The power of a meme

17 Mar 2005 - 11:38am
9 years ago
30 replies
475 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://news.com.com/Web+tools+blaze+trail+to+the+past/2100-1032_3-5621010.ht
ml?tag=nefd.lede

C|Net had an article today using the term ³Ajax² ... Ok, it isn¹t even an
acronym anymore that would be all caps.

Anyway, the real story here is that my CEO came up to my CTO already and
said ... ³Can¹t we do our [rich internet application name] in Ajax?²

It is really amazing what giving a name to something and then clarifying its
definition around a value does for propagating a good idea.

Wouldn¹t it be great if we could do that for IA, IxD, UX, et. al.?

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

Comments

17 Mar 2005 - 11:55am
Peter Marquardt
2005

Branding things with a catchy name is always powerful, because it will
stick and people will recognize it the next time they read about it.
Intel stopped calling their CPUs numbers after the 486 and started
calling them names, like pentium. Likewise IEEE 1394 is better known
as Firewire or i.Link, just like paper handkerchiefs are commonly
called Kleenex (Tempos for us germans) even if they are not from that
brand. It stuck. In general I think thoug that it works far better
with products than it would with services.

The idea of giving IxD, UX etc a catchy name is perhaps worth a try,
but beware as if it fails it will just have us stuck with yet another
name that will add to the confusion.

Suggestions?

-- Peter

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

17 Mar 2005 - 12:09pm
jarango
2004

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 17:55:27 +0100, Peter Marquardt
<lastfuture at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The idea of giving IxD, UX etc a catchy name is perhaps worth a try,
> but beware as if it fails it will just have us stuck with yet another
> name that will add to the confusion.
>
> Suggestions?

I wonder if a better use of our collective neural power to come up
with good memes around the existing terminology.

I just posted a reply to dave on another list on this topic, which I
copy below...

--

I assume by "do that" you mean create a good, contagious meme. In
which case, I would agree.

One of the things that helps an effective meme take off is a clear
example / story that most people can relate to, and that creates value
/ interest. (The "hook".) In Ajax's case, the story would start: "Have
you seen gmail?..." In the case of folksonomies, it'll be something
like: "You know how you can tag things in Flickr?..." Tying these
concepts to something people can easily relate to makes them more
easily spreadable.

Herein lies one memetic challenge for IA, IxD, UX, etc.; these
concepts may be too broad to tie any clean, simple hooks to. Maybe the
answer would be a meta-meme: "We are the folks that help structure and
design Ajax applications / folksonomies." But this doesn't sound quite
right, does it?

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

17 Mar 2005 - 12:20pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I think the core piece that I was trying to express was ...

If we had a label that we had a clear definition for, it might fly
faster/better than what we have now.

In our case IxD, I think the label is fine, the story (aka definition) is
not so fine.

I don't see this as really "defining the thing" as much as "selling the
thing".

I'm also building off of the recent UXnet event here in NYC where we spent a
lot of time discussing the if/why/how/should we name the darn thing user
experience (in this case). I feel the same issues with IxD.

*I* know what it is, but no one else knows what I know.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 12:09 PM, "Jorge Arango" <jarango at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 17:55:27 +0100, Peter Marquardt
> <lastfuture at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> The idea of giving IxD, UX etc a catchy name is perhaps worth a try,
>> but beware as if it fails it will just have us stuck with yet another
>> name that will add to the confusion.
>>
>> Suggestions?
>
> I wonder if a better use of our collective neural power to come up
> with good memes around the existing terminology.
>
> I just posted a reply to dave on another list on this topic, which I
> copy below...
>
> --
>
> I assume by "do that" you mean create a good, contagious meme. In
> which case, I would agree.
>
> One of the things that helps an effective meme take off is a clear
> example / story that most people can relate to, and that creates value
> / interest. (The "hook".) In Ajax's case, the story would start: "Have
> you seen gmail?..." In the case of folksonomies, it'll be something
> like: "You know how you can tag things in Flickr?..." Tying these
> concepts to something people can easily relate to makes them more
> easily spreadable.
>
> Herein lies one memetic challenge for IA, IxD, UX, etc.; these
> concepts may be too broad to tie any clean, simple hooks to. Maybe the
> answer would be a meta-meme: "We are the folks that help structure and
> design Ajax applications / folksonomies." But this doesn't sound quite
> right, does it?

