Thoughts on a thesis


I am fascinated by narrative. By story. By memory and the reasons we do things too – because they’re stories also, albeit ones that we like to think are unbiased self-evident occurrences. Post-Cartesian modern life is all about the rugged induvidual figuring out their own way, powering through the world with a few trusty sidekicks – and this is where our gadgets come in.
Cell phones, iPads, websites, computer games: we interact with these things through interfaces that, at their best, let the user express exactly what they know or want in a way that’s natural. These devices become more than inorganic machines and become compatriots, assistants, companions, and dare I say… friends? Good user interaction makes the user want to spend more time with a site while giveing the user exactly the information they need in order to produce just what the user wanted.
I want to do that. I want to understand a user and a device so well that I can make one respond exactly to the other in such a way as to make life easier, better, and more fun. And like the website linked from the picture above, I’d love to give users the pleasant surprise of giving them something wonderful that they didn’t even know they wanted.
So to sum up: User Interface Designer; Experience Designer; Interaction Designer; Information Architect; Social Interaction Designer; Interface Designer; User Experience Designer; Interactive Systems Engineer and Kinetic User Interface Designer: YES PLEASE.

[link: The Dashboard, by UrbanDaddy ]

Comments (1)

  1. This is a really eesirntting article and debate. Whilst I agree the term UX Designer would seem to cover a multitude of areas I also believe this has been in part because of systematic misuse across the industry. In many respects the web design industry is an infant, comprised of individuals and organisations who seek to define it in a highly structured and disciplined manner and those talented individuals who wear many hats and do a little, or a lot of everything. For freelancers, contractors and small agencies the term UX designer can either seem pretentious or an umbrella term covering everything they already do. In contrast large agencies or those developers engaged in sizeable projects with many contributors view UX Design as a focussed and specific discipline taking place in isolation of design and/or development. This is perhaps analogous to the role of an architect. Such a person would specify clearly the functional parameters of a building but would not necessarily determine the suitability of given building methods or load requirements, for this a structural engineer would get involved. Additionally contractors, electricians, plumbers, glazers, interior designers, health and safety inspectors and building inspectors would line up to do their bit. Whether or not the lifts functioned or there were enough fire exits or the building was warm enough would really have anything to do with the architect but one would expect each subsequent trade to uphold the elements within the architects specification and hence deliver a safe, usable and efficient solution. In contrast if one considers a small building firm carrying out a house extension, a project such as this can be delivered comfortably without many of the experts mentioned above. If UX Designer fails to correctly frame this role then perhaps UX Architect would be closer to the mark but I tend to agree with earlier comments the name is not really important. What is important is whether or not these specific roles fit into the type of work or projects you are engaged in. Smaller agencies or freelancers needn’t be pre-occupied with negating the contribution these highly specialised roles have to play; any more than builders should suggest architects are invalid. We should determine the roles and specialties required for our project and call them whatever we want to to get the job done. PS I agree with earlier comments, this website is cosmetically stunning but scores negatively on a handful of UX items. I dare say the involvement of a dedicated UX designer would help negate such things. But hey, we’re all learning Thanks for a great piece 9:07 pm

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