Shoo be doo, How do you do? Who Am I?

You should listen to this song while you read my post

I’ve always struggled to tell people what I do. Not that it matters much, but it makes me think a lot about it. At the hospital, despite what I say, the doctor still puts down, ‘IT Technician’. My family say, ‘website designer’. My friends say, ‘She does something weird’. Some others, ‘She works with computers’. So I went to a clinic.

A UX clinic. What was I diagnosed with? Ignorance mostly. There’s still a lot I am having to learn, and learn really fast too. The clinic was organised by UK UPA in conjunction with UX London. It was technically one of such events for those who could n0t secure a ticket for UX London holding the same week.

The format was Q & A, with a panel of speakers, who were going to be answering questions from the audience (on and offline). The names I recognised were J Spool and Luke W. It was an All American panel, no complaints here. I had a bit of regret for not sending off questions, my rationale was that I’d love to hear what other folks were tackling. There was no wifi and I had no phone to tweet in my questions when they finally came to mind.

The QA began.

One of my key learnings was around talking,

Talking to the top in an organization – Do not speak to folks at the top of the food chain without figures, it would make everyone’s life easier. Speak in language people understand, that is why you do UX.

The most captivating question was,

Skill Set: What should a UX designer know? There was a huge discussion over this, but I tended to favour Jared Spool’s argument even if he wasn’t quite clear.

A UX designer should definitely to able to recognise Great Visual Design and Great Code, even if they don’t want to or actually have enough skill to build/design. A UX designer should understand quality principles. A UX designer should understand prevailing technologies so they can find the best fit for what ever it is that is being built, When should you use Flash? Flex? HTML5? Javascript? JQuery? Is it HTML/CSS that should be changed? Should Magnolia be called? What Database? Which Development team?

These are some of the things I encounter every day, and a good UX designer will not only do a better job with this knowledge but they will earn the respect of the people in these teams., thus creating a better ork environment for everyone. No one can really complain about anything when things are in sync.

Best Answer for the night went to Jared Spool’s answer on a graduate’s entry into the UX market. After someone had put the usual out there graduates should do any job they can pick up and internship. He suggested that this really had to change. People didn’t go through 5/6 yrs of school to come out to do free jobs. If its an internship, let it be paid! they are going to be doing real work, so why not pay them. I felt it because haven graduated in 2010, and didn’t get an internship until 10 months after, it was quite a hard transition.

Book to Check out Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling (I’ve started reading it)

School to Check out Brightworks (A game changing school in the States)

There was a brief talk, about how we ought to do away with titles, something I’ve written about before but then you realize it’s necessary for communication. At the end of the day, I thought ‘Really, I’m going to tell everyone I’m an architect’ At the least, everyone can understand this, and truly is what my role at present is all about.

Traditionally, An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings.

Digitally, An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of digital builds (and much more) so there.

Who am I? What do I do? I am an Architect..Digital.

4 thoughts on “Shoo be doo, How do you do? Who Am I?

  1. Pingback: 2012 in review | Tonianni

  2. Interesting though still reading to close the many gaps in my understanding. One question:
    “Digitally, An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of digital builds (and much more) so there.”

    If UX =Architect, then IA (information architect), SA (software architect), SA (solution architect) = ? How do the roles resolve in the context of a tech company?

    • Thanks for reading. As to the definition I didn’t suggest that UX = Architect, I suggested it as what I do, and what I do takes on different titles depending…so IA, SA remain untouched. Roles are resolved based on what they do not what title they are.

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