Where are all the designers?

20 Feb 2008 - 2:06pm
6 years ago
97 replies
1841 reads
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
people and talent into software related products, especially from the
web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
having trouble filling hiring requirements.

Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
designers ready to fill all the openings.

Opinions?

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

Comments

20 Feb 2008 - 2:23pm
Nasir Barday
2006

It's not so much a matter of designers disappearing as much as demand
ballooning.

As our work gains momentum and more companies see the value of bringing good
design to their products, it follows that the demand for designers grows as
well. I think we've been noticing an upswing in demand for IxDs over the
past year or so.

It's all relative ...

- N

20 Feb 2008 - 2:26pm
david.shaw6@gma...
2004

Andrei,

I think you are looking at a number of different factors that are
causing this. From my point of view, I would love to move not only to
the Bay area, but NY or Boston where there are tons of openings.
However, the cost of living there is so outrageously expensive, it
doesn't pay for me to relocate (I've got a house with a reasonable
mortgage, as well as a family to consider). It might be that many of
the more experienced designers (like myself) see the same issues. I
would take a huge loss of quality of life if I went.

Just my 2 cents.

David

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk
<andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
> designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
> what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
> there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
> I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
> due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
> on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
> people and talent into software related products, especially from the
> web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
> designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
> having trouble filling hiring requirements.
>
> Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
> enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
> Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
> companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
> designers ready to fill all the openings.
>
> Opinions?
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
"Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"

w: http://www.davidshaw.info

20 Feb 2008 - 2:40pm
SemanticWill
2007

And I would love to blame the quality of the job posting sites. There search
engines are terrible.

Just now, I search in Washington DC....

Information Architect (86 results - only 3 were for IA)

Interaction Designer (41 results, only 1 for IxD)

Interface Designer (10 results, only one for ID)

Some of the things that come back in results are amazing. Search for IA and
get senior java architect as a high ranked result?

On Feb 20, 2008 2:26 PM, David Shaw <david.shaw6 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Andrei,
>
> I think you are looking at a number of different factors that are
> causing this. From my point of view, I would love to move not only to
> the Bay area, but NY or Boston where there are tons of openings.
> However, the cost of living there is so outrageously expensive, it
> doesn't pay for me to relocate (I've got a house with a reasonable
> mortgage, as well as a family to consider). It might be that many of
> the more experienced designers (like myself) see the same issues. I
> would take a huge loss of quality of life if I went.
>
> Just my 2 cents.
>
> David
>
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk
> <andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> > Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
> > designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
> > what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
> > there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
> > I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
> > due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
> > on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
> > people and talent into software related products, especially from the
> > web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
> > designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
> > having trouble filling hiring requirements.
> >
> > Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
> > enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
> > Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
> > companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
> > designers ready to fill all the openings.
> >
> > Opinions?
> >
> > --
> > Andrei Herasimchuk
> >
> > Principal, Involution Studios
> > innovating the digital world
> >
> > e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> > c. +1 408 306 6422
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"
>
> w: http://www.davidshaw.info
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

20 Feb 2008 - 3:05pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Andrei,

1) This is not just a problem in SV. At the IA Summit there were 19
sponsors all there to recruit heavily and well from my basic survey,
they weren't all that successful. I know we weren't.

2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
familiar with what it takes at this point.

3) The value of SV as a nexus is being lost due to well what SV does
... create technological solutions that mitigate the need for
centralized workforces. 8-)

4) Expectations on education and experience are out of whack with the
realities of the workforce. This is my big issue right now. I look at
my ID studio and our hiring practices and what I'm doing in IxD and
things just don't line up. There is no path from junior > senior in
IxD. (yes, I'm sure there are specfic studios that can and are doing
this.) the main reason for this is well, there is no such thing as a
bachelor's degree in IxD, and where they are they are usually called
something like interactive design, etc. AND b/c most of the seniors
are not from any programs there are no corporate synergies with any
schools to do internships, and junior recruiting. Hiring Masters
students is "nice", but again they are aiming too high to build a
corp studio practice around. And b/c no interaction design studio is
thinking this way they aren't investing in their future 3-5 years
out b/c the needs right now are so urgent.

Ok, that was all over the place, but to me the crux of the problem is
there just aren't enough designers to go around there isn't a
significant educational/career path infrastructure in place for
interaction design.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26170

20 Feb 2008 - 3:07pm
Katie Albers
2005

It's been my experience that in these cases, HR is often to blame.
There are very few recruiters who understand what you're actually in
need of so they work from a skills and background checklist and if a
resume doesn't use the same set of magic words that their list does,
you lose someone who might actually be a perfect candidate. I know
that on occasion, I've had hiring managers submit my resume for a
position and *still* not made it through the screening process.

Good luck.

Katie

At 2:40 PM -0500 2/20/08, W Evans wrote:
>And I would love to blame the quality of the job posting sites. There search
>engines are terrible.
>
>Just now, I search in Washington DC....
>
>Information Architect (86 results - only 3 were for IA)
>
>Interaction Designer (41 results, only 1 for IxD)
>
>Interface Designer (10 results, only one for ID)
>
>Some of the things that come back in results are amazing. Search for IA and
>get senior java architect as a high ranked result?
>
>
>
>
>On Feb 20, 2008 2:26 PM, David Shaw <david.shaw6 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Andrei,
>>
>> I think you are looking at a number of different factors that are
>> causing this. From my point of view, I would love to move not only to
>> the Bay area, but NY or Boston where there are tons of openings.
>> However, the cost of living there is so outrageously expensive, it
>> doesn't pay for me to relocate (I've got a house with a reasonable
>> mortgage, as well as a family to consider). It might be that many of
>> the more experienced designers (like myself) see the same issues. I
>> would take a huge loss of quality of life if I went.
>>
>> Just my 2 cents.
>>
>> David
>>
>> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk
>> <andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
>> > Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
>> > designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
>> > what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
>> > there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
>> > I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
>> > due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
>> > on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
>> > people and talent into software related products, especially from the
>> > web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
>> > designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
>> > having trouble filling hiring requirements.
>> >
>> > Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
>> > enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
>> > Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
>> > companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
>> > designers ready to fill all the openings.
>> >
>> > Opinions?
>> >
>> > --
>> > Andrei Herasimchuk
>> >
>> > Principal, Involution Studios
>> > innovating the digital world
>> >
>> > e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
>> > c. +1 408 306 6422
>> >
>> >
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> "Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"
>>
>> w: http://www.davidshaw.info
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
>--
>~ will
>
>"No matter how beautiful,
>no matter how cool your interface,
>it would be better if there were less of it."
>Alan Cooper
>-
>"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>and what you innovate are design problems"
>-------------------------------------------------------
>will evans
>user experience architect
>wkevans4 at gmail.com
>-------------------------------------------------------
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

--

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

20 Feb 2008 - 3:16pm
SemanticWill
2007

"so they work from a skills and background checklist and if a

> resume doesn't use the same set of magic words that their list does,
> you lose someone who might actually be a perfect candidate"

Then it seems they are no better than a machine.

----------

20 Feb 2008 - 3:28pm
dmitryn
2004

Agreed with Dave and David, and here are some additional points to consider:

1) The demographics of more experienced candidates (i.e. more likely
to have a family and other personal obligations) make them less
interested in moving to areas with a high cost of living like SF/NYC.
Conversely, less experienced candidates may be much more willing to
relocate to these areas, but are more likely to get screened out by
HR.

2) If an employer is determined to stick to a minimum experience
requirement of 5+ years for a "senior" position, they are
automatically at a disadvantage. A number of people I know have
recently moved into "senior" positions after 1-2 years of UX
experience. Whatever those who have been working in this field for a
while may think of this trend, it is very much a reality.

3) Given the current state of the US economy/currency, fewer
experienced professionals may be willing to move to the US from other
countries. Here in Canada, the trend has actually reversed itself -
the homecoming of expats previously living in the US is now on the
rise. Add in the insanity of the US immigration system, and the
cost-benefit analysis for prospective immigrants is much less
compelling than it once was.

Dmitry

On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 12:05:06, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Andrei,
>
> 1) This is not just a problem in SV. At the IA Summit there were 19
> sponsors all there to recruit heavily and well from my basic survey,
> they weren't all that successful. I know we weren't.
>
> 2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
> insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
> guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
> upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
> familiar with what it takes at this point.

20 Feb 2008 - 2:51pm
Andrew Milmoe
2007

Supply and demand... there is A LOT of work out there right now. Many large companies are transforming to Web 2.0 or just evolving to become more targeted and efficient which requires more seasoned talent. (Versus Dot Coms chasing VC money and just filling seats...) Most companies today that were around during the boom (and survived the crash) are now bigger than they were during the boom and growing fast... they don't have time to grow people from scratch.

As demand increase, so too will compensation... until it gets high enough for people to be headhunted, afford to relocate, or brains drain in from related fields.

And then later on it will slow down (or bust) and the cycle continues...

-Andrew

20 Feb 2008 - 3:11pm
Catriona Lohan-...
2007

I have always thought we as a community need to do a better job
educating recruiters/HR people to what we actually do to enable them
to understand the space, write proper job descriptions and tags, know
how to interview and hire the right people.
__________________________
Catríona Lohan-Conway
User Experience Architect
917 405 5127
clohanconway at mac.com

20 Feb 2008 - 2:51pm
Stephanie McNee
2008

I whole hearted agree - the results that are produced are sometimes
nothing close to what you are searching on?

