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the good life in a digital age

is UX neo-conceptual art?

So good friends in the UX community have expressed concerns about some of my slightly less than impressed references to “user experience”.  There was the whole penguin thing. And the using your clients language one. And the getting a bit snippy in an innocuous post about content management resources.  It is, admittedly, a bit of a bee in my bonnet (and no, I don’t own any bees before any of you ask).

But I can’t say “I’m an user experience designer”.  In much the same way that I couldn’t say “I’m a neo-conceptual artist” with a straight face.  I wasn’t raised that way.

I’m a bit embarassed to say “I’m an information architect”.  And as I said before I tend to avoid that at work.

(I’ve got a biological taxonomy metaphor I can use here but the whole Lakoff’s penguin thing went down so well…I think I better save that for the pub)

It would be a bit like me telling you my husband is a “craftsman”. It is completely accurate. It has grandeur and a philosophical sweep. It gives his career a wide scope and avoids him being boxed in by his job title.  But it doesn’t help anyone of you realise that he could make you a rather nice spoon, a lovely rustic fence or even some really good charcoal. And that he might not be the best person to ask for an earthenware pot or an Aran sweater.

What’s the IA equivalent of  “makes beautiful, useful things with wood”?

Written by Karen

August 27th, 2009 at 6:26 am