Friday, June 24, 2005

Educating UI Designers

In 2004, I gave a talk at UW about user interface design which consisted of a long wish-list for the education of future generations of UI designer colleagues. Some of it was based on conversations with junior colleagues at Adobe, including things they wished they'd been told or taught before getting into the field. Other items were based on my own cross-over from research to practice, and the sad gulf I see between the two. A few were based on my growing belief that design skill is the important frontier for education, hard though that may be to conquer.

The condensed form of the "please teach them" list includes this motley assortment:

Teach them… The Language of Business & Marketing instead of HCI & UCD; Teach Them… Product Design instead of Interface Design, If You Can; Teach Them… Usability Methods; Teach them… How to Determine Appropriate Study Methods; Teach Them… To Characterize their Customers; Teach them… To Identify and Characterize Problems; Teach them… To Review and Critique Designs; Teach Them… Different Kinds of “Design”; Teach them… Design for Multiple Devices; Teach Them… To do Fast Low-Fi Design; Teach Them… To Prepare Multiple Deliverables; Teach them… To Recognize the Value of Multiple Levels of Abstraction; Teach them… To Present Their Design Work; Teach them… To Find and Interpret Previous Research; Teach them… To Relate In-House Research to Design; Teach them… Justify without Defensiveness; Teach them… Software Development Lifecycle Models; Teach Them… How to Interview; Teach them… To Drive Projects; Teach them… Most Design Happens in Committees; Teach Them… Public Speaking; Teach them… To Study Their Own Organization; Teach them… To be Solid Experts but not Shrill Evangelists; Teach them… Organizational Planning; Teach them… To Know and Evaluate Books on Design; Teach them… The Difference Between Peers and Resources.
In case it's of interest, I've put my powerpoint slides up at Teaching UI Design and HCI. ("HCI" is a common label for the academic cross-disciplinary field of human-computer interaction, which usually includes usability and user interface design, as well as research and innovative interface engineering.)

No comments :