Working in an Agency v/s Innie

17 Oct 2007 - 12:58pm
6 years ago
21 replies
396 reads
Vishal Subraman...
2005

What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.

(Note: I excluded going independent & the academic route because they
can potentially be quite different)
--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

Comments

17 Oct 2007 - 1:16pm
Ari
2006

it really depends.
understand that there are Interactive Agencies ala the likes of
Razorfish-Avenue A and RG/A that more or less "get it" and embrace IxD and
then there are "interactive" arms of big, traditional agencies (that shall
remain nameless) that don't "get it".

i've worked for both types though most of my agency experience has been in
the latter category.

for traditional agencies, most tend to:

- proper IA, IxD and usability are afterthoughts, if thought of at all
- org structures vary wildly and so will advancement - smaller groups
likely foster the best chance for advancement because many positions will
overlap whereas larger orgs will be very regimented in that every "cog" has
its proper place
- design process tends to scattered and skewed towards traditional
creative - you'd be surprised how many agencies are still staffed with CDs,
ADs, and designers who don't have interactive design experience
- work environment is often pleasant - assuming you can deal with the
frustration of the above points

On 10/17/07, Vishal Iyer <vishaliyer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
> design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
>
> (Note: I excluded going independent & the academic route because they
> can potentially be quite different)
> --
> -Vishal
> http://www.vishaliyer.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

17 Oct 2007 - 1:21pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

No doubt Ari. I didn't include ad/ marketing/ pr agencies. Design
agencies- the likes of Cooper, Adaptive Path, IDEO, Frog etc

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

On 10/17/07, Ari Feldman <ari1970 at gmail.com> wrote:
> it really depends.
>
> understand that there are Interactive Agencies ala the likes of
> Razorfish-Avenue A and RG/A that more or less "get it" and embrace IxD and
> then there are "interactive" arms of big, traditional agencies (that shall
> remain nameless) that don't "get it".
>
> i've worked for both types though most of my agency experience has been in
> the latter category.
>
> for traditional agencies, most tend to:
>
>
> proper IA, IxD and usability are afterthoughts, if thought of at all
> org structures vary wildly and so will advancement - smaller groups likely
> foster the best chance for advancement because many positions will overlap
> whereas larger orgs will be very regimented in that every "cog" has its
> proper place
> design process tends to scattered and skewed towards traditional creative -
> you'd be surprised how many agencies are still staffed with CDs, ADs, and
> designers who don't have interactive design experience
> work environment is often pleasant - assuming you can deal with the
> frustration of the above points
>
> On 10/17/07, Vishal Iyer < vishaliyer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
> > design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
> >
> > (Note: I excluded going independent & the academic route because they
> > can potentially be quite different)
> > --
> > -Vishal
> > http://www.vishaliyer.com
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelin es
> > List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> --------------------------------------------------
> www.flyingyogi.com
> --------------------------------------------------

17 Oct 2007 - 1:26pm
Dante Murphy
2006

In my experience, the answer to all of your questions is "it depends".

The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to be
high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if you like
it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to follow a defined
process (almost) every time, go innie.

All a matter of personal preference.

Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
A L T H
229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
19103
Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com

-----Original Message-----

What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.

17 Oct 2007 - 1:30pm
Ari
2006

yeah. if you want to experience 1995, 1996 and maybe 1997 all over again
sans the fun, go to a big agency!

On 10/17/07, Dante Murphy <dmurphy at digitashealth.com> wrote:
>
> In my experience, the answer to all of your questions is "it depends".
>
> The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to be
> high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if you like
> it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to follow a defined
> process (almost) every time, go innie.
>
> All a matter of personal preference.
>
> Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
> A L T H
> 229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
> 19103
> Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
> design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

17 Oct 2007 - 1:35pm
gretchen anderson
2005

I'm going to take a minor "quibble" here and say that my experience is
that agencies *can* be more methodical. My experience working with
'innies" as an "outie" is that innies end up chasing short-term fixes
with little method.

