The NJUX meeting was a great event. Thanks to everyone who turned out! A big lesson learned is that South Orange may not be the most ideal location to get to. We'll need to figure out a new location when the time is right.
There was some really meaningful dialog about just what a "User Experience" group should focus on. The consensus seemed to be that User Experience (especially in the Enterprise) is still in its infancy. So that will bring some challenges to the group. Some of the ideas that came from the meeting follow;
The presentations (at least for the first year) should be at Level 200 (aka introductory).
There will be a lot of UX news coming out of the upcoming Mix '07 Conference in May. This will give us plenty to cover as we kick off the group in a more formal meeting location. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MIX, IT IS GOING TO ROCK!
The overarching message for the group will focus on designers and developers working closely together. Similar to Agile's paired programming I think we have to realize that the User Experience isn't a singular responsibility. Better User Experiences will come from collaborative work between the developer and designer. A major challenge for us is to figure out how to get the designer community to come out and join the group. If anybody has any recommendations please post them here or e-mail me through this blog.
A really great discussion we had Thursday night is about how to make the User Experience relevant in back office Enterprise applications. The challenge for the design & development community is to show stake holders that a significant ROI may be appreciated by well designed back office applications as well as customer facing ones. And as someone had pointed out just putting a pretty UI on a terrible application will not make the application any better. So as User Experience creators we need to challenge ourselves not to masquerade crappy architectural practices with pretty UIs.
NJUX will take a pause while we watch for the news from Mix 07 and watch Adobe’s Apollo mature (still in Alpha release). Then we will plan and collaborate to put together some great content that will get folks excited about UX technologies.
Who knows, we may even look to host some sort of kick-off event to show off some of the best stuff from Mix. The event will embody the true spirit and purpose of NJUX.
Keep watching this blog for more on NJUX!