After nine years of building a robust UX consulting practice within a large software consulting firm, I sort of expect certain things. For one thing, I expect that the people in my organization understand the basic importance of what I do. I’ll bet you do, too. While we might not always get all of the time we’ve scheduled or be able to do all of the things we want to do on a project, in general, our expectation is that, at some level, most people recognize the importance of user experience these days. After all, even when some auto parts store in some remote part of the world revamps their Web site, they tout their “simplified user experience.” When you see that, you start to think that this whole UX thing has become institutionalized to some degree.
That’s why it came as a bit of a shock to me recently when I realized that the issues one of my consultants was having on a project were the result of a development team that felt a good user experience just wasn’t critical to the project’s success—or to the product’s overall user adoption. Read More
Frederick Winslow Taylor was a Quaker, so was repulsed by waste. With only a stopwatch and a clipboard, he set about inventing a productivity revolution. Using modular parts made it possible for laborers to specialize, and specialists were quicker to master competencies and to produce widgets at scale. We can trace the origins of scientific management, industrial engineering, and the lifelong pursuit of efficient returns on capital to Taylor. People often refer to these ways of working as Taylorism.
To this day, many do not question Taylorism, primarily because it was the foundation of many business, engineering, and marketing texts. All of these professions built their knowledge atop the same foundation—which is as old as the Harvard Business School, making it roughly the same age as game-changing innovations like the assembly line and incandescent light bulb. Read More