Compassionate user experience

Compassion is quite the eye-opener.

There is often bitterness in software development. It is not hard to see the tense relationships between developers and marketing, between users and customer support, between business and IT. When I entered the UX field nine years ago, I put myself in the interesting and strange position of being the intermediary, the emissary, in a protracted cold war.

By itself, UX is hard. There are many threads woven into the fabric of what we call User Experience. Information Architecture, derived from library sciences; Usability Engineering, which comes from the archetypal white-lab-coat scientific approach; Interaction Design, which borrows from anthropology; and Graphic Design, with its vibrant connection to culture and creativity. And the merging of these approaches brings with it some discomfort, as practitioners try to embrace tools and techniques from disciplines that have very different origins, and sometimes conflicting worldview.

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