I can’t help but continue to write about my recent thoughts regarding our profession. As of late, I, like many of you, have contemplated even calling myself a UX professional anymore. The truth is, I’m tired of fighting the “they just don’t get it” battle. I’m constantly reminding myself of the “pave the cowpath” theory, and think “Why aren’t we just doing that?”.
What do I mean? I mean why aren’t we just using terms that those that we want to work with are use to hearing. I’m talking things like Customer Acquisition Designer or Customer Retention Architect. Those types of titles mean something to the people we have been trying to hit over the head for the past 15 years. After-all, that is really what the value of Information Architecture and User Experience Design and Service Design and Interface Design and any other hot buzzword design or architecture is. It’s all about making a company or organization and their products and services better for their users or customers (or both!).
Perhaps we have been using the “How” to describe what we do, and maybe, just maybe, that is means we’ve been trying to build a new road, instead of paving the path.
Part of the 5 Minutes a Day blog series
Intern Kofi passed along this link to me saying that it would be a great topic for a post for the site. Normally, I’d love to write a long piece on something like this in order to really dig into my thoughts BUT, time will not allow it. Instead we’re going to review this piece in five minutes (or less).
The main takeaway is that Uber, a traditionally agile shop, stopped its process for the sake of its marketing and future product. They realized that Agile is great for software development, not so great for marketing (something I’ve touched on before), and therefore stopped their engines (pun intended) and did something unheard of. They actually went back to waterfall to rethink their site.
Wow! Finally someone is publicizing this. I’ve been saying for a long time that process for process sake (i.e. using Agile just because it’s a new trend, saves time, etc) is no good, but that is just what many of our companies are doing. Unfortunately for us UXers and designers, we are the ones that usually feel the most pain for this effort.
But, imagine a place where someone says, “hey maybe this process just won’t work. Maybe we should try something else?”.
I don’t hate Agile. I just hate the misuse of it. I hate that we don’t think about the places and times to use it, and instead try to force the square peg into the freakin round hole. I hate that we don’t think before we do, but most of all I hate that we can’t talk about it freely, without getting kick back from the Agile champions (well at least most of them). What do you think?
Pssst I’m looking for Guest Bloggers. Could this be you?
Part of the 5 Minutes a Day blog series
I ask you this. Why is it that every time I’m on a project that runs into a road block during the visual design phase… why is it at this point that people start to question and pay attention to my IA work? Is it because my work is flawed (always a potential)? Is it because they “favor” the visual designer (highly unlikely since we are both teammates on the project)? Or is it because client simply cannot grasp that information architecture of a system?
And… can they not grasp the IA of the system because I am not explaining it clearly? Or is it that the idea is too abstract? Is it that IA is simply too complex?
I don’t have any answers to these questions, but today I am in a sea of deep client frustration. I spent months pouring over a concept model and IA that is one of the best I’ve ever produced, and now, at the point of design, it not only comes into question (which is natural), but it is deemed as flawed. Further the client has spent a great amount of time with it, and now wants me to address the flaw that she is convinced is there (as if I spent a few hours with it, and don’t already have answers to each concern and question she has).
So, I ask you all this…. am I the only one that faces these woes? If not, how do you usually handle them to help the client understand your point of view and your work, while also addressing their feedback and concerns.
~ Yours “Sad in NYC”