Re: Trends in Interaction Design

5 Apr 2005 - 2:21pm
9 years ago
19 replies
1021 reads
Jim Leftwich
2004

I think that absolutely everything in that article is true, right on,
and absolutely correct. Except...

These things aren't merely something that's going to happen, but
something that's been happening in interaction design work for at least
fifteen years. It's always sad to see so many people who get paid to
write, express things in terms of "what's going to happen," when they
spend no time uncovering what's actually been done or is being done
(other than the published writings of others that are paid to be in
academia or write books).

Strategy, in both business models, intellectual property strategies,
design-driven market positioning, and documenting returns in the real
world are something that have been part of my own work, beginning in
the early 1980s. It's just that I (and I hear from many others, the
same thing) that are head-down *doing these things* aren't paid to talk
about them, and no academics or self-styled gurus seem to want to
bother to look into that.

Perhaps *someday* there will be an academic or writer who sees the
value in doing that. If you're juggling several complex projects like
us practitioners are, you don't have much extra time to do anthing but
read threads like this and grumble under your breath at *what's been
and is still being missed.*

It's long been galling that people act as though it was book-writers
like Norman that were saying anything novel or new or insightful when
many working designers have known these things all along - *and* have
chosen to actually *do* them, instead of writing about them and
claiming credit for them as new ideas.

I guess practitioners have to get to the end of their careers and
retire before they'll be able to stop working and write about what
they've actually done and learned. Seems pretty inefficient, from a
field-wide perspective though.

Jim

http://www.orbitnet.com/iasummit2005

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
James Leftwich, IDSA
Orbit Interaction
131 Hawthorne Avenue, Suite F
Palo Alto, California 94301
650.325.1935 office
650.387.2550 cell
jleft at orbitnet.com
http://www.orbitnet.com/

On Apr 5, 2005, at 12:00 PM,
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-request at lists.interactiondesigners.com
wrote:

> From: "web" <web at shelley-ann.com>
> Date: April 5, 2005 8:53:46 AM PDT
> To: <discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Usability and User Experience Design
>
>
> I just finished reading this article -
> http://www.stc.org/intercom/pdfs/2005/200501_6.pdf about trends in UI
> and
> I'm wondering if others agree with the author about what those trends
> are or
> if there are other issues/trends that people think are important going
> forward.
>
>
>
> Shelley-Ann J. West
> p: (646)279-2592
> e: shelley at shelley-ann.com
> w: www.shelley-ann.com

Comments

5 Apr 2005 - 4:38pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Well-said.

Perhaps, as the novelty of UXP wears off (in many ways, we're really only about 10 years old), we will see more "conventional" analysis of our chosen field by people from outside of that field: s.a. historians and academics, as well as other professional disciplines.

Jim Leftwich said:
> I guess practitioners have to get to the end of their careers and
> retire before they'll be able to stop working and write about what
> they've actually done and learned. Seems pretty inefficient, from
> a field-wide perspective though.

> James Leftwich, IDSA
> Orbit Interaction
> 131 Hawthorne Avenue, Suite F
> Palo Alto, California 94301
> 650.325.1935 office
> 650.387.2550 cell
> jleft at orbitnet.com
> http://www.orbitnet.com/
>
>
>
> On Apr 5, 2005, at 12:00 PM,
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-
> request at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> wrote:
>
> > From: "web" <web at shelley-ann.com>
> > Date: April 5, 2005 8:53:46 AM PDT
> > To: <discuss-
> interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com>> Subject:
> [ID Discuss] Usability and User Experience Design
> >
> >
> > I just finished reading this article -
> > http://www.stc.org/intercom/pdfs/2005/200501_6.pdf about trends
> in UI
> > and
> > I'm wondering if others agree with the author about what those
> trends
> > are or
> > if there are other issues/trends that people think are important
> going> forward.
> >
> >
> >
> > Shelley-Ann J. West
> > p: (646)279-2592
> > e: shelley at shelley-ann.com
> > w: www.shelley-ann.com
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

6 Apr 2005 - 2:07am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

Even though I am in academia (practicing interaction design for
real-life contexts in most of my research, though), I have to agree
with Jim's assessment of the STC article. The trends that the author
discusses in terms of "will be" have been happening in places for at
least ten years. Both among working designers, and -- I might add -- in
certain corners of academia.

