thoughts on interaction08, applying knowledge

11 Feb 2008 - 3:52am
6 years ago
1 reply
689 reads
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

hi everybody,

this has been an amazing weekend. i'd just like to thank all the
organizers, the speakers, and the other attendees that i met while in
savannah, i don't think i've ever learned so much in two days.

one thing i've been thinking about since the end of the conference
yesterday is how to apply a lot of the concepts from the weekend to my
actual work (i'm sure a lot of us having been thing about that). it
occurred to me wile talking to a few people that a lot of us are in a
working situation that wasn't really addressed at the conference, so
i'm interested in hearing how other people thing some of the process
ideas from Alan Cooper and Bill Buxton's keynotes apply. The
situation i'm talking about is when you start at a company with
existing products/websites/etc, and don't have the ground up design
freedom implied in a lot of what i heard this weekend.

what if your product has existing features? existing customers that
expect those features? stakeholders that have been promised certain
things? how would you apply some of what we learned to that
situation? i'm thinking specifically about a few ideas, the
design/design egineer/production workflow from Alan's presentation,
and the ideas from Bill's around sketching and prototyping. how
would those concepts work when you're not designing from the ground
up?

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--

Comments

11 Feb 2008 - 9:46am
.pauric
2006

Matthew :"what if your product has existing features? existing
customers that expect those features? stakeholders that have been
promised certain things? how would you apply some of what we learned
to that situation?"

First off, very nice to meet so many in person. And in addition to
all the recognition already given I'd like to give a nod to the
organisations who recognise the value of the IxDA and who stepped up
to sponsor the event: http://interaction08.ixda.org/sponsors.php

To your question Matt. In my mind, to apply some of what we learned
we need to understand some of the problems. Let me point you to this
high level breakdown of contributors & stake holders
http://tinyurl.com/29ndhr
http://www.xconomy.com/2007/12/10/who-and-who-not-to-hire-a-napkin-sketch-from-xconomist-bill-aulet/hiring-strategy-napkin-sketch/

The article goes on to state that the high achievers who aren't
aligned with company values are an extremely destructive force in a
company. Destructive yes, but in my experience they're are often
rewarded on time to market, so the organisation is ultimately at
fault.

My thinking in reference to Alan's call to arms is that if you're
going to change a designed process, you need to understand the process
users motivation. A loose transference of some UCD methodology.

In my observations it seems to me that the feedback loop of customer
response to products post-ship is often not as strong as it could be.
Often, one part of the organisation is left mopping up the mess
created by another. This is caused by a conflict in motivation
drivers from the organisation.

So, while I agree with the thinking behind "4. Since business
management does not recognize the importance of this (time-to versus
best-to market), it is up to the interaction designers to begin the
organizational change process. We would accomplish this by striking an
alliance with the programmers who will value us as fellow
craftspeople. This alliance would help transform the way products are
developed."

In my situation, enabling the feedback mechanism that will educate &
enlighten Marketing & Management is going to be a lot more achievable
than working with engineers (who have been outsourced in my case).
Also, in my harsh reality.. a Craftsperson's Union will only widen the
chasm and potentially cause further disconnect between those aligned
with customer's needs and those who are rewarded by meeting ship
dates.

I'm actively working on a project to enable this, but I'm not in a
position to discuss the details. What I can say is that it involves
rewarding Management and Marketing for their engagement with users of
the products they ship.

I would very much like to discuss with people who have setup similar
initiatives and the issues they encountered.

Many thanks - pauric

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