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Chapter 12. Desperately Seeking Usability > Multidisciplinary Teams

Multidisciplinary Teams

The software engineer's resistance to letting anything upset the familiar sequence of events in the development process has led to a lot of tortuous logic on the part of the design community. One widely proposed solution has interaction designed by teams with representatives from many different disciplines.

The hypothesis is that better results can be obtained by working in a team with equal representation from users, programmers, managers, marketers, and usability professionals. In my experience, this “seat at the table” doesn't work. The goals and concerns of the members diverge, and the one constituent whose goals are most relevant—the user—is often the poorest equipped to articulate his concern. What's worse, the programmers—who always have ultimate control over the software-based artifact anyway—inevitably drive the team, usually from the back seat.


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