Welcome

There are a lot of blogs out there. Why start another one? Same reasons as everyone else. Hopefully, I can share some experiences and ideas and start some conversations that might be helpful to others.

Who is this blog written for?
Anyone working on improving the user experience of web sites or software, including experience designers, IAs, usability practitioners and those whom we work with.

What’s the issue?
As I talk to colleagues, there is a lot of frustration. Things aren’t as easy as they should be. There are a lot of talented people who are not able to do their best work.

It seems to me that process can help. That doesn’t mean you should all follow my process. Heck, I don’t really have a process. I believe in creating the right process to fit the situation at hand. For some, that means adding some rigor and focus to a chaotic process, and for others, it means adding some flexibility and streamlining an overly restrictive process. Don’t expect to get it right. Expect to constantly change. As a radar expert told me once, a missile doesn’t fly in a straight line. It constantly veers off course and then corrects itself, typically overcompensating, and then adjusting again.

I also don’t want to limit the conversation to just the design process, but everything around it as well. How do you lead a team of designers? How do you prove the value of what you do? I’m open.

I’ll also talk about how to work within an agile/iterative process. This is an experiment with my current start-up. I’ll post what works and what doesn’t.

Are there any topics you’d like to see covered? Leave them in comments.

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2 comments on “Welcome”

  1. brian oneill Reply

    well, given that most of my consulting these days is with startups, i find that discussing user-centered design within agile environments (that are lower-case agile) is difficult. it’s also hard to practice it in environments that are either in beta or don’t exist at all yet (pre-launch) – or when businesses lack firm measurable goals from the start.

    Most early startups are bound to change missions from the get-go and I find expert-opinions and group-think trumps all else in those cases, and I roll with it. But maybe that is just fine – do others disagree? Is software easy enough to change now that the practice of getting something out quick and early (rinse, repeat) is better than study up front when you don’t have the time and $ to spend on a long-term user-research program?

    I’ve played the “rich kids” UCD game — the big banks and brokerages that have the $$ to spend on full-blown UCD front ot back — and the poor kids game, the startups who have a few smart people willing to try something useful/cool/fun but low $ to “study.” More and more, I find the former is “reality” – I know all about small-scale user testing and talking to customers etc – but sometimes clients don’t even know who their customers are and they aren’t out to pay you to find out!!! šŸ˜‰

    saludos and gracias for the opinions!

    Brian/Mr. Ho

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