Is this the state of IA?

6 Oct 2010 - 9:51am
3 years ago
5 replies
1134 reads
JasonAlexander
2010

I started in information architecture in 2007, I got out of it and now I am trying to get back into IA/UX.  I consequently do not have the 5+ years of experience or the mandatory "senior titles", but I do have the education!  I came across this in a recent job posting:  "5+ years of agency experience working on site builds. Someone who really understands the user experience."  I was initially hired because I was a user experience professional.  In almost every job posting I have come across is the prerequisite portfolio.  But can static images or deliverables truly explain the context or process of the user experience?

During my last interview I asked how do they obtain user research. I received this look back and was told they had none, they had not spoken to any users' and there was no persona development, and this project was for a major website redesign.

So I was wondering if  this is the status of IA/UX, or should I go back to my day job?

Comments

6 Oct 2010 - 11:05am
bminihan
2007

Perhaps they were interviewing you to conduct the research they lacked.

-----Original Message----- From: ixdaor@host.ixda.org [mailto:ixdaor@host.ixda.org] On Behalf Of Jasalex Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 11:06 AM To: bjminihan@gmail.com Subject: [IxDA] Is this the state of IA?

I started in information architecture in 2007, I got out of it and now I am
trying to get back into IA/UX. I consequently do not have the 5+ years of
experience or the mandatory "senior titles", but I do have the education! I
came across this in a recent job posting: "/5+ years of agency experience
working on site builds. Someone who really understands the user experience/."
I was initially hired because I was a user experience professional. In
almost every job posting I have come across is the prerequisite portfolio.
But can static images or deliverables truly explain the context or process
of the user experience?

During my last interview I asked how do they obtain user research. I received
this look back and was told they had none, they had not spoken to any users'
and there was no persona development, and this project was for a major
website redesign.

So I was wondering if this is the status of IA/UX, or should I go back to
my day job?

6 Oct 2010 - 11:52am
Angel Anderson
2010

The state of the industry is that there are still many companies that don't understand how Interaction Design can help their business. They don't see the value in user research and user-centered design so they don't practice it. It's up to each of us that takes on the challenge of helping companies like these to demonstrate our value as professionals and to show how our IxD process can strengthen their products and services and make them more useful and desirable. 

Since you moved away from this profession, what other experience where you gaining that you can apply to interaction design? Is it perhaps related experience? As for a portfolio, you are right that static images cannot accurately convey a user's experience.  However, if you show your sketches, your design documentation, and the resulting product, you have an opportunity to talk about your process. It's like a math problem: you need to get the answer right but in order to validate that you "get it" the teacher needs to see your work. A good portfolio shows an employer that you can create a great final product AND a repeatable process to achieve success on future projects.  

Kind regards,

Angel Anderson

 

6 Oct 2010 - 7:05pm
Tai.Greene
2010

Greetings,

Angel's points are right on target. As professionals involved in the UX practice, it's incumbent that we show to customers/clients/employers the quantifiable metric that proves a substantial R.O.I. on every engagement.

Additionally, our portfolios should reflect this by telling a story for every engagement/project. It should clearly explain process through deliverables. The finished project (launched product), the back story (deliverable - case study) and the expressed before/after metric will validate how our profession adds value to a customers/clients/employers.

Regards,

Tai Greene

7 Oct 2010 - 10:42am
Sean Pook
2008

There's definitely a divide in the industry between those who feel invoiving the user in some way at the start is absolutely paramount, and those who feel the user shouldn't really come into it until the end. And some inbetween too.

8 Oct 2010 - 3:35pm
miss ruffian
2010

I agree with Tai,ideally our portfolios should reflect the entire story, however, it is very difficult to tell a story about application software that is highly confidential and proprietary. I work on very complicated web applications, however, everything we do is either for pharma or government.  I have a difficult time portraying anything on my portfolio due to the confidentiality issues....

Syndicate content Get the feed