What's in a meme?

17 Mar 2005 - 3:01pm
9 years ago
11 replies
419 reads
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Jorge said:
> 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.

I have quite a nice collection of UX titles and sometimes play mix& match with them: engineer, creative, usability, architect, information, interaction, designer

Yeah, Designers are undervalued lightweights, Engineers are solid, but boring, etcetera

That's why "architect" has cachet: Artsy, but with gravitas, highly paid - and a leader, too

Oh well (and harkening back to an earlier life), I've always had a soft spot for the Dance metaphor. After all, we "choreograph" the User Experience, no?

Comments

17 Mar 2005 - 7:02pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

I like "architect" better than "designer" as well, but as I said
before I fear it could clash with legislation.

Interaction Archisigner ...or Detect? Designitect? ;)
For all the frowny persons on this list, no I do not think a neologism
is the way to solve this.

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

18 Mar 2005 - 1:37am
Suresh JV
2004

Vaughan:
> That's why "architect" has cachet: Artsy, but with gravitas,
> highly paid - and a leader, too
>
> Oh well (and harkening back to an earlier life), I've always had
> a soft spot for the Dance metaphor. After all, we "choreograph"
> the User Experience, no?

How about the metaphor of a "Movie Director". Do we say something
like "User Experience Director" or "User Interaction Director"
[Will I be highly paid..?] ;)

Regards,
Suresh JV.

18 Mar 2005 - 1:36am
Peter Marquardt
2005

> How about the metaphor of a "Movie Director". Do we say something
> like "User Experience Director" or "User Interaction Director"
> [Will I be highly paid..?] ;)

Only if you stand next to the user and direct him just in time... ;)
in which case the name is also justified.

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

18 Mar 2005 - 11:25am
John Vaughan - ...
2004

> How about the metaphor of a "Movie Director". Do we say something
> like "User Experience Director" or "User Interaction Director"
> [Will I be highly paid..?] ;)

Perhaps you chuckle, but I gotta say that a previous career in video &
animation - and the ability to perceive UI in terms of traditional media
production - have been professionally helpful to me in this little niche of
ours.

Lotsa words in this space recently about being able to communicate concisely
and compellingly with stakeholders and (potential) customers. Well, nobody
seems to be confused about what it means to be a film director. It's
unambiguous and widely recognized (AND has cachet). We could do worse.

Does this mean that the UI Design stereotype of the future is a guy w/
jodpurs, beret, dark shades and ascot, waving a megaphone? Oh, Lordy.

I draw your attention to the articles offered here a few days ago by
Anirudha Joshi:

>I have written up a couple of papers on who an interaction designer is,
>and what should be the education of interaction designers. Perhaps you
>are interested to give me some feedback:

> Anirudha Joshi, Education of Interaction Design - an Interdisciplinary
>Approach, Design Education - Tradition and Modernity, Ahmedabad, 2005
>http://www.idc.iitb.ac.in/~anirudha/pdfs/JoshiADETM2005.pdf

> Anirudha Joshi, Interaction Design in India - Past, Present and
>Future, CHI 2004, Vienna, 2004
>http://www.idc.iitb.ac.in/~anirudha/papers/dev05-Joshi.pdf

>Apologies for the self-promotion and possible repetition.
>Anirudha

He makes the "IxD as filmmaker" connection. And he's right.

BTW, As regards pay: No complaints so far.

18 Mar 2005 - 1:59pm
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Well, yes, I think I uderstand now, the interaction designer as a movie
director, and not just any movie director, but someone who owns the
creative process, who does a "film d'auteur" instead of being an
interchangeable Hollywood-industry studio director. So this means
Hitchcock, Kubrick, Truffaut, Lucas or Scott.

But after that, which sub-genre? The one who tries to be god, like
Kubrick by understanding every possible thing about the subject and
preparing for every event before the shooting? The one who actually is
god like Hitchcock (at least in his later films) by planning ahead each
take, each possible actor movement with incredibly detailed
storyboards. The one who does innumerable takes, like Lucas and leaves
the real work of directing in the cutting room? Or perhaps these live
action directors do not count at all, since they do not actually invent
worlds like animated movie directors.

Alain Vaillancourt

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

18 Mar 2005 - 6:16pm
Peter Marquardt
2005

The IxDirector

Kubrick style:
You analyze how the users work, then tailor the interface to each one.

Hitchcock style:
You define how the interface should be used, then force the users to
do it your way.

Lucas style:
You give the users many ways to accomplish a task, then afterwards
pick the one which you liked best.

Animated style:
You create the user yourself and integrate him into the interface.

I think neither of them really apply because directing is live and
designing is not. You were there before, preparing what is later being
used. You are not there in time to tell the user what to pay attention
to. Not quite enough common ground to use the analogy in my eyes.

Directing vs Designing

User: "Uh where do I get stock quotes? Let's click here."
Director: "Cut! That's something else. Try this box you see when
scrolling down."
---
Designer: "Let me just clear that up a bit."
User: "Ooh, I recognize this. -click- Ah, my shares went up."

