The Umbrella of UX
Can we say that Usability, User centered design,
Information Architecture and interaction design fall under the umbrella
of User experience design?
I offered a perspective on Rohit’s question. Wonder how this’ll land.
What follows is pretty parsimonious, but I suppose that’s what email lists are for?
There are some folks who use Use Experience as their umbrella construct or philosophical approach to the making of communications systems and artifacts. For these folks, “doing the information architecture” is a project phase or part of a project phase, one that is sometimes blended with “doing the interaction design.” And all of it is done with the experience of the user as the drum major at the front of the parade, and experience as the explicit designed-for outcome. Their business card says whatever it needs to say – they’re not hung up on titles, but instead are passionate about users and about how to make stuff that’s awesome by prizing experience in the design and development process.
There are also some folks who are called User Experience Designers, who see User Experience Design (capital D) as the name for the umbrella and as their preferred name for the nascent field of practice. Many of these folks used to be or would have been called IA or IxD in a similar job 5 years ago. They use UXD instead of IA or IxD because that’s what we call it now, and see the other initials as more or less interchangeable but less advantageous in conversation, publishing, tribal identity etc.
More exotically, there are some folks who (still) use Information Architecture as their umbrella construct or philosophical approach to the making of communications systems and artifacts. For these folks, the work is about understanding, and the philosophy is that understanding precedes action. Their work is akin to the work of other architects, only the structures they create are made of information. In shaping the forms that comprise the structures of an information architecture, they’re balancing and aligning business priorities, user priorities, aesthetic implications, matters of choreography… And all of it is done with Understanding as the drum major at the front of the parade, and performance as the explicit designed-for outcome. Their business card says whatever it needs to say – they’re not hung up on titles (ok, some of them are), but instead are passionate about the “what” of their projects and about how to ensure the stuff they work on is awesome by providing structures of language and information which enshrine the “what” of the project or enterprise in ways that designers and developers can then work within as they come up with the “how”‘s of the project.