However, from my contacts with interaction design and usability work in
IT and media companies, I would say that there is also a fair share of
practitioners out there for whom the trends layed out in the article
represent major changes to their current work practices. It is not at
all uncommon for me to talk to practitioners about ways in which they
could try to go beyond usability engineering.

Maybe the STC article is written for those people? I am inclined to
keep the file and hand it out the next time I try to explain how I
think interaction design is different from HCI.

Regards,
Jonas Löwgren

----
Arts and Communication
Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden

phone +46 7039 17854
web http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo

6 Apr 2005 - 10:19am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

JL> It's long been galling that people act as though it was book-writers
JL> like Norman that were saying anything novel or new or insightful when
JL> many working designers have known these things all along - *and* have
JL> chosen to actually *do* them, instead of writing about them and
JL> claiming credit for them as new ideas.

I guess, it's a matter of attitude. Yes, there was nothing new to me
in Norman's Everyday Things, Schneiderman's Leonardo Laptop, and
Cooper's Asylum. In fact, there should be nothing new in them to
anyone who keeps their eyes open and exercises their grey matter once
in a while - because it's all common sense, once you think of it. I've
never heard from my design and usability colleagues that those
design-preaching books are groundbreaking or that someone claimed
credit for 'new ideas' expressed in them. Yet, many of us love the
books, keep multiple copies, and beg anyone involved in product
creation -from marketing to development- to read them.

Sure, there are lots of things that many working designers have known
and do. But *doing* is not *communicating*. No matter how good you are
with a drawing board, at doing *what* you do, it is as important (and
often, more important) to be able to communicate the *why* message
to the outside world and peers alike. A good design may speak for
itself, but a good *design process* doesn't. The need for good design
doesn't. It is sort of 'obvious' on the surface, but don't let it fool
you. Often, it is the most obvious things that require the clearest
explanation.

There have been many talks recently, including those on this list,
about design communication and design communicators. Many agree that
it is a special valuable skill that needs to be recognised. This is
exactly what common-sense design books are all about - communicating
in plain language what looks so bleedingly banal to seasoned
professionals. Accusing their authors in stating the obvious is like
accusing teachers of plagiarism when they explain periodic table that
they personally didn't discover, and by the way the whole grown up
world have known these things all along...

Lada

6 Apr 2005 - 10:41am
jarango
2004

Lada said:
> Sure, there are lots of things that many working designers have known
> and do. But *doing* is not *communicating*.

Nor are other designers the sole audience. I'm sure there must be many
non-designer businessfolk who've come to a better understanding of
design issues via Norman's books and others like it. These folks
wouldn't have opportunities to ingest these ideas via osmosis like we
do, and it's very important that they come to know the main issues so
they can appreciate the value of what we do.

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

6 Apr 2005 - 4:04pm
Tadej Maligoj
2004

Society for Technical Communication is not a society for usability
designers. Articles in Intercom are written for documentation writers
by documentation writers.

I wouldn't be to sharp on it.

Tadej

On Apr 6, 2005 9:07 AM, Jonas Löwgren <jonas.lowgren at k3.mah.se> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Even though I am in academia (practicing interaction design for
> real-life contexts in most of my research, though), I have to agree
> with Jim's assessment of the STC article. The trends that the author
> discusses in terms of "will be" have been happening in places for at
> least ten years. Both among working designers, and -- I might add -- in
> certain corners of academia.
>
> However, from my contacts with interaction design and usability work in
> IT and media companies, I would say that there is also a fair share of
> practitioners out there for whom the trends layed out in the article
> represent major changes to their current work practices. It is not at
> all uncommon for me to talk to practitioners about ways in which they
> could try to go beyond usability engineering.
>
> Maybe the STC article is written for those people? I am inclined to
> keep the file and hand it out the next time I try to explain how I
> think interaction design is different from HCI.
>
> Regards,
> Jonas Löwgren
>
> ----
> Arts and Communication
> Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden
>
> phone +46 7039 17854
> web http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

7 Apr 2005 - 2:30am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

> Society for Technical Communication is not a society for usability
> designers. Articles in Intercom are written for documentation writers
> by documentation writers.
>
> I wouldn't be to sharp on it.
>
> Tadej

This is certainly true, but technical communicators both in industry
and academia have been orienting themselves towards usability work for
at least ten years. In more recent years, you may note a similar
tendency for technical communication to reinvent itself as
communication design, increasingly working with interactive
communication media.

