Quality under pressure was: RE: Prototypes, process, and ID

28 Oct 2003 - 12:04pm
11 years ago
3 replies
807 reads
Peter Bagnall
2003

On Tuesday, Oct 28, 2003, at 14:25 Europe/London, Ron Vutpakdi wrote:
> I would agree that to produce something really good takes time and
> effort.
> Now, at the same time, is it better to adapt ourselves to the
> conditions in
> which we find ourselves or is it better to draw a line in the sand and
> risk
> being shunted completely aside?

I think there is a line to be drawn, yes. I wouldn't be extreme about
where it was drawn, but I wouldn't want to be associated with something
that was a design disaster. After all, from a commercial stand point
you probably don't want your reputation linked with a dog's breakfast.

> I believe that we usually work with
> organizations and clients that are not mature/wise with regards to
> design
> and usability. As a result of this immaturity and inexperience, being
> inflexible ends up being counterproductive.

I think this is often the case, yes. I think I overstated the case when
I said be inflexible, but we do need to apply what pressure we can. If
products then fail where our advice has been disregarded at least then
we're sowing he seeds for people thinking maybe there was something in
what we said.

> We need to educate, advocate, and lead. At the same time, how we do
> that
> and what we do needs to match the maturity of the organization and the
> situation or we run the risk of having *no* impact at all if we aren't
> included. It's usually easier to draw, nudge, and lead a horse along
> than
> trying to drag it where it doesn't want to go, and I've found that the
> same
> is true with people/organizations.

You're absolutely right on this. Persuasion always works better than
force. And we'd never win trying to force the issue anyhow, since we're
the outside player at the moment.

I've wondered about the idea of some form of interaction design award.
Something that software houses and manufacturers could use as part of
their advertising. It would take a long time to get rolling, but if we
can speak directly to the public in some way like that then it would
apply more pressure on manufacturers to pay attention to design
quality. Of course there is something of a chicken and egg problem here.

People like Porsche Design trade on their brand to do something
similar, and Fuji and Grundig have both used the "Design by
F.A.Porsche" in their advertising material. At the moment though the
public are pretty much unaware that our discipline exists. Something we
need to remedy.

--Pete

-------------------------------------------------------------
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding
of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they
are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the
same in any country.
--Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

Comments

29 Oct 2003 - 5:16pm
Peter Bagnall
2003

On Wednesday, Oct 29, 2003, at 06:44 Europe/London, CD Evans wrote:
> I like the idea of an award system but that might lead us into a whole
> other kettle of exclusivity problems. What has worked well in the past
> has been 'site of the day' awards or perhaps a review site? Boxes and
> Arrows is my first guess for setting up reviews, but I don't see why
> we couldn't do it on our site.

Actually, now you mention it, a review site does seem like a better
idea. I think I'd agree it would be good in the
interactiondesigners.com site (although if we decide we should be
calling ourselves something different...).

> How does that sound? Anybody for reviews?

Some criteria would be good to make sure that the reasoning behind
assessments was visible. If that were the case it would double as a
good way to help the public understand what makes a good product and
what makes a bad one.

Personally I'm a bit cautious about simply using some heuristic
evaluation, I'd be more interested in something that tried to get a
feel for the expected user base too.

What do people think would make good criteria?

--Pete

------------------------------------------------------------------------
------
Blood stains cannot be removed by more blood; resentment cannot
be removed by more resentment; resentment can be removed
only by forgetting it."
Buddha

Peter Bagnall - http://www.surfaceeffect.com/

29 Oct 2003 - 5:54pm
Bob Baxley
2004

I think something closer to case studies would be more useful than
reviews.

Such case studies would require a loose standard for analyzing and
evaluating but such a standard needn't be particularly strict. In
addition, it would add to our understanding of the solution if the
author of the case study could get input from the creator of the design
so we would have a better understand of the story behind the solution.
For reasons objectivity, the author should be someone who was not
involved in the project although perhaps someone with special knowledge
of the product space and challenges.

Finally, it would be useful to include a commenting system so other
members of the community could pose questions to both the author of the
case study and the design participants.

Sounds like a job for MovableType :^)

...Bob

........................................................................
..
Bob Baxley :: Design for Interaction

design :: http://www.baxleydesign.com
blog :: http://www.drowninginthecurrent.com

On Oct 29, 2003, at 3:16 PM, Peter Bagnall wrote:

> On Wednesday, Oct 29, 2003, at 06:44 Europe/London, CD Evans wrote:
>> I like the idea of an award system but that might lead us into a
>> whole other kettle of exclusivity problems. What has worked well in
>> the past has been 'site of the day' awards or perhaps a review site?
>> Boxes and Arrows is my first guess for setting up reviews, but I
>> don't see why we couldn't do it on our site.
>
> Actually, now you mention it, a review site does seem like a better
> idea. I think I'd agree it would be good in the
> interactiondesigners.com site (although if we decide we should be
> calling ourselves something different...).
>
>
>> How does that sound? Anybody for reviews?
>
> Some criteria would be good to make sure that the reasoning behind
> assessments was visible. If that were the case it would double as a
> good way to help the public understand what makes a good product and
> what makes a bad one.
>
> Personally I'm a bit cautious about simply using some heuristic
> evaluation, I'd be more interested in something that tried to get a
> feel for the expected user base too.
>
> What do people think would make good criteria?
>
> --Pete
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> -------
> Blood stains cannot be removed by more blood; resentment cannot
> be removed by more resentment; resentment can be removed
> only by forgetting it."
> Buddha
>
> Peter Bagnall - http://www.surfaceeffect.com/
>
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>

30 Oct 2003 - 12:45am
Jay Goldman
2003

Sounds like a great job for MT - or TypePad. I agree that we'd need the
ability to add comments to each of the reviews for dissenting opinions.

Maybe we could approach the issue as a review which is open for review
by the group. In other words, I might post a review of the UI on my new
cellphone to an internal, members only area. That review would then
remain open for comments for a specified period, after which time it
would get summarized and published externally as an 'official' review
by the group. If the original review engenders a lively debate, we
could extend the review period until a consensus was reached. Granted
this system would result in some reviews never getting officially
published - but that's probably not a bad thing.

Jay

On Wednesday, October 29, 2003, at 06:54 PM, Bob Baxley wrote:

> I think something closer to case studies would be more useful than
> reviews.
>
> Such case studies would require a loose standard for analyzing and
> evaluating but such a standard needn't be particularly strict. In
> addition, it would add to our understanding of the solution if the
> author of the case study could get input from the creator of the
> design so we would have a better understand of the story behind the
> solution. For reasons objectivity, the author should be someone who
> was not involved in the project although perhaps someone with special
> knowledge of the product space and challenges.
>
> Finally, it would be useful to include a commenting system so other
> members of the community could pose questions to both the author of
> the case study and the design participants.
>
> Sounds like a job for MovableType :^)
>
> ...Bob
>
> .......................................................................
> ...
> Bob Baxley :: Design for Interaction
>
> design :: http://www.baxleydesign.com
> blog :: http://www.drowninginthecurrent.com

------
Jay Goldman, President
Radiant Core: Design + Develop + Interact
t: 416.941.1551 f: 416.941.9316 c: 416.704.4283

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