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 12:28pm
jarango
2004

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:20:02 -0500, David Heller <dave at ixdg.org> wrote:
>
> If we had a label that we had a clear definition for, it might fly
> faster/better than what we have now.

I think we agree ... this is what I meant by "good, contagious meme".

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

17 Mar 2005 - 12:47pm
Bill DeRouchey
2010

Another example on the product front is Centrino, which is really a
marketed collection of technologies rather than a single component.

Actually, the service side often lumps several services together without
any confusion. "Client relations" or "account management" can mean project
oversight, business strategy, maintaining client contact, budgeting,
scheduling and so on. Each of these are separate skills gathered into a
single notion of the end goal: maintaining a successful relationship.

Similarly, UX, IA, IxD are all skills/tools with the same end goal in
mind: "X".

But you're right: this is easier to accomplish with products than with
services because it lumps together inanimate objects rather than humans
whose work defines who they are. That's mighty tricky business.

Bill

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005, Peter Marquardt wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Branding things with a catchy name is always powerful, because it will
> stick and people will recognize it the next time they read about it.
> Intel stopped calling their CPUs numbers after the 486 and started
> calling them names, like pentium. Likewise IEEE 1394 is better known
> as Firewire or i.Link, just like paper handkerchiefs are commonly
> called Kleenex (Tempos for us germans) even if they are not from that
> brand. It stuck. In general I think thoug that it works far better
> with products than it would with services.

17 Mar 2005 - 12:55pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

How long has it been since we've had a "what should we call ourselves?" discussion? Does anyone genuinely have trouble (outside of the workplace) communicating what you do? Even outside the workplace?

Matt Jones had a great post about this on his old blog wherein he recounted an anecdote of discussing what he does to his taxi driver. His main point was "I design things so they are easy or fun to use." That seemed to have a great deal of resonace to the driver. I've even busted it out at parties and guess what? It works. Try it sometime.

This message is the property of R/GA and contains information which may be privileged or confidential. It is meant only for the intended recipients and/or their authorized agents. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail or by forwarding this message to postmaster at rga.com, and destroy any printed or electronic copies of the message. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of this message or the information contained in it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Thank you.

17 Mar 2005 - 1:09pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I was trying to make this ... How should we "sell" ourselves, not what
should we call ourselves.

I figured that part out already ...

And it isn't what to call me, but what to call what I do!

We do Interaction Design ... Now, how can we sell what we do?

As to the direct question about communicating what we do being
hard/difficult ... I have problems both inside and outside of my workspace
and even inside and outsdie of the UX community.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 12:55 PM, "Daniel Harvey" <Dan at rga.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> How long has it been since we've had a "what should we call ourselves?"
> discussion? Does anyone genuinely have trouble (outside of the workplace)
> communicating what you do? Even outside the workplace?
>
> Matt Jones had a great post about this on his old blog wherein he recounted an
> anecdote of discussing what he does to his taxi driver. His main point was "I
> design things so they are easy or fun to use." That seemed to have a great
> deal of resonace to the driver. I've even busted it out at parties and guess
> what? It works. Try it sometime.
>
>
> This message is the property of R/GA and contains information which may be
> privileged or confidential. It is meant only for the intended recipients
> and/or their authorized agents. If you believe you have received this message
> in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail or by forwarding this
> message to postmaster at rga.com, and destroy any printed or electronic copies of
> the message. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of
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> may be unlawful. Thank you.
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
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-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 1:21pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

The sell is in there though: "I design things so they are easy or fun to use." That's distinct from say, a graphic designer who could better say, "I design things so they look good." The implicit function vs. aesthetic distinction is there but in very simple terms.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Heller [mailto:dave at ixdg.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 1:10 PM
To: Daniel Harvey; IxD Mailinglist
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] The power of a meme

I was trying to make this ... How should we "sell" ourselves, not what
should we call ourselves.