And the "methods" used for innies tend to be "six sigma" type of meta
processes. Though this probably depends as much on the company as the
innie/outie bit.

Places like Cooper have certainly demonstrated that you can have a
repeatable process. And studios like frog have engagements that can be
fast and furious where you alter process to fit the project more often.

Gretchen

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Dante Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:26 AM
To: Vishal Iyer; IxDA
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Working in an Agency v/s Innie

In my experience, the answer to all of your questions is "it depends".

The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to be
high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if you like
it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to follow a defined
process (almost) every time, go innie.

All a matter of personal preference.

Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
A L T H
229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
19103
Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com

-----Original Message-----

What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help

17 Oct 2007 - 1:44pm
Dante Murphy
2006

Fair enough. To clarify, I've found that "innies" might work on one
project for several months, while agencies usually have more concurrent
projects and shorter engagement periods. I didn't mean for any of my
observations to be critical.

Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
A L T H
229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
19103
Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Gretchen Anderson [mailto:gretchen at lunar.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:36 PM
To: Dante Murphy; Vishal Iyer; IxDA
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Working in an Agency v/s Innie

I'm going to take a minor "quibble" here and say that my experience is
that agencies *can* be more methodical. My experience working with
'innies" as an "outie" is that innies end up chasing short-term fixes
with little method.

And the "methods" used for innies tend to be "six sigma" type of meta
processes. Though this probably depends as much on the company as the
innie/outie bit.

Places like Cooper have certainly demonstrated that you can have a
repeatable process. And studios like frog have engagements that can be
fast and furious where you alter process to fit the project more often.

Gretchen

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Dante Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:26 AM
To: Vishal Iyer; IxDA
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Working in an Agency v/s Innie

In my experience, the answer to all of your questions is "it depends".

The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to be
high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if you like
it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to follow a defined
process (almost) every time, go innie.

All a matter of personal preference.

Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
A L T H
229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
19103
Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com

-----Original Message-----

What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help

17 Oct 2007 - 2:07pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Dante Murphy wrote:

> [...] The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to
> be high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if
> you like it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to
> follow a defined process (almost) every time, go innie.

Well isn't that the truth.

[Disclaimer: I run one of those small design research agencies]

In my experience, the mid-large sized "agencies" and "design shops"
are more focused on high-throughput, less on quality and methodology.
In fact, most of these design shops don't really have a methodology
they follow–it's all rather ad-hoc. I wouldn't characterize IDEO or
Cooper this way, based on what I've read and discussions I've had
with people who have worked there, and while I think AP takes a
slightly different contextual approach to each project, I do believe
they have some underlying methodology they base it on. I'll let the
AP folks answer that since they're here.

That being said, our company has been called in a number of times by
mid-large agencies and design shops to help out, or even outright
rescue them on a project. And every time we've come in to help, it's
the same story–they got there due to lack of process and methodology.

Larger companies tend to have a bit more fat and extra revenue to
work with. This gives them more of an opportunity to be flexible and
methodical. For smaller agencies, every dollar counts, every minute
counts, and so unfortunately, they focus on high-output, which
generally leads to less than stellar results.

This never really made any sense to me. We are very much process and
methodology driven. But we understand that a process is only a means
to an end, a way to be more efficient, to create a repeatable,
predictable process that allows for flexibility and better results.
The idea that methodology and rigor prevent you from being creative
and efficient is simply wrong.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, 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
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

17 Oct 2007 - 2:09pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Dante Murphy wrote:

> [...]So if you like it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you
> like to follow a defined process (almost) every time, go innie.

Just speaking to a colleague of mine today about their experience at
a large company, the one frustrating thing is that sometimes it seems
products will never get out the door. So, just keep in mind that too
much rigor and method is unproductive.

Keep it balanced.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, 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
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

17 Oct 2007 - 2:11pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:35 PM, Gretchen Anderson wrote:

> And the "methods" used for innies tend to be "six sigma" type of
> meta processes. Though this probably depends as much on the company
> as the innie/outie bit.