Just my view on this thread
-- Peter

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

21 Mar 2005 - 1:06am
Suresh JV
2004

Alain Vaillancourt:
> Or perhaps these live action directors do not count at all, since they
> do not actually invent worlds like animated movie directors.

I dont know where Speilberg fit in these analogies.
[But he is one of my favorites]

Movie Director [provides "flow" to user's mental thoughts]
IxD [provides "flow" to user's physical{virtual} actions]

*Flow = Immersive
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Alain Vaillancourt:
> the interaction designer as a movie director, and not just any movie
> director, but someone who owns the creative process...

Exactly....
Since I was also invloved in Movie making as assistant & Art director
my experiences were different. Director is one person who has the
complete big picture of what should be the end result & how best to
achieve it with the help of a X-functional team, the same would
definitely hold good for a IxDesigner.

Regards,
Suresh JV.

22 Mar 2005 - 3:57pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

I liked the form of this:
<Directing vs Designing
User: "Uh where do I get stock quotes? Let's click here."
Director: "Cut! That's something else. Try this box you see when
scrolling down."
---
Designer: "Let me just clear that up a bit."
User: "Ooh, I recognize this. -click- Ah, my shares went up.">

But, I don't agree. IMO: The director does a bit of 'conflict
management' between disciplines during production (in show-biz, more
than any where else, every one wants to show his talents). But, above
all, the director is standing in for the user (or the audience, as they
say).

Of course, the medium is non-interactive in the sense of the web or the
mobile phone, so there is just one track to storyboard and there are no
extensions to the use-cases.

That was the reason why I said we should look at other forms than
feature films. For example, (here in India) I have two favourite TV news
channels - NDTV 24x7 and CNBC TV18. I was analyzing why I like them -
and one theme keeps recurring - the lead anchors (on my favourite
programmes) keep a tab on what the audience is seeing and hearing and
what are they thinking about. I keep finding that these people ask the
exact question that I had in mind 10 seconds ago or make a rejoinder
that I would have made (if someone was hearing). The whole programme
moves forward, as if it was made only for me. This is what I mean by
'central creative responsibility'. I feel similarly while watching
modern-day live cricket broadcasts on my favourite sports channels -
ESPN Star Sports (or the radio broadcasts as a kid).

(BTW: so these are my favourite channels. Others might like other
channels, but try to find out why, and reasons may be similar - someone
is thinking 'like you'. This kind of thing may also be seen to an extent
in documentaries and TV serials, but it is most evident on live TV.)

But why this ramble?

Well, just visit the websites of these channels (ndtv.com,
moneycontrol.com, espnstar.com), and the 'design-by-committee' feeling
oozes out. The web can do many (more) things than TV - so you try to do
them all. No one is in charge. No one seems listening to you. No one
owns up the 'central creative responsibility'. Result - you never like a
thing on the web. (IMHO, on these sites, anyways). You still use it, if
you wanted a specific stat, or if you are travelling out of the country.
But as soon as you are back, you sit on your beanbag and take your TV
remote in hand.

BTW, such central creative responsibility is there in several other
successful places - the captain of a ship, the editor of a magazine, a
well-managed restaurant, the building of a good architect, a well-run
design school...

We do indeed need a substantial cultural change in the process of
production of interactive devices and content for such a central
creative responsibility to be acceptable. We will get there eventually
(hopefully).

Anirudha

22 Mar 2005 - 6:53am
Peter Marquardt
2005

I think we should clear things up a bit.

Anirudha is comparing the viewer to the user, What I understood was,
that we were comparing the _actor_ to the user. Those two ideas are
fundamentally different of course.

Director is to Designer like Actor is to Ink and Film is to Paper.
In that case I can agree. But by understanding it that way you take
away the interaction, like Anirudha, already said. Of course what a
director does (together with camera men, editors and such) is the
animated version of graphic design (with typographers, layouters and
such). So is this really a good analogy for interaction designers or
is it a much better analogy for graphic designers?

Director is to Interaction Designer like Actor is to Code and Film is to Screen?

I think to continue, we should be clear about what this thread is
comparing the user to, actor or viewer.

-- Peter

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

22 Mar 2005 - 7:59am
Suresh JV
2004

> Peter:
> Anirudha is comparing the viewer to the user, What I understood was,
> that we were comparing the _actor_ to the user. Those two ideas are
> fundamentally different of course.

> I think to continue, we should be clear about what this thread is
> comparing the user to, actor or viewer.

IMO,
Director : Interaction Designer
Movie Viewer : User
Producer : Project Manager
Camera Man : Graphic Designer
Movie Actor : User Interface [!] Static/Animated

Users will say a software is bad because of "Poor Interaction"
[Even if it has excellent Interface, Technology, or Mktg]

Viewers will say a movie is bad if the director fails in his job.
[Even if the story/plot, camera or whatever work is excellent]

Regards,
Suresh JV.

23 Mar 2005 - 3:20pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

For me, target users are target audience. Actors are part of the team
that creates the product - they have a life of their own independent of
the director and many make significant contributions to the end product.

I would also say director is to interaction designer like a film script
is to code, in a philosophical way.
Anirudha

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