Tags: organizing IxD
This is my response to Andrew Hinton’s recent blog post. I was going to post it as a comment, but it really is MY thinking and it is rich enough that I feel it belongs here. Sorry Andrew, my experience is really changing my framing of who “we” are and whether or not there is a “we” at all.
So here’s how it came out of me!
What I said at IxD09 is what I’ll say now. The context of the conversation cannot be generalized. Talking generally about UX is an exercise in futility. The “umbrella” is made up as a social convention that I’m growingly starting to believe does not serve anyone at all. It is a crutch that we’ve created to hide from truths, and continue misinformation about what is we really do. We have allowed the origin of our communities to define, the terms we use regardless of their validity and then used the community as the basis to expand those definitions beyond utility.
A post like this is trying to solve the wrong problem. Andrew is a natural peacemaker, but I’m not sure you are asking the right questions, and I’m not sure you are serving the community that you feel closest to.
There is so much that separates IA/IxD/Usability/HCI/Graphic Design/Industrial Design, etc.
To this end, I don’t see the tent. If you look at the trends in education, and outside the web world of design, the very concept of UX is a blip on their radar. This reality alone challenges the notion of the tribe.
Now, let’s be clear. Separation is not the same as devaluing, or degrading. It is about creating clarity, which in turn will clarify so many different things that still in the UX world remain unnecessarily confused:
1) How do we get educated?
2) What is our career path?
3) What are the right methods of practice?
The reality is that once you move OUT of the web there is so much more that separates IA from IxD than keeps them together. Just look at the work from CIID & RCA/DI and compare to the work of any US IA program.
I find this chumbaya repetition to simply be counter productive at this time in our history. Revel in our differences, and lets stop denying them, couching them in friendlier terms, or otherwise try to make us just get along.
I said this to Louis Rosenfeld and I mean it today even more than then (during #ixd09). Different is not a value, just a description. It is not divisive, and does not mean that collaboration and cooperation cannot happen. A civil engineer and an architect are not the same thing, nor is a cariologist and a neurologist, or a carpenter and a cabinet maker.
Interaction Design is NOT Information Architecture. Stop the madness of trying to be everything to everyone!!