I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today: Managing UX Debt
session / Jack Moffett
We take on financial debt to enable the purchase of a house, a car, or an education long before we can afford it. We do so assuming that we will be able to make good on the loan, paying it back over time. User Experience Debt is a very similar concept. Our products may acquire debt in the form of technical, functional, behavioral, and visual deficiencies through both responsible and irresponsible actions, and we must address that debt over time. If we don’t deal with UX debt successfully, we will eventually reach a state in which our products are so painful to use that even our existing customers will seek out better tools from our competitors. Stop writing I.O.U.’s to your users. Explore the 15 primary sources of UX debt, both intentional and unintentional, and learn how to identify debt in your products. Then put in place a process by which your team can classify existing debt, prioritize it, and address it. Finally, establish practices for avoiding UX debt in the future.
With a BFA in Graphic Design from West Virginia University and a Masters in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon, Jack has been designing web, desktop, and mobile applications for over 15 years. He has worked in both research and industry environments and has been teaching design part-time for a decade at WVU. As the manager of design at Inmedius, Jack directs a small team of interaction designers performing everything from initial user research and product conceptualization to front-end implementation and testing.
Jack has designed software tools for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Shell, DaimlerChrysler, Eaton, and many organizations within the U.S. military, including Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Naval Reactors, and NCIS. He is the author of Bridging UX and Web Development, co-founded IxDA Pittsburgh, chaired MWUX 15, and writes about design on designaday.tumblr.com.
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