My point is that the distinction between "usability designers" and
"documentation writers" is increasingly difficult to uphold. Therefore
it makes sense in my opinion to discuss an STC article from an IxD
perspective.

Regards,
Jonas Löwgren

----
Arts and Communication
Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden

phone +46 7039 17854
web http://webzone.k3.mah.se/k3jolo

7 Apr 2005 - 4:11am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

TM> Society for Technical Communication is not a society for usability
TM> designers. Articles in Intercom are written for documentation writers
TM> by documentation writers.

TM> I wouldn't be to sharp on it.

Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a very good example of
how a professional organisation can host a non-mainstream SIG that
becomes one of the best resources in its area. STC Usability SIG is
just that, and quite a few people who are now leading
practitioners-oriented UPA have started as STC Usability leaders (and
remain there). Once again, it reminds me that it doesn't really matter
whether you are an independent organisation or part of a bigger
community, as long as you deliver true value to your fellow
professionals.

Lada

7 Apr 2005 - 8:42am
Tadej Maligoj
2004

STC is a good starting point (I've been enjoying a membership of one
of the funniest chapter myself). But it is not much more than that.
Year after year the same basic level of usability / interaction design
knowledge is turning on STC meetings and magazines.
Very good for novice, rather uninspiring for a practioner.

Tadej

http://www.stc-transalpine.org/tac/

On Apr 7, 2005 11:11 AM, Lada Gorlenko <lada at acm.org> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> TM> Society for Technical Communication is not a society for usability
> TM> designers. Articles in Intercom are written for documentation writers
> TM> by documentation writers.
>
> TM> I wouldn't be to sharp on it.
>
> Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a very good example of
> how a professional organisation can host a non-mainstream SIG that
> becomes one of the best resources in its area. STC Usability SIG is
> just that, and quite a few people who are now leading
> practitioners-oriented UPA have started as STC Usability leaders (and
> remain there). Once again, it reminds me that it doesn't really matter
> whether you are an independent organisation or part of a bigger
> community, as long as you deliver true value to your fellow
> professionals.
>
> Lada
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

7 Apr 2005 - 11:40am
Pierre Abel
2004

I would add that communicating your design process push you to analyze
it precisely and detect potential holes and problems. It allows to gain
insights into it and thus make it better (in addition to share your
knowledge which is essential to go further!)

Pierre

Lada Gorlenko wrote:

>Sure, there are lots of things that many working designers have known
>and do. But *doing* is not *communicating*. No matter how good you are
>with a drawing board, at doing *what* you do, it is as important (and
>often, more important) to be able to communicate the *why* message
>to the outside world and peers alike. A good design may speak for
>itself, but a good *design process* doesn't. The need for good design
>doesn't. It is sort of 'obvious' on the surface, but don't let it fool
>you. Often, it is the most obvious things that require the clearest
>explanation.
>

7 Apr 2005 - 1:40pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 7, 2005, at 12:30 AM, Jonas Löwgren wrote:

> My point is that the distinction between "usability designers" and
> "documentation writers" is increasingly difficult to uphold.

What in the hell is a "usability designer?" Is that some sort of late
April Fool's joke?

Andrei

7 Apr 2005 - 2:12pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

AH> What in the hell is a "usability designer?" Is that some sort of late
AH> April Fool's joke?

It's an incredibly friendly and easy-going (although rather humble
and largely bullied) creature who disapproves of judging the world
from inside a fishtank. It tries to stay warm during long chilly
winter nights and may savour an occasional bowl of chocolate ice-cream
on a nice summer day.

Lada

7 Apr 2005 - 3:16pm
Tadej Maligoj
2004

There is no a single title for people doing things as we do, and if I
remember well, this forum starts with one of such discussions (in case
someone doesn't know:
http://www.asktog.com/columns/057ItsTimeWeGotRespect.html).

It is very possible I haven't use the right title. It is because I am
not very smart in English and because I don't care much about those
titles.

Mea culpa.

