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Apr 14, 2002: You Heard it Here First

We're starting to see "findability" promoted as the goal of information architecture. So let me throw out this sub-meme and see if it sticks: findability engineer.

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Comment: ML (Apr 16, 2002)

Oh no! Please no more new titles... :)

I'll try telling folks at the Search Engine Meeting that I'm a findability engineer and watch their reaction...will report back tomorrow.

Comment: Lou (Apr 16, 2002)

Hehe. That will be fun I'm sure.

I wonder if there are some interesting parallels to usability engineering that this new moniker would expose?

Was usability engineering around for a while before taking on that name? And did the name afford that field some respect that it didn't have before?

Comment: Steve Mulder (Apr 17, 2002)

How about Findability Sherpa?

Comment: Paul Nattress (Apr 25, 2002)

Navigability Evangelist?

Comment: RuthK (May 6, 2002)

I think there's an historical relationship to cartography, which has always been a highly respected field. But I'm biased because that was my undergrad concentration. :)

Something to consider when looking for the roots of usabilty engineering is the popular world view of cultures throughout history. At various times, we have assumed that the Earth was flat and the center of the universe, later that parallel lines never meet, and most recently that *everything* is relative. In other words, world views evolve, and surely they differ among cultures. In my opinion, the terms 'usabilty' and 'user-centered design' are reflective of a contemporary world view that prioritizes the Individual -- a very Western and post-industrial age perspective. Just food for thought.


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