Table of Contents

VOLUME XII.3 May + June 2005

  • In this issue
    • In this issue

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      This issue brings more new faces and opinions, and we hope it provokes you to write in and add your voice to the mix. Our thanks go to Pabini Gabriel-Petit for pulling together the special section "Whose Profession Is It, Anyway?" Whether you agree with the discourse or not,…

  • Fresh: rant
    • It’s mine…

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      About this issue focusing on "Whose profession is it, anyway?" you might ask, "Which profession are we discussing?" The professional interest is in "user-centered design," wherein professionals design and evaluate user experiences of human-computer interactions. There seems little consensus on who is responsible for that user experience. In many…

  • Fresh: ok/cancel
    • Who owns it?

      Tom Chi, Kevin Cheng

      ©2005 ACM1072-5220/05/0500$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…

  • Fresh: ask Doctor Usability
    • Distressed in a cube

      Dr. Usability

      Dear Dr. Usability, I'm an interaction designer for a Web security service that has updates every two weeks. I slosh out designs all day. I get business requirements emailed to me pretty much on a daily basis. I take these business requirements and draw up user interfaces and send…

  • Fresh: pushing the envelope
    • Back to school for UX?

      Fred Sampson

      For some students (to the dismay of their parents) lifelong learning is about staying in school because they're afraid of having to find a job. For some adults, however, continuing education is not only a way of life but a way of ensuring employability. In a world in which…

  • Fresh: in remembrance
    • Jef Raskin, pioneer

      Richard Karpinski

      Jef was the smartest, kindest, and most accomplished man I ever knew. He shared his vision with respect to computers and people in many ways, initiating the project that made computers accessible to ordinary people. Hundreds of millions of people use the results of that project. And yet there…

  • Fresh: mailbag
    • Letters to the editor

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      Master of the Universe? The method of storytelling described in the case study "Storytelling Evolves on the Web: EXOCOG and the Future of Storytelling" (January-February 2005) is very similar to storytelling in role-playing games (RPG). I am not referring to the kind played on the computer, but the kind…

  • Practice: connections
    • More experiences

      Manfred Tscheligi

      "User experience" has taken over, and with it discussions about how to deal with the term. Googling "user experience" returns hundreds of hits. Is it more than the newest catchphrase or does it reflect a change in the description of interaction systems? Sometimes "user experience" is simply used as…

  • Whose profession is it anyway?
    • Introduction

      Pabini Gabriel-Petit

      This issue of <interactions> addresses the current "controversy" over who owns the user experience (UX). But is that a legitimate question or just a straw man? Can any one person or profession own UX? In this issue, UX professionals from the United States and Europe express diverse opinions about…

    • Who owns UX?

      Dirk Knemeyer

      As interesting and inspiring as our dialogue about user experience (UX) is, we are still not asking the right questions. Ownership of UX has nothing to do with project teams or professional disciplines or job titles. Most—if not all—of the people reading this publication and discussing the issue are…

    • Building positive team relationships for better usability

      John Ferrara

      Practitioners of user experience design have responsibility for the usability of digital products. We serve as user advocates, championing such goals as comprehensibility, task efficiency, and users' physical comfort. This responsibility isn't just a matter of conscientiously following professional best practices for their own sake. Both our products' users…

    • The vision of good user experience

      David Hawdale

      There has been much discussion among organizations and practitioners lately about the ownership of the user experience. So, who owns it? Or to put it another way, who is responsible for the user experience and makes it work? What I have found is that the most important contributor to…

    • User experience

      Peter Bogaards, Ruurd Priester

      The design disciplines participating in the digital domain are increasingly caught up with the question of legitimate ownership of user experience (UX). True interdisciplinary work is still not common practice among the design specialties. The discussion consequently expresses a sense of both competition and confusion. We must take good…

    • Making UX an engaging process for prospective user experience adopters

      Bob Goodman

      "Whose profession is user experience (UX)?" This provocative question seems to invite a turf battle in which various UX stakeholders such as information architects, usability consultants, and designers seek to claim their rightful ownership and ultimate glory. Of course, the simple answer is that these folks and many others…

    • Success with user-centered design management

      Jeremy Ashley, Kristin Desmond

      With the proliferation of digital products, including computers, desktop and Web-based applications, and mobile and embedded devices, the quality of the user experience (UX) has become one of the key determinants in the success of competing products. Productivity, entertainment, and business-application programs for non-technical users in particular must have…

    • Why engineers own user experience design

      Bruce Tognazzini

      Researchers, usability practitioners, and design practitioners form the cornerstones of the user experience field. Two of these three groups work in recognized professions. Members of the third group, the design practitioners—even after more than 25 years—still work in obscurity. This obscurity comes with a terrible penalty for the designers:…

    • Defining interaction design

      Elizabeth Bacon

      Introducing the Interaction Design Group. What's the future of interaction design as a profession? Will we, its practitioners, become respected members of cross-functional development teams, admired executives delivering great products, and noted academics making important contributions to the body of human/computer interaction research? Surely we all share these goals,…