I figured that part out already ...

And it isn't what to call me, but what to call what I do!

We do Interaction Design ... Now, how can we sell what we do?

As to the direct question about communicating what we do being
hard/difficult ... I have problems both inside and outside of my workspace
and even inside and outsdie of the UX community.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 12:55 PM, "Daniel Harvey" <Dan at rga.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> How long has it been since we've had a "what should we call ourselves?"
> discussion? Does anyone genuinely have trouble (outside of the workplace)
> communicating what you do? Even outside the workplace?
>
> Matt Jones had a great post about this on his old blog wherein he recounted an
> anecdote of discussing what he does to his taxi driver. His main point was "I
> design things so they are easy or fun to use." That seemed to have a great
> deal of resonace to the driver. I've even busted it out at parties and guess
> what? It works. Try it sometime.
>
>
> This message is the property of R/GA and contains information which may be
> privileged or confidential. It is meant only for the intended recipients
> and/or their authorized agents. If you believe you have received this message
> in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail or by forwarding this
> message to postmaster at rga.com, and destroy any printed or electronic copies of
> the message. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of
> this message or the information contained in it, is strictly prohibited and
> may be unlawful. Thank you.
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

This message is the property of R/GA and contains information which may be privileged or confidential. It is meant only for the intended recipients and/or their authorized agents. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail or by forwarding this message to postmaster at rga.com, and destroy any printed or electronic copies of the message. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of this message or the information contained in it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Thank you.

17 Mar 2005 - 1:21pm
Bill DeRouchey
2010

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005, David Heller wrote:

> I was trying to make this ... How should we "sell" ourselves, not what
> should we call ourselves.

Good point.

How about easability? Making things/sites easier to use. This is similar
to the taxi driver example earlier. When explaining what I do to my
family, I usually say "I help make things easier to use."

I'd say that UX, IA, IxD, usability all contribute to making things easier
to use. Making them enjoyable to use is a different level, but the
baseline has to be easy to use.

(But then the adjective becomes "easable". Ugh.)

Bill

17 Mar 2005 - 1:26pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I think I'm thinking something like.

AJAX = Gmail ... Like ... IxD = iPod (not all of it, but enough so we can
use it).

Does that make sense?
I'm not looking for a new meme per se, but how can we be clear in our value
statements.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 1:21 PM, "Bill DeRouchey" <bill at flume.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 17 Mar 2005, David Heller wrote:
>
>> I was trying to make this ... How should we "sell" ourselves, not what
>> should we call ourselves.
>
> Good point.
>
> How about easability? Making things/sites easier to use. This is similar
> to the taxi driver example earlier. When explaining what I do to my
> family, I usually say "I help make things easier to use."
>
> I'd say that UX, IA, IxD, usability all contribute to making things easier
> to use. Making them enjoyable to use is a different level, but the
> baseline has to be easy to use.
>
> (But then the adjective becomes "easable". Ugh.)
>
> Bill
>

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 1:26pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

"I help make computers usable by normal people."

17 Mar 2005 - 1:33pm
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

Daniel wrote:
> The sell is in there though: "I design things so they are easy or fun to use."

The missing part is communicating the value to the audience. The why do I care?

This will of course vary somewhat by the audience but we need to be able to deliver it concisely and consistantly for each of the audiences.

User: ...so that you can do you work better (more efficient, accurate, etc)
IT leader/Developer: ...so that you can code quicker and with less changes
Purchaser: ...so that you can save money

--Coryndon

17 Mar 2005 - 1:34pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

You want ID = Google. :)

nothing simpler to use than that. And while, given who we're talking about, it was probably a programer that did the "design" it may still hold true.

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]On Behalf Of David Heller
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 1:26 PM
To: IxD Mailinglist
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] The power of a meme

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

I think I'm thinking something like.

AJAX = Gmail ... Like ... IxD = iPod (not all of it, but enough so we can
use it).

