agencies that do not specialize in interactive and the ones that
have the weakest grasp on our practice. Part of this, I am sure, is a
result of the cultural divide between creative and account management.

Mark

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 10:35 AM, Charles Zicari <czicari at organic.com> wrote:
> I suspect that when Forrester mentions ad agencies, they are talking
> about ad agencies that do interactive advertising. As Will mentioned,
> the agencies that started out in the interactive space have always had
> some flavor of Interaction Design at their core. After the dot com
> crash many of these interactive agencies were purchased by larger media
> holding companies (e.g., Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic). And so those
> Fortune 2000 companies who have always had a traditional advertising
> agencies now also most likely have access to a sister interactive
> agency.
>
> Charlie Zicari
> Manager - Information Architecture
> Organic
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> Will Evans
> Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:50 AM
> To: charles Sue-Wah-Sing
> Cc: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Does Forrester know about interaction
> design?
>
> " As for the bit about ad agencies/media shops being the best source for
> UX/IxD help; it does feel off to me. I certainly wouldn't have written
> that in 2002. But it's been quite a while, something in the market
> must have caused Forrester to shift their opinion."
>
> We -- as the "in" group - know where the best places are for companies
> to
> look if they need deep UX expertise - but the marketplace in general
> doesn't. Truth is, all Fortune 2000 companies here in the US have an
> agency.
> The first place they are going to go is not Coopers or Adaptive Path or
> NavigationArts unless they have an in-house UX champion that has their
> fingers on the pulse. This is why many, I would say all, agencies have
> been
> building real UX capabilities over the past 5-10 years. Some still don't
> "get-it" and are ruled by their creative departments that focus on
> flash,
> sizzle, shock-and-awe -- but those groups are now having to integrate
> more
> with IxD/UX folks under the direction of VPs within the agency that
> understand the value and importance of an integrated approach that
> doesn't
> put flashy design in front of the complete user experience - which
> includes
> IxD and usability. (IMHO).
>
> - W
>
> On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:36 AM, charles Sue-Wah-Sing
> <charless at nexklix.com>
> wrote:
>
>> I have leveraged many reports from Forrester to help define solutions
>> in the banking and eretail worlds. They are not usability specialists
>> or designers so I won't go to them about tactical issues of designing
>> any UI.
>>
>> But they have a deep understanding of consumer needs, behaviour, and
>> marketplace trends that are applicable to designing customer centric
>> solutions both in the online and offline channels. Also consider
>> their field of research explores trends in customer experiences in
>> North America, EU and Asia.
>>
>> As for IT departments integrating usability and design. Many of my
>> clients have some capability internally. And that's a good move to
>> internalize usability best practices within. I find comfort that they
>> have bought into the need. At the same time they still need outside
>> consultants and agencies who can provide a wider and objective
>> perspective of what's going on online to product managers and
>> business stakeholders.
>>
>> Charles
>>
>>
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> This email is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure. Dissemination, distribution or copying of this email or the information herein by anyone other than the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify us by calling our Help Desk at (415) 581-5552 or by e-mailing us at helpdesk at organic.com.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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23 May 2008 - 3:44am
Kontra
2007

> But they have a deep understanding of consumer needs, behaviour, and
> marketplace trends that are applicable to designing customer centric
> solutions both in the online and offline channels.

I hope you're jesting. Their enterprise "reports" are often shallow,
formulaic, biased along larger players and generally useless to all
but the truly clueless.

As for their "deep understanding of consumer needs..." please observe
the fantastic lack of vision in their latest report, "The Future Of
Apple Inc."

http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,44244,00.html

Parodied, among other places, by Wall Street journal/All Things Digital:

http://is.gd/kHs

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

23 May 2008 - 5:48am
Steve Baty
2009

Fredrik,

It's possible that this statement represents: a lack of research on the part
of the authors; a much broader definition of what is meant by 'advertising
agencies & media shops'; a view biased by personal experience; or an
interpretation of 'usability-design skills' that is out of sync with what
you or I might put forward. I'd be curious to know which since, in my
experience the statement on face value is nonsense.

I must admit to some bias, however, as I'm generally not impressed by the
quality of reports from Forrester. My past experience is more in tune with
that portrayed by Kontra. My personal favourite is their work on persona
rooms - the next big trend...

2008/5/22 Fredrik Matheson <fredrik.matheson at gmail.com>:

> I was just reading through Forrester's report "The Seven Tenets Of The
> Information Workplace" by Erica Driver and Connie Moore.
>
> Among others, it recommends that IT departments acquire usability and
> design skills. Note the last sentence in the quote:
>
> "We're just starting to see IT groups design applications first and
> foremost to adapt to change and give business people powerful
> workplaces. These skills will be in short supply, and so consulting
> firms will initially fill the needs of most organizations. The best
> usability-design skills are generally found in advertising agencies
> and media shops."
>
> While I'm glad to see Forrester recommend that companies invest in
> design and usability, it's clear that we would do well to market our
> profession to the analysts.
>
> - Fredrik
> <http://www.ixda.org/help>

------------------------------------------------
Steve 'Doc' Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
Principal Consultant
Meld Consulting
M: +61 417 061 292
E: stevebaty at meld.com.au

UX Statistics: http://uxstats.blogspot.com

Member, UPA - www.upassoc.org
Member, IA Institute - www.iainstitute.org
Member, IxDA - www.ixda.org
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com

23 May 2008 - 2:08pm
Greg Urban
2008

Hi Fredrik,

>From the title of the Forrester Report, it appears that we're talking
about how to successfully enable people through an Information
Workspace. I'm glad to hear they've included usability-design.
Unfortunately, I don't have the report handy but hope there's more to
their recommendation than just hiring on an ad agency or media shop
for usability-design. There's definitely more to it. At least for the
large enterprise level!

In my experience with usability-design/UX teams that support the
development of Information Workspaces, I've found the "ad
agency/media shop" strategy can help get things moving when there are
already three things in place. The foundation, if you will. First,
the organization should get a usability-design champion on the
payroll, find an executive to support and sell the value of
usability-design up the management chain, and then hire usability
researchers with deep and broad subject matter expertise in each job
function to be enabled by the Information Workspace(s). For the IT
Exec's sake, I hope the other "Tenets" included some these things.

As we know, getting this foundation in place inside a large enterprise
is no easy task. But with an "ad agency/media shop" supporting these
internal resources there is a good chance of success, opportunity to
scale in a cost-effective manner, and ability to prove value because
BIG "ad agency/media shops" skills include the ability to sell
usability-design (or anything) inside large enterprise organizations.
Design skills aside, I've seen "ad agencies" get their point across,
bring the outside perspective, leverage their strong influence, and
pave the way for usability-design or User Experience to continue into
the future.

Whatever the case, it sounds like I should check out the Forrester
Report.

Thanks for the heads up!

Cheers,

Greg Urban

Email: urbanisation at gmail.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/gregurban
Blog: www.usabilityquestions.com

23 May 2008 - 11:11pm
dszuc
2005

Who do ad/creative/digital agencies sell to in organizations
currently? What baggage do they carry in terms of how they are
perceived by their clients?

If you are seen by clients as "the creative people ... the people
who can help make things pretty" - it takes some work & time to
pitch in differently.

Seems (from limited exposure to agencies) like ad/creative/digital
agencies are going through a re-branding exercise themselves as they
continue to build up UX capability in house.

rgds,
Dan

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=29337

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