One of my most favoritest and talented co-workers, Leah Buley, just interviewed me for the talk she will be giving at UX Week next month. She is revising her talk, "A User Experience Team of One," which was a smash hit at the IA Summit this past April.
During the interview Leah asked me an interesting question. She asked what it was about user experience that got me into this business in the first place. I think it all goes back to my days when I worked as a page at the CH Booth Library in Newtown, CT. I love hooking people up with the information they are looking for. It's the best part of customer service. I love being able to take an often amorphous need and translate it in to resources that directly solve it. And I love the smiles and how happy folks are when they get their questions answered.
If you look at my career as an information architect, it becomes clear that this is a driving force to most of my projects. Whether it's specs on how enterprise software functions or the address of a local dry cleaner or details for treatment of medical condition, it all boils down to essentially the same thing. Solving that information need.
I want people to have the best time while they are filling that need. And I love that "best" means different things in different situations. It might be speed, maybe it's via an entertaining way. Perhaps it's just being authoritative and all inclusive. Making the systems and designing the structures so information is the most findable and usable is just plan fun for me.
Thanks Leah for helping me articulate that. It's good to be reminded just how much you love what it is that you do.