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Jul 25, 2001: Vennting

My posting from July 19 (see below) seems to have actually elicited some lighthearted feedback at Elegant Hack and, to my surprise, a full-fledged and tastefully-rendered diagram from Jess McMullin. Short version below:

The detailed, much more interesting version is here.

Mind you, this is something of an indirect collaboration; Jess took my original posting, rendered it, and added some thoughts of his own, primarily in the "Skills and Roles" notes.

My original intent was a little different than Jess' interpretation. I wanted to encourage that we use the users/content/context categories to help us understand how our native disciplines fit into IA. We may come from a field that prepares us to deal with one of the three (our "majors"), and as we try to expand our IA expertise, we ideally will pick up skills from disciplines that fit in one of the other categories (our "minors").

This rudimentary gap analysis could be helpful in a few ways:

  • We'd have a better sense of what sort of educational opportunities to seek
  • We'd be more effective IAs
  • And we'd have better stories to tell employers in our cover letters
But in his diagram Jess has moved us away from disciplines and toward skills and roles, which is very interesting approach to take.

So, my questions: does either interpretation (disciplinary, skills/roles) of this Venn diagram speak to you? Could it be helpful to you in any way? Are there better models?

Let me know.

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Comment: Joop Laan (Sep 11, 2003)

Interesting piece. Though I always find the term "content" very confusing. I like to differentiate between: presentation, logic and data.

Presentation: the "look" in the term "look and feel".

Logic: content managment, formats, metadata, datamodel.

Data: the actual texts, images, ect.

The User Experience is formed by combining the three into one application.

See the posted URL for a picture of the model.

Best regards,


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