Good news and bad news

20 Oct 2004 - 2:14am
9 years ago
11 replies
484 reads
Listera
2004

First the good news:

Gartner: Corporate IT to Compete for Skilled Engineers

Enterprises aren't going to need more coders, but they are going to need
services of skilled engineers capable of quickly turning business
requirements into efficient applications, according to two Gartner Inc.
analysts.

At this point, pure coding skills are a commodity, and when you are shopping
for any commodity, "all things being equal, you buy it at the lowest price,"
Vecchio said. This means "we are going to purchase basic program from India,
China, Poland or Russia," Hotle said here at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

But "we are going to need better analysts and designers‹people who know how
to extract business requirements from people's heads," so that their
knowledge and ideas can be turned into software, Hotle said.

Finding and retaining the best software engineers, business analysts and
application architects is going to be the "single biggest challenge" for
corporate IT departments, they said.

But the demand for productivity won't stop there. Business managers will
expect corporate software developers to produce new applications in one to
two months, Hotle said. In short order, they will expect software architects
and designers to "move applications from concept to concrete in a matter of
weeks and perhaps even a matter of days," he said.

<http://snipurl.com/9wz0>

So what's the bad news?

Look at the article's title and numerous places in the full article where
the author tries to name just who the agents of this process will be, it's
'engineers,' ' developers,' 'application architects,' 'analysts,' etc. Yes,
'designer' is mentioned but not as the prime driver, as it should be. Who's
best positioned to "quickly turn[ing] business requirements into efficient
applications"? Engineers? People who "design for CPU" as was recently
described here?

That's the public perception that needs to change for designers before
anything else...and for Prady to move up the corporate chain to positions of
influence, wealth and abject envy. :-)

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

Comments

20 Oct 2004 - 5:51pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

Ziya wrote:
Who's best positioned to "quickly turn[ing] business requirements into
efficient applications"? Engineers? People who "design for CPU" as was
recently described here?
That's the public perception that needs to change for designers before
anything else...and for Prady to move up the corporate chain to
positions of influence, wealth and abject envy. :-)

Hello Ziya,
The other 'public perception' that I believe needs to change in such
articles is that countries like 'India, China, Poland or Russia' are
full of only 'cheap, basic, commodity programmers'.

Sure enough wages of people in these countries are less than compared to
wages elsewhere, but that is because one can live at a similar standard
for much less 'real money' in these countries than in some other.

<<For example, a comparable bar of bath soap that would cost USD 2 in
the US or GBP 1.50 in UK would cost INR 20 in India. That makes the cost
of a 'real' USD as INR 10 (against the 'absolute' 46) and the cost of a
'real' GBP as INR 13.33 (against the usually traded 78).>>

Lower wages in itself certainly does not directly imply the quality is
poorer (as the term 'cheap' implies). Certainly not in a people-oriented
profession like interaction design.

There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen significant
appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
seen in some 'developed' countries. (Any support? Counter claims?
Examples from other countries?) Miniscule though the overall population
of the HCI community in India is, it has been dominated by people who
crossed over from a design background sometime in the past fifteen years
(from http://www.idc.iitb.ac.in/~anirudha/papers/dev05-Joshi.pdf).

Anirudha

20 Oct 2004 - 7:06am
Pradyot Rai
2004

Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:

> That's the public perception that needs to change for designers before
> anything else...and for Prady to move up the corporate chain to positions of
> influence, wealth and abject envy. :-)

Wow that was nice conclusion :-)

There is no difference of opinion here. Many different approaches we
have discussed here to change the perception. My point has been that
Designer should be taking more *leadership* roles for Design to be
more effective. And for that if you have to go play in engineering
feilds or business domains, don't get timid.

Prady

20 Oct 2004 - 7:10am
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

> Look at the article's title and numerous places in the full article where
> the author tries to name just who the agents of this process will be, it's
> 'engineers,' ' developers,' 'application architects,' 'analysts,' etc. Yes,
> 'designer' is mentioned but not as the prime driver, as it should be. Who's
> best positioned to "quickly turn[ing] business requirements into efficient
> applications"? Engineers? People who "design for CPU" as was recently
> described here?

Yep. It was in Cooper's keynote last summer.

The stream:

0. Analyze <-- (research, modeling and other important stuff)
1. <???> <-- design for humans (form, behavior, looks)
2. Engineer <-- design for cpu ("architecture", maintenance, upgrades)
3. Program <-- construct for shipment (sw, coding, testing)

"Design for humans" should be the driver. That is, the whole family of
UX people. But the UX people won't be taken seriously unless the
practioners also have the engineering and programming skills.
Unfortunately that means being an ex-programmer and ex-engineer.

