UX Lisbon: Jakob Nielsen

by May 16, 2010

At the User Experience Lisbon (UXLX) conference in Portugal, Jakob Nielsen shared his ideas on the future of the user experience profession in a short video interview. Here's my notes from his session:

  • The usability profession has two concurrent paths: a circular renewal and a more linear path.
  • Circular renewal: the usability practice started with software applications and physical interfaces. Now we have come full circle. We are once again focusing on applications and physical devices.
  • Linear path: there used to be just a few people practicing usability. Now, there is serious business attention paid to user experience. Design used to be done as a side effect of implementation by programmers. Now we have tens of thousands of professionals doing research and design. The growth has been immense -a factor of a thousand in 25 years.
  • This linear growth will continue for some time. The differentiating factor between products will be user experience. Usability is more business critical because it is product first, payment second. This is the opposite of what happened before.
  • The field will be a hundred times bigger in the future. The magnitude of websites creates more opportunity.
  • Teams should do a lot of their own usability testing. There will not be enough full time professionals to cover 300 million websites and several hundred thousand applications.