5-8 February 2014, Amsterdam

Questions for Dan Rosenberg

Daniel Rosenberg closes Friday with a keynote titled ‘The De-intellectualization of Design‘. We asked him three questions.

You will be speaking to an interaction design conference. So how would you introduce yourself to this community?

First, as a design optimist, who believes in the perpetual power of designers to improve the world. From global sustainability (my keynote at HCII 2009) to curing cancer the answer is within the hands of creative innovators, if we do the right things. Secondly, as a designer with substantial legacy of UX design patterns that have become ubiquitous in both enterprise and consumer products. And… lastly as an individual that has spent over three decades of his life dedicated to growing the UX community professionally, most recently in the area of corporate UX leadership.

What is the main topic, issue or challenge you have been working on recently?

I am always working on many different things at once so I don’t have a simple answer for this question. My most recent consulting projects are in the area of medical software, specifically one solution related to diabetes and another for cancer patient coordination. I will be including an example from the diabetes area in my keynote to illustrate one of my main points. I am also working on the reinvention of real estate sales on the web for another client. Real estate remains one of the few areas where the role of “agents” has not been dis-intermediated by the Internet.

Lastly, I have just launched a new forum for ACM interactions magazine that premiered in the January issue on the business leadership dimensions of UX. This of course involves a lot of writing as well as serving as forum editor for guest authors. Would you be interested in writing a guest column? I have one more slot to fill for 2014 magazine issues.

Can you share with us something about what your keynote will address?

My keynote will focus on the intersection of two topics I am passionate about both of which highlight the limitations and risks in current approaches to design education and UX practice as I observe them today. The first is dispelling several myths mischaracterizing the UX differences between enterprise solutions and consumer products. The secondary theme is how UX as profession is both accepting and facilitating the trend of deintellectualization in our practice and the risk this poses to our ability to successfully create new solutions, products & services.

In my opinion this trend also has the side effect of weakening our ability to function as design leaders within business. We are losing Chief Design Officer roles to recent MBA’s with specializations in design strategy, thereby allowing strategy to become totally decoupled from UX practice. I fear this is not a good recipe for the future though I know that at least one other keynote speaker that strongly disagrees with me on this topic. So… let the debate begin here : )

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