Edge Case Design of IA vs. IxD

31 Mar 2009 - 12:38pm
5 years ago
6 replies
1234 reads
Todd Warfel
2003

So, once again, I'll propose all this bickering about the difference
of IA/IxD, or why people aren't UX Designers, but are IAs or IxDs is
an argument for 0.001%. The case where any of us are working on a
system that won't have both IA and IxD is statistically non-existent.

So, why are we arguing over 0.001%?

Incidentally, whether intentional or not, the appearance here is that
IxD is trying to become the "dominant" field in UX and not acknowledge
that the IA field can or has evolved. Dan, I have the utmost respect
for you, your work, and your contributions to the community, but some
of your most recent claims, like games don't have IA, are simply bogus
(as I've clearly shown by illustrating they do have IA).

Is IxD purely Interface design? Is IA purely about content for the
web? It's pathetic that this even has to be asked.

This is like watching a bunch of kindergartners argue over which M&M
is better.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

Comments

31 Mar 2009 - 12:48pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Mar 31, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> Incidentally, whether intentional or not, the appearance here is
> that IxD is trying to become the "dominant" field in UX and not
> acknowledge that the IA field can or has evolved.

Just to be clear, I'm not attempting to state that Dan is crafting
this argument, or that he's the one behind this appearance, but it is
a common perception that comes up during discussions I've had with
practitioners in the field who do both IA and IxD among other things.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

31 Mar 2009 - 1:58pm
Robert Reimann
2003

The Introduction to About Face 3 contains a very simple venn diagram that I
first described here on this list:

I like to think of User Experience Design as a 3-circle Venn diagram,
where the circles represent Form, Behavior, and Content design. The
circles each intersect with each other. IxD occupies the Behavior
circle, but overlaps with the Form and Content circles to some degree.
IA occupies the Content circle, but overlaps with Form and Behavior to
some degree. And Industrial Design (and Visual Design)
occupy the Form circle, but overlap with Content and Behavior to some
degree. As others have said, there are clearly overlaps in skill sets
in these design practices; it is (IMHO) more a matter of focus and
where the depth of expertise lies.

---

Design of content, of course, refers to the design of its logical and
spatial structure, as Todd and others have described it.

BTW, I would definitely consider labels to be part of content and in need
of structuring: when I was at Bose, we had a person whose primary job was
to develop and execute the structure of labels for back panels of devices
(with input from IxDs and IDs).

The point being that these are complementary areas of design that, while
they may not have equal weighting or visibility for a particular product or
design,
each contribute uniquely and significantly to the user experience.

I would humbly suggest that more can be accomplished by practitioners of
these
fields working together and leveraging their strengths and knowledge bases
than
by quibbling over the self-evidently fuzzy boundaries at their
intersections.

So, now, can we all be friends? :)

Robert.

Robert Reimann
IxDA Seattle

Associate Creative Director
frog design
Seattle, WA

On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:

>
> On Mar 31, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
>
> Incidentally, whether intentional or not, the appearance here is that IxD
>> is trying to become the "dominant" field in UX and not acknowledge that the
>> IA field can or has evolved.
>>
>
> Just to be clear, I'm not attempting to state that Dan is crafting this
> argument, or that he's the one behind this appearance, but it is a common
> perception that comes up during discussions I've had with practitioners in
> the field who do both IA and IxD among other things.
>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> Principal Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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31 Mar 2009 - 2:17pm
milan
2005

> So, why are we arguing over 0.001%?

I have no clue. But another thing:

I have thought about what Dave said some days ago in this
(multiple thread) discussion, that I wanted to start a
marketing campaign for UX.

It was not the main reason, but re-thinking the issue in
marketing terms makes sense. We have a profession, we want
to raise awareness, and to connect all the dots.

However, it has already begun. This discussion involves
a lot of people who shaped my definition of what I do, and
thus are responsible for what is written in the footer of
this message. Maybe if I had found IAI first, that would be
different, but finally it doesn't matter.

It was a quite successful marketing campaign made me
transition from interactive systems design to what I
call the things I do today.
The initiatives, discussions and daily communications by
people who use the term UX as a common identifier for
this profession, both inside and outside this community,
will make the campaign a big success.

milan

--
milan guenther * interaction design
||| | | |||| || |||||||| | || | ||

+33 6 67 11 13 83 * www.guenther.cx

31 Mar 2009 - 7:28pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Mar 31, 2009, at 11:38 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> This is like watching a bunch of kindergartners argue over which M&M
> is better.

I don't know which one is better, but I'm pretty sure that Blue has no
real reason to exist.

Jared

31 Mar 2009 - 7:56pm
Todd Warfel
2003

My sister won't eat the blue ones. It's her way of protesting them
since they weren't originally there when she was a kid.

On Mar 31, 2009, at 9:28 PM, Jared Spool wrote:

> I don't know which one is better, but I'm pretty sure that Blue has
> no real reason to exist.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Principal Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

31 Mar 2009 - 8:00pm
Richard Dalton
2008

Robert, I have a similar 3-way diagram, with "Control" being the
primary focus of IxD, "Comprehension" being the primary focus of
Information Design and "Connectedness" being the primary focus of
IA.

http://mauvyrusset.com/2008/09/26/the-foci-of-user-experience/

- Richard

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