The Business End
Seven years ago, Nick Gould was lucky (no, “smart”) enough to associate himself with a group of practitioners of the then-fledgling craft of web usability and user interface design. Previous experiences as a corporate lawyer and internet business development executive offered little preparation for the myriad challenges and frustrations that awaited him as CEO of a small design consultancy doing its best to survive as the tectonic plates constantly shifted beneath our feet. Now that the Internet Marketplace has settled somewhat, this column will explore the business, project management, and client relations issues that confront web design professionals every day. Our response to these issues, both as individuals and as a community still actively struggling to write the rules of our own engagements, can determine the success or failure of our careers, our businesses, and our industry as a whole. So, at least when viewed in this light, the “business of usability” is vital.