You the User
You the User

a little writing, a little code, a little design

AX: Agent Experience Data log #1

connected things
, notebook on 19 March 2012

“Everything new and more complicated under the sun”

The user centred web designer had done all the training, read all the books, subscribed to all the important blogs and feeds, followed all the sages and wise and clever heads, rubbed shoulders with them at all the important places, attended all the conferences, subscribed to all the podcasts, done everything he was supposed to do. He was up to date. He was confident. Even his opinion was sought.

He had a good job in a cool User Experience Design Agency in a bustling town next to the river. The nice white converted warehouse office was full of other cool, happy designers and other assorted types. They all loved their jobs – ’the best in the world’. They did good work. They worked hard. They cared. Everyone knew they cared. They wanted everyone to know they cared. Everyone did know. They thought they were best practice and so did the user centred web designer.

But unfortunately he was in for a bit of a surprise.

Things were changing, in fact had been changing for quite a while. He had begun to notice as if out of the corner of his eye that things weren’t quite as they seemed anymore. Things seemed to scurry about in the periphery of his work. Things didn’t sit still. Not quite what he was told, what he’d always been led to believe, what he’d read, what he was taught. He felt rather uncomfortable. Ill at ease. Strange goings on in his job. The way he did his job. The people he was supposed to be designing for. He wasn’t quite sure who they were anymore. In fact, he wasn’t quite sure what they were. Where they came from, what they wanted, where they might be going. Things were getting way more complicated than he’d ever been led to believe. Weird things were happening. Things he hadn’t forseen.

The clients continued to request things in the accepted way. No real change. Asking for the same type of stuff. Similar types of guidelines were coming through but it was as though something had shifted. Was out of line. It had started to erode his confidence in his work, who it was for and who might use it. Only slightly but enough.

He felt it was still early days. Time for him to get on top of things. To understand exactly what was going on. Exactly how things were changing. But he realised that he had to start doing it now and he was going to need to learn what was changing. They never told him it was going to be this complicated.


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