I just want to give you a brief report on the BayCHI/BayDUX event in which
IxDG participated last Tuesday. Several hundred people turned out for this
Silicon Valley event, which took place at Kresge Auditorium on the Stanford
The event opened with a networking hour, during which the ten participating
UX groups had an opportunity to talk with people face to face about what
they offer to our community. These groups included AIfIA, AIGA-ED, BACHFES,
BayCHI, SF IDSA, IxDG, SIGGRAPH, STC, UPA, and UXnet. Thanks to Elizabeth
Dykstra-Erickson for doing a great job representing IxDG during the
Next, the always urbane and witty Richard Anderson interviewed UX icon Don
Norman. The interview touched on Don's favored terminology for "experience
designers" and the "people" who use the products we design. Though he coined
the term "user experience," he prefers not to call people "users" and favors
"human-centered design" over "user-centered design."
Don spoke about how important it is to create products that are pleasurable
to use. He also thinks it is essential for experience designers to
understand the value of experience design from a business standpoint, in
addition to being business-savvy in general.
Remembering his time as Vice President of User Experience at Apple, Don
spoke very favorably about the effectiveness of the cross-functional product
development teams there and their strong project managers. At Apple, product
development teams include representatives from software engineering, user
experience, product marketing, quality assurance, documentation, and
technical support. Don also mentioned that there are more and more companies
who have VP-level user experience people on their management teams, which is
certainly progress in the right direction.
Here's one wonderful quote: "Never solve the problem you're asked to solve.
It's almost always the wrong problem."
Following this thought-provoking interview, representatives from each of the
ten aforementioned UX groups gave very brief presentations on their
respective groups. I spoke about the nature of IxDG, our mission,
initiatives, mailing list, and Web site and the upcoming event we're going
to co-sponsor with BayDUX. (Go to http://www.baychi.org/baydux/20041208/ for
preliminary information about this event.)
The evening ended with a Q&A, during which the panel answered questions that
the audience posed about experience design.