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Journey to the Center of Design

A talk by Jared Spool at SXSWi 2009

About the Talk

March 15, 2009 7:30 AM

500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

User-centered design was born in the 1980s, amidst a world filled with frustration with blinking VCR clocks and computer command lines. Up until this time, developers focused on making the devices work, giving little heed to how they'd be used. Terms like "user friendly" and "easy to use," buzzwords for the UCD movement, soon became as common as "new and improved" on laundry soap.Fast forward 25 years and it now seems the foundations of user-centered design are now disintegrating. Notable community members are suggesting UCD practice is burdensome and returns little value. There's a growing sentiment that spending limited resources on user research takes away from essential design activities. Previously fundamental techniques, such as usability testing and persona development, are now regularly under attack. And let's not forget that today's shining stars, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the iPod, came to their success without UCD practices.Is it time for user-centered design to evolve into something else? Or is there something else happening in our world of experience design that makes UCD obsolete? Should something else occupy the center of design?These are just the questions that Jared Spool likes to answer. We guarantee a journey that shouldn't be missed.

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