30. June 2009

The Spectrum of User Experience (1)

As we all perfectly know, designers are narcissists; programmers are nerds, and whoever wears a tie must be a clueless jerk. Designers, programmers and business people love to hate each other. That’s why we keep them separated:

UXD Force Fields: What the different departments do well all by themselves

Can’t we just all get along? Or leave each other alone? We can’t. The product, the interface and the communication build on the tension between the economic, the technological and the design force.

The business department and the engineers need to agree on a product definition that guarantees high performance; engineers and designers need to work together to make the interface as simple as possible; and designers need to team up with the business folks to get the communication consistent.

UXD Stress Fields: Where designers, business people and programmers need to work together

Dull Work, Dull Product

It’s more than obvious that if the work process is dull the product will be dull. If the very process of building a user interface is linked to a pile of paper, the result itself will feel like a pile of paper. Looking back at the dull bureaucratic discipline information architecture used to be until a couple of years ago, we have to ask: How could we ever expect to get a user friendly product coming from a deadly boring process?

On the other side, whether you perceive a job as dull or fun largely depends on your character. Some people love organizing, others, like me, love to create chaos. Some people, for instance, actually hate to think, and that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily stupid. The trick is to create teams where everyone does what they like most. Making work fun seems to be the same challenge as making different people work together.

This article is the first part of a series.

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