As a human factors / cognitive engineer with experience in Interface
Design/ Interaction Design jobs seem slim for the picking - however
I'm told there is more work in our industry than ever
before......and I'm currently searching in Austin.... are there any
good websites out there that aid our type of people in our crusade to
create systems that make sense? Ones that are NOT development jobs...

20 Feb 2008 - 4:36pm
Nicholas Iozzo
2007

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: dave malouf
Sent: Wed 2/20/2008 12:05 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Where are all the designers?
...
3) The value of SV as a nexus is being lost due to well what SV does
... create technological solutions that mitigate the need for
centralized workforces. 8-)
...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Send me your resume or questions if you are interested.
__________________
Principal User Experience Architect
Apply for this position
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Principal User Experience Architect
tandemseven
847.452.7442 mobile
niozzo at tandemseven.com
http://www.tandemseven.com

20 Feb 2008 - 6:29pm
Kevin Silver1
2006

On Feb 20, 2008, at 12:05 PM, dave malouf wrote:

> 2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
> insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
> guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
> upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
> familiar with what it takes at this point.

Exactly!

Kevin Silver
Clearwired Web Services

10899 Montgomery, Suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87109

office: 505.217.3505
toll-free: 866.430.2832
fax: 505.217.3506

e: kevin at clearwired.com
w: www.clearwired.com

20 Feb 2008 - 7:03pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Feb 20, 2008, at 12:05 PM, dave malouf wrote:

> 2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
> insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
> guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
> upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
> familiar with what it takes at this point.

While I understand the problem with the cost of living here, I think
this is a bit extreme and may be overstating the issue a little bit.
Not to take away from the very real issue of what the cost of living
here is and how it puts a strain on people, but it certainly doesn't
require earning $150K to $200K a year.

On Feb 20, 2008, at 12:05 PM, dave malouf wrote:

> 3) The value of SV as a nexus is being lost due to well what SV
> does ... create technological solutions that mitigate the need for
> centralized workforces. 8-)

Not sure I agree with this. I'm still shocked and amazed the amount
of people or companies I get requests from to work on some pretty
interesting projects. And in fact, Involution has gotten a good
number of those projects specifically because our studio location is
3 miles from Apple in Cupertino, 5 miles from Google in Mountain
View, 2 miles from Yahoo! here in Sunnyvale, 10 miles from Adobe in
San Jose, right around the corner from Intel in Santa Clara, and a
short drive away from nearly every single internet, web or new
technology startup... you get the picture.

If we weren't here, we wouldn't be getting any of these projects.
While I know there's great work being done elsewhere, I still can't
imagine getting all the latest projects , or at least the latest kind
of projects we work on, without being here in Silicon Valley.

On Feb 20, 2008, at 11:40 AM, W Evans wrote:
> And I would love to blame the quality of the job posting sites.
> There search engines are terrible. Just now, I search in
> Washington DC....
>
> Information Architect (86 results - only 3 were for IA)
> Interaction Designer (41 results, only 1 for IxD)
> Interface Designer (10 results, only one for ID)
>
> Some of the things that come back in results are amazing. Search
> for IA and get senior java architect as a high ranked result?

This gets back to semantics which no one on this board likes to
discuss. The reason job titles, job descriptions and skills/craft
descriptions are so important is precisely because people in HR
simply cannot be expected to know every single in and out of what a
field like ours does. I remember how much work I had to do with the
many different HR people I've worked with, and they have a ton on
their plates as it is.

The fact our field doesn't hunker down and help them with the problem
of normalizing job titles, job descriptions and skills/craft
requirements is our fault, not theirs.

-----

Now that we have some thoughts on it, is there a solution, either for
Silicon Valley or in general to how to better connect designers out
in the world with the various jobs that are cropping up everywhere?
And part of that solution I think needs to fin a way to map designers
to job that are within their skill sets, but also provide growth
paths. I find most Job sites, free boards or paid, to be sorely lacking.

And yes, for those of you that have emailed me privately, please feel
free to send me resumes/links to portfolios if you are interested in
Involution or working/moving to in Silicon Valley to design software,
web or other technology type products. You know my deal... I need
designers who want to own both the aesthetic and interaction design
on their projects, and who are willing to jump whole hog into
prototyping at a code level with their own two hands whenever
necessary, although we have awesome developers here to help in that
respect. We currently have 2 to 3 openings for designers that need to
be filled, and I've got way too many companies asking me to help them
even more. It's a good problem to have I guess, but one I wish was
not recurring year over year. I seem to have to deal with this every
two to three years and it frustrates me. I'm interested as both a
business owner and a designer how to better handle this sort of
problem in the future since it seems to be systemic at some level.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

20 Feb 2008 - 8:24pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Not to take away from the very real issue of what the cost of living
> here is and how it puts a strain on people, but it certainly doesn't
> require earning $150K to $200K a year.

Depends on your lifestyle. For example, $100k can do significantly more for
you in Arizona than $150k can in Silicon Valley or SFO. When I explored
positions in SV, I realized very quickly that I would be paying twice as
much money to live in an apartment half the size of my house—and that was
just the beginning. In the end, it just wasn't worth it.

The other factor, though, was the thought of becoming a sort of "cog in the
machine" in SV. Working for a big company like Apple or Google, you can lose
your whole identity. At Apple, for example, they wholly condemn the idea of
going out and speaking at conferences unless your name is Steve, and I was
told outright that my speaking schedule would have to come to an untimely
end. I couldn't see sacrificing all the great things I get to do as a
consultant to work at one of the bigs. Again, not worth it.

And as far as opportunities go, well, let's just say I'm doing just dandy
living outside of SV. Sure, I'd probably get some very sexy commercial
projects working in SV, but sexy commercial projects aren't my focus, so
it's a moot point.

I'll leave the sexy commercial projects to the youth. :)

-r-

20 Feb 2008 - 8:30pm
Ari
2006

The same goes for us in NYC! Rents in manhattan for a 250 sq ft studio are
easily $1900 or more.

A two bedroom apt in a good neighborhood (with good schools) easily costs
$850K or more. My younger brother lives in Scottsdale, AZ. He owns a nice,
two level house for what our 1 bdr apt costs!

Food, clothes and other necessities aren't much different (unless you dine
out a lot of have very expensive tastes) but the cost of housing will kill
you.

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 8:24 PM, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <robert at rhjr.net>
wrote:

> > Not to take away from the very real issue of what the cost of living
> > here is and how it puts a strain on people, but it certainly doesn't
> > require earning $150K to $200K a year.
>
>
> Depends on your lifestyle. For example, $100k can do significantly more
> for
> you in Arizona than $150k can in Silicon Valley or SFO. When I explored
> positions in SV, I realized very quickly that I would be paying twice as
> much money to live in an apartment half the size of my house—and that was
> just the beginning. In the end, it just wasn't worth it.
>
> The other factor, though, was the thought of becoming a sort of "cog in
> the
> machine" in SV. Working for a big company like Apple or Google, you can
> lose
> your whole identity. At Apple, for example, they wholly condemn the idea
> of
> going out and speaking at conferences unless your name is Steve, and I was
> told outright that my speaking schedule would have to come to an untimely
> end. I couldn't see sacrificing all the great things I get to do as a
> consultant to work at one of the bigs. Again, not worth it.
>
> And as far as opportunities go, well, let's just say I'm doing just dandy
> living outside of SV. Sure, I'd probably get some very sexy commercial
> projects working in SV, but sexy commercial projects aren't my focus, so
> it's a moot point.
>
> I'll leave the sexy commercial projects to the youth. :)
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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

20 Feb 2008 - 9:33pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Lots of reasons to relocate for work.

How many designers do we know that started with Apple or Adobe on
their resume and leveraged that into bigger better roles.

Sometimes you need exposure to a great company or to great projects
to kick start a carrier. While great projects are available outside
of SV and NY, they are fewer in between.

I have often thought about taking what would amount to a pay cut to
live in Manhattan for a couple of years. For a Kansas kid it would be
quite an experience.

Think about a young senior UI designer that finds herself worth $9
million after 14-15 months on the job. What are the odds?

There are lots of currencies to work for. Salary is only one of them.
Cost of living is another concern... but there are so many
ingredients in the formula.

I recommend that young designers stretch, see as much of the world as
possible, and set habits early with great companies. Life will limit
the options for you soon enough - get after it early.

