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Re: [agile-usability] Agile vs. Creativity

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  • mark schraad
    Here is the thing Ron. If you are lucky enough to have an interaction design or information architect on your staff... (statistically, there is one to every
    Message 1 of 118 , Dec 5, 2009
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      Here is the thing Ron.

      If you are lucky enough to have an interaction design or information architect on your staff... (statistically, there is one to every hundred or two code writers) they are likely educated from one of a dozen of so schools that specialize in that place between humans and computers. The masters programs these days are pretty damn sgood. They have three things going for them... a closeness to how user behave and expect things to work, an intimacy with the product that few can claim - at least on the product side(or as I think you call them "customers'), and a passion for doing great work. You would think this would provide some respect and regard.

      In the 30 years that I have been working and consulting with designers in corporate environment and code shops, I have found it extraordinarily rare to find designers working in an environment of respect. They are seen as purely tactical when in fact design is an incredibly effective tool at the strategic level (need I really trot out the list of companies that succeed using design as a tactical advantage?).... but I digress. Unlike a strategy and tactical implementation of C++, everyone has an opinion about design and the interactions of software because we all have a singular experience perspective to draw from. If your domain of expertise was similarly exposed to pedestrian expertise and institutional disregard, I dare say you might work in isolation  and expose your supreme solution in a magic show ah ah sort of fashion as well.

      Or maybe you'd wonder off to some remote spot and reinvent the entire process and terminology.

      This is simple human nature... which surely at some point in your career you can identify with. Is it appropriate of designers to hide the process and act like spoiled babies when there ideas are scrutinized and disregarded? Absolutely not. Designers need to consider the misunderstandings and pseudo expertise that surrounds them as part of the design constraints. They need to spend much more time laying the ground work for their premise, providing evidence for their conclusions and selling the best solution against the provided criteria. There are lots of designers working on this level, but they likely have reached a point in their careers where they no longer feel compelled to tolerate the hostile environments of those who have yet to embrace their practice and the benefits forthcoming. Or, maybe they are off somewhere conspiring to drive the entire process.



      On Dec 5, 2009, at 11:07 AM, Ron Jeffries wrote:

      Few of us want to be presented with a fait accompli. Yet it seems,
      so often, as if designers want to go off in their holes, design
      something, bring it back and have everyone go "bravo". Yet so often
      it doesn't happen.

    • mark schraad
      I ve been called pedantic on occasion. I m ok with that ; )
      Message 118 of 118 , Dec 10, 2009
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        I've been called pedantic on occasion. I'm ok with that ; )

        On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 6:56 PM, Jeff Patton <jpatton@...> wrote:

        On Dec 6, 2009, at 12:22 AM, mark schraad wrote:


        I run with a few definitions of design. When Alan Cooper (I can hear the cackles rise) came to talk with us a while back he spoke of differentiating the design of code (structure), from the design of the application, which is of course much different that designing labels and graphics for functionality.

        For me separating different kinds of design starts to get a bit tedious.  When you think about it, it's like night and day - which although you can tell me to the second when sunrise or sunset is, it's a pretty academic discussion when it's still light outside.  OK, bad metaphor - my point is that all design decision run together.  They just do.  Giving precise definitions for one type or another doesn't seem to help people make better decisions in practice. 

        Reading "the oatmeal" has put me in a strange mood.  Yes I am the mother-f**ing pterodactyl: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/ptero

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