Interaction Design, should it be a part of Product Management orDevelopment? (Was should interaction designers produce code...)

22 Oct 2004 - 4:49pm
1133 reads
Dave Malouf

Hi Navneet,

First, I think that many companies make this split very differently. For
Example, in my organization Product Management is a group within Devleopment
(but that's niether here nor there). In a more classic software company
model you have:
Product Management
Program Management (maybe)
Product Marketing

Personally, I think that Design (in general, not just interaction), let's
call it User Experience should be most closely connected to Prod Marketing,
but should actually be a department in and of itself b/c it bridges all
three groups.
It ideal should have touchpoints into strategy, definition, and
implementation. It is both inside the product lifecycle and outside of it.
Engineering should have teammembers outside the product lifecycle as well.

The reason I place it within the product marketing side of things is b/c I
think we can have the great impact furthest upstream. This is where our
abilities as behavioral researchers, and deconstructive problem solvers can
really be useful in developing strategy.

Now, you were specific in that you did say "interaction design" and not just
design. I don't want to end up in a back and forth that IxD is not UX ...
Totally agree. What I was trying to say though is that it is seldom that IxD
is a role in and of itself separate from other UX related tasks. I'm sure
there is someone out there doing just IxD, but this is rare and if they do
it, I bet they have lots of teammates who are filling out the lineup. Anyone
see all those Intuit job openings? Usability, user interface, visual design,
researcher were some of the ones that I noticed. But I bet their department
is user experience. So as a team they do what many of us as individuals do.

I do believe that as a group grows it should become a parallel entity to
Product Management, Marketing and Engineering and not inside any one of
them. For a group like mine that is still earning its wings (anyone wanna
join me, we are hiring), I like where we are in the "defining" position that
is product management. We are in the process of making very strong bridges
to Product Marketing and we already have good contact into engineering. I
think our new EVP of Marketing put it best, these groups are there for
middle management purposes, but in the end we are really one team with
different experiences and focuses, but we can all float really well between
different goals depending on need.

-- dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> at lists.interactiondesi
> [ at lists.interac
>] On Behalf Of Navneet Nair
> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 4:56 AM
> To: IxD
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Interaction Design,should it be a part
> of Product Management orDevelopment? (Was should interaction
> designers produce code...)
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
> There has been some good discussion going on about in-house
> vs. consultant and
> now code vs. only design, and though I've been mostly lurking
> for the past few
> months, this brings forward one of the issues me and my team
> having been
> facing...
> Namely, in an in-house setup, should the interaction design
> team be a part of
> Product Management or should it be a part of development?
> When I've been asked about it, I quite coyly put that it
> should be somewhere in
> between (tending towards Product Management) and acts as the
> liaison between
> product management/marketing and development (so has to be
> close enough to
> development). Which brings forth the question: Who owns the
> deliverables? (Of
> course the IxD team does, but in a broader sense)
> This may be slightly off topic, but I would like to get you
> opinion, and if
> there is an agreement, hopefully wrangle my management to
> re-organize thus...
> Cheers
> Navneet
> Navneet Nair
> Interaction Architect
> form follows function();
> Blog:
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