If it seems like I’ve spent too much time on this: I haven’t. User interface, or UX, is now the key differentiator between cars. [It] used to be you bought one car over another because of ride or handling or engine refinement or efficiency. All that stuff has been evened out. Everything’s the same these days. Ten years ago people were trading in their cars left and right just to get bluetooth and then it was nav and carplay. But I’m not talking about that. These days every one of a car’s functions, including HVAC and lighting is integrated into its infotainment UX and this UX is so bad that it makes you ask did anyone bother testing this in the real world?
Dr Lesley Seebeck on fire in InnovationAus. She’s writing about government but this applies to all large bureaucratic organisations.
A fundamental lesson of running a technology shop is that most apparently technical faults aren’t technical in nature but organisational.
A ‘technical failure’, for example, may expose how after a reorganisation, no-one had assumed responsibility for backing up key systems, or that a long-departed contractor had hard-coded passwords.
And the deficit is on the tech side and the policy side.
“Twenty years of outsourcing, combined with a continued erosion of public service knowledge and rapid technological change” means that government is just bad at doing tech.
But more ‘techies’ alone won’t help much. Technologists need to be exposed to the complexity of policy and delivery; policy and program managers need to understand the nature, opportunities, constraints, and weaknesses of technology.
Ministers, too, have a responsibility to be much more familiar with technology than they are now. They need to learn to avoid optimism bias, be wary of vendor promises, and be willing to listen to the practicalities of complex design and implementation.
Given the fusing of policy, programs and technology, government needs an appropriate means of oversight—one that has a good grasp of technology and the economic, societal, and national security implications in design, implementation, and operation.
The mission today is simple: As Google Docs did for word processing and GitHub for code, so Figma is doing for design. “The entire economy is going from physical to digital, and design is just the latest chapter,” Field says. “And design is a team sport—it’s collaborative by nature.”
– Alex Konrad in Forbes: How Figma Became Design’s Hottest Startup, Valued At $10 Billion
“Design” as a short-hand for UI design is always irritating, and this also ignores service design etc.