Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sundial model of UX and IxD

The field of user experience (UX) and the activities of interaction design (IxD) are arranged here on a circular path reflecting the spectrum of product development activities, ranging from:

 Understanding –> Definition –> Communication

This sundial model was designed to show how the fields of user experience and the activities of the discipline of IxD (my professional specialty) operate around these three core skills. This model could serve as educational material for people outside the UX world, who might not understand the full breadth of fields that UX encompasses. Recruiters & hiring managers especially could use more accurate terminology to refer to the practices and skills involved in UX and IxD.

Additionally, with another layer of information overlaying these diagrams, the model serves as a way for people to represent their own level of expertise in the various fields & specialties. This would allow UX managers to assess people’s individual sundials and identify gaps in their team’s skills, for example. Not every practitioner should be expected necessarily to have full mastery of all their discipline’s skills, much less of all the fields of UX, in order to be a strong contributor to product development activities.

I welcome other’s contributions to flesh out the sundials for the other disciplines of UX! Additionally, it seems useful to create a higher-order model that shows how the fields of UX combine with the other professional fields such as Software Development and Product/Program Management to provide the complete picture of product & service development. The question for me stands whether these latter fields also operate on a spectrum of Understanding –> Definition –> Communication, or whether there’s another set of overarching skills. Perhaps the core skills abstract to: Analysis –> Definition –> Construction?