Does that make sense?
I'm not looking for a new meme per se, but how can we be clear in our value
statements.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 1:21 PM, "Bill DeRouchey" <bill at flume.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 17 Mar 2005, David Heller wrote:
>
>> I was trying to make this ... How should we "sell" ourselves, not what
>> should we call ourselves.
>
> Good point.
>
> How about easability? Making things/sites easier to use. This is similar
> to the taxi driver example earlier. When explaining what I do to my
> family, I usually say "I help make things easier to use."
>
> I'd say that UX, IA, IxD, usability all contribute to making things easier
> to use. Making them enjoyable to use is a different level, but the
> baseline has to be easy to use.
>
> (But then the adjective becomes "easable". Ugh.)
>
> Bill
>

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
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17 Mar 2005 - 1:35pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

DH> We do Interaction Design ... Now, how can we sell what we do?

To me, nothing beats the line "I am a Designer, I solve problems"
(thank you, Ziya). It's more than just a punchline.

I often have an impression that we get too much preoccupied with
explaining to our clients what it is that we do. Do they really care?
Or do they care that their problems get fixed?

Lada

17 Mar 2005 - 1:37pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

> User: ...so that you can do you work better (more efficient, accurate, etc)
> IT leader/Developer: ...so that you can code quicker and with less changes
> Purchaser: ...so that you can save money

Without giving a reason or proof they won't believe you.

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

17 Mar 2005 - 1:39pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Oh my G-d! I hope this isn't what we do.
I do NOT! Make things easier to use, or usable, or whatever.

I make things that fit into people's lives, that fulfill their needs, while
fulfilling the business requirements of my client.

USABILITY is only 1 piece of that concept of fulfillment.

And I don't ALWAYS do this for "normal" people. I do this for the right
people, not normal people.

Also, there are a lot more properties here beyond usable: see peter
morville's honeycomb.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 1:26 PM, "vaughan1 at optonline.net" <vaughan1 at optonline.net> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> "I help make computers usable by normal people."
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 1:41pm
Daniel Harvey
2004

Absolutely. But you're looking for bite-sized. You can't have bite-sized if you start layering in other aspects of the discipline.

This is why Lada is right. Just do the job and people will have a better understanding AND to Peter's issue have their examples.

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]On Behalf Of David Heller
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 1:39 PM
To: IxD Mailinglist
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] The power of a meme

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Oh my G-d! I hope this isn't what we do.
I do NOT! Make things easier to use, or usable, or whatever.

I make things that fit into people's lives, that fulfill their needs, while
fulfilling the business requirements of my client.

USABILITY is only 1 piece of that concept of fulfillment.

And I don't ALWAYS do this for "normal" people. I do this for the right
people, not normal people.

Also, there are a lot more properties here beyond usable: see peter
morville's honeycomb.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 1:26 PM, "vaughan1 at optonline.net" <vaughan1 at optonline.net> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> "I help make computers usable by normal people."
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

This message is the property of R/GA and contains information which may be privileged or confidential. It is meant only for the intended recipients and/or their authorized agents. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail or by forwarding this message to postmaster at rga.com, and destroy any printed or electronic copies of the message. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of this message or the information contained in it, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Thank you.

17 Mar 2005 - 1:42pm
Dave Malouf
2005

On 3/17/05 1:35 PM, "Lada Gorlenko" <lada at acm.org> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> DH> We do Interaction Design ... Now, how can we sell what we do?
>
> To me, nothing beats the line "I am a Designer, I solve problems"
> (thank you, Ziya). It's more than just a punchline.
>
> I often have an impression that we get too much preoccupied with
> explaining to our clients what it is that we do. Do they really care?
> Or do they care that their problems get fixed?
>

Mark Hurst at the recent UXnet panel was positing that our "results" is what
we use to sell ourselves.

I think that is all fine and good when what you sell is consulting. You are
only your results.

We have a bigger beast to tumble with.
1. How do we sell formal education programs?
2. how do you sell the creation of a department/team in an organization

On a separate note, I don't want to see "Design", I want to sell "IxD".
These are not synonymous at all.

-- dave

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 1:43pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

> To me, nothing beats the line "I am a Designer, I solve problems"
> (thank you, Ziya). It's more than just a punchline.
>
> I often have an impression that we get too much preoccupied with
> explaining to our clients what it is that we do. Do they really care?
> Or do they care that their problems get fixed?