Not everybody can have all these skills, but the loud ones must. They
give the face and credibility to the whole discipline. Interaction
designers must know what it takes to actually build the thing and keep
it running. Walk the talk.

These Gartner IT-people are mostly engineers. They are unable to see the
missing design phase #1, because they think bottom up. "What can be
built." Not "what should be built." They don't see that there's a new
material involved: behavior.

They see the pain, but not the cure. They're not blind, but they only
have one eye. Maybe they should read the Inmates.

***

Forrester has two eyes. Their "Scenario-based design" is essentially a
GDD clone.

As Dough Hollinger from Nokia put it: "I see their latest article on
scenario-based design (called "How To Design Sites That Satisfy Millions
Of Users") finally cites Cooper, correcting an obvious oversight ...
their graphics look like something right out of the Practicum."

Kim Goodwin replied: "Forrester started learning about personas from us
in a one-day seminar I taught at one of UIE's conferences, and they've
interviewed me for lots of reports since then."

But it's great that Forrester is doing that. I see no bad news here.
I've put several of their reports on my superiors' desks. Executives
like it short. Here are some of the reports that I've used:

The Site Redesign Playbook
Simplifying Cross-Channel Design
The Best And Worst Of Site Design
Migrating Users From Free To Paid
The Future Of Amazon.com
Online Retail Complexities Doom eCommerce Apps
Cross-Channel Scenario Design
Who Consumers Trust With Personal Data
Executive Q&A: Design Personas
Executive Q&A: Evaluating Design Personas
Best Practices For Web Site Reviews
Get ROI From Design
Scenario Design
The Power Of Design Personas
Software That Fuels Persona Development
HSBC Personas Boost Online Usability
How To Choose A Vendor For Design Personas
Persona Best Practices From Discover Card
Amazon, Staples Share Persona Secrets At Shop.org
Optimizing Portal Interaction Design: What's Important
Best Practices For Employee Portal Design
You Get The Site You Deserve

> That's the public perception that needs to change for designers before
> anything else...and for Prady to move up the corporate chain to positions of
> influence, wealth and abject envy. :-)

Amen.

- Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
+358505050123 / petteri.hiisila at almamedia.fi

"The unbroken spirit
Obscured and disquiet
Finds clearness this trial demands"
- Dream Theater

20 Oct 2004 - 7:29am
Henry
2004

To develop better application we need to focus on functionality; user and
application context.

Most of the development companies, don't even think about users.

The people, who don't think about user and context, won't think about UX
people.

Henry

IonIdea Enterprise Solutions

www.henryjacob.com

*** Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart
enough to know they were impossible. ***

----- Original Message -----
From: "Petteri Hiisilä" <petteri.hiisila at almamedia.fi>
To: "IxD" <discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Good news and bad news

