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Interview: UXmagazine


Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

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UXmagazine is an Italian resource for User Experience lovers. It publishes monthly articles concerning a wide range of subject although the topic is always UX.
I believe this project is very interesting and professional, so I asked the editors to have a little chat and share with you this short interview. You’ll find some clever suggestions and thoughts.

DB: when do you had the idea to create UXmagazine and with which purpose?

UXmag: The idea of UXmagazine born in november 2008, aiming to create a channel of communication and insight for whom wants to get to know user experience in a simple way, through articles and a dedicated network.

DB: I know behind UXmagazine there’s Sketchin, a design studio focused on UX. Is this project helping you to grow in a cultural and professional level?

UXmag: right now we’re still in an initial stage where investments are greater then revenues as to human effort, but the magazine is giving us a chance to share ideas and experience with a lot of new people, and is also becoming a place where experts like to gather.

DB: you always feature high quality articles, maybe even more academic than on the easy-going style of blogs. Did you choose to adress an audience of UX professionals or do you think UXmagazine is also a good starting place for newbies?

UXmag: Actually we would love that print editions could be also a starting tool for whos not familiar with this subject.

we believe confrontation is at the very basis of new ideas and therefore innovation.

DB: I noticed you have lots of authors and you’re always open to contributions.Has it been difficult to “recruit” at first or did you get a lot of sponteneous enthusiasm from the community? Do you have any suggestion for whom would like to join now?

UXmag: UXmagazine it’s open to everyone, a bit like basecamp is, because we believe confrontation is at the very basis of new ideas and therefore innovation.That’s why we don’t accept only material from experts, but from anyone who wants to share a specific experience of use, a case study, something useful for the community, as well.

Recruiting authors hasn’t been difficult, many came spontanously, others that we thought could add interesting incentives at the community accepted our invite to join.

DB: I’ve got a feeling that agile design is something you truly believe in and want to promote. Am I right? Any suggestion for us?

UXmag: that’s actually our biggest challenge, we’re including it in all our internal projects and towards our clients.
We promote it because we’re testing its abilities daily and we know it adds a value in the dinamic and creative italian market. Moreover it has the potential to be replicable in many contexts.

DB: you showed interest towards government sites, suggesting even a series of articles on that. Right now, UK’s government issued a guide to use twiter for it’s workers.
Do you think institutions are finally taking seriously their web presence according to their recent interest in a decent esperience for users and a better understanding of communications through social media?

UXmag: there’s the opportunity but it’s not adopted yet in our market other than as a trend.
We think it’s important not only to give the tools to the user but also show which are positive and negative consequences this brings. Institutions need to understand languages and applications for a correct use in singular cases.

DB: in several articles (TagMyLagoon, Progettare Apps per Iphone, Mobile e Interazione Precarie) you spoke about mobile design an the application tht could come in this field. Do you consider “mobile” as the keyword for the future of internet?
How do you see user experience spread from the web to real spaces?

UXmag: yes, we believe the trend is increasingly towards mobile and we think at a future of adaptiv and iperlocal interfaces.
In the medium-long term a good share of the value generation online will go back to locale and not global. An iperlocal web would be a web tailored on the needs of a particular city where people, services, infos would be highly contextualized by place and time, giving the possibility to visualize contingent interfaces and infos with a high informative-level for the user.
Nevertheless the possibility for users to meet.
You can read about this also in Un Web Iper Locale è Possibile and in Strutture e Interface Adattive (slideshare).

UX is the sum of all the aspects of a service in use by a user. Therefore everyone who’s involved (marketing, design, communication, development) is doing UX

DB: UX is often misunderstood as a singular step in the design process while we know it’s more of a flow, a concept to consider and cover in every step of the project.
By your experience, today, how do behave singular professionals involved in a team regarding UX, giving everyone different task and background?
Has the culture of user experience been adopte in Italy?

UXmag: Unfortunately in Italy isn’t much clear that UX is the sum of all the aspects of a service in use by a user. Therefore everyone who’s involved (marketing, design, communication, development) is doing UX and should have some know-how of what he’s doing. That’s absolutely misunderstood in many european markets (and it’s actually what I talked about at EuroIA).

DB: On UXmagazine even if you’re focused on one subject you already covered many topics. There’s something you’re looking forward to write about?

UXmag: the integration between phisical/digital products and also the integration among digital/phisical architecture.
We’re open to submissions on these topics :)

DB: do you think to switch also to a printed version any time soon?

UXmag: we already two versions, one which is printable on Scribd and one printed on request that you can find on Lulu.

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DB: Are you satisfied with how the magazine grew till now? Do you have any surprise for the future?

UXmag: Yes actually, we’re very satisfied because we keep going and we constantly receive suggestions. Right now we’re trying to create something special that embraces both UXmagazine and UXconference.

DB: your last advices for the readers: a couple of books someone who starts to study UX should read? A couple of experts and inspiring people to follow online?

UXmag: as to inspiration we suggest Morville and Pabini, while Designing Web Navigation by James Kalbach, Usabilità dei Siti Web by Michele Visciola, Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen, and Designing Interfaces by Jennifer Tidwell are the book I recommend.

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