April 07, 2006

Jobs in experience design

Over the last couple of months I have attended "career days" events at two schools: Carnegie Mellon's School of Design, and UC Berkeley's School of Information.

It's a little weird going to these events, because Adaptive Path is typically much smaller than the other folks who show up (whether other design companies like Frog, or web companies like Ebay and Yahoo and Google).

One of the things that continues to puzzle me is why most of these companies want to put prospective candidates in a little box. Here was the extent of our table at the event:

It's too bad I didn't photograph other tables, laden with job descriptions with their bullet-pointed lists of qualifications and responsibilities.

The students at these schools typically have a range of skills across experience design and product development. In fact, one of the main draws of programs like CMU and Berkeley's iSchool is that it appeals to a multidisciplinary person. And these students are often frustrated during these events, because prospective employers want to put them in a box, and many tell the students that they have to choose what they want to focus on. So if you have skills in both design research and interaction design, you can only go with one or the other...

I know why these companies do it -- operationally and financially it makes things easier for the people running the company. But, it also exposes the plug-and-play mentality of these companies, that they really do see people as interchangeable cogs in their machines.

One of the things that GK and I agreed on is the foolishness of compartmentalizing skills into job titles. It's such a throwback to a older model of management, and it surprises me how otherwise leading edge companies continue to practice it.

And, really, it wouldn't take much to alter such systems to accommodate for multidisciplinary folks. Experience design and product development are such synthetic disciplines, and people practicing it inevitably have varied backgrounds, approaches, skills, and interests. To not acknowledge that; hell, to not embrace that is the height of foolishness.

Posted by peterme at 10:46 PM | TrackBack


See Me Travel
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
Archives from June 13, 2001 to January 2003
Archives from before June 13, 2001
Recent Entries
Jobs in experience design
Subscribe to my feed:
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2