“On one end, we have the new vanguard of technocrats. They are adept at a new type of self indulgence dedicated to technique for its own sake. They develop for other developers, have little love for the end user, and use the latest gadgets regardless of whether or not it can be married with the content. These technocrats spend more time learning the latest techniques than interfacing with their viewers. They enjoy the process of interactive-publishing, as opposed to the end result. They don’t know how to empathize with the 14.4 baud masses. They would much rather argue about which computer brand they use than discuss the readability of non-embedded fonts.”

“On the other end are the established vanguard of traditional publishers. They are well trained in the basic art elements, but have yet to understand the essential advantage of dynamic information, both abstract and visual. They loathe the technocrat and view their upstart obsession with gadgetry as a symbol of their tastelessness. They fear code, and see it as an obstacle to pure art. They hire web artists at puny amounts of money because ‘no real designer works with less than 1 billion colors’.”

I wrote this back in 1994, but it’s surprising to see that many of the fundamental conflicts still exist.Where it plays out the most is between marketing and IT organizations with a corporation.

Cross-cultural communication is important here – IT organizations and Marketing groups have many of the same goals, but often speak very different languages.

In the end, a good user experience is rarely achieved by accident. The more planning, the more cross-cultural understanding that occurs, the better the chances are that the user will find what they should be finding in a truly intuitive manner.