Mark

On Feb 20, 2008, at 8:30 PM, Ari Feldman wrote:

> The same goes for us in NYC! Rents in manhattan for a 250 sq ft
> studio are
> easily $1900 or more.
>
> A two bedroom apt in a good neighborhood (with good schools) easily
> costs
> $850K or more. My younger brother lives in Scottsdale, AZ. He owns
> a nice,
> two level house for what our 1 bdr apt costs!
>
> Food, clothes and other necessities aren't much different (unless
> you dine
> out a lot of have very expensive tastes) but the cost of housing
> will kill
> you.
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 8:24 PM, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <robert at rhjr.net>
> wrote:
>
>>> Not to take away from the very real issue of what the cost of living
>>> here is and how it puts a strain on people, but it certainly doesn't
>>> require earning $150K to $200K a year.
>>
>>
>> Depends on your lifestyle. For example, $100k can do significantly
>> more
>> for
>> you in Arizona than $150k can in Silicon Valley or SFO. When I
>> explored
>> positions in SV, I realized very quickly that I would be paying
>> twice as
>> much money to live in an apartment half the size of my house—and
>> that was
>> just the beginning. In the end, it just wasn't worth it.
>>
>> The other factor, though, was the thought of becoming a sort of
>> "cog in
>> the
>> machine" in SV. Working for a big company like Apple or Google,
>> you can
>> lose
>> your whole identity. At Apple, for example, they wholly condemn
>> the idea
>> of
>> going out and speaking at conferences unless your name is Steve,
>> and I was
>> told outright that my speaking schedule would have to come to an
>> untimely
>> end. I couldn't see sacrificing all the great things I get to do as a
>> consultant to work at one of the bigs. Again, not worth it.
>>
>> And as far as opportunities go, well, let's just say I'm doing
>> just dandy
>> living outside of SV. Sure, I'd probably get some very sexy
>> commercial
>> projects working in SV, but sexy commercial projects aren't my
>> focus, so
>> it's a moot point.
>>
>> I'll leave the sexy commercial projects to the youth. :)
>>
>> -r-
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
> --
> --------------------------------------------------
> www.flyingyogi.com
> --------------------------------------------------
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

20 Feb 2008 - 9:58pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

Getting older, having babies, networking and finding jobs through informal channels and friends rather than formal channels, and staying employed as a consultant as a job that I like with people I like that affords me the flexibility that I need to avoid a long commute and spend more time with my daughter.

I'm constantly getting emails from recruiters and for the most part I ignore them. Most jobs just don't offer the flexibility, pay and commute that I'd want in order to change jobs.

----- Original Message ----
From: Andrei Herasimchuk <andrei at involutionstudios.com>
To: IxDA Discuss <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:06:01 AM
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Where are all the designers?

Just
a
quick
question:
Where
are
all
the
interface
and
software
designers
in
Silicon
Valley?
Has
everyone
just
packed
up
and
left
or
what?
I
see
more
job
listings,
postings
and
calls
for
resumes
and
yet
there
seem
to
be
even
fewer
people
to
fill
the
jobs
than
ever
before.
I
used
to
have
trouble
hiring
at
Adobe
back
in
the
late
1990s
mostly
due
to
the
high
experience
and
training
requirements
needed
to
work
on
software
at
that
level,
but
that
was
before
there
was
an
influx
of
people
and
talent
into
software
related
products,
especially
from
the
web.
And
yet,
now
it
seems
that
there's
an
even
bigger
gap
in
the
designer
to
available
job
ratio
than
every
before.
Everyone
I
know
is
having
trouble
filling
hiring
requirements.

Is
it
that
the
job
requirements
needed
to
get
hired
are
too
high?
Not
enough
trained
designers?
Or
is
it
something
only
happening
in
Silicon
Valley?
Browse
the
job
listings
and
postings
everywhere
from
companies
in
Silicon
Valley
and
it
seems
we
have
a
distinct
lack
of
designers
ready
to
fill
all
the
openings.

Opinions?

--
Andrei
Herasimchuk

Principal,
Involution
Studios
innovating
the
digital
world

e.
andrei at involutionstudios.com
c.
+1
408
306
6422

________________________________________________________________
Welcome
to
the
Interaction
Design
Association
(IxDA)!
To
post
to
this
list
.......
discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe
................
http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List
Guidelines
............
http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List
Help
..................
http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Feb 2008 - 1:19am
Manish Govind P...
2006

Arent we a global village anymore? It makes me happy
to know that UX is almost at the same level around the
globe.
Considering that most of the top business houses have
their offices in China and India, does it make sense
to consider shifting to these parts of the world as
well?
Consider this: In Bangalore or Goa you will not spend
more than $600-$700 on the best rented apartment you
can dream of( swimming pool n all :-))

Cheers! :P
Manish Pillewar
UXD-Thoughtworks
Bangalore

Thanks and Regards
Manish Govind Pillewar
Sr. User Experience Designer
Thoughtworks India Pvt. Ltd.Bangalore-India

Tel. +91 9880566951 (M)
+91 80 41113967 (Eve.)
Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface :-)

__________________________________________________________
Sent from Yahoo! Mail - a smarter inbox http://uk.mail.yahoo.com

20 Feb 2008 - 10:32pm
Scott McDaniel
2007

This seems to apply for many people - in weighing our options in the
near future as she finishes
her doctorate, my fiancee and I have considered moving. The Bay Area
is one of the few
places we've given serious thought away from our current hometown.
We are aware that this would mean shifting (even with a cost of living
adjustment)
from looking at buying some lovely 3-4 bedroom homes to renting a much
smaller flat...
but for the sake of a multitude of opportunities in what seems to be
the most exciting time
in the field since the bubble, that's not a deal-breaker.
I'd deal with temporary lessened effective buying power to have my
hands in the really cool crap...
if you'll forgive my phrasing.
I know it's not a scientific measure, a good number of my peers that I
respect feel much the
same.

Scott

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 9:33 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
> Lots of reasons to relocate for work.
>
> How many designers do we know that started with Apple or Adobe on
> their resume and leveraged that into bigger better roles.
>
> Sometimes you need exposure to a great company or to great projects
> to kick start a carrier. While great projects are available outside
> of SV and NY, they are fewer in between.
>
> I have often thought about taking what would amount to a pay cut to
> live in Manhattan for a couple of years. For a Kansas kid it would be
> quite an experience.
>
> Think about a young senior UI designer that finds herself worth $9
> million after 14-15 months on the job. What are the odds?
>
> There are lots of currencies to work for. Salary is only one of them.
> Cost of living is another concern... but there are so many
> ingredients in the formula.
>
> I recommend that young designers stretch, see as much of the world as
> possible, and set habits early with great companies. Life will limit
> the options for you soon enough - get after it early.
>
> Mark

--
'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. ~ Grant Morrison

21 Feb 2008 - 6:32am
James Leslie
2007

The UK also has a lot of vacancies for designers which I believe is
demand outstripping supply, and we are starting to see a big increase in
the number of UI/IxD jobs on the market too.
However, we have a lot of the same laws regarding immigration as the US.
For example, I would love to go to California for a year or 2 to work,
but this is very unlikely as I am a British citizen and work visas are
nearly impossible to come by. The same works in reverse for US citizens
wanting to work here. I know many other designers who would love the
opportunity to work in SV for a couple of years, who can't due to
immigration laws.

The value of going and working abroad, where different markets apply and
the experience of seeing first hand the difference in cultures, can be
huge in many ways... both in personal and professional terms.
We have freedom of movement for workers in Europe and that means there
are many multi-cultural design studios, personally I think this is
great. It helps expand ideas and pull cultural diversity into design. So
instead of going to work in SV, we go to work in Paris, Barcelona,
London, Rome, etc.

-----Original Message-----
3) Given the current state of the US economy/currency, fewer experienced
professionals may be willing to move to the US from other countries.
Here in Canada, the trend has actually reversed itself - the homecoming
of expats previously living in the US is now on the rise. Add in the
insanity of the US immigration system, and the cost-benefit analysis for
prospective immigrants is much less compelling than it once was.

21 Feb 2008 - 9:47am
kimbieler
2007

I'm wonder, too, what kind of opportunities are out there for
consultant designers like me? There are lots of jobs out there, but
how difficult is it to do interaction design when you're not part of
the organization?

I know we've got plenty of consultants on this list, so I guess my
question is for them, but also for the people who are hiring.

-- Kim

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Kim Bieler Graphic Design
www.kbgd.com
c. 240-476-3129
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

21 Feb 2008 - 10:21am
Cwodtke
2004

What I worry about is what we saw in boom 1.0, which was a ton of
unqualified people taking on the title, creating a bad reputation, then
returning to cab driving when the crash comes. OTOH, I was one of those
under qualified people in the first wave, so maybe I should be more
generous. hee.

[Shameless plug]

The job postings on jobs.boxesandarrows.com are extremely accurate. Less
of them, but they are all aimed at the right demographic and thus have
high relevancy.

