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UXPA 2013 (in DC)

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UXPA 2013 (in DC)

Posted by Keith Instone Instone at January 18. 2013

Here is the UXPA 2013 (DC) conference call for participation -

Collaboration - seems perfect for some UXRPI progress.

Lots of interesting formats -

  • Idea markets - generate more ideas on how to improve things
  • Ignite - a series of short talks, coming from many angles perhaps
  • Workshop - 3 hours to hammer out something specific maybe

And perhaps others.

I am planning on going to the conference, which means I am interested in submitting something about UXRPI. Anyone else? Collaborating with someone else is a lot more fun!


Re: UXPA 2013 (in DC)

Posted by Keith Instone Instone at February 02. 2013

I whipped together an Idea Market proposal and submitted it. Below are parts of what I submitted. Let's see if if flies!



User Experience Researcher & Practitioner Interaction: Ideas for Addressing the Challenges  



Idea Market



I have been one of the leaders of a recent thread of user experience community activities about improving the interaction between researchers and practitioners.


* CHI 2010 workshop on Researcher Practitioner Interaction

* IA Summit 2010 workshop on Bridging IA Research and Practice

* Internet User Experience 2010 panel

* Dayton World Usability Day 2010 keynote


See some of my summaries of the work to date.  



This is another event in a series that has explored the gaps in scientific research and user experience practice. Using the Idea Market format, supplemented with napkin drawing, we will explore researcher-practitioner interaction challenges. We will then focus on potential solutions, which might include ideas to improve communication, knowledge and education. The results of this sessions will be passed on to UXPA leadership (and the corresponding SIGCHI community) to be considered for improving future conferences, publications and other aspects of the profession.  



There is a gap between researchers (such as HCI researchers) and user experience practitioners. The gap causes research that is not relevant and practice that is not grounded. For user experience to advance as a discipline, we need to close some of these gaps. For example, user experience decisions should be based on scientific findings, instead of opinions whenever possible.


Some of the challenges:


* HCI research culture: Publish for researchers, not for practitioners; Expanding field; Status within academia.


* Research culture: “Publish or perish”; Answers narrow questions; Open sharing; Experimentation.


* UX practice culture: No time for “research”: good enough; Rapidly evolving practice; Status within corporations.


* Corporate culture: “Produce or perish”; Wants broad answers; Strategic advantage; Fear of failure.


* Communication: Little shared language; Speed-of-operation differences; Finding each other; Fragmented professional organizations; Mapping “research answers” and “practical questions”.


* Knowledge: No shared knowledge base; Hard to organize research for practical use; Multi/inter-disciplinary research & practice.


* Education: Hard to teach students when practice evolving quickly; Amateur practitioners; Economic model for training; Need more research into how to practice.


Various solutions to these challenges have been tried over the years, mostly unsuccessful. 


Don Norman proposes closing the gap with Translation Developers []:


Translational developers are needed who can mine the insights of researchers and hone them into practical, reliable and useful results. Similarly translational developers must help translate the problems and concerns of practice into the clear, need-based statements that can drive researchers to develop new insights. Neither direction of translation is easy.


Some of the solutions that are being tried:


* Usability Body of Knowledge (by UXPA)

* Adding "practitioner take-away" sections to (CHI) research papers

* Practitioner communities at research (CHI) conferences

* Publication opportunities for researchers at practitioner conferences (IA Summit)

* Research-based web design & usability guidelines

* HFI's "Putting Research into Practice" annual course


We need more ideas on for practical solutions. We need more energy and work to make the current solutions more effective.


People who are currently working on solutions to the gap will be invited. We also want "fresh blood" of new people to become engaged at this sessions. We will invite UXPA leaders (and other community leaders) to attend so they can hear the idea first hand.  



* Have attendees contribute their ideas on how to improve researcher - practitioner interaction: a chance to make the profession better


* Submit these ideas to UXPA and other leadership to start closing the research and practice gap in user experience  



Previous "napkin drawings" of the challenges and solutions have been done at the IA Summit, Internet User Experience and World Usability Day (Dayton). Each time we learn something different.  





What should we as a profession be doing to close researcher / practitioner gaps?  



Although there are some aspects of the researcher-practitioner gap that are probably too large to make progress on here (such as research & corporate culture), we can bridge the gap with communication, knowledge and education efforts. Several ideas have been proposed and tried: we need more ideas and more people willing to invest time and effort to trying out these ideas. We need our professional organizations to tackle these challenges.  



If you are a user experience practitioner, what types of challenges do you face often that you wish you had a "scientific" answer to? 


What things have helped you as a practitioner understand research better?


If you are a researcher, what is the value in engaging with practitioners? 


Do you have any examples of success stories, where your research got better because of interactions you had with practitioners?


What should students of HCI, interaction design and other user experience disciplines be taught about research to better prepare themselves for the practitioner world?



A summary of the challenges and solutions will compiled (much like past napkin-drawing sessions have been summarized) by a core set of participants. They will also draw out key recommendations: specific things UXPA (and perhaps SIGCHI and others) can do to implement the solutions proposed at the Idea Market.

Re: UXPA 2013 (in DC)

Posted by Keith Instone Instone at December 23. 2013
And here is the recap of the idea market:
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