    • The adaptive user experience organization

      Victor Lombardi

      In the 21st century, we see two seemingly contradictory trends happening simultaneously: Information architecture (IA) is becoming a legitimate career path, as illustrated by new graduate-level degrees, a strong job market, and at times, roles that appear on the management organization chart. Information architecture is becoming a skill that…

    • STC and user experience

      Fred Sampson

      Long ago, technical writing consisted of secretaries transcribing and typing the scribbled notes of engineers who designed hardware and software. Those days are, thankfully, long gone. Technical writing is now the domain of professionals who are experts in the many facets of technical communication, with a wide range of…

    • Engineering the user experience

      Paul Sherman, Whitney Quesenbery

      Somewhere in the world, a customer service representative is on the phone with a customer. The customer has an easy problem; at least it seems easy to him. Unfortunately, it's not so easy for the rep. She has to negotiate three different applications—one for entering the caller's issue, another…

    • User experience network

      Richard Anderson, Keith Instone, Dirk Knemeyer, Beth Mazur, Whitney Quesenbery

      Who owns user experience (UX)? This is the wrong question to ask. We don't believe that any single group can own UX. What's the alternative? In our view, a useful focus is collaboration, not ownership. The best successes come from collaboration. Whatever type of product, service, or document you…

  • Practice: whiteboard
    • There once was a whiteboard in verse…

      Elizabeth Buie

      As I write these words, this column has just marked its fifth anniversary. The first Whiteboard, "That Just Drives Me Nuts!" (January-February 2000), involved a group of contributors who responded to an invitation to write about a software feature that tempted them to scream at the screen or tear…

  • Practice: business
    • Professional societies and business relevance

      John Morris

      There has been a proliferation of professional groups representing HCI in the past decade. While multiple, collaborative professional societies that focus on the different aspects of our discipline provide a professional forum for various specialized subgroups (and thereby provide benefits to individuals within the community), the benefits to business…

  • People: the way I see it
    • Whose profession is this?

      Donald Norman

      You have to believe that whatever work you are doing is the most important activity in the whole world—at least if you want to be good at what you do, and enjoy it. That's the philosophy I have always preached—and followed. If you don't believe that what you are…

  • People: fast forward
    • The out-of-box home experience

      Aaron Marcus

      Stepping into the Unknown and Unexpected A recent radio news broadcast in the USA announced that most American men wanted a giant, high-definition television with appropriate accoutrements as a year-end holiday gift. I decided it was time to increase my expertise in the area of home consumer electronics and…

  • People: on the enterprise
    • Virtual bridges

      Dustin Beltram

      With one hand on the steering wheel and another cradling her cup of coffee, Nellie grouses to herself about having to come in to work for an early meeting. Who schedules project kickoffs at 7am? Running late, she pulls into the nearly empty parking lot, gets a great spot…

  • Books
    • Book review

      Jeff Horvath, Tim Cartwright

      3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practice Doug A. Bowman, Ernst Kruijff, Joseph J. LaViola, Jr., Ivan Poupyrev Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 1558608311 $44.95 Several months ago, we had the pleasure of beginning some conversations with colleagues about such things as virtual reality, immersive environments and 3D user interfaces.…

    • New & upcoming titles

      Gerard Torenvliet

      Designing Usable Electronic Text Andrew Dillon Taylor & Francis Group; 2nd ed., April 2005 ISBN: 0415240603 $54.95 Cost-Justifying Usability: An Update for the Internet Age Randolph G. Bias, Deborah J. Mayhew Morgan Kaufmann; 2nd ed., April 2005 ISBN: 0120958112 $59.95 Mobile Communications: Re-negotiation of the…

  • People: HCI & the web
    • Fitts at 50

      William Hudson

      I missed the 50th anniversary of Paul Fitts' paper The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movements. I wasn't exactly expecting street parties, but June 2004 slipped by without even a celebratory cup of tea. The title of the paper may not mean…

  • Event planner
    • UX events

      interactions Staff

      June 5-10 IDC 2005 4th International Conference for Interaction Design and Children Boulder, CO, USA June 9-10 @Media: Web Standards & Accessibility London, UK June 13-16 C&T 2005 2nd International Conference on Communities and Technologies Milano, Italy June 15-17 ACE 2005 ACM SIGCHI…

  • People: on the edge
    • The robots are coming

      Lars Holmquist

      "Robots." For most of us, the word still conjures up images of clunky tin men and scary artificial intelligences, or—a little more favorably—the cute but basically useless robot dogs and automatic vacuum cleaners that are slowly starting to populate our homes. But as the last issue of <interactions> shows,…

  • Rave
    • Do good, then do better

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      We think "we" own the design of the user experience. Now comes the troubling question: Who are we? We hoped that by setting out an ownership challenge we would instigate some trouble among several organizations competing for turf. This competition largely did not happen. It did not happen because…

  • Elitoons
    • Attitudes towards testing

      Nevin Berger

      We think "we" own the design of the user experience. Now comes the troubling question: Who are we? We hoped that by setting out an ownership challenge we would instigate some trouble among several organizations competing for turf. This competition largely did not happen. It did not happen because…