Hmmm
Again they will probably not believe you without proof

Would you believe somebody who said "I will make your sex twenty times
better" without further investigation?

How about something along the lines of
"In the end you will save money because I'll be making your site so
that people can buy products as easy as never before." (adjusted to
who you talk to)

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

17 Mar 2005 - 2:02pm
Greg Petroff
2004

Charles Eames was asked a now famous question:

What are the boundaries of design?

The response: What are the boundaries of problems?

Gregory Petroff
desk 212 383 4092
mobile 646 387 2841

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17 Mar 2005 - 2:02pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

DH> On a separate note, I don't want to see "Design", I want to sell "IxD".
DH> These are not synonymous at all.

That's nice, but what do you want: sell IxD or sell?

The customer doesn't care what *you* want to sell. The customer
doesn't even care what *they* want to buy (the mature one doesn't).
The customer cares that they live happily ever after. Sell the happy
ever after, sell the vision, the bright future, the ROI numbers. DO
NOT sell them IxD and your definitions. When you exchange hugs on your
departure after a successful project, mention to them that "by the
way, the thing I did was Interaction Design". *Then* they will
remember.

Lada

17 Mar 2005 - 2:06pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I'm not selling to customers ... I'm selling cultural change and discipline
understanding.

I'm actually more than selling, trying to communicate across disciplines
(even w/in disciplines), among students and teachers, across authors (book
and magazine). I'm looking for a coherent message. I know it when I hear it,
but I hear few people doing it or anything like it.

-- dave

On 3/17/05 2:02 PM, "Lada Gorlenko" <lada at acm.org> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> DH> On a separate note, I don't want to see "Design", I want to sell "IxD".
> DH> These are not synonymous at all.
>
> That's nice, but what do you want: sell IxD or sell?
>
> The customer doesn't care what *you* want to sell. The customer
> doesn't even care what *they* want to buy (the mature one doesn't).
> The customer cares that they live happily ever after. Sell the happy
> ever after, sell the vision, the bright future, the ROI numbers. DO
> NOT sell them IxD and your definitions. When you exchange hugs on your
> departure after a successful project, mention to them that "by the
> way, the thing I did was Interaction Design". *Then* they will
> remember.
>
> Lada
>
> _______________________________________________
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-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

17 Mar 2005 - 2:10pm
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

peter wrote:
> Would you believe somebody who said "I will make your sex twenty times
> better" without further investigation?

No but i would maybe pay attention if this is something I value or is a problem for me ;)

You are of course right but we will only get the opportunity to do this if they are motivated to listen. Proof is something that I have yet to be able to distill down into a single 30sec elevator speech. If we can articulate the value to the audience then we will get that chance.

--Coryndon

17 Mar 2005 - 2:24pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

> peter wrote:
> > Would you believe somebody who said "I will make your sex twenty times
> > better" without further investigation?
>
> No but i would maybe pay attention if this is something I value or is a problem for me ;)

Ah yes, that's of course true. If you find a way to fit a formulation
of proof into 30 seconds, please let me know.

In that case I understand the previous posts that it makes sense
connecting IxD to something like Ajax is connected to gmail / google
maps / google suggest as a proof if the person you talk to knows
those.

Can it be done with IxD? Typical and obvious for Ajax is, that things
load in the background and are being processed on the client side so
that the web application can be used way faster. It's something
everybody notices. Does IxD have anything that the user immediately
notices? As far as I understand it one of IxD's quality is to not be
noticed.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

-- Peter

--
lastfuture online
http://www.lastfuture.de/

17 Mar 2005 - 2:32pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

By the way, "Ajax" or even "AJAX" is a lot easier to internationalize
or globalize than "IxD".

Alain Vaillancourt

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

17 Mar 2005 - 2:49pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

"I help make computers usable by normal people."

> Oh my G-d! I hope this isn't what we do.
> I do NOT! Make things easier to use, or usable, or whatever.
>And I don't ALWAYS do this for "normal" people. I do this for the right
>people, not normal people.

