At the same time and, in part, because of this competition, many of these professional associations are struggling.
What is needed to improve the situation? Increased sharing of resources among UX-related professional associations? More conferences like DUX 2003 and DUX 2005, targeted more directly at the UX practitioner and the joint-product of multiple UX-related professional associations? Development of new, better-targeted professional associations and/or a redefinition of the focus of some of those which exist? Creation of new professional association memberships that are comprised of products and services from multiple associations? Development of a new organization -- think UXnet -- designed to enable increased collaboration and coordination among existing professional associations?
Just prior to CHI 2005 in April in Portland Oregon, I'll be convening a two-day consortium focused on developing answers to these and related questions. Among the expected participants are leaders of many of these professional associations.
The goals of the consortium are to:
- develop a deeper understanding of the situation and barriers to improving it;
- examine a mix of potential or partial solutions that have been or are being attempted, or are being considered;
- examine a mix of (partial) solutions developed for similar problems in other domains;
- generate new ideas for improving the situation;
- establish relationships and a roadmap to facilitate problem solution.