Of course it is. I hate these kind of annoying teaser headlines that the
print and broadcast media use to get people to read a news story/watch a
program. But here's what I'm getting at:
In the beginning was Interface Design. Then it was argued that it's more
than 'just' the 'interface', which regular folk take to mean pretty looking
screens -- that it's actually 'Interaction Design'; that we are interested
in matters beyond 'merely' the 'interface', and in fact we would like to
design the entire interaction process. Further along the way, we became
interested in the entire User Experience, and not just the process of
interaction. And who knows how much more will be included in the scope of
what we claim to be our domain in a few years.
The question then is: where do we stop, if we intend to stop at all? In
another ongoing thread, I brought up the matter of Action Technologies'
Coordinator, which Chauncey Wilson on this forum has tested while at Digital
Equipment, back in the 1980's. The Coordinator (sounds a lot like 'The
Terminator' doesn't it?) was quickly dubbed 'fascistware' and nearly
universally rejected by its users. Weigh in here if you please, Chauncey,
since you actually did thorough usability testing on the product -- but even
if The Coordinator would have passed the usual gauntlet of usability tests;
even if it got two thumbs up on every ease of use measure, it still probably
would have failed. Not because it didn't serve any useful purpose, but
because, among other things, it attempted to force certain changes in
individual and social behavior.
So, from the perspective of today's User Experience professional -- where
does a UXP's responsibility end? Does a UXP's responsibility today
encompass everything that traditionally was the domain of the folks who
gathered requirements and wrote the specs. So, for instance, if somebody
were to think of embarking on a project like The Coordinator today, would
the UXP, even while such a project was being mooted, raise red flags and
suitably modify the goals of the project?
Since one or more threads right now are devoted to trying to define the
field, it might be useful to work from the outside in -- where do we draw
the line (if at all we draw a line) and say that anything beyond the line is
(mostly) outside the scope of UX?