Over the past few decades, we have seen a steady expansion in the number of people who design or evaluate the quality of the user experience of digital products. The popularization of the personal computer in business and at home, the explosion of the Web and Internet applications, and the sudden presence of computer interfaces in everything from medical systems to voting stations to home entertainment centers has greatly accelerated the growth of the user experience (UX) movement.
The swelling ranks among professionals, academics, and students in user experience provide the potential for a large and diverse global community. However, collaboration among these various constituencies within user experience is neither as widespread nor as easy as it should be. Professional associations, their local chapters, and ad hoc local groups have done much to bring these people together, but the specter of competition among these associations and groups threatens the emergence of a true UX community. Read More
In our increasingly connected world of 2012, we have more ways of continually learning to better understand, communicate, live, and work with each other, both locally and globally. The old boundaries, borders, and divisions are slowly disappearing, and established systems are starting to break down, making it challenging to learn what this new world means to all of us.
When it is easy to become a friend of someone who does not live in our neighborhood or even our country, our assumptions about other people start to change. Similarly, the UX research and design professions are seeing a shift that edges us beyond the boundaries within which we live and work, forcing us to look outside our window when designing and improving the products and services we work on. Read More
Dirk Knemeyer, shown in Figure 1, is a UX thought leader, an entrepreneur, a game designer, and a former UXmatters columnist. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Dirk about his experiences as a UX professional and entrepreneur, as well as his reflections on the state of democracy in the United States and how we can use design thinking to imagine a more participatory form of democratic government. Read More