“An organization’s reason for being, like that of any organism, is to help the parts that are in relationship to each other, to be able to deal with change in the environment.”—Kevin Kelly
Over the past three decades of computer/human interaction, we’ve seen digital technology evolve from a curiosity to a convenience to an integral part of our everyday lives. For UX professionals, the demand for our skill sets and the opportunities to practice seem only to grow, whether we be designers or developers, usability specialists or information architects, working in fields as diverse as Web, mobile, desktop, and embedded software systems. The UX professions are at a stage that could very well be a tipping point—where the rapid rise of digital devices, services, and connectivity converge to create a massive need for UX professionals. The mobile space alone could generate demand that we can only begin to imagine.
As the need for UX professionals grows and our fields evolve, so too does the nature of our professional community. With an increased demand for our services comes a pressing need to advocate for our profession’s business value and secure a strategic role for UX, train and mentor new practitioners, exchange knowledge among peers, and find ways to positively affect our society. Read More
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
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