With the financial crisis and credit crunch hitting the economy squarely
in the wallet, my thoughts have been drifting towards musings on the
viability and resiliency of IxDA (and related) jobs during a major
In the IT sector, I'm already seeing the early warning signs of a
downturn the likes of which I haven't seen since the Dot-Com bubble,
though the epicenter this time is outside of the IT world. Several of my
contacts and colleagues who are involved in the management of smaller IT
firms are already pulling back on investing in new hires, eying the
value of their current stable of employees, and preparing for the worst.
Generally, I feel like IxDA, while pretty valuable, is the type of work
which offers a business value that is not as easily understood by
numbers-minded executives who are constantly scanning for short-term,
demonstrable ROI. As with any job related to design, there's a real
tendency to minimize the value of the skillset because it doesn't have
the kind of immediate, measurable impact that a lot of managers like to
quantify. Of course, this isn't always the case, and many organizations
understand the strong importance of the field, but my anecdotal
experience seems to indicate that interaction / design people tend to be
scrutinized earlier and more closely when the time comes for personnel cuts.
I just thought I would throw my thoughts on the list, see what other
people think, and help stir up some opinions on how IxDA (and related)
practitioners can continually show their value in a market that may
become very tight, very very soon.