Tadej

On Apr 7, 2005 8:40 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> On Apr 7, 2005, at 12:30 AM, Jonas Löwgren wrote:
>
> > My point is that the distinction between "usability designers" and
> > "documentation writers" is increasingly difficult to uphold.
>
> What in the hell is a "usability designer?" Is that some sort of late
> April Fool's joke?
>
> Andrei
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
_______________________________
Tadej Maligoj, Information Architect
e1: tadej.maligoj at gmail.com
e2: studio at maligoj.com
m: 031 306 986
w: www.maligoj.com

7 Apr 2005 - 4:20pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Tadej Maligoj wrote:

> There is no a single title for people doing things as we do...

As long as there isn't a single or at least consistent (small) set of
titles, and as long as people keep adding new and unique titles as
compelled by the direction of their latest whims (about as predictable
as knowing which direction the wind will blow on any given day),
practioners in the field will continue to be relegated to nothing more
than fancy product decorators in the boardrooms of corporate America.
Maybe even globally.

> It is very possible I haven't use the right title. It is because I am
> not very smart in English and because I don't care much about those
> titles.

Understood on the English side. For that, I can only request we walk
carefully in choosing what words we use to describe what it is we do.

But for anyone who practices interface design (the title I have used for
some 15 years in this field), or anything that requires information
architecture applied with rigorous rule sets, or anything that requires
an understanding of mental models and how to work with them, or work
that necessitates diligence in applying consistency to help make
products more usable for end-users, I find the notion that we shouldn't
care about titles distressing to say the least and appalling on days
where I forgot to drink my morning coffee.

I think it was Peter Merholz who rightly noted a while back that doing
nothing more than fixing the labels on buttons in an interface can
correct an extremely large portion of the usability problems in a
product design.

What's it going to take for us to figure out the same problem exists for
how much power or influence we hold in real product and executive
decisions in the corporate world?

Andrei "Beat that dead horse some more" Herasimchuk

8 Apr 2005 - 4:36am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

AH> Understood on the English side. For that, I can only request we walk
AH> carefully in choosing what words we use to describe what it is we do.

Actually, 'usability designer' is not such a big slip of the tongue,
it's a term frequently used by customers (both in English and
non-English speaking countries) to describe their understanding of the
purpose of our job. I stress *the purpose*.

'Interaction Design' describes *what* we do, but it doesn't describe
*why* it is important. I've tried different titles for my sales pitch
on our design process and services, and the best one that gets
immediate response and understanding from any audience is "Designing
for Usability". I do introduce and explain what 'Interaction Design' is
and why my client should pay for it, but putting design and usability
in one sentence gets the client instantly focused on the goal, not so
much on the nitty-gritty, of the process. We as professionals treat
'usability' as a narrow and focused term. Our clients don't,
'usability' to many of them is about 'how to make good products', with
'make' being an important part of their interpretation. The moment we
all agree that we are aiming for a product that is really helpful and
loved by its users (and fulfills people and business goals, too), I
let the client choose the term they are most comfortable with. I
watched my clients explain Interaction Design to their own teams as
"how to design usable products" and the teams nod in approval. Would I
dare to interfere and correct them at that point that Interaction
Design is about 'behaviours'?

I am not looking for a new name for our discipline, I am just seeing a
pure business value in letting my clients speak their language. Does
it mean that those of us who practice the approach let the whole
discipline down?

Lada

8 Apr 2005 - 5:13am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 8, 2005, at 2:36 AM, Lada Gorlenko wrote:

> Actually, 'usability designer' is not such a big slip of the tongue,
> it's a term frequently used by customers (both in English and
> non-English speaking countries) to describe their understanding of the
> purpose of our job.

15 years in this field and through all discussions with clients and
working on projects, I have never heard the term "usability designer"
every uttered as a job title. Not one single time that I can recollect.
That's why I reacted to it.

> 'Interaction Design' describes *what* we do, but it doesn't describe
> *why* it is important.

So? Do the terms "Architect" or "Graphic Designer" or "Industrial
Designer" say anything about why what they do is important? Why on
earth does a title have to signify importance? In fact, since when does
a job title need to do that? Do titles like Product Manager,
Engineering Manager, Database Engineer, Legal Counsel, Operations
Manager, Sales, or the like describe why they are important?

Job title *ARE* supposed to describe *WHAT* you do. Why you are
important to a business process is an entirely different matter.

> I've tried different titles for my sales pitch
> on our design process and services, and the best one that gets
> immediate response and understanding from any audience is "Designing
> for Usability".