W Evans wrote:
> And I would love to blame the quality of the job posting sites. There search
> engines are terrible.
>
> Just now, I search in Washington DC....
>
> Information Architect (86 results - only 3 were for IA)
>
> Interaction Designer (41 results, only 1 for IxD)
>
> Interface Designer (10 results, only one for ID)
>
> Some of the things that come back in results are amazing. Search for IA and
> get senior java architect as a high ranked result?
>
>
>
>
> On Feb 20, 2008 2:26 PM, David Shaw <david.shaw6 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Andrei,
>>
>> I think you are looking at a number of different factors that are
>> causing this. From my point of view, I would love to move not only to
>> the Bay area, but NY or Boston where there are tons of openings.
>> However, the cost of living there is so outrageously expensive, it
>> doesn't pay for me to relocate (I've got a house with a reasonable
>> mortgage, as well as a family to consider). It might be that many of
>> the more experienced designers (like myself) see the same issues. I
>> would take a huge loss of quality of life if I went.
>>
>> Just my 2 cents.
>>
>> David
>>
>> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk
>> <andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
>>> designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
>>> what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
>>> there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
>>> I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
>>> due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
>>> on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
>>> people and talent into software related products, especially from the
>>> web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
>>> designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
>>> having trouble filling hiring requirements.
>>>
>>> Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
>>> enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
>>> Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
>>> companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
>>> designers ready to fill all the openings.
>>>
>>> Opinions?
>>>
>>> --
>>> Andrei Herasimchuk
>>>
>>> Principal, Involution Studios
>>> innovating the digital world
>>>
>>> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
>>> c. +1 408 306 6422
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> "Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"
>>
>> w: http://www.davidshaw.info
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>>
>
>
>
>

--
Christina Wodtke
Principal Instigator
415-577-2550

Business :: http://www.cucinamedia.com
Magazine :: http://www.boxesandarrows.com
Product :: http://www.publicsquarehq.com
Personal :: http://www.eleganthack.com
Book :: http://www.blueprintsfortheweb.com

cwodtke at eleganthack.com

21 Feb 2008 - 10:26am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Feb 20, 2008, at 12:05 PM, dave malouf wrote:

> 2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
> insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
> guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
> upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
> familiar with what it takes at this point.

Wow. I want to work where you work! Most interaction designers I know
in the Bay Area don't make anywhere close to this amount. I'd say
about half of this ($75-100k) is about average.

I moved to SF in my mid-30s (with a family I should add) and yes, I
won't be buying a house anytime soon, but if what's important to you
is doing really interesting work surrounded by a high calibre
interaction design community, the Bay Area is hard to beat. The access
you get to some amazing people and companies (startups and giants
alike) is almost unreal. In a few block radius from my office there is
frog, Twitter, Yahoo labs, Cooper, Hot, IDEO, Six Apart, Technorati,
Adobe, Nokia...the list goes on and on.

Location still matters.

Dan

21 Feb 2008 - 10:33am
SemanticWill
2007

1. B&A is THE place for people like us to hang, so it would be
fan-fricken-tastic if the job board also allowed anon or not so anon
postings of resumes just for people in our field - then charge through the
nose for recruiters etc to come in and take a peak knowing it was a closed
community. Hell - I would pay a premium to list my resume etc on B&A knowing
that only recruiters actually looking for me and not a java engineer were
likely to contact me. I *Hate* their "spam"!

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:21 AM, Christina Wodtke <cwodtke at eleganthack.com>
wrote:

> What I worry about is what we saw in boom 1.0, which was a ton of
> unqualified people taking on the title, creating a bad reputation, then
> returning to cab driving when the crash comes. OTOH, I was one of those
> under qualified people in the first wave, so maybe I should be more
> generous. hee.
>
> [Shameless plug]
>
> The job postings on jobs.boxesandarrows.com are extremely accurate. Less
> of them, but they are all aimed at the right demographic and thus have
> high relevancy.
>
> W Evans wrote:
> > And I would love to blame the quality of the job posting sites. There
> search
> > engines are terrible.
> >
> > Just now, I search in Washington DC....
> >
> > Information Architect (86 results - only 3 were for IA)
> >
> > Interaction Designer (41 results, only 1 for IxD)
> >
> > Interface Designer (10 results, only one for ID)
> >
> > Some of the things that come back in results are amazing. Search for IA
> and
> > get senior java architect as a high ranked result?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Feb 20, 2008 2:26 PM, David Shaw <david.shaw6 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Andrei,
> >>
> >> I think you are looking at a number of different factors that are
> >> causing this. From my point of view, I would love to move not only to
> >> the Bay area, but NY or Boston where there are tons of openings.
> >> However, the cost of living there is so outrageously expensive, it
> >> doesn't pay for me to relocate (I've got a house with a reasonable
> >> mortgage, as well as a family to consider). It might be that many of
> >> the more experienced designers (like myself) see the same issues. I
> >> would take a huge loss of quality of life if I went.
> >>
> >> Just my 2 cents.
> >>
> >> David
> >>
> >> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk
> >> <andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Just a quick question: Where are all the interface and software
> >>> designers in Silicon Valley? Has everyone just packed up and left or
> >>> what? I see more job listings, postings and calls for resumes and yet
> >>> there seem to be even fewer people to fill the jobs than ever before.
> >>> I used to have trouble hiring at Adobe back in the late 1990s mostly
> >>> due to the high experience and training requirements needed to work
> >>> on software at that level, but that was before there was an influx of
> >>> people and talent into software related products, especially from the
> >>> web. And yet, now it seems that there's an even bigger gap in the
> >>> designer to available job ratio than every before. Everyone I know is
> >>> having trouble filling hiring requirements.
> >>>
> >>> Is it that the job requirements needed to get hired are too high? Not
> >>> enough trained designers? Or is it something only happening in
> >>> Silicon Valley? Browse the job listings and postings everywhere from
> >>> companies in Silicon Valley and it seems we have a distinct lack of
> >>> designers ready to fill all the openings.
> >>>
> >>> Opinions?
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Andrei Herasimchuk
> >>>
> >>> Principal, Involution Studios
> >>> innovating the digital world
> >>>
> >>> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> >>> c. +1 408 306 6422
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________________________________________
> >>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >> --
> >> "Art provokes thinking, design solves problems"
> >>
> >> w: http://www.davidshaw.info
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
> --
> Christina Wodtke
> Principal Instigator
> 415-577-2550
>
>
> Business :: http://www.cucinamedia.com
> Magazine :: http://www.boxesandarrows.com
> Product :: http://www.publicsquarehq.com
> Personal :: http://www.eleganthack.com
> Book :: http://www.blueprintsfortheweb.com
>
> cwodtke at eleganthack.com
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

21 Feb 2008 - 10:42am
SemanticWill
2007

"Wow. I want to work where you work! Most interaction designers I know
in the Bay Area don't make anywhere close to this amount. I'd say
about half of this ($75-100k) is about average."

Therein lies the problem in the Bay Area Dan. How much is proximity to all
those great places/people/companies worth? Assume you live in a city with a
base cost of living index of 100, pay 1800 per month for rent or mortgage,
and make $100K -- and the same job in SV/SF pays $100K, but the cost of
living index is 132, you can naturally see why it would cause huge
shortages. Of course - in good times like these - SF grows in our sector
faster than most other regions b/c of all the access to capital to fund new
ideas.
I would seriously consider moving someday, but not for an effective pay cut.

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:26 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Feb 20, 2008, at 12:05 PM, dave malouf wrote:
>
> > 2) Like what David Shaw said. You've gotta be nutz, coocoo, and just
> > insane to leave anyplace including NYC and move to SF unless you were
> > guaranteed something between $150k-$200k, and HUGE relocation package
> > upwards of $20-$30k. Having done relocates to both coasts I'm pretty
> > familiar with what it takes at this point.
>
> Wow. I want to work where you work! Most interaction designers I know
> in the Bay Area don't make anywhere close to this amount. I'd say
> about half of this ($75-100k) is about average.
>
> I moved to SF in my mid-30s (with a family I should add) and yes, I
> won't be buying a house anytime soon, but if what's important to you
> is doing really interesting work surrounded by a high calibre
> interaction design community, the Bay Area is hard to beat. The access
> you get to some amazing people and companies (startups and giants
> alike) is almost unreal. In a few block radius from my office there is
> frog, Twitter, Yahoo labs, Cooper, Hot, IDEO, Six Apart, Technorati,
> Adobe, Nokia...the list goes on and on.
>
> Location still matters.
>
> Dan
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

21 Feb 2008 - 10:44am
Scott McDaniel
2007

That seems to be the crux of the need, doesn't it?
The right people who at least know how the skills fit together for
particular roles
(or even how roles can be ambiguous and amorphous*) for the sake of
the companies,
appropriate recruiters and most importantly to the craftspeople
seeking and being sought.

Are there recruiters, search engines, job banks, etc. with people who
are specific enough to the industry?

Where do the "IA needed with 10 years Illustrator and J2EE hands-on
experience" posts come from?
Do the UX-related people not have any oversight or even input into
these job postings if it's their HR people making them?

Scott

*triple word score

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:33 AM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1. B&A is THE place for people like us to hang, so it would be
> fan-fricken-tastic if the job board also allowed anon or not so anon
> postings of resumes just for people in our field - then charge through the
> nose for recruiters etc to come in and take a peak knowing it was a closed
> community. Hell - I would pay a premium to list my resume etc on B&A knowing
> that only recruiters actually looking for me and not a java engineer were
> likely to contact me. I *Hate* their "spam"!
--
'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. ~ Grant Morrison

21 Feb 2008 - 10:49am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Feb 21, 2008, at 7:26 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> Location still matters.
>

Just to follow up on my own comment (hee), here's an excerpt from
Richard "Creative Class" Florida's new book, "Who's Your City? How the
Creative Economy Is Making Where You Live the Most Important Decision
of Your Life."

<http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/123/in-praise-of-spikes.html>

It's a mantra of the age of globalization that place doesn't matter.
Technology has leveled the global playing field--the world is flat.
"When the world is flat," says New York Times columnist Thomas
Friedman, "you can innovate without having to emigrate."