Now there's a process than can kill almost any software development
cycle. Great for jet engines, but not so much for software.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, 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
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

17 Oct 2007 - 2:11pm
Chris Borokowski
2007

This is a good point. No amount of procedure can compensate for good
leadership, or fill in the talent that might be missing. Companies try
to work around it anyway, because interchangeable parts are easier to
replace or motivate if they become erratic.

--- Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:

> Just speaking to a colleague of mine today about their experience at
> a large company, the one frustrating thing is that sometimes it seems
> products will never get out the door. So, just keep in mind that too
> much rigor and method is unproductive.

http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
technical writing | consulting | development

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17 Oct 2007 - 2:53pm
Katie Albers
2005

One of my standard questions when I talk to a company about going
full time with them is: Go over your review process with me. If it
involves competitive ranking or some form of grading, then they're
doing it wrong and I don't want to work with them. People are not
interchangeable parts. If you annually put them all in a pile and
knock out the bottom 5% (or whatever) your problem is not that bottom
5%, it's your management. My favorite examples are the companies that
do "self-assessments" where you can only rate yourself as "good
enough" or "not good enough" for each of 5 million tangentially
relevant items (and give examples). Let's hear it for mediocrity. In
general, I've found that the same flexibility within broad guidelines
with rigid adherence to certain defined elements (timelines or budget
or...whatever) produces the best results with the least tsouris.

In any case, I've found that the best companies are the ones that
have tightly managed processes in the largest possible way. For
example: You must deliver a set of functional specifications by this
date...whether that takes the form of highly annotated wireframes or
text specs with screen illustrations sketched out in pencil or a
working photoshop "prototype" is up to the team to decide in
consultation with the engineering team.

At 3:11 PM -0400 10/17/07, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
>On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:35 PM, Gretchen Anderson wrote:
>
>> And the "methods" used for innies tend to be "six sigma" type of
>> meta processes. Though this probably depends as much on the company
>> as the innie/outie bit.
>
>Now there's a process than can kill almost any software development
>cycle. Great for jet engines, but not so much for software.

I've come to the conclusion that six sigma is so popular because it's
name is a number AND a greek letter...so it's obviously objective and
True.

K

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

17 Oct 2007 - 2:55pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

That's absolutely true. I've spent lots of time in the agency world
and sometimes it's nice to get new projects all the time.. but on the
other hand you never get a chance to refine your designs. I'm
planning to move to a different place where I can focus on one
project, work to make it really good.

Generally an agency will churn out work and never look at it again..
so your first attempt is the final product.

My observations are meant to be critical :)

On 10/17/07, Dante Murphy <dmurphy at digitashealth.com> wrote:
> Fair enough. To clarify, I've found that "innies" might work on one
> project for several months, while agencies usually have more concurrent
> projects and shorter engagement periods. I didn't mean for any of my
> observations to be critical.
>

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

17 Oct 2007 - 3:14pm
Chris Borokowski
2007

It depends on who the employees are for the first couple years, as
well.
I agree with the general point about management, but there are also a
lot of useless people hanging out at most jobs.

--- Katie Albers <katie at firstthought.com> wrote:

> If you annually put them all in a pile and
> knock out the bottom 5% (or whatever) your problem is not that bottom
> 5%, it's your management.

http://technical-writing.dionysius.com/
technical writing | consulting | development

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17 Oct 2007 - 4:32pm
Ari
2006

it's a core problem for many companies - medium to large agencies tend to
suffer from this the most (not always but often enough).
it's because there's no process or the inability to adopt one.

usually, it's cultural. oh the horror stories i can tell!

for ex: should it take 1.5 yrs to do a corporate redesign despite having 85%
of the interactive resources available?

i think not.

