The UX Card Sort
Having spoken to many people in various companies lately there seem to be huge differences in expectations and interpretations what the actual value and role is of these UX professions in the process of creating services for the web and computer applications. The labels we tend to use such as Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer, etc. seem to be filled in with different elements, actually causing more confusion as you think you mean the same but you don’t. Even the educational streams come from different backgrounds such as the Library Sciences, the IT side or Industrial Design, to name a few. This labeling thing is a bit of an old and ongoing, almost tiresome, discussion until the next fashionable label appears on the scene.
I think it is great to see so many disciplines taking an interest in the creation of usable and effective websites and applications we use each and every day. We all seem to be focused on the same thing, but the way we go about this and the knowledge we take to the job can vary tremendously.
I wanted to find out what are the common elements we all share and what are the differentiators? What better way to do this than a good old card sort? Instead of discussing what label suits us best to describe what we do, this card sort is based upon the elements ( deliverables/ knowledge / activities) that make up your UX job. Let’s see what clusters we can identify and go from there.
The card deck is made up of 53 cards and describe deliverables, knowledge domains and activities I identified from my own work and from discussions with other IA/UX colleagues (Thanks all for your input!). This closed card sort is not intended to be definitive but more indicative and I am sure it will raise more detailed questions.
The Card Sort is intended for anyone who calls himself an Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer, Web Designer or similar.