It's a compelling notion--but it's wrong. Today's global economy is
spiky. What's more, the tallest spikes, the cities and regions that
drive the world economy, are growing ever higher while the valleys,
with little economic activity, recede still further.

...

Geographic concentration encourages innovation because ideas flow more
freely, are honed more sharply, and can be put into practice more
quickly when innovators, implementers, and financial backers are in
constant contact. Creative people cluster not simply because they like
to be around one another or prefer cosmopolitan centers with lots of
amenities (though both things tend to be true). They cluster because
density brings such powerful productivity advantages, economies of
scale, and knowledge spillovers.

...

The main difference between now and a couple of decades ago is that
the economic and social distance between the peaks has gotten smaller.
People in spiky places are often more connected to one another, even
from half a world away, than they are to people in their own
backyards. This peak-to-peak connectivity is accelerated by the highly
mobile, global creative class, about 150 million people, who migrate
freely among the world's leading cities--places such as London, New
York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and
San Francisco.

Meanwhile, second-tier cities from Detroit to Nagoya to Bangalore are
locked in potentially devastating competition for jobs, people, and
investment. And in the so-called developing world, millions upon
millions of people whose culture and traditions are being ripped apart
by globalization lack the education, skills, or mobility to connect to
the world economy. They are stuck in places that are falling further
and further behind.

21 Feb 2008 - 10:52am
SemanticWill
2007

>
> Where do the "IA needed with 10 years Illustrator and J2EE hands-on
> experience" posts come from?

> Scott

One word: Leprechauns*

---------------------

21 Feb 2008 - 10:56am
SemanticWill
2007

Dan, when I read this:
"Geographic concentration encourages innovation because ideas flow more
freely, are honed more sharply, and can be put into practice more
quickly when innovators, implementers, and financial backers are in
constant contact. Creative people cluster not simply because they like
to be around one another or prefer cosmopolitan centers with lots of
amenities (though both things tend to be true). They cluster because
density brings such powerful productivity advantages, economies of
scale, and knowledge spillovers."

I couldn't help think how many IxDers found Espresso Gallery in Savannah
last week (2 weeks ago? Sad!)...

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

>
> On Feb 21, 2008, at 7:26 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:
>
> > Location still matters.
> >
>
> Just to follow up on my own comment (hee), here's an excerpt from
> Richard "Creative Class" Florida's new book, "Who's Your City? How the
> Creative Economy Is Making Where You Live the Most Important Decision
> of Your Life."
>
> <http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/123/in-praise-of-spikes.html>
>
> It's a mantra of the age of globalization that place doesn't matter.
> Technology has leveled the global playing field--the world is flat.
> "When the world is flat," says New York Times columnist Thomas
> Friedman, "you can innovate without having to emigrate."
>
> It's a compelling notion--but it's wrong. Today's global economy is
> spiky. What's more, the tallest spikes, the cities and regions that
> drive the world economy, are growing ever higher while the valleys,
> with little economic activity, recede still further.
>
> ...
>
> Geographic concentration encourages innovation because ideas flow more
> freely, are honed more sharply, and can be put into practice more
> quickly when innovators, implementers, and financial backers are in
> constant contact. Creative people cluster not simply because they like
> to be around one another or prefer cosmopolitan centers with lots of
> amenities (though both things tend to be true). They cluster because
> density brings such powerful productivity advantages, economies of
> scale, and knowledge spillovers.
>
> ...
>
> The main difference between now and a couple of decades ago is that
> the economic and social distance between the peaks has gotten smaller.
> People in spiky places are often more connected to one another, even
> from half a world away, than they are to people in their own
> backyards. This peak-to-peak connectivity is accelerated by the highly
> mobile, global creative class, about 150 million people, who migrate
> freely among the world's leading cities--places such as London, New
> York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and
> San Francisco.
>
> Meanwhile, second-tier cities from Detroit to Nagoya to Bangalore are
> locked in potentially devastating competition for jobs, people, and
> investment. And in the so-called developing world, millions upon
> millions of people whose culture and traditions are being ripped apart
> by globalization lack the education, skills, or mobility to connect to
> the world economy. They are stuck in places that are falling further
> and further behind.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

21 Feb 2008 - 11:00am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Feb 21, 2008, at 7:42 AM, W Evans wrote:

> Therein lies the problem in the Bay Area Dan. How much is proximity
> to all those great places/people/companies worth? Assume you live in
> a city with a base cost of living index of 100, pay 1800 per month
> for rent or mortgage, and make $100K -- and the same job in SV/SF
> pays $100K, but the cost of living index is 132, you can naturally
> see why it would cause huge shortages. Of course - in good times
> like these - SF grows in our sector faster than most other regions b/
> c of all the access to capital to fund new ideas.
> I would seriously consider moving someday, but not for an effective
> pay cut.

I think you have to think about it as an investment in your career.
It's always better in the long run to be a big fish in a big pond than
a big fish in a small pond. In an area with limited mobility between
good jobs, you are likely to eventually hit a ceiling and its
accompanying salary cap. In places like SF/SV, Tokyo, London, New
York, etc. the ceiling is much higher. So yes, initially, you are
screwed by the cost of living, but eventually, because of the
connections you make and the mobility you have, you will likely do
better in the long run. That's the hope, at least. :)

Dan

21 Feb 2008 - 11:41am
Chris Bernard
2007

I get to see a lot of good interaction design shops in the US. Smaller shops, 5 to 30 people. Today, it simply doesn't matter where you are if you are good. In fact, if you are good (and can run a small business and develop a pipeline) it's an almost universal truth that you're going to be better off running your own shop. All that great work that folks get by being in SV? The shops in Oklahoma City, Austin and even Omaha get those calls too. I see it every day and I see companies try to BUY those shops in whole because they are having such a hard time hiring design talent.

This is a hard thing to see in a world of NDAs and projects that never see the light of day but I'm probably in a unique position in my role in that I get to see this so I thought it might be helpful to share. The good news is that IxD is incredibly valuable right now. The bad news is it won't stay that way if we can't find a way to grow the capacity of the discipline.

Inherently I think a lot of good designers know this and if you're in the enterprise and/or a corporate environment it can sometimes be hard to procure IxD talent. Please note I'm not I'm not saying that there aren't great opportunities in the enterprise or corporate environments (it's where I am too), just that it's a harder and more nuanced sell and even I'm drawn to allure of the small agency these days.

A few years ago I too considered a relocation to SV and when I did the math it just didn't make sense. As a more mature designer with a family of three children and wife that just stopped working I just couldn't make the math work (I also live in an inner ring suburb of Chicago which has crazy prices too so I'm already coming at this from a warped perspective, NYC, LA and SV might be the only places more expensive).

The challenge with places like the Bay Area and (increasingly) NYC and Seattle is not getting started there, it's settling there. Once you want to buy a house, have kids, etc. things spiral out of control quickly. In fact if you want to buy a modest house in Silicon Valley (and by modest I mean standards the rest of the US would apply--a few thousand square feet for the house and modest lot size like 50 feet by 150 feet) you're going to be looking to spend from 750k for what I would consider a complete dump and upwards of 1 million for something that would afford a nice quality of life. That house where you'd WANT to live? We'll the sky's the limit. (These are based on my own experience in looking around the Valley. A 1400 square foot Eichler for a million bucks in Sunnyvale was not getting my family too excited about a move to California.

I think David M is being a bit kind too, I'm not sure the salary ranges he's quoted would even get you a middle-class lifestyle in SV these days if you've got a family. But let's not sell this short. Places like New York, SV and (increasingly) Austin, Seattle, Ann Arbor are expensive because these ecosystems and that proximity IS important and VALUABLE.

If you're a young designer getting started I think it's a GREAT idea to spend a few years in one of these places to get your skills pulled together. Although today I would argue that doing a turn in Asia for a few years is equally if not more valuable.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
630.530.4208 Office
312.925.4095 Mobile

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
Community: http://www.visitmix.com

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Robert Hoekman, Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:24 PM
To: Andrei Herasimchuk
Cc: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Where are all the designers?

> Not to take away from the very real issue of what the cost of living
> here is and how it puts a strain on people, but it certainly doesn't
> require earning $150K to $200K a year.

Depends on your lifestyle. For example, $100k can do significantly more for
you in Arizona than $150k can in Silicon Valley or SFO. When I explored
positions in SV, I realized very quickly that I would be paying twice as
much money to live in an apartment half the size of my house-and that was
just the beginning. In the end, it just wasn't worth it.

The other factor, though, was the thought of becoming a sort of "cog in the
machine" in SV. Working for a big company like Apple or Google, you can lose
your whole identity. At Apple, for example, they wholly condemn the idea of
going out and speaking at conferences unless your name is Steve, and I was
told outright that my speaking schedule would have to come to an untimely
end. I couldn't see sacrificing all the great things I get to do as a
consultant to work at one of the bigs. Again, not worth it.

And as far as opportunities go, well, let's just say I'm doing just dandy
living outside of SV. Sure, I'd probably get some very sexy commercial
projects working in SV, but sexy commercial projects aren't my focus, so
it's a moot point.

