Hi Web Geeks,
I left my IA/UX/UI job in Los Angeles to return to Albuquerque and start an art gallery about 6 months ago. Over dinner with some rad librarians last night, i kinda realized I missed nerding out about IA/UX/UI stuff. Anyone out there? Any IAI meetups I'm missing? Does this type of work actually happen out here, or is it more expected to be part of a developer/designer/project managers total package?
There are a handful of UX and HCI folks around. Stick with Chantal and FosterMilo for good connections. The Plone community is small but committed to usability. There are even a few people at Sandia working on UI and human cognition issues. It's not quite the desert you may have thought it to be.
Karl, your compliment is so kind. Thank you!
Welcome back, Jessica. You know, there are a handful of UI/UX people in town but your read is quite accurate: Most clients expect IA and usability work to be part of the overall package, if it exists at all. Like you, my business partner specialized in UI design in Chicago and studied HCI in undergrad but found that our local market requires a more generalist approach. Having said that, though, just last week my firm conducted extensive card-sorting exercises to inform the IA for a large local client. They had just as much fun as we did and they enjoyed learning about the process.
And at the Labs, at Karl mentioned, there's some specialized work being done. In fact, Sandia recently posted a UI Design Lead position worth taking a look at: http://groups.google.com/group/bostonchi-hot-jobs/browse_thread/thr...
Also, though the name might be misleading, the ABQ Adobe User's Group (Webuquerque) sometimes covers topics related to UI/UX: http://webuquerque.com/
Thanks Karl and Chantal!
I appreciate the info and the encouragement :) I'm still kind of a mid-level IA with 3 years of solid work experience on top of my MSI - not quite ready for the 10 years of HCI that the labs is looking for :) I'll keep my ear to the ground and attend some in-person events in the new year as I start looking for actual work outside of my gallery/business. Thanks for the info, and hope to hear from you on this message board in the future :)