Not to be mean or crude, but not having heard your sales pitch, I
couldn't begin to understand what you are doing as to whittle down a
sales pitch to what I would think is such an obvious component of good
product design. And I stress component, as if that's all your clients
think they need, just "usability," you are not helping them see the
much larger picture.

> The moment we all agree that we are aiming for a product that is
> really helpful and
> loved by its users (and fulfills people and business goals, too), I
> let the client choose the term they are most comfortable with.

Sorry, but that's as big a cop-out as I've heard in quite some time. I
don't let people dictate to me what I do for my life's work. I know
what it is that I do. Why would I want someone else to tell me what I
do?

> I watched my clients explain Interaction Design to their own teams as
> "how to design usable products" and the teams nod in approval. Would I
> dare to interfere and correct them at that point that Interaction
> Design is about 'behaviours'?

Short answer: Yes, you should have. But even then that would be a
disservice to your clients employees as they aren't being given the
broader picture of good interface or digital product design, of which
interaction is but one component.

That's an entirely different problem, one that comes from IxD folks
attempting to be a specialized field inside of what should be interface
or digital product design. In my experience, once certain IxD folks get
their mind-sets over their qualms/fears/lack of study around being able
to draw pretty icons or organize large sets of data information, they
discover that the broader task of interface design or digital product
design really isn't that big of a leap. It's work to master and learn,
but so is any craft worth learning and dedicating your career to. Once
you make that leap, then you'll start to find the capital "D" design in
the work, and selling what you do in the corporate world becomes an
order of magnitude easier.

> I am not looking for a new name for our discipline, I am just seeing a
> pure business value in letting my clients speak their language. Does
> it mean that those of us who practice the approach let the whole
> discipline down?

Yes.

Andrei

8 Apr 2005 - 7:56am
Lada Gorlenko
2004

>> 'Interaction Design' describes *what* we do, but it doesn't describe
>> *why* it is important.

AH> So? Do the terms "Architect" or "Graphic Designer" or "Industrial
AH> Designer" say anything about why what they do is important? Why on
AH> earth does a title have to signify importance?

I didn't say I wanted "Usability Designer" to be an official job
title. It is merely an interpretation of what my job means to
many of my clients, how *they* see it. Most of them don't give a toss
what my official title is, they want to know what value I bring to
them. Since many are overloaded with all the fancy buzzwords we,
the intellectual snobs, throw at them, they are looking for
comfortable meaning of those titles, for something *they* can
understand and fit into *their* conceptual model of the world.

AH> Job title *ARE* supposed to describe *WHAT* you do. Why you are
AH> important to a business process is an entirely different matter.

Job titles are supposed to describe what you do, yes - for those
areas when everyone understands the area. Simply putting words
together and trying to teach someone *your* conceptual model doesn't
make it part of *their* world.

AH> Not to be mean or crude, but not having heard your sales pitch, I
AH> couldn't begin to understand what you are doing as to whittle down a
AH> sales pitch to what I would think is such an obvious component of good
AH> product design. And I stress component, as if that's all your clients
AH> think they need, just "usability," you are not helping them see the
AH> much larger picture.

Ny clients need a proper design process that aims to make usable
(sometimes, marketable) products that will meet requirements of their
users and the business. In my case, this process includes as least 5
components, such as understanding business need, user research,
conceptual (e.g., interaction) design, physical design and evaluation.
I don't sell IxD on its own, and "usability" is not on the list of
components at all. I sell the need for good design, and my goal is to
explain to my clients *why* they need it, in whatever terms they
appreciate its essence.

>> The moment we all agree that we are aiming for a product that is
>> really helpful and
>> loved by its users (and fulfills people and business goals, too), I
>> let the client choose the term they are most comfortable with.

AH> Sorry, but that's as big a cop-out as I've heard in quite some time. I
AH> don't let people dictate to me what I do for my life's work. I know
AH> what it is that I do. Why would I want someone else to tell me what I
AH> do?

Andrei, we are talking apples and oranges here. No client should ever
dictate us what we do for our life's work. It's not about what I *do*,
it's about how my clients *interpret* it for themselves. When someone
tells me they do "Operational Research" and I've never heard of it
before, I learn the term, but I also steer the definition through
the concepts I understand: oh, it's about this, that and that. So, if
I want to explain what Operational Research is to someone with my
frame of reference, I'll go by giving them my definition. The purpose
is to *understand* the label, not just to memorise it, and it has
nothing to do with dictating someone what they have to do.