I'll leave the sexy commercial projects to the youth. :)

-r-
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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21 Feb 2008 - 12:16pm
jrrogan
2005

Regarding the comment on living in NYC:

>The same goes for us in NYC! Rents in Manhattan for a 250 sq ft studio are
>easily $1900 or more.

>A two bedroom apt in a good neighborhood (with good schools) easily costs
>$850K or more. My younger brother lives in Scottsdale, AZ. He owns a nice,
>two level house for what our 1 bdrm apt costs!

New York City does NOT have to be an expensive place to live, and can be
VERY reasonable!

You can pay $ 8,000.00 per month for an average 2 bedroom in the West
Village Manhattan, or you could pay $ 1500.00 for a nice 2 bedroom in Bay
Ridge Brooklyn, (20 mins to Manhattan). And if $1500 is too much for you,
you could buy a 2 bedroom Coop in Flatbush Brooklyn for around $220 k. Note
both Brooklyn neighbourhoods have great food, great subways, lots of
amenities, and Bay Ridge is right on the water, with great public schools.

NYC can be very affordable and fantastic to live in, it's called move to
"Brooklyn", (which is way cooler then Manhattan now anyways).

And if Brooklyn is too expensive move to Queens, a little more boring, but
you can knock another 25% off the rent. Keep in mind these places are within
a 20 min subway ride to Manhattan, safe, better food then Manhattan, often
better clubs and bars and parks. In the 5 Burroughs of New York only 1 is
really expensive, and that's Manhattan, (unless of course you want to move
to Harlem in Manhattan, very cool at $2 + k for a 2 bdrm, or by Columbia
University around the same price).

Give me a shout if you want to find a mega deal great neighbourhood in NYC.

--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

21 Feb 2008 - 12:27pm
Douglas Brashear
2007

I second the vote for Brooklyn! I've lived there on two separate
occasions, the first time in Brooklyn Heights (just one subway stop away
from downtown) and the next in Cobble Hill. In both cases I was mere
minutes from work, mere steps to the supermarket and great shops &
restaurants (in one case one of the top 5 in the whole city - the
Grocery) and decent parking (well, in Cobble Hill). They were both
family neighborhoods, much quieter than anything you'd find in
Manhattan, and both were very reasonable. In Cobble Hill my wife and I
rented a 4-room railroad apartment that was on the parlor floor of a
turn-of-the-century brownstone (read: great plaster moldings, parquet
floors, pocket doors, etc.). In general, we loved our neighborhood so
much that when we do return to the city (fairly frequently) we spend the
vast majority of our time in Brooklyn.

- Doug :-)

.............. ...........................................

Doug Brashear
Director, Information Architecture

NavigationArts
7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 400
McLean, VA 22102

Tel: 703.584.8933
Mob: 703.725.8031
Fax: 703.584.8921

http://www.navigationarts.com

Architects of the User Experience

21 Feb 2008 - 12:28pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

I'd argue that the Bay area is affordable and one can buy a home (given the current real estate market here), though your comfort level will not be as good as other areas in the country and you're going to make sacrifices about areas where you'd like to live versus areas where you can afford to live.

I moved out of state for a year to North Carolina and hated it. The Bay area offers designers amazing career opportunities, rich cultural institutions, great weather, great education, etc. At this point I would not consider moving anywhere else just because I'm enjoying life here too much.

----- Original Message ----
From: Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com>
To: IxDA Discuss <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:26:08 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Where are all the designers?

On
Feb
20,
2008,
at
12:05
PM,
dave
malouf
wrote:

>
2)
Like
what
David
Shaw
said.
You've
gotta
be
nutz,
coocoo,
and
just
>
insane
to
leave
anyplace
including
NYC
and
move
to
SF
unless
you
were
>
guaranteed
something
between
$150k-$200k,
and
HUGE
relocation
package
>
upwards
of
$20-$30k.
Having
done
relocates
to
both
coasts
I'm
pretty
>
familiar
with
what
it
takes
at
this
point.

Wow.
I
want
to
work
where
you
work!
Most
interaction
designers
I
know
in
the
Bay
Area
don't
make
anywhere
close
to
this
amount.
I'd
say
about
half
of
this
($75-100k)
is
about
average.

I
moved
to
SF
in
my
mid-30s
(with
a
family
I
should
add)
and
yes,
I
won't
be
buying
a
house
anytime
soon,
but
if
what's
important
to
you
is
doing
really
interesting
work
surrounded
by
a
high
calibre
interaction
design
community,
the
Bay
Area
is
hard
to
beat.
The
access
you
get
to
some
amazing
people
and
companies
(startups
and
giants
alike)
is
almost
unreal.
In
a
few
block
radius
from
my
office
there
is
frog,
Twitter,
Yahoo
labs,
Cooper,
Hot,
IDEO,
Six
Apart,
Technorati,
Adobe,
Nokia...the
list
goes
on
and
on.

Location
still
matters.

Dan

________________________________________________________________
Welcome
to
the
Interaction
Design
Association
(IxDA)!
To
post
to
this
list
.......
discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe
................
http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List
Guidelines
............
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List
Help
..................
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21 Feb 2008 - 12:39pm
Gloria Petron
2007

I live in Park Slope (need the green) and even though I love Brooklyn, I've
fantasized about what it would be like to live in the Carolinas or Seattle
(if certain salary issues got resolved). Just curious, why did you hate NC?

21 Feb 2008 - 12:58pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Dan said: "Today's global economy is spiky. What's more, the
tallest spikes, the cities and regions that drive the world economy,
are growing ever higher while the valleys, with little economic
activity, recede still further."

Very true. A few years ago, much was made of the fact that Verizon
had established the first statewide fiber optic network here in West
Virginia. It was the "backbone" of a network, not a full-fledged
neural network, of course. The same economies of scale that
historically prevented travel through some of this state's rugged
terrain, and the same factors Dan enumerates, have prevented the
further evolution of this network and the arrival of technology
leaders we hoped it might attract.

Innovation is only a spark. To fan the flames of any new idea or
industry requires very personal, very human connections that always
have happened, and always will happen, in the places where innovative
people congregate in relatively large numbers.

That presents eager young hotshots with a choice, but it's by no
means the whole picture. Yes, I sacrifice something by not living in
such a place; and so do those who uproot themselves to travel to
whatever pseudo-Mecca they seek. If we learned nothing else from the
IBM (I've Been Moved) era of post-industrial America, we should have
learned that in the long term our peace of mind is integrally
connected to our sense of place and our social connectedness, or
cohesiveness. Is this obvious only to those of us who've studied
social anthropology and psychology?

I don't mean to be a naysayer. I just want to affirm the importance
of blooming where you're planted. Sometimes we're better off
creating opportunity than seeking it -- especially if we're dragging
a young family around with us!

If employers hold on to the notion/expectation of a global and
infinitely mobile workforce, I think in the long run they'll be
terribly disappointed. Community and society cannot sustain that or
be sustained by it, and anarchy is never a good climate for any human
enterprise -- including business.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26170

21 Feb 2008 - 1:42pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

I'm right with you Jeff. This conversation has only reaffirmed my
beliefs that I am much happier here in Pittsburgh than I could be in
any of the big cities. What it really comes down to is that my
personal life is much more important to me than my professional life.
While I would love the opportunity to work for a company like
Adaptive Path, IDEO, Cooper, etc., my desire to do so has never
exceeded my desire to remain close to my family. Of course, it is a
matter of degrees. I did move to Pittsburgh from West Virginia
because of career-oriented opportunities (and thought at the time I
was moving to the big city! ;)

Dan, I know you don't miss Pittsburgh, and I admit I envied you as I
followed your blog posts covering your graduation from CMU (as I had
done a few years earlier) and hire at Adaptive Path, but the comforts
of owning a sizable house, a yard to play with my kids in, gardens to
get dirty in, and a view looking down on the Ohio River valley far
outweigh the professional benefits you have cited.

I should add that I'm currently quite satisfied with my own career
choices. My work isn't as sexy as a lot of what's going on in Silicon
Valley, but I still have the opportunity to work for big-name
companies doing interesting and challenging work.

And thanks to this community, I have the opportunity to participate
in the field at large.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Charles Eames was asked the question,
"What are the boundaries of design?"

He answered,

"What are the boundaries of problems?"

- Charles Eames

21 Feb 2008 - 1:07pm
Scott McDaniel
2007

I think you're spot on with what those of us who'll step back and view
it in that way,
but it also may explain the natural flow of talent for those who consider that
direct salary-cost of living thing to be priority one. That's sad in some ways
(opportunities missed, the field loses some people who place more
emphasis on salary),
and I don't say that in a judgmental fashion - people can consider a
particular lifestyle,
means of supporting family/themselves, proximity to family and friends, etc. all
primary concerns, and more power to them. None of this has to
necessarily relate
to exactly where one lives (although learning more about SV, Brooklyn
and other areas
has been cool~), but are we seeking out what can help us learn, grow
and strengthen our
craft across companies, industries and regions.

Scott

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 11:00 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> I think you have to think about it as an investment in your career.
> It's always better in the long run to be a big fish in a big pond than
> a big fish in a small pond. In an area with limited mobility between
> good jobs, you are likely to eventually hit a ceiling and its
> accompanying salary cap. In places like SF/SV, Tokyo, London, New
> York, etc. the ceiling is much higher. So yes, initially, you are
> screwed by the cost of living, but eventually, because of the
> connections you make and the mobility you have, you will likely do
> better in the long run. That's the hope, at least. :)
--
'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. ~ Grant Morrison

21 Feb 2008 - 2:58pm
bminihan
2007

Very well said, Jack, I couldn't agree more.

