Is UX thinking too big?
December 17, 2004 at 4:18 PM
Kevin Cheng makes some good points in his post The User Experience Community is Thinking Too Big which is a summarized version of the presentation by the same name that he gave at the UXnet London launch event. I agree with most of Kevin's points here though I think he misread Dirk's article to some degree. From my perspective I do think it's the right time, but I agree with the points about the smaller shops. There are a lot of one man shops, but there are also a lot of large agencies and large in-house teams that can have individuals covering only one or two disciplines. It's all a matter of your perspective. However, instead of attempting to answer the question by myself here, perhaps, you, the readers, have some input. Is UX thinking too big? Go ahead and add your comments and feedback to this post.
I'm not sure if UX is thinking too big, but UX feels to me like JAA. (Just Another Acronym). However, I do feel that talking about "user experiences" is better than talking about "information architecture", because the experience belongs to the user, and anything (even terminology) that can keep focus on users will help.
I think that what falls under UX can be really big... even huge without falling into irrelevancy. But the problems it addresses must be proportionnal. I work at http://nurun.com, a 350 people shop that does both backend and UX. Our developpement is literrally split in those two big parts, backend/UX. Two different teams, with different problems to solve. To my knowledge both teams are similar in size, budget and workload. The fact is that for us, UX doesnt only cover that classical usability/functionnality dilema... It simply is "Everything that is past the Backend". Personnally, I dont believe UX should think smaller... but maybe we should think/talk about more subjects... broaden are interest to more than "usability vs. pretty". There is no single subject that worth 100% of our attention. Also, I think even the small shops need a "big picture" and a discussion on the "larger spectrum"... they simply have to adapt the knowledge to the size of their problems. The "backend guys" have covered a huge amount of issues and cencepts, their portion of the issue has had more time and more attention given to it in the past 30 years. As web developpement progress, the UX field is bound to become broader, bigger and abviously more mature. I dont believe it can or should go the other way! One thing is for sure... that always bigger and more complex challenges around the corner.