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Alan Cooper @MrAlanCooper
, 19 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Keep in mind that while interaction designers are working hard to convince people that design is worthwhile, those same people are working hard to convince IxDs that design is cheap, visual tweaking. 1
Keep in mind that there is a lot of short-term money to be made by cutting spending on design. 2
And the mistaken idea that design is cheap visual tweaking is consistent with past reality, so it doesn’t demand any (frightening) new thinking on the part of those doing the hiring. 3
And designers, young and old, need jobs, and cheap visual tweaking job is better than no job at all, so there is bold evidence that the mistaken ideas are correct. 4
So you can see how easy it is for those who think that interaction design is cheap visual tweaking to find evidence to support their mistaken beliefs…evidence on both sides. 5
But here is where everything goes off the rails: The designers start to believe it too. Really believe that visual tweaking is the hard core of design. 6
And educators find it a lot easier to repeat simplistic narratives like “everyone’s a designer,” and “just hack something and see.” It’s consistent with history. 7
And then more young people graduate with apparently valid academic credentials yet who don’t actually believe in interaction design, yet alone know how to do it. 8
The key to success is to make things easy, not hard. This is exactly what the visual design narrative does, and that’s why it wins. 9
An individual might choose the tougher path, but the crowd always selects the easier one. As the professional field of design explodes in size, it also rapidly devolves into the “lite” version of itself. 10
This is the purpose of professional organizations. They are given a state-sponsored monopoly in exchange for them policing themselves to stay on the tougher, more rigorous path. 11
The sputtering movement to create an organization of professional designers is in service of maintaining that upwards path in the nature of our practice, but it continues to sputter. Why? 12
The main reason it sputters is because so much of IxD is co-located with non-Ixd practice. IxD is taught in art schools, conflated with marketing, separated from field work, compelled to code, etc. 13
The rigor of a professional discipline takes just that: RIGOR. The endless whinging about what interaction design is, is the smoking gun that the IxD “discipline” lacks confidence, self-awareness, rigor, and a common syllabus. IOW, it isn’t a discipline yet. 14
For example, It makes me crazy when I hear wannabes say an interaction designer needs “empathy” but are silent on the topic of narrative. 15
Ditto when they talk about wireframe tools instead of user and scenario analysis. 16
Or training programs that emphasize catering to the needs of product managers instead of catering to the needs of users. 17
Easy always wins. In the short term.

Doing it the hard way is what moves the human race forward in the long term.
We are not going to ever have an organization of professional interaction designers until we, as a coherent community, decide to address the long-term, and eschew the quick and easy path. 19/
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