I've been a little swamped lately, but have followed what I could of this
thread the past week, with some interest.

I consider myself pretty well qualified in the "will move for work" domain.
My dad was a marine, so when asked where I'm from, I say "everywhere, but
specifically CA, NC, AZ, OH, VA and DC". In 1995, I moved from NC to
Oakland to work in the corporate office for The Nature Company (RIP), then
moved to Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and spent 4 years there.

There's a special place in my heart for both southern and northern CA. I
was born there, and part of me will always stay there. On the other hand,
after 4 years, and twice yearly flights home (for 8 state east-coast
family-trip sprees), plus the INSANE cost of housing (I could deal with the
rest, having lived in VA, but I couldn't afford a house anywhere), I decided
to move back to the east coast.

I worked in Bethesda and lived on Capitol hill, for a few years, then we (my
wife's from Boston) moved back down to NC so I could finish my degree. That
was 2001, for some perspective on where jobs went - nowhere, really. We're
still in the RTP area after 6 years now, and I'm with a startup whose CEO
believes in the area and has really been trying to drive the technology
culture higher.

I always used to wonder why people in dire straits don't just get up and
move to where the work is. For a long time, that was my outlook. Nowadays,
though, I get job offers from SV and NYC about 3 times a week, and don't
think we could do it. My greatest drive right now (besides my work) is
finding the last house we're going to live in, preferably on Cape Cod, if
the market plays nice (it's about the beach, and we're 2 hrs away,
unfortunately).

As for why there aren't enough interaction designers (specifically), I
actually think it's because we're somewhat rare. As others have mentioned,
formal degrees for our specific work are hard to come by, and (maybe it's
just me), I think our discipline takes a certain blend of technical savvy,
creative juices and observational skills in the same person to be
successful. I've had a really hard time applying for agency positions who
want to put me in only one of three buckets: usability, visual design, or
development. I've been turned down for a few of these because they didn't
know where to put me. Frankly, I don't know which of those I like more,
anyway.

After moving 7 times in the last 15 years, all I can say is that I've never
run out of work, anywhere. Only once have I actually disliked the work I
was doing (that was my last job).

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Where are all the designers?

I should add that I'm currently quite satisfied with my own career
choices. My work isn't as sexy as a lot of what's going on in Silicon
Valley, but I still have the opportunity to work for big-name
companies doing interesting and challenging work.

And thanks to this community, I have the opportunity to participate
in the field at large.

Jack

21 Feb 2008 - 3:16pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Andrei,
To get back to your question, if you are still listening.
1) The market is just harshin' right now.
2) Your specific criteria of combining (I'm not arguing the merits)
code & design skills in a single person/role is even harder to find.
The bulk of this generation of designers is just not trained as such.

If I were you I would recruit heavily from the "interactive design"
programs at art/design/technical schools and build the specifics of
IxD talent you need through mentorship. There is no program
concentrating on IxD or even a segment of IxD that will create the
type of designer you are looking for.

Basically, you're going to have to breed your own.

I know you are connected with SJState, and I'm sure that you can try
to hook into Art Institute and CCA as well to find the junior talent.
There are more visual aestheticists technologists than there are
behavioral aestheticists technologists out there. And finding all 3
in 1 person I haven't seen in a resume in a long time and I would
love to have it!

Oh! and if I found it, I wouldn't tell you b/c I'm hiring!!!!

3) I don't think there is anything going on in SV that isn't going
on in the other hubs around the world. It might feel "worse", but
everyone is struggling. Join the pity party!

4) People have keyed in on some good issues about the way we talk
about ourselves and the issues around HR/IxD relationships that as an
org and as a community of practice we have to do a better job with.
BTW, I have been trying to settle on a definition and create firm
labels for half a decade now and well, you and I just disagree. ;)

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26170

21 Feb 2008 - 3:27pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Absolutely... so wish I had a second language!

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 11:41 AM, Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com>
wrote:

Although today I would argue that doing a turn in Asia for a few years is
> equally if not more valuable.
>

21 Feb 2008 - 3:59pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Feb 21, 2008, at 12:16 PM, dave malouf wrote:

> 1) The market is just harshin' right now.

Tell me about it.

> 2) Your specific criteria of combining (I'm not arguing the merits)
> code & design skills in a single person/role is even harder to find.
> The bulk of this generation of designers is just not trained as such.

I understand my design and skill requirements tend be harder than
others, but I was actually asking more in general. All my friends at
places like Apple, Google, Adobe, various startups, etc... all of
them are saying the same thing about the designer supply/demand problem.

> If I were you I would recruit heavily from the "interactive design"
> programs at art/design/technical schools and build the specifics of
> IxD talent you need through mentorship.

Yup. Agreed.

> Oh! and if I found it, I wouldn't tell you b/c I'm hiring!!!!

This is also part of the problem. I know you meant this in jest, but
at the same time, I think so many folks in the management side of the
equation aren't talking to each other, so it kind of exacerbates the
problem. No one is talking to each other due to trying to hire and
such and it creates a larger vacuum of information to recruit within.
I'm not sure if anything could be done about this, but just noting it
out loud.

> 4) People have keyed in on some good issues about the way we talk
> about ourselves and the issues around HR/IxD relationships that as an
> org and as a community of practice we have to do a better job with.
> BTW, I have been trying to settle on a definition and create firm
> labels for half a decade now and well, you and I just disagree. ;)

I'm going to try and be clear as possible for the last time on this
issue:

If you (and I mean you, the IxDA board and the IxDA community in the
plural sense) want to collectively settle on the definition that an
IxD practitioner is:

* Someone who designs interaction
* Someone who is technology agnostic
* Someone who is paired with a visual or graphic designer to create
the aesthetic of the product
* Does not code or program, even at a lightweight prototyping level

Then by all means, please do so! If this is the definition, then call
those people Interaction Designers. Be my guest! I know many
companies and design team in Silicon Valley are already doing so.

That's not what I am and that's not what I'm looking for. I define
myself as someone who:

* Designs interaction and workflow
* Creates and design aesthetics and visual components
* Codes front-end development as a light-weight prototyping exercise,
in order to contribute to building what I design
* Designs digital technology, specifically interfaces and software;
be it desktop applications, web sites, web applications, mobile
interfaces, or software enabled appliances, like an internet enabled
refrigerator or a digital drawing tablet with a screen interace

I have called this person an Interface Designer or Software Designer
in the past, as that what I call myself. If the IxDA wants people who
do the above to be called Interaction Designers, then by all means,
be my guest! As long as they do it inclusively with that list of
things, and exclude any aspect of it. The software industry has been
literally BEGGING some group to lay ownership to this design position
for more tan a decade now.

I don't have a problem with labels and job titles. As near as I can
tell... the IxDA does, or at least people who practice the job. I
only say this because the variance in the resumes I see are literally
all over the map, along with the job titles, etc.

I'm more than happy to call myself an Interaction Designer if it
includes aesthetics as core, assumes technology and software, and
encourages building via coding since what we design at the end of the
day are digital technology products. However, if the IxDA wants
Interaction to be exclusive from aesthetics and building along with
not being tied exclusively to code, then basically in the domain of
technology products an IxD type of designer will always need to be
paired with a team to cover the entire needs f product design.

And then, if this is indeed the case, then we simply need to
communicate to HR folks the distinction between an Interaction
Designer, Graphic Designer, and Interface Designer. I'll let the
Usability and Information Architects work out their own job
descriptions.

I personally have no problem with that. It's just I think its
dangerous for designers to silo themselves like that in the
technology sector, because as technology flattens even more while
becoming even easier to implement, the need to have multiple people
do the job of the design and the economics of building digital
products will simply not be viable.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

21 Feb 2008 - 4:06pm
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

Andrei:

This issue of "how to define" comes up over and over and, IMO, is a can of
worms. Rather than trying for one size fits all, I would suggest that we
think about a competency model in which Joe can be a "basic designer" and
Sue has added a specialty or competence in lightweight prototyping and Sally
also has an IA competence.

Then all the designer's skills would be clear upfront.

This is how MD's do it. Every doctor has a set of basic skills and then they
specialize. Psychologists do that as well (e.g. you can get a specialization
in forensic psychology, family psych etc.).

None of this will ever be easy or free from emotion but I think we need to
be very careful about what sort of box we place ourselves in.

Charlie

21 Feb 2008 - 4:11pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:59 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <
andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:

>
>
> This is also part of the problem. I know you meant this in jest, but
> at the same time, I think so many folks in the management side of the
> equation aren't talking to each other, so it kind of exacerbates the
> problem. No one is talking to each other due to trying to hire and
> such and it creates a larger vacuum of information to recruit within.
> I'm not sure if anything could be done about this, but just noting it
> out loud.
> I really wish there was a place or discussion with even a small percentage
> of the energy here, where design management was the topic. If it is out
> there, I haven't found it.
>

> * Designs interaction and workflow
> * Creates and design aesthetics and visual components
> * Codes front-end development as a light-weight prototyping exercise,
> in order to contribute to building what I design
> * Designs digital technology, specifically interfaces and software;
> be it desktop applications, web sites, web applications, mobile
> interfaces, or software enabled appliances, like an internet enabled
> refrigerator or a digital drawing tablet with a screen interface
>

5 or 7 years ago I would have agreed that this is a solid job description.
Now I think it is a dream. Fragmentation in the these responsibilities has
not only begun, it has started to harden. And it will only continue in that
direction. The current direction in design is for collaborative teams. As
such, those teams need more specific and deeper skill sets.

