Agile & UCD (was Thoughts on Alan Cooper's Keynote)

13 Feb 2008 - 9:16pm
534 reads
Charlie Kreitzberg

Hi Ambrose:

That is wonderful! We need many more software architects and
developers with passion for UX.

I think that what you are saying is on-target. I would only add a
couple of points:

1. Some aspects of product development are, and probably always will
be, "waterfall." I was trying to make that point in another thread.
For example, you have fund --> design/build -->release in almost any
business. There are Ux elements in all of them. So I think that we
will always be dealing with some form of hybrid models with waterfall
elements and agile elements.

2. While I understand your distinctions among the various
professions: Ix designers, visual designers and usability pros. (And
I realize that for some people they will always want to fit into one
of the boxes), I would encourage us to think about these as elements
or dimensions of UX and not as separate professions.

I do them all and think of all of them as essential tasks within the
larger design picture. I don't do them all equally well (my visual
design skills have limits -- probably because I failed fingerpainting
in Kindergarten). And I often call in others to perform some of the
tasks. But they are still all part of a unified whole.

Just as there are sub-specialties within technical development, I see
these all as sub-specialties within human-centered design or Ux
engineering (use whatever term you prefer for the meta-profession).

One of the oddities of UX is that originally, many of us came into
the field through cognitive psychology. I was a programmer who
studied psychology and I identified with the usability profession
since in the 1980's that's all there was.

Now many Ix Designers come to the profession through the MFA/design
route. They have a different perspective from those who come from
computer science (developers) or cognitive psych (usability pros).

So perhaps some of the distinctions are more artifacts of history
then anything else.

As you rightly point out: "...we need to figure out how to work
together and learn from each other rather than perpetuating
stereotypes about each other."

I endorse that 100%. I hope that we can all see ourselves as members
of a single profession with slightly different backgrounds and vision
and draw strength from those differences. We all have a lot to learn
from each other.

I look forward to welcoming many more developers and software
architects into the HCD/Ux community. Only when we all focus on the
user experience will we realize our full potential.



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