>> I watched my clients explain Interaction Design to their own teams as
>> "how to design usable products" and the teams nod in approval. Would I
>> dare to interfere and correct them at that point that Interaction
>> Design is about 'behaviours'?

AH> Short answer: Yes, you should have. But even then that would be a
AH> disservice to your clients employees as they aren't being given the
AH> broader picture of good interface or digital product design, of which
AH> interaction is but one component.

They've been given the picture that they can understand, the picture
that is *meaningful* to them, not the picture they could look at
without making much sense of it.

Ever watched "average" people stare at abstract art? They know it's
expensive and they've heard that for whatever reason some buy it, but
they often shrug "oh well..." and leave "uninitiated". I spent quite a
few hours watching museum crowds. People look at labels of abstract
pieces much more often than they look at labels of classic-style
pieces. You should see the frustration of many when they read
"Untitled" attached to an abstract installation.

People look for explanations that fit their thinking. People seek
comfort with what they are facing (unless, of course, they are Homo
Logicus as described by Cooper, but this is a small proportion of the
population). Why would I interfere with their accepting me into their
world with the level of comfort they choose? I know what I do and I am
strong and smart enough to give people their level of comfort without
being distracted from the essense. Why would I need to confront them
with my intellectual hype?

>> I am not looking for a new name for our discipline, I am just seeing a
>> pure business value in letting my clients speak their language. Does
>> it mean that those of us who practice the approach let the whole
>> discipline down?

AH> Yes.

Apologies to the discipline then. I put my clients' needs first.

Lada

10 Apr 2005 - 8:21am
Tom George
2004

On Apr 8, 2005, at 06:13 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

>
> Not to be mean or crude, but not having heard your sales pitch, I
> couldn't begin to understand what you are doing as to whittle down a
> sales pitch to what I would think is such an obvious component of good
> product design. And I stress component, as if that's all your clients
> think they need, just "usability," you are not helping them see the
> much larger picture.
>
>
>> I am not looking for a new name for our discipline, I am just seeing a
>> pure business value in letting my clients speak their language. Does
>> it mean that those of us who practice the approach let the whole
>> discipline down?
>
> Yes.

No.

It's one thing to practice the discipline. Quite another to sell it in
a business context. The value must be presented to customers in a way
that makes sense to them or they just won't buy. Period.

If Lada can communicate a value proposition to her potential customers
by using the phrase "Designing for Usability", more power to her.

Tom

10 Apr 2005 - 1:57pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Apr 10, 2005, at 6:21 AM, Tom George wrote:

> It's one thing to practice the discipline. Quite another to sell it in
> a business context. The value must be presented to customers in a way
> that makes sense to them or they just won't buy. Period.

That's not an untrue statement. The tricky part is how much you
sacrifice what you know to be true about good design to a message that
is nothing more than what others want to hear, all for the almighty
dollar.

IOW, if you don't believe your audience can understand the value of
good design with a capital "D" -- the one that affects business, takes
advantage of technology, aims to help users while also maybe them
stretch a little for gains they might not be be able to see in their
current circumstances -- then you'll never give your potential
customers the opportunity to really know who you are and what it is
that you do or sell them on that more complete approach to Design.

Andrei

11 Apr 2005 - 4:48pm
Tom George
2004

On Apr 10, 2005, at 02:57 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

>> It's one thing to practice the discipline. Quite another to sell it
>> in a business context. The value must be presented to customers in a
>> way that makes sense to them or they just won't buy. Period.
>
> That's not an untrue statement. The tricky part is how much you
> sacrifice what you know to be true about good design to a message that
> is nothing more than what others want to hear, all for the almighty
> dollar.
>
> IOW, if you don't believe your audience can understand the value of
> good design with a capital "D" -- the one that affects business, takes
> advantage of technology, aims to help users while also maybe them
> stretch a little for gains they might not be be able to see in their
> current circumstances -- then you'll never give your potential
> customers the opportunity to really know who you are and what it is
> that you do or sell them on that more complete approach to Design.

Well, the $ is not almight, but it's pretty mighty. I say amen to your
second paragraph, and even better, I may just use it on my audience.

Tom

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