Kicking things off

Authors: Daniel Rosenberg
Posted: Fri, December 07, 2012 - 10:43:07

Welcome to my first blog post for the ACM interactions website. Perhaps the best way to start is to introduce myself through my history with interactions. This may not be as familiar to many as my former UX design executive corporate career. You can read about that stuff on LinkedIn or on my website so let’s not waste space repeating it here.

Over the past decades I have written interactions magazine articles, guest edited a special issue on UX business leadership (May 2007 issue), and have even been the subject of an interview article about my personal philosophy on UX design leadership by the late John Rheinfrank (Feb. 1997 issue). John was one of the founding editors of interactions along with Bill Hefley. He was one of the deepest thinkers I ever encountered. I first met John when I was a graduate student 35 years ago. His presence is still missed by those who were there in the beginning with him on this journey that has evolved to become the entire field of HCI, which this publication serves.

Therefore, I wish to dedicate this and my forthcoming blog contributions to John’s legacy by utilizing both time and space to revisit many of the themes we often debated. The unifying thread of our debates was the role, or lack thereof, of UX leadership in business decisions. In the blogs that will follow I hope we can collectively reflect on how much has changed and yet how much has stayed the same in this area. 

While the practice of HCI in industry has matured over the last three decades since the first CHI conference took place, we have not yet achieved the standing industrywide of our counterparts in marketing and engineering. For an upcoming issue of interactions I have authored a piece on what I believe is one of the root causes for this situation. It relates to how the typical types and methods of user research data we collect and communicate today have failed our most important leadership customer/partner/funding source, the corporate CEO. Look for it in the Usability and Evaluation Forum of the forthcoming March/April issue.

I am not going to “spill the beans” here on my major thesis for why we are failing as a profession in the corporate boardroom. Once this new issue reaches you through the normal publication route I will follow up in this blog with additional thoughts and counter viewpoints. I anticipate this article will raise the same level of heated discussion as my Sept. 2004 interactions piece, “The Myths of Usability ROI.” 

To close, let me just say how excited I am to become an official interactions blogger. I promise to do my best to make every new post a “must read” addition to your Internet browsing time and I look forward to using this format for rapid engagement with the CHI community.

Posted in: on Fri, December 07, 2012 - 10:43:07

Daniel Rosenberg

Daniel Rosenberg is Chief Design Officer at rCDOUX LLC.
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@Richard Anderson (2013 01 29)

For a followup to Dan’s post, see On What Holds UX Back or Propels UX Forward in the Workplace