Oh, pu-leeze. Deconstructing a one-liner is no great accomplishment - 'cause there isn't much there in the first place.

Part of the point of this exercise seems to be that we make a connection to the audience (on their terms) and communicate something meaningful about what we do (on our terms) concisely, memorably - perhaps even entertainingly.

Rigorous Political Correctness accomplishes only the first item on the agenda - and poorly at that.

I hope there's no need to explain the self -deprecating humor implicit in my one-liner of choice. The response (at least from the normal people) is often a knowing chuckle. Some of them have even opened their wallets unto me (which makes them the right people).

17 Mar 2005 - 2:50pm
jarango
2004

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 19:02:15 +0000, Lada Gorlenko <lada at acm.org> wrote:
>
> That's nice, but what do you want: sell IxD or sell?

Precisely right. This is why it's so important to tie these concepts
to stories / examples that people care about or at least can relate
to. This is why heroes and "hero-journeys" are such powerful stuff --
they allow for a framework to hang these stories on. Part of the
problem I see here is that we seem to be lacking good, juicy,
media-friendly success stories, and their respective heros. The kind
of stories that make the cover of Time magazine. (Like Jonathan Ives
and Steve Jobs' work on Apple has, multiple times.)

Probably a good field to look at for examples / inspiration is the
Open Source movement. These folks have very consciously moved away
from a message and terminology ("Free Software") that was causing them
resistance from their target audiences (mainstream users, the business
community). The term "Open Source" was precisely engineered to
penetrate these communities with more possitive associations.

I suggest to anyone interested in these ideas to check out Eric
Raymond's presentation on the matter, appropriately titled
"Meme-Hacking for Fun and Profit":

http://technetcast.ddj.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream_id=318

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

17 Mar 2005 - 3:05pm
Janet M. Six
2003

This "selling ourselves" is such a big problem. Especially in
geographic areas or markets where good design is not valued. One
problem I've faced is that with examples of good design, things look
easy and potential clients think that it *is* easy to get things to be
that way.

How about "Making Technology Work for Your Customers and Your
Company"? I really think it is important for us to emphasize that we
also consider business-type issues. I think that as a group this is
one of those qualities in which we differ from our user-xxxx peers and
one which will help us win-over business on a larger scale.

Janet Six
Lone Star Interaction Design

17 Mar 2005 - 3:07pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

> "I help make computers usable by normal people."

> I hope there's no need to explain the self -deprecating humor
> implicit in my one-liner of choice. The response (at least from
> the normal people) is often a knowing chuckle. Some of them have
> even opened their wallets unto me (which makes them the right people).

Addendum:

The point is to get a response and make a connection. After the chuckle, they often respond with "oh yeah..." followed by a recent example from their own experience of technology frustration. Why? Because we all believe we're normal, at least in the sense that our needs and expectations aren't unreasonable.

Resume/credibility isn't the issue. Do I want to work with you? - is.

17 Mar 2005 - 3:35pm
jarango
2004

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 14:05:53 -0600, Janet M. Six
<jsix at lonestarinterfacedesign.com> wrote:
>
> This "selling ourselves" is such a big problem. Especially in
> geographic areas or markets where good design is not valued. One
> problem I've faced is that with examples of good design, things look
> easy and potential clients think that it *is* easy to get things to be
> that way.

Good design is not valued because it's not well understood. In talking
with customers, prospects, etc., I've found that a lot of them seem to
think of design only in terms of visual design. (Note: I work in a
Spanish-speaking culture, things may be different here.) In most
cases, this association is not beneficial; folks assume that visual
design is about "making things pretty", and therefore a "nice-to-have"
after all the "real" work has happened.

It would be much easier for us if the popular definition of design
were "making things useful and cost-effective", but that spot seems to
be currently taken by the word "engineering".

I venture that a lot of folks don't even consider the fact that the
underlying interaction infrastructure needs to be designed; they seem
to assume that technology automagically takes care of these things.

Because of these issues, I've become very careful when trotting out
the "D" word with clients or prospects.

--
Jorge Arango
http://www.jarango.com

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