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The Lightbulb

. Pete

How many UXAs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Wisdom from various places around the web, none written by me:

“1,000. 1 to screw it in and the rest to argue about what a ‘light bulb’ really represents, what is meant by ‘screwing it in’ and to DTDT.”

“ 1 person to conduct an ethnographic study how people currently change light bulbs 1 person to conduct a card-sorting exercise around the different types of light bulbs 1 person to draw a storyboard of the light bulb user journey 2 persons to moderate & take notes for a usability test of changing light bulbs 1 user test participant to actually change the lightbulb “

“Why are we assuming screwing in the light bulb is the right answer? Let's do some studies to see if we can redefine the process of changing light bulbs, or of gathering light altogether”

" ‘How many would you expect it to take?’ asked the UX expert”

“None. That's a development / engineering problem.”

“It depends.”

And my favorite-

“Well, define ‘lightbulb...’

UXAs can be kind of silly. But the job itself can be amazing, sometimes.

I have a few guesses as to how people here see UXAs ( heh ) But this came up recently, in an interview. The person I was interviewing asked about the various roles we have here. I have a stock answer for this question, but in the heat of the moment inspiration took me, and I put out something like this:

“What we do here is part science, but also part art. I’m probably not doing either term much justice... but it seems like it breaks down this way: Product Managers can be muses, the sources of inspiration, when things go well. UXAs and Taxonomists are like composers, hearing the music of a design in their heads, and they’re the first ones to actually write the notes down onto paper, to give it any form at all that can be acted upon. Then we walk that music through... The Creatives, Copywriters, and Developers are musicians, taking the basic music as we write it and giving it color, sound, and light. They riff on it, improvise on our original thoughts so that the whole thing is greater than the sum of its parts. The Project Managers are maestros, conductors guiding us all.”

Of course the interviewee looked at me like I was crazy. I get that, now and then. : )

My question... What’s your role in all of this, and how do you see it? When your own particular lightbulb goes on, how do you express it to the world?

Extra credit for how you see the other roles in our little Keebler Tree.

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