The efforts to define our field and our role are understandable by-products of our economic times and of forces in our contexts of practice. What are the pressures behind this quest for definition? What are the options (and potential advantages) of refusing to pigeonhole ourselves?
Content management systems suck. Or so you would think from the strife heard from analysts and practitioners alike. And yet, many websites regularly publish vast amounts of information with superior control and ease compared to manually editing pages.
When resources are limited, the design must be optimized to make the best use of all resources. To account for this complexity, it is important to have a clear understanding of both sides of the design equation—what you have to work with and what you are trying to build.
How often do we want to simply make our point, instead of bringing our opinions together to reach consensus? Look at all the PowerPoint presentations and slick brochures: we want to tell our view, instead of listening to others. We want our opinion to be heard.
We’ve all seen blueprints–formally known as contract documents–which architects produce and builders use to construct. No one person knows all the details of the design; the end result is entirely a product of teamwork. But there is one axiom: architects do not build.
Designing web-based enterprise software involves creating complex artifacts like architecture wireframes, object models, screen flows, and clickable prototypes in order to articulate aspects of the online experience for product stakeholders. But what does “craft” mean for interaction designers?
Discussions of how we should label ourselves and define our work are like flu epidemics. They break out from time to time, follow a fairly predictable course, and often make us want to barf.
Long before anyone was looking for “godfathers” of information architecture, our fellow species were wrestling with some of the same problems we face today. The real godfathers of information architecture, as it turns out, emerged a very long time ago with the earliest origins of life on this planet.
Jesse James Garrett’s “The Elements of User Experience” diagram has become rightly famous as a clear and simple model for the sorts of things that user experience professionals do. But as a model of user experience it presents an incomplete picture with some serious omissions—omissions I’ll try address with a more holistic model.
Somewhere in the process of evangelizing user-centered design, user experience professionals seem to have forgotten the value of vision-driven design, which can be equally important in making sites and software relevant and desirable. We need to integrate both approaches.