A Call to Action for Responsible Human Experience Design

 

My name is Kim Krause Berg. The first website that I built, actually the first one was called Dancing Thunder’s Playground, and everybody thought that was a porn site, it was actually where I started to teach SEO. But in any case in 1996 I bought my very first domain and it was named after my car createpeace.com.

I built my career on that. In 1998 I launched a forums called Cre8asiteforums, and it survived for 20 years. I have worked in SEO, web design, information architecture, usability, accessibility, software testing, and everything in between. I have learned since the 1990s that what we are trying to do, or what I enjoy doing, is finding the synergy of those things, the big ball.

How do you put that together and create experiences on the web with our digital products that people find joy in using, not all this negative crap that’s going on right now. Our young people are committing suicide. Why? We need to find solutions. Something’s wrong. What are we doing wrong as the creators of this thing, of software and mobile apps and websites. We need to stop, we need to look, we need to talk about this. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is human experience design depends on people, testing with humans. I always say let your developers go outside and play with that thing their developing. Bring in people who are intended to use it. This is not happening, and I’ve been saying do this for years and years and years, and there’s a disconnect. We need to talk about that too. Your departments aren’t talking to each other and you’re rolling out products that are broken. They’re not working, or they only work for a teeny tiny number of people.

Human experience design is the direction that I’m going in now. It’s probably a culmination of years of auditing your products and reviewing your products and seeing all the mistakes that you are making. And I’m not a developer, I can’t cure every single problem that is going on because I can’t be doing that and learning how to be a developer at the same time.

Not being a developer has actually hurt my career, and we won’t even talk about that because it’s not a nice thing to be told that you’re not good enough, especially somebody who has been in the industry as long as I have. So I’m still going to find my way, the way that I think a lot of people are still doing, including those of us who were there in the very, very beginning. And there are some of us like me. I want to find you because something’s wrong and we need to fix it. Maybe it’s my own personal Woodstock. Let’s play some music and design some really good things.

Let’s design digital products that bring joy, and let’s stop all this division stuff. We’re people, we’re humans, we have a planet that we love, we have our families that we love. Take care of ourselves and support each other. We can do that through the web.

Some people know me as Cre8pc (Create Peace). There’s a reason for that. Thank you very much and have a great day.

Below is the video version of this post.