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> > Look at the article's title and numerous places in the full article
where
> > the author tries to name just who the agents of this process will be,
it's
> > 'engineers,' ' developers,' 'application architects,' 'analysts,' etc.
Yes,
> > 'designer' is mentioned but not as the prime driver, as it should be.
Who's
> > best positioned to "quickly turn[ing] business requirements into
efficient
> > applications"? Engineers? People who "design for CPU" as was recently
> > described here?
>
> Yep. It was in Cooper's keynote last summer.
>
> The stream:
>
> 0. Analyze <-- (research, modeling and other important stuff)
> 1. <???> <-- design for humans (form, behavior, looks)
> 2. Engineer <-- design for cpu ("architecture", maintenance, upgrades)
> 3. Program <-- construct for shipment (sw, coding, testing)
>
> "Design for humans" should be the driver. That is, the whole family of
> UX people. But the UX people won't be taken seriously unless the
> practioners also have the engineering and programming skills.
> Unfortunately that means being an ex-programmer and ex-engineer.
>
> Not everybody can have all these skills, but the loud ones must. They
> give the face and credibility to the whole discipline. Interaction
> designers must know what it takes to actually build the thing and keep
> it running. Walk the talk.
>
> These Gartner IT-people are mostly engineers. They are unable to see the
> missing design phase #1, because they think bottom up. "What can be
> built." Not "what should be built." They don't see that there's a new
> material involved: behavior.
>
> They see the pain, but not the cure. They're not blind, but they only
> have one eye. Maybe they should read the Inmates.
>
> ***
>
> Forrester has two eyes. Their "Scenario-based design" is essentially a
> GDD clone.
>
> As Dough Hollinger from Nokia put it: "I see their latest article on
> scenario-based design (called "How To Design Sites That Satisfy Millions
> Of Users") finally cites Cooper, correcting an obvious oversight ...
> their graphics look like something right out of the Practicum."
>
> Kim Goodwin replied: "Forrester started learning about personas from us
> in a one-day seminar I taught at one of UIE's conferences, and they've
> interviewed me for lots of reports since then."
>
> But it's great that Forrester is doing that. I see no bad news here.
> I've put several of their reports on my superiors' desks. Executives
> like it short. Here are some of the reports that I've used:
>
> The Site Redesign Playbook
> Simplifying Cross-Channel Design
> The Best And Worst Of Site Design
> Migrating Users From Free To Paid
> The Future Of Amazon.com
> Online Retail Complexities Doom eCommerce Apps
> Cross-Channel Scenario Design
> Who Consumers Trust With Personal Data
> Executive Q&A: Design Personas
> Executive Q&A: Evaluating Design Personas
> Best Practices For Web Site Reviews
> Get ROI From Design
> Scenario Design
> The Power Of Design Personas
> Software That Fuels Persona Development
> HSBC Personas Boost Online Usability
> How To Choose A Vendor For Design Personas
> Persona Best Practices From Discover Card
> Amazon, Staples Share Persona Secrets At Shop.org
> Optimizing Portal Interaction Design: What's Important
> Best Practices For Employee Portal Design
> You Get The Site You Deserve
>
> > That's the public perception that needs to change for designers before
> > anything else...and for Prady to move up the corporate chain to
positions of
> > influence, wealth and abject envy. :-)
>
> Amen.
>
> - Petteri
>
> --
> Petteri Hiisilä
> Palveluarkkitehti / Interaction Designer /
> Alma Media Interactive Oy / NWS /
> +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila at almamedia.fi
>
> "The unbroken spirit
> Obscured and disquiet
> Finds clearness this trial demands"
> - Dream Theater
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
already)
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> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

20 Oct 2004 - 11:32pm
Listera
2004

Anirudha Joshi:

> There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen significant
> appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
> seen in some 'developed' countries.

Tell me about it! I was approached by a group about nine months ago to see
if I'd be interested in training a bunch of design managers from one of
those countries. This group would function for about a year in the States
and then return to the country as part of a much larger outsourcing firm. I
was told they already do application architecture design. So now they want
to move up the chain to IA/UI/UX design.

(Having worked with Sony, the most globalized Japanese company, just as they
were entering the US market in a big way two decades ago, I have some strong
opinions about this, but that would be another thread altogether. :-)

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

20 Oct 2004 - 11:56pm
Henry
2004

IA/UI/UX designs, are the most misunderstood concepts in India,
I have been working with various Indian IT companies, from 10 employees to
5000 employees,
Non of them have, Interaction Design in their development methodologies

Here,design is referred only to cosmetics, technical frameworks, design
patterns

Few reasons are

1) Most of the companies are here to program (that's what outsource means)
2) No interaction with User, Mostly with clients
3) No opportunity to know where application will be used (application
context)

There might be few exceptions, but this is the reality

Henry

*** Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart
enough to know they were impossible. ***

----- Original Message -----
From: "Listera" <listera at rcn.com>
To: <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Good news and bad news

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> Anirudha Joshi:
>
> > There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen significant
> > appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
> > seen in some 'developed' countries.
>
> Tell me about it! I was approached by a group about nine months ago to see
> if I'd be interested in training a bunch of design managers from one of
> those countries. This group would function for about a year in the States
> and then return to the country as part of a much larger outsourcing firm.
I
> was told they already do application architecture design. So now they want
> to move up the chain to IA/UI/UX design.
>
> (Having worked with Sony, the most globalized Japanese company, just as
they
> were entering the US market in a big way two decades ago, I have some
strong
> opinions about this, but that would be another thread altogether. :-)
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
already)
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

21 Oct 2004 - 12:01am
Listera
2004

Henry:

> 1) Most of the companies are here to program (that's what outsource means)
> 2) No interaction with User, Mostly with clients
> 3) No opportunity to know where application will be used (application
> context)

Yes, but this is exactly why they were talking to someone like me. I sensed
that they realized this and wanted to actively change it. Needless to say,
this will take years to rectify.

BTW, I'm curious as to what the situation is in Japan. Anyone from Japan
here?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

21 Oct 2004 - 12:43pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

Anirudha Joshi:

> There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen
significant
> appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
> seen in some 'developed' countries.

Ziya:
Tell me about it! I was approached by a group about nine months ago ...

