Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Who will represent IAs at CHI's Development Consortium?

Looking at the summaries of position papers submitted to the CHI2005 Development Consortium about an umbrella organization for User Experience, I sure hope something positive will come out.

Some statements (e.g. those by Jonathan Grudin, John Zapolski and possibly Arnie Lund) sound rather gloomy: Jonathan mentions "an unusual situation" and John says that "the focus of the group needs to shift". I think they are referring to the fact that a lot of groups are fighting over who should own the User Experience and while the fight is going on, little progress, especially in the area of promotion of the field, can be made.

It looks like a lot of topics will have to be discussed over two days to cover the interests of all attendees. I count at least 10:
  1. uniting professional organizations
  2. uniting professional knowledge (Keith's personalized portal)
  3. raising the status of the UX profession
  4. finding UX's place in academia
  5. co-ordinating and professionalizing conferences
  6. fighting competition for resources (volunteers? teachers?)
  7. fostering local ambassadors
  8. fixing differences in terminology
  9. publishing UX research
  10. valuation of (research) publications
It is good to see that the previous experience of several other organizations will be available: the submitters mention SIGCHI, UXnet, AIS, AIGA, HFES, SIGGRAPH, and IxDG.

One organization that I hold dearly (I am an advisor to the board and even ran for a place in that board) is missing from the list: the Information Architecture Institute (IAI). When the IAI advisors met during the IA Summit we discussed a lot of the same subjects, sometimes with a smaller IA focus but often enough in the wide UX sense.
What happened? Didn't we get invited? Don't we want to take part in the conversation? I am sure some of the advisors see Information Architecture as central to the field of UX (especially those who call it BIG IA instead of UX). I only put it at the center to make a point, as I explained in my original post about the t-model. But one way or the other, the IA Institute has an interest in the outcome of the discussion.

Oh, and of course I do I hope that some of the business aspects that I added to the t-model, applied to UX (UX ROI, selling UX, UX's organizational impact, managing UX and UX processes), will also be discussed.

Who will invite the IA Institute to the table and who will add business aspects to the agenda?

Update: (April 15, 2005): A first report of the Development Consortium acknowledges IAI and it seems the Institute was represented informally. Good! The slides from the associated CHI Panel identify a list of "first projects" that will help establish an umbrella environment for all organizations (and hopefully practitioners!) to flourish. I am confident that the IAI will review these and see which ones can be picked up. As the last slide says: Engage!


Blogger Richard I Anderson said...

The IA Institute was invited.

The organizations you list were all officially represented, as were UPA, IDSA, and STC. It was an excellent, intense 2-day workshop.

An initial report of sorts was made via a panel during the conference -- a panel featuring 10 of the 20+ consortium participants. Written reports are in development.

1:35 AM, April 09, 2005  
Blogger beep said...

Thanks for the update Richard! I look forward to reading the report.

And yes, I heard that the IA Institute was invited. It seems none of the current Board members was able to attend CHI, or at least not on the day of the Development Consortium. We tried to get Keith Instone to represent us, but he declined, and with good arguments, so it was entirely our fault...

I'll be sure to keep an eye out to UXnet.org, as I'm confident that's where some of the important messages will be posted.

12:14 PM, April 09, 2005  
Blogger Dave said...

Hiya Peter,

I was a participant of the retreat and I can say that IA Institute was thought about often, and no one should feel that they were "forgotten". I think that they were probably not as well represented as they could have been BUT there was not a lot of focus on actual organizations and there were MANY organizations that did not have "formal" representation as well.

Thanx though for brining this up and I hope everyone who is interested in UXnet takes a look at what we have done thus far and what comes out of the Development Consortium.

6:00 AM, April 10, 2005  

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