On to the more interesting reason to blog... Even though HCI is an interdisciplinary I often run into people studying in the field, regardless of background, who do not want to learn one of the knowledge sets critical to being a leader in the discipline. Whether it is a programmer not wanting to learn the psychological concepts involved in evaluating an interface, a designer not wanting to learn how to program, or a social scientist not wanting to learn the basics of design. While I think it is wrong to assume that any people will become an expert in all areas that make up HCI, I think at least a good understanding in each area is critical for one to learn and develop as both an academic and professional in the field. Part of my motivation behind the way I teach and have developed HCI 596 is that I see it as a class where students can develop (in a low risk environment) the skills and basic knowledge of an area they are less comfortable with while also creating portfolio material that shows off their core talents. For more on the blending of skills in HCI, see the article that inspired me posting about this today as it offers a nice point and counter point for building a generalist toolbox (it pays better, there are more jobs out there, but the counter point is that often companies expect more than they should without offering up the extra compensation).
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
New Blog Layout & Article of Interest
When I was meeting with Stephen Gilbert today, we were discussing how the posts have been very high quality so far (we've been enjoying reading them); however, it was rightly pointed out that the blog could use better tie-in with Iowa State's HCI program. I have borrowed the program's banner and renamed the blog to connect it to Iowa State. Thus, posts in this blog are not only helping to market your own skills and knowledge in HCI but also market Iowa State's HCI program as a whole.
Posted by Mike Oren at 8:11 PM