RE: To XML or to UI

Subject: RE: To XML or to UI
From: "Lathrop, Sarah" <Sarah -dot- Lathrop -at- citigroupfundservices -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <JPosada -at- isogon -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:32:14 -0500


I haven't taken Alan Cooper's course but I have taken a week-long course with Larry Constantine & Lucy Lockwood ( At the time I took it, my company was starting a huge software development project. I learned a lot at the training but it is a methodology has to involve everyone on the project development team. Unfortunately I didn't have that kind of support and it was almost impossible to implement what I had learned because no one else understood what I was doing. I have read Alan Cooper's book "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" and know that the same is true of his approach. Both methodologies require that the company change the software development process and make UI a prime focus from day one. Both methodologies require that all members of the team understand the process because they will be involved in ways that are new and different.

I also attended a seminar with Constantine & Lockwood where they brought together numerous UI professionals who gave talks and presentations. During a panel discussion, the question came up about which idea they had "borrowed" from another UI professional. Almost all of them mentioned Alan Cooper's ideas of personas.

If your boss is willing (and in a position to) make changes to the development cycle and is committed to improving the UI of your products, then I would say go for the Cooper training and support him in this. Of course, if he is just a seminar junkie who loves to learn about what's popular but never implements anything (i.e. does the hard work), then go with whatever you think will grow you the most.


John wrote:

Hi, guys...I preparing to enroll in a four-day training program on XML.
As I'm talking to my boss about it, he mentions that he's going to be
attending the 4 day Interaction Design Practicum at Cooper U in SF:

"Our 4-day Interaction Design Practicum is our foundation course. It
covers design principles and patterns, specifications, research, persona
creation, requirements definition, interaction framework definition, and
scenario-driven iteration."

He asks me if I also want to go. The kicker is that my budget for the
year won't allow both, so if I want to go to the Cooper UI training, I'd
have to blow off the XML training. What to do...

What would YOU do? Personally, I'm still leaning toward the XML
training, but I want to make sure I'm not missing a golden,
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Anyone go through the Cooper program and did it help them to be a better
technical writer?

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