On 10/17/07, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Dante Murphy wrote:
>
> > [...] The one constant I have encountered is that agencies tend to
> > be high-throughput while innies tend to be more methodical. So if
> > you like it fast and furious, go to an agency. If you like to
> > follow a defined process (almost) every time, go innie.
>
> Well isn't that the truth.
>
> [Disclaimer: I run one of those small design research agencies]
>
> In my experience, the mid-large sized "agencies" and "design shops"
> are more focused on high-throughput, less on quality and methodology.
> In fact, most of these design shops don't really have a methodology
> they follow–it's all rather ad-hoc. I wouldn't characterize IDEO or
> Cooper this way, based on what I've read and discussions I've had
> with people who have worked there, and while I think AP takes a
> slightly different contextual approach to each project, I do believe
> they have some underlying methodology they base it on. I'll let the
> AP folks answer that since they're here.
>
> That being said, our company has been called in a number of times by
> mid-large agencies and design shops to help out, or even outright
> rescue them on a project. And every time we've come in to help, it's
> the same story–they got there due to lack of process and methodology.
>
> Larger companies tend to have a bit more fat and extra revenue to
> work with. This gives them more of an opportunity to be flexible and
> methodical. For smaller agencies, every dollar counts, every minute
> counts, and so unfortunately, they focus on high-output, which
> generally leads to less than stellar results.
>
> This never really made any sense to me. We are very much process and
> methodology driven. But we understand that a process is only a means
> to an end, a way to be more efficient, to create a repeatable,
> predictable process that allows for flexibility and better results.
> The idea that methodology and rigor prevent you from being creative
> and efficient is simply wrong.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, 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
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

17 Oct 2007 - 5:06pm
Gino Zahnd
2003

In my 12 years in this business, I've found that working at a design
firm more often than not leads to much work that never sees the light
of day, for whatever reasons. Clients kill the project, client can't
build the project, client wrecks the project, etc, etc.

On the other hand, working in a product development environment, you
get to be there when things launch, and you get to tweak them, change
them and continue to have a hand in their evolution. It puts your ass
on the line in a much bigger way when you're not just handing
something off. You also learn a lot more about what works and doesn't
work technically, and it makes you realize that when you were in a
firm and thought the client's engineering team were just destroying
your design work, they actually had to make those changes and
sacrifices for a reason.

Granted, having fun with the latter absolutely depends on what sort of
team you get yourself involved with.

Personally, I'll never go back to working at a design firm, unless it
is my own. I'd rather be able to futz around with products in real
time and work directly with engineers.

Gino
User Experience Lead, Flickr
(and ex-Studio Archetype, Small Pond Studios, Volan Design, Method)

On 10/17/07, Vishal Iyer <vishaliyer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> What's your experience been? What are the pros & cons with regards to
> design process, org structure, work environment, career pathing etc.
>
> (Note: I excluded going independent & the academic route because they
> can potentially be quite different)
> --
> -Vishal
> http://www.vishaliyer.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

18 Oct 2007 - 12:27pm
Dante Murphy
2006

That's definitely not true for us, or for any other "agency of record".
And it's a really bad way to stay in business...you always want to
retain customers, it's much cheaper than finding new ones to replace the
ones you've lost.

Now it is sometimes true that our designs are handed off to client-side
or third-party development teams that then change the design (sometimes
for good reason, often not)...that's hard to control. But when we sign
a contract to produce the website for "product x", it's our practice to
plan for extensibility, revision, and update, and our strategy to
continue every engagement beyond the first deliverable.

How about the rest of the agency folks out there? Can I get an "amen"?

Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
A L T H
229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
19103
Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Nish-Lapidus [mailto:mattnl at gmail.com]

Generally an agency will churn out work and never look at it again..
so your first attempt is the final product.

18 Oct 2007 - 12:37pm
Ari
2006

again, i think this approach varies. clearly, better and smarter agencies
and shops will take the approach that Dante suggests.
however, many of us have also worked with or (even worked at) agencies and
shops that took a more short-sighted approach.

