Its Just UX

26 Mar 2009 - 10:53pm
5 years ago
54 replies
6811 reads
Richard Dalton
2008

During the closing plenary of the IA Summit on Sunday, Jesse James
Garrett said that “Information Architecture is not a profession …
and neither is Interaction Design … we have and always will be User
Experience Designers”. I’m paraphrasing a little from memory (the
podcast isn’t out yet) - but the gist is there.

I’m a big believer in this viewpoint (and I chaired the IA Summit
last year!). I believe that both IA and IxDA are disciplines or
“fields” - but are inseperable enough that the “job” is User
Experience Designer. This puts the emphasis on the end product rather
than the tools we use to achieve it.

So … i'd be interested in some viewpoints on this, i’ve also set
up itsjustux.org - if you agree then go there and sign the petition
and spread the word.

- Richard

Comments

28 Mar 2009 - 8:08pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Mar 28, 2009, at 1:04 PM, Jon [GMAIL] wrote:

> 1. The language of "user experience designer" is demeaning, as it
> implies that a designer first _makes_ an experience and then someone
> _consumes_ it %u2013 that consumers are, on their own, unable to
> experience things, and that an experience can be mass produced like a
> hammer or a toaster. Implicit in this language is the sense of
> control, power and ownership, and the idea that a consumer is
> helpless to bring anything on their own to a moment in time. In
> reality, people bring the complexity of their wants, needs, desires,
> and world views to an experience, and this in turn actively changes
> that experience.

Agreed.

Ironically, I feel the same way when people say IxD is about designing
human to human interaction, for the exact same reasons you list above.
Ultimately, that's why I've always gravitated towards things like
interface designer or digital product designer or software designer,
because I'm designing things in that case, even if those things
facilitate human to human exchanges.

Just saying...

> 2. The concept of "UX" presently has connotations to the corporate
> middle manager who has no training in design and has little
> experience making things. These UX Managers or UX Designers commonly
> act as facilitators between subject matter experts and outside design
> consultancies; while the facilitation is important, it's a far cry
> from the complexity of actually doing design work (conducting
> research, synthesizing data, giving form to ideas, etc). This role,
> at least when found in the large enterprise, is viewed by many design
> consultancies as a "watered down form of design". This is not to say
> that everyone who has found themselves with this title is not doing
> design work, but to point to a trend in corporations of designer as
> facilitator rather than designer as creator.

Spot on and well said.

> 4. I urge everyone on this list to move beyond the urge to define our
> profession (either by what it is, or by what it isn%u2019t) and
> instead begin to debate and discuss cases, methods, and theory of our
> work. In no time in my four years of undergraduate design education
> did we explicitly define design; instead, we defined it implicitly by
> doing it and then reflecting on what we had done and how we had done
> it. We can provide a little value to the larger community by offering
> a concise definition of our profession, but we can provide a lot of
> value to the community by offering case studies, repeatable methods,
> and a deep and broad theory of our work and how it relates to other
> disciplines.

So I have to ask... Does an interaction designer need to know how to
draw? What does an interaction designer have to know how to do with
their own two hands that appears in the final shipping product AS
DESIGNED? That question seems to me something that should get resolved
openly by the IxDA. And if so, then maybe there needs to be more about
craft on the IxDA home page, and more explicit detail on samples and
examples of work.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

28 Mar 2009 - 8:15pm
jkolko
2010

Todd,

I think we both agree that design is about purpose and process - about doing
something systematically, and attending to the craft and detail of the
result.

If I claim to "design a rollercoaster", I intend for it to be duplicated -
exactly as I created - over and over.

If I claim to "design the experience of using the rollercoaster", it follows
that I intend for that use to be duplicated - exactly as I created - over
and over.

If I claim to "design the experience framework in which the rollercoaster is
used", it leaves room for people to experience it in their own way.

In this case, it's a totally semantic distinction, and it's a critical one.

JK

--

http://interactions.acm.org

http://www.thoughtsoninteraction.com

From: Todd Zaki Warfel [mailto:lists at toddwarfel.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 7:47 PM
To: Austin Govella
Cc: list IXDA; Jon [GMAIL]
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Its Just UX

On Mar 28, 2009, at 7:01 PM, Austin Govella wrote:

On Mar 28, 2009, at 1:04 PM, Jon [GMAIL] wrote:

1. The language of "user experience designer" is demeaning, as it implies
that a designer first _makes_ an experience and then someone _consumes_ it &
that consumers are, on their own, unable to experience things, and that an
experience can be mass produced like a hammer or a toaster. Implicit in this
language is the sense of control, power and ownership, and the idea that a
consumer is helpless to bring anything on their own to a moment in time.

I don't see that at all. Designing an experience doesn't mean a consumer
isn't able to experience things on their own. Consumers experience things
all day long at Disney, experiences, which have been designed. There might
be a shared experience among those who consume it, but each still consumes
it on their own in their own way.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel

Principal Design Researcher

Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.

----------------------------------

Contact Info

Voice: (215) 825-7423

Email: todd at messagefirst.com

AIM: twarfel at mac.com

Blog: http://toddwarfel.com <http://toddwarfel/>

Twitter: zakiwarfel

----------------------------------

In theory, theory and practice are the same.

In practice, they are not.

28 Mar 2009 - 8:45pm
dszuc
2005

Enjoyable discussion and some thoughts:

* What we do is understood differently in different markets. For
example, my company (based in Hong Kong) leads with the term
"usability" but talks and write about other stuff. Why? Because the
market is still maturing here and we have some work to do to continue
to build the UX market in all its forms. Better than it was 10 years
ago though :)

* See merit in leaders from all Associations to meet on a more
regular basis to talk about trends, working opportunities,
observations (add your own) etc (again this should not devalue the
merits of different conferences). Meeting once per year? Weekend
retreat? IAI, UPA, IXD, Other? Not a conference, just a place to
talk, relax etc (with the main outcome being a "where we are at?"
doc and "where we are headed?") Something I am sure would be
valuable to the whole community and branded holistically.

* If someone I meet has heard of the terms user experience, customer
experience, usability, interaction design (pick your own term), to
name a few, at least this gives me an entry point to discuss the
merits of what we do with the ability to start on something to show
value to the business. This is a good thing!

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40553

29 Mar 2009 - 9:41am
Todd Warfel
2003

yup, I'll agree w/that.

On Mar 28, 2009, at 9:15 PM, Jon Kolko wrote:

> I think we both agree that design is about purpose and process –
> about doing something systematically, and attending to the craft and
> detail of the result.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

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