Thursday, November 04, 2010

UX becomes a genuine layer, not a tarpaulin

This is consistent with the message and direction our teams at Adobe are working on. As Erik Larson, a colleague in product management that is driving a lot of this hints at in the post (after the link) we have already started to deliver solutions and consulting/partner-lead projects that prove out the benefit of a true layer and our architecture is increasingly reflective of this.

Amplify’d from

In the last few years, many teams have learned a new attitude. Instead of treating UX as a tarpaulin, thrown over the application to clumsily hold it all together, UX is as much a part of the system as the technical architecture or the application logic.

In fact, the newly-discovered appreciation for UX has proceeded far enough that it's time to start treating UX as its own application layer. That's what Erik Larson of Adobe argued at a discussion between Adobe and industry analysts about a month ago. Larson's basic point was that UX is an intrinsic part of the application, not an extrinsic afterthought. It not only defines the face of the application that the user sees, but it also may include the sensors that detect and record how that person uses the application. (That actually sounds like two layers, not one, but there's no need to split hairs just yet.)

Traditionally, measuring usage was something that IT departments did – and not as frequently as they should– to gauge the return on their technology investment. Now, with the advent of SaaS, actual usage is a powerful business imperative for both customers and vendors. Customers still want to measure the return on their investment, measured in number of active licenses and other obvious statistics. Vendors, too, want to calculate the value of their investments, measured by the number of users who have accessed new features or the percentage of trial users who become paying customers.


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