These are some mainstream IT companies in India that hire professional
designers in some user experience function:
Veritas, Mahindra British Telecom, Infosys, Cordys, Cognizant, HFI
India, SAP India, GE India, Honeywell, Sapient, Mindtree, Approva... I
am told that Peoplesoft India, Microsoft India and some others are about
to.
(of course, the lists are not complete)

On the other hand, the training requirement you mention is quite
legitimate. There currently are about 1 million+ IT professionals in
India and growing. Of these perhaps 500-700 people are in some form of
User Experience function, of which perhaps 200-250 are designers by
training. No way can the current design schools churn out enough people
in IxD to reach even 1% of the IT profession (that would be 10,000
IxDs). There are many other issues, cultural, business process related
that need sorting out.
(All figures mine, mostly from personal judgement, would love to stand
corrected. Would love to hear comparable ballpark numbers in other
countries.)

As I said, there is a long way to go. My point was about the perception,
which is not changing as fast as the ground reality. These are all
main-stream IT, mostly IT service companies appreciating the value of
design, not product, appliance or publishing companies which
traditionally have always done so.

Anirudha

21 Oct 2004 - 12:30am
Henry
2004

Anirudha:

> As I said, there is a long way to go. My point was about the perception,
> which is not changing as fast as the ground reality. These are all
> main-stream IT, mostly IT service companies appreciating the value of
> design, not product, appliance or publishing companies which
> traditionally have always done so.

I am fully agree with you, it is more about the nature of business, we do in
India,

I see, lots of Product Development activities in recent times.

Also there are lots of individuals, and groups initiatives, started getting
momentum

Hope, this will push the Interaction Design to the main stream development.

Henry

IonIdea Enterprise Solutions

Bangalore

www.henryjacob.com

*** Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart
enough to know they were impossible. ***

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anirudha Joshi" <anirudha at iitb.ac.in>
To: <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004 11:13 PM
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Good news and bad news

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> Anirudha Joshi:
>
> > There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen
> significant
> > appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
> > seen in some 'developed' countries.
>
> Ziya:
> Tell me about it! I was approached by a group about nine months ago ...
>
> These are some mainstream IT companies in India that hire professional
> designers in some user experience function:
> Veritas, Mahindra British Telecom, Infosys, Cordys, Cognizant, HFI
> India, SAP India, GE India, Honeywell, Sapient, Mindtree, Approva... I
> am told that Peoplesoft India, Microsoft India and some others are about
> to.
> (of course, the lists are not complete)
>
> On the other hand, the training requirement you mention is quite
> legitimate. There currently are about 1 million+ IT professionals in
> India and growing. Of these perhaps 500-700 people are in some form of
> User Experience function, of which perhaps 200-250 are designers by
> training. No way can the current design schools churn out enough people
> in IxD to reach even 1% of the IT profession (that would be 10,000
> IxDs). There are many other issues, cultural, business process related
> that need sorting out.
> (All figures mine, mostly from personal judgement, would love to stand
> corrected. Would love to hear comparable ballpark numbers in other
> countries.)
>
> As I said, there is a long way to go. My point was about the perception,
> which is not changing as fast as the ground reality. These are all
> main-stream IT, mostly IT service companies appreciating the value of
> design, not product, appliance or publishing companies which
> traditionally have always done so.
>
> Anirudha
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> --
> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
already)
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> --
> http://ixdg.org/
>

21 Oct 2004 - 6:54am
vutpakdi
2003

--- Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:
> Anirudha Joshi:
>
> > There is a long way to go of course, but I have already seen
> significant
> > appreciation of designer inputs in mainstream IT in India than I have
> > seen in some 'developed' countries.
>
> Tell me about it! I was approached by a group about nine months ago to
> see
> if I'd be interested in training a bunch of design managers from one of
> those countries. This group would function for about a year in the States
> and then return to the country as part of a much larger outsourcing firm.
> I
> was told they already do application architecture design. So now they
> want
> to move up the chain to IA/UI/UX design.
>

That's interesting because at the 2004 UPA conference, there was a speaker
who worked for a company that did all of their development in India. One
of the things that he addressed was that working on the user interface was
generally considered a low status activity to be assigned to new
developers. As soon as the developer got some experience, they'd want to
move on towards the internals. I'm glad to hear that at least some saw
that IA/UI/UX design wasn't low status.

Ron

=====
============================================================================
Ron Vutpakdi
vutpakdi at acm.org

21 Oct 2004 - 12:41pm
Listera
2004

Ron Vutpakdi:

> I'm glad to hear that at least some saw that IA/UI/UX design wasn't low
> status.

I'm not sure of the people who worked there. In my experience, it was the
owners/managers of the company who saw the challenge/opportunity of IA/UI/UX
and wanted to address it. But they are primarily an outsourcing company
servicing US clients.

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

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