>> how many HEI's in the UK have positions directly responsible for improving the user experience
Judging by the lack of quality dialogue on the [log in to unmask] I'd say there aren't many of us! :)
While it's not my job title, this kind of thing is becoming my role - the percentage of time spent on it increasing year on year.
I've been writing about it (along with content management, stakeholder management, accessibility etc) for a few years now at:
I also presented at this year's IWMW, summarising my experiences in the field over the past few years:
>> having trouble persuading & educating budget holders?
In my opinion, you've got to talk about it, do it, report on it (particularly ROI) and talk about it some more.
It's always a battle, but I'm in a position now where projects I lead have UCD principles embedded into the process and bit-by-bit, people I've worked with in the past are coming back and asking for advice or resources so they can replicate in projects they're now doing independently.
A big part of this influencing is training. I've had Writing for the Web training in place at Edinburgh for 5 years now (1500+ attendees), UT training for about 4 (300+ attendees see feedback here: http://bit.ly/nQzZWC) and more recently have piloted prototyping and Google Analytics training. If you've got people on the ground convinced (and believing in your work) then sometimes it can be like pushing on an open door. Only sometimes, though!
University Website Programme
The University of Edinburgh
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From: Managing institutional Web services [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dan Jackson
Sent: 06 September 2012 09:50
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: UX & IA professionals in UK HE?
I'm wondering out loud how many HEI's in the UK have positions directly responsible for improving the user experience, interaction design and information architecture of their institutional web sites and web applications? A quick scan of the last 12 months' activity on this list, and a perusal of the web/digital jobs currently being advertised at jobs.ac.uk, shows the usual mix of adverts for web developers and web content editors, but nothing related to UX or IA.
This is in stark contrast to private sector companies, who are recruiting UX consultants like there's no tomorrow. If this is a true reflection of a lack of recruitment to these kinds of positions, is our sector blind to the criticality of these disciplines? Do we still put UX & interface design in the hands of developers? Or is it now common practice to outsource these activities to digital agencies? Or perhaps we expect our front-end developers to have cross-discipline skills (not always the case IMO)? Or maybe we all agree that this is vital, but are having trouble persuading & educating budget holders?
Would be very interested in any feedback - thanks!
Senior Web Architect
Information Services Division
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