I am a bit curious about how´s the IxD scene in this area. That´s why I´ve decided to ask 5 short questions to relevant IxDers who work on Nordic countries.
The first one is Sergio Palomo, Spaniard with a strong background on Mobile IxD living in Helsinki.
Juan Leal (J.L.) Please, give us a short description about yourself.
Sergio Palomo (S.P.) I'm from Valencia where I studied Computer Engineering, and after my studies there I came to Finland to study Software Engineering. During those studies I was introduced to the field of Human Computer Interaction which resulted a fascinating area and which defined my professional career.
J.L. When did you start working as an IxD?
S.P. I had previous experience in web and multimedia design and development, but working as an IxD as such was in 2000 in Barcelona. I stayed there for two years when I decided to come back to Finland. Since then I've been working mostly with mobile devices and in the last year a bit more with multiplatform digital services.
J.L. We know what are the good things about this job but, what´s the worst thing about what you do?
S.P. Hmmm, good question. In general I just love it, but sometimes designers are in the middle of internal discussions which have to do more with politics than design. It is frustrating to deliver a design solution which goes straight to the trash bin not because the lack of quality but because some other issues.
J.L. Regarding your profession, what are the main differences about what you do here in Finland and the rest of Europe?
S.P. My experience outside Finland is limited to Spain, Germany and UK. In terms of tools and processes the differences have been minimum. The differences were maybe in the way those processes were conducted due to cultural differences. On one hand Finns are very pragmatic, and on the other they establish a clear line between professional and personal life. Both aspects result in love for well tought and reasonable plans and efficiency. Every extra minute you have to do at work is lived as a small failure. Of course this is not limited only to IxD but applies to whole society. For a stranger, this may look initially like a lack of commitment and coldness. In other countries, having long working days and endless discussions did not seem like an issue. Another difference is the amount of time and effort spent in educating clients and stakeholders and justifying tasks. This is not always blue sky, but normally almost everyone in the project is aware of the tasks, duties and value brought by an IxD, so she can focus on the design work.
J.L. How do you see the future of this profession?
S.P. To be honest, I do not have a clue. Lately I kind of share Moggridge's view. Some of the brightest IxDers I've been working with were Visual and Industrial designers who integrated the IxD knowledge and skills into their background. I think IxD is here to stay, but in the long term not as a separate discipline but as part of an integration of disciplines called digital design or similar. But, what do I know?. I am just a design worker! ;)
-- Thank you Sergio! (Next 5 questions pretty soon)