Offshoring (was Re: Being a designer in a small country)

18 Jan 2005 - 3:41pm
9 years ago
3 replies
452 reads
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Ziya wrote:

> Do you ever fear that much of this could one day be offshored?

I think the topic of offshoring is an interesting one for design, but
not really a threat.

The key to good design is to know the people who are going to use it,
and then to leverage that knowledge in your design. It is difficult to
design across cultures: just as I would have trouble understanding how
to design for a client in Bangalore (unless I could spend time there,
with my customer and their customers), so it would be difficult for a
designer in Bangalore to do a remote design for a site in Canada.

I think this holds across the range of design disciplines, from
requirements discovery and generation through high-level design,
low-level design, visual presentation design, and testing.

Design implementation, on the other hand, is probably quite easy to
offshore. Write up a detailed spec with testable requirements, and
send it off to the Federated Republic of Lower Moldavia. If their IT
folk have the technical chops, they'll probably be able to implement
it well and at a low cost.

Yet another benefit of working at the people side of technology. :-)

-Gerard

--
Gerard Torenvliet
g.torenvliet at gmail.com

Comments

18 Jan 2005 - 4:04pm
Listera
2004

Gerard Torenvliet:

> I think the topic of offshoring is an interesting one for design, but
> not really a threat.

Famous last words? :-)

Bill Gates: "640K..."
Ken Olsen: "Personal computer..."

I live next doors to one of the most prestigious and largest investment
banks on the planet. Several years ago, when they first began to send
backend programming work to India, folks higher up on the
food/abstraction/customer-closeness chain, said it was just low-level coding
stuff. Then they started shipping off their advanced R&D stuff and the tune
changed. The lead people over in India doing the more advanced R&D work were
not only educated in the U.S. but also worked in that very bank until a
short time ago.

It's a matter of money. And some time.

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

18 Jan 2005 - 9:32pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

--- Listera <listera at rcn.com> a écrit :

> Gerard Torenvliet:
>
> > I think the topic of offshoring is an interesting one for design,
> but
> > not really a threat.

>
> It's a matter of money. And some time.
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>

Not when you work in a bilingual and multicultural country like Gerard
Torenvliet. The good workers in India are bilingual and their country
is multicultural, but they are the wrong languages and the wrong
cultures.

Alain Vaillancourt

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

18 Jan 2005 - 9:35pm
Navneet Nair
2004

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 15:41:43 -0500, Gerard Torenvliet
<g.torenvliet at gmail.com> wrote:

> The key to good design is to know the people who are going to use it,
> and then to leverage that knowledge in your design. It is difficult to
> design across cultures: just as I would have trouble understanding how
> to design for a client in Bangalore (unless I could spend time there,
> with my customer and their customers), so it would be difficult for a
> designer in Bangalore to do a remote design for a site in Canada.

After having worked in India, Australia and the US, I've come to an
understanding that is slightly different from yours. Ethnic
considerations are more important if the form of design is more
subjective (graphic design/advertising, etc). In a slightly more task
oriented and objective form of design like interaction design, we are
talking more to base emotions that is more or less universal. Thus for
me moving from one country to another did not pose any design
challenges of understanding the users.

Moreover Ziya has a valid point, most desin that is happening in India
is being led by people who have worked/studied in markets that the
product is being designed for. My own company is a case in point where
they hired me for my experience working in the Bay Area.

But seriously, offshoring IHMO is not going to be a serious threat
(I'm ready t take the flames ;) ). There is enough work for everybody
to go around. And talented designers will always be in demand, no
matter which part of the world they are from...

Cheers
Navneet

----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

--
----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

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