Friday, August 29, 2003

Not-so-full Circle  Having had a good exchange with the legendary Alison J. Head about her great article on personas, I've been seriously wondering just where and how people are able to actually practice this craft (this craft being user-centered design, experience design, information architecture, whatever).
Certainly not in Central Virginia. Having decided to leave IconMedialab at the end of 2001, I thought somehow that my years of experience would stand me in good stead and propel me to bring the gospel to Richmond.
Alas, it was not meant to be. Instead of bringing the fledgling Sokohl & Associates to renown, I've retreated in my career to my humble beginnings—I've returned to technical writing.
It's a bit sad, really. I moved away from tech writing in the late '90s during my stint with mpct Software. Writing HTML-based help for a NeXT-based banking software system, I began applying stuff like Don Norman's affordances and Ginny Redish's user and task analysis. It was a great inspiration for me. Because of my move toward human-computer interaction, I got the job with IML.
More than two years later and with a bunch of experience such as SOS Children's Village, Siemens Medical, and other pitches and usability tests and heuristic reviews and such.

It was a great time, an inspiring time, and a fun time. When I returned, I thought my experience plus willingness to live out of a suitcase would raise my star in the contractors' heavens.
Doesn't seem to be working out that way, though. I grow old, I grow old....

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