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arrow GenericUI
Style sheet and hundreds of design elements for serious data applications in a browser
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arrow Winning the Business Softwar
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Webware Design Roles

November 13, 2004

A no-fluff clarification of state-of-the-art information design tasks for busy people:

  • User Experience: A broader envelope, touted by some as encompassing everything listed here, but a more realistic definition might focus on the coordination between website and brick-and-mortar services.
  • User Interface Design:
    • Graphic Design: creating the art.
    • Interaction Design: deciding what gets clicked and what happens, what they see.
    • Information Architecture: choosing the critical language that breaks the subject matter up into pieces, and deciding what the pieces are. For an idea of what goes on in the strange mind of an IA-er, see Software Function Tree.
    • Text
      • Ad copy writing: composing words that compel people to buy.
      • Writing for the web: deciding which copy gets included where, what to make into links, and how to arrange it.
    • Usability:
      • Before Development: Document, train, promote, and build lofty goals into the tools, boilerplates, methods, and value system.
      • During Development: Insinuate usable design into project deliverables and collateral. Test with users.
      • After Development: Review the work and make recommendations to fix it. Test with users.
  • Content Technologist
  • Web Content Editing
    • Updating graphics.
    • Updating text.
    • Updating rich media (Flash, audio, other downloads).

* Although there are many multi-talented folks in the various information design roles, who can do graphic design and ad copy writing, these two tasks are the most likely to justify using folks who do it as their sole line of expertise. As you might imagine, graphic designers and copy writers who move into info design, are a notable exception.


"My interest in usability arose from the pain and tears of patching the wounds of suffering interface designs with the inadequate bandages of help files and user guides." — Daniel Cohen

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