I am not saying it is right or desirable, but it certainly seems the trend.

Mark

21 Feb 2008 - 3:52pm
SemanticWill
2007

To that point - those of us who *have* been hiring managers in the past - if
we want things to change - we have to take responsibility for partnering
with HR/Recruiter people. I have spent many an hour on the phone just
talking about the issues, skills, mindset, background of people that might
be a match - and educating about IxD and IA along the way.

BTW: Has anyone noticed the BIG shift in the last 7 years of a whole crop of
new "recruiters" following a new business model. In essence - they have
taken the call center business model, extended it to recruiting and
outsourced it to India. All the initial job board search/keyword matching
and initial screening is done there (with US phone#, business address), and
once the initial screening is done - candidates are passed along to client
facing recruiters in based in the US. I have no idea if this is a long term
trend, but with growth in real wages in call center places like Bangalore -
I can't see this as sustainable, and it may move again to the Philippines.
Just find it interesting - no point to this I guess.

On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 12:16:09, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Andrei,
> To get back to your question, if you are still listening.
> 1) The market is just harshin' right now.
> 2) Your specific criteria of combining (I'm not arguing the merits)
> code & design skills in a single person/role is even harder to find.
> The bulk of this generation of designers is just not trained as such.
>
> If I were you I would recruit heavily from the "interactive design"
> programs at art/design/technical schools and build the specifics of
> IxD talent you need through mentorship. There is no program
> concentrating on IxD or even a segment of IxD that will create the
> type of designer you are looking for.
>
> Basically, you're going to have to breed your own.
>
> I know you are connected with SJState, and I'm sure that you can try
> to hook into Art Institute and CCA as well to find the junior talent.
> There are more visual aestheticists technologists than there are
> behavioral aestheticists technologists out there. And finding all 3
> in 1 person I haven't seen in a resume in a long time and I would
> love to have it!
>
> Oh! and if I found it, I wouldn't tell you b/c I'm hiring!!!!
>
> 3) I don't think there is anything going on in SV that isn't going
> on in the other hubs around the world. It might feel "worse", but
> everyone is struggling. Join the pity party!
>
> 4) People have keyed in on some good issues about the way we talk
> about ourselves and the issues around HR/IxD relationships that as an
> org and as a community of practice we have to do a better job with.
> BTW, I have been trying to settle on a definition and create firm
> labels for half a decade now and well, you and I just disagree. ;)
>
> -- dave
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26170
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

21 Feb 2008 - 4:20pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

In the many discussions (arguments?) about defining IxD this is by far
the most reasonable answer I've ever hears.

In reality, we're all going to have different specialties anyway, and
there's nothing wrong with looking for employees with specific
specialized skills, like coding, or IA, or whatever. But in the end,
to call yourself an IxD there are certain base skills you should have.

Makes sense to me. It's not just doctors that work like this..
lawyers, pilots, artists, .. well, basically every profession has
different subsets of specialized skills. Why should we be any
different?

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM, Charles B. Kreitzberg
<charlie at cognetics.com> wrote:
> Andrei:
>
> This issue of "how to define" comes up over and over and, IMO, is a can of
> worms. Rather than trying for one size fits all, I would suggest that we
> think about a competency model in which Joe can be a "basic designer" and
> Sue has added a specialty or competence in lightweight prototyping and Sally
> also has an IA competence.
>
> Then all the designer's skills would be clear upfront.
>
> This is how MD's do it. Every doctor has a set of basic skills and then they
> specialize. Psychologists do that as well (e.g. you can get a specialization
> in forensic psychology, family psych etc.).
>
> None of this will ever be easy or free from emotion but I think we need to
> be very careful about what sort of box we place ourselves in.
>
> Charlie
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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

21 Feb 2008 - 4:26pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Feb 21, 2008, at 1:06 PM, Charles B. Kreitzberg wrote:

> This issue of "how to define" comes up over and over and, IMO, is a
> can of
> worms. Rather than trying for one size fits all, I would suggest
> that we
> think about a competency model in which Joe can be a "basic
> designer" and
> Sue has added a specialty or competence in lightweight prototyping
> and Sally
> also has an IA competence.

You can do that. But it will not solve the problem that people in
this discussion have noted, that being the problem of Job Boards, how
HR people recruit, and generally how design is factored inside the
corporate org chart.

It's not difficult to define the thing. It really isn't. And while
those in the trenches may not care for the discussion, it's like
politics. You can ignore the machinations of what the GOP and
Democrats are doing on a daily basis, but you do so at your own peril
when one day you wake and can't recognize your own government or
understand how it's possible your country is involved in a war
halfway across the world that has lasted longer than World War II and
that kills obscene numbers of people on a monthly basis.

There are three job title candidates:

Visual Designer / Graphic Designer: I think we can all agree this is
the easiest one and is not controversial.

Interaction Designer: The only points of contention here, if there is
one, is whether IxD does aesthetics, is tied to software type of
products and need to learn how to code at a prototype level. I know
most of that "contention" is my own point of view, but it cuts both
ways. IxD has muddied the job descriptions in Silicon Valley to the
degree that I feel it's the responsibility of those whose practice it
to make sure everyone knows what the job is, clearly and without
confusion. Once that clarity is brought back, there's no point of
contention.

Interface Designer: This is someone who designs interfaces. I think
that's pretty clear and I have stated so year over year for far too
long now. And since interfaces include aesthetics, and necessarily
require code to exist, I don't think there's any question that
Interface Designers work on software or software aspects of products,
and should train themselves to code enough to help build what they
design.

The main issue is people swapping these titles around, which lends
confusion on job boards and creates a sense of not being able to map
designers to people looking to hire them. this is further exacerbated
when you toss in Usability and IA stuff into the mix, but that's a
pretty easy problem to solve in my opinion, as those folks clearly do
something far different than what designers on digital products do.

> This is how MD's do it. Every doctor has a set of basic skills and
> then they
> specialize. Psychologists do that as well (e.g. you can get a
> specialization
> in forensic psychology, family psych etc.).

But it's well understood that Doctor's practice *medicine.* Since a
certain part of IxDA folks are pushing the "technology agnostic"
aspect of the field, you lose that baseline like Doctor's have.
Imagine a "doctor" giving you advice on the "health" of your home,
instead of your body. It's like that. imho.

So I think you could take the MD approach, if you agree that IxDA is
tied to technology or software. Otherwise, good luck trying to make
it work. I obviously don't have a lot of confidence in that approach.

> None of this will ever be easy or free from emotion but I think we
> need to
> be very careful about what sort of box we place ourselves in.

Agreed. But the problem is that if you want the HR, recruiting, and
ability to find or hire people into jobs to go way, you *have* to
pick some box.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

21 Feb 2008 - 4:11pm
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

In my previous post, I should have added I completely agree with this
statement that Andrei made:

"...it's dangerous for designers to silo themselves like that in the
technology sector, because as technology flattens even more while becoming
even easier to implement, the need to have multiple people do the job of the
design and the economics of building digital products will simply not be
viable."

You bet! I believe that is what will happen if we are not careful and the
undesired result will be that we reduce our earning potential.

Charlie

21 Feb 2008 - 4:32pm
Mark Schraad
2006

And... the word seems to have gotten out that this position is ill defined
and pays rather well. Like Andrei, I am getting resumes that are all over
the mat and hardly qualified. Lots of people with a tech background and
absolutely no design foundation.
Mark

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:52 PM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> BTW: Has anyone noticed the BIG shift in the last 7 years of a whole crop
> of
> new "recruiters" following a new business model. In essence - they have
> taken the call center business model, extended it to recruiting and
> outsourced it to India.

21 Feb 2008 - 4:45pm
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

Perhaps it's just my ignorance but I don't understand the difference
between an Interaction Designer and an Interface Designer. I don't
understand intuitively how to design interaction without designing
interfaces. I don;t understand how to do either without considering
the way that the information I present is organized. And I doubt
that most people outside our community will either.

As MD's practice medicine, in my view I practice the human-centered
design of the presentation layer. I realize that not everyone will
see it that way. But I do believe that we must present a simple,
seamless face to the outside world.

Andrei, you said "I think its dangerous for designers to silo
themselves like that in the technology sector, because as technology
flattens even more while becoming even easier to implement, the need
to have multiple people do the job of the design and the economics of
building digital products will simply not be viable."

I completely agree with you and that is the danger I am trying to
avoid. It's hard enough explaining to the CEO or CIO why they need
help with the users let alone trying to explain the nuances of Ux,Ix,
UI, IA, and the other elements in this alphabet soup.

One title will also help with HR and the Job Boards, IMO.

Charlie

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=26170

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