Date: January 21, 1998
David