On 10/18/07, Dante Murphy <dmurphy at digitashealth.com> wrote:
>
> That's definitely not true for us, or for any other "agency of record".
> And it's a really bad way to stay in business...you always want to
> retain customers, it's much cheaper than finding new ones to replace the
> ones you've lost.
>
> Now it is sometimes true that our designs are handed off to client-side
> or third-party development teams that then change the design (sometimes
> for good reason, often not)...that's hard to control. But when we sign
> a contract to produce the website for "product x", it's our practice to
> plan for extensibility, revision, and update, and our strategy to
> continue every engagement beyond the first deliverable.
>
> How about the rest of the agency folks out there? Can I get an "amen"?
>
> Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E
> A L T H
> 229 South 18th Street, 2nd Floor | Rittenhouse Square | Philadelphia, PA
> 19103
> Email: dmurphy at digitashealth.com | www.digitashealth.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Nish-Lapidus [mailto:mattnl at gmail.com]
>
> Generally an agency will churn out work and never look at it again..
> so your first attempt is the final product.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

18 Oct 2007 - 1:21pm
Sara Summers
2006

> How about the rest of the agency folks out there? Can I get an "amen"?
> Dante Murphy | Director of Information Architecture | D I G I T A S H E

Amen, Dante. Most of the more web/process focused agencies are dedicated to
the entire foundation and final product. A company I recently contracted for
takes a huge poster-sized design and IX process chart with them to pitches.
Very cool.

> From: Matthew Nish-Lapidus [mailto:mattnl at gmail.com]
> Generally an agency will churn out work and never look at it again..
> so your first attempt is the final product.

Sadly, I have seen quite a few agencies, holding on to there BI (before
internets) roots.
Tiny interactive departments, zero processes (other than, 'Hey, the internal
for that is tomorrow')
and no influence or concern about the dev or end process (it gets shipped
out who knows where).
I have had to forego live links to a few projects on my portfolio for that
exact reason.

Sara Summers
visual | interaction design
Austin, TX

18 Oct 2007 - 1:37pm
gretchen anderson
2005

>But when we sign a contract to produce the website for "product x",
it's our practice >to plan for extensibility, revision, and update, and
our strategy to
>continue every engagement beyond the first deliverable.

>How about the rest of the agency folks out there? Can I get an "amen"?

Amen! And I'll fight like hell/build great relationships to see that
design implemented well. Sometimes we budget for "support," and
sometimes it's on our dime.

18 Oct 2007 - 1:47pm
Mauro Cavalletti
2005

Many times agencies are brought in because of their dynamics, compared to longer in-house processes. Not saying that being short-sighted is a good thing, though. Many agencies have long term relationships with clients, and work around longer project life-cycles.

To Todd's point: ..." we understand that a process is only a means to an end, a way to be more efficient, to create a repeatable, predictable process that allows for flexibility and better results". Some agencies who "get it" prefer applying more flexible processes, as projects may vary a lot. This does not mean a lack of process, necessarily. But if you think that your team might be working on projects of very different nature, such as physical product's interfaces, e-commerce, installations, applications, online advertising and mobile, just to mention a few, you want to have a process, you want to have strength, but you want lots of speed and flexibility.

I discuss a lot with my Interaction Design colleagues, and some feel really uncomfortable without a clearly defined step-by-step process, others just love working in diversity of projects, and appreciate the idea of trying new ways for adapting a process. It has a lot to do with improvement and evolution, as well.

Too much of a repeatable process many times does not help us in agencies. They might encapsulate generation of ideas and insights in a dynamic environment, and many times shortcuts help us to migrate insights from a project environment to other.

Anyways, every agency works in a particular way, I don't want to generalize it. And a lot of them more than "get it".

Cheers,

Mauro

Mauro Cavalletti l Creative Director

Mauro.cavalletti at akqa.com | http://www.akqa.com

118 King St. 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107

19 Oct 2007 - 6:40am
Todd Warfel
2003

What's definitely true of you guys?

On Oct 18, 2007, at 1:27 PM, Dante Murphy wrote:

> That's definitely not true for us, or for any other "agency of
> record".

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, 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
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In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

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