Fresh: mailbag

XIII.1 January + February 2006
Page: 9
Digital Citation

Letters to the editor

Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

back to top  Taking UX Offshore

Fred Sampson wrote about offshoring in his column ("Pushing the Envelope," November-December 2005). He began by posing the question "How could any of our organizations oppose offshoring... and justify our existence to Asia-Pacific members at the same time?" He immediately answered his question: We could not. I do not argue with this premise. As an international organization, we have no business playing favorites with any nation. However, I would answer that we must support the growth of HCI worldwide rather than the shifting of our jobs from one place to another.

I believe that merely accepting offshoring quietly is unconscionable—that it is wrong for the United States government to acquiesce to its citizens losing their livelihoods. Mr. Sampson clearly does not. Whether or not we can have an impact upon this phenomenon is immaterial. I do not want to be on the record as supporting an ethically repugnant type of business reasoning. Nonetheless, we should be able to agree that creating new HCI jobs will be better for this world than simply replacing a job in one country with the same job overseas with no net gain.

Lastly, Mr. Sampson may not feel that being "a well-educated native of the United States guarantees [him] perpetual employment." If we are speaking in those terms, then I agree. However, governments have an obligation to ensure that those opportunities for employment exist. That's part of why I agree to be governed. If a government cannot provide us with safety and opportunities for a livelihood, then what is it good for?

—Michael Beasley
Usability Analysis and Design Intern, Thomson Gale
Farmington Hills, MI, USA

back to top  Authors

Letters to the editor may be mailed to interactions mailbag, ACM, 1515 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10036 or sent via email to Please include your full name, address and daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity and may appear online.

back to top 

©2006 ACM  1072-5220/06/0100  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2006 ACM, Inc.

Post Comment

No Comments Found