I want to research and write a history of the user experience field in Southeast Michigan. I think the heart of this effort will be, unsurprisingly, research. Other than poking around in organizations’ websites, I think the heart of this research effort will be interviewing people that were involved in our history.
I’ve been thinking a bit about how to organize the history when I sit down and writing. Obviously, this is all subject to change as I learn more, but roughly, here’s what I think:
- The early days of Southeast Michigan UX – TecEd and the auto industry (maybe all of time before 1996?)
- The time period when the University of Michigan School of Information is reorganized to include the Human-Computer Interaction discipline and the invention of the information science flavored Information Architecture (1996 – 2003ish)
- The era of active chapters of UPA and CHI and other organizations like IXDA and UX Network, and the growth of more academic programs in the area at WCC and MSU (2003-2010ish… I’m not sure where exactly to put the boundaries of this time period, and there may be enough going on here that it’s worth cutting up further)
- A flowering of new organizations, while older chapters diminish (2010 – today)
That third part in particular has a lot going on, so it’s ripe for subdivision. It’s also worth noting that this division is chronological, but it may make more sense to slice up the material by themes or to follow particular threads. My concern is that simply covering everything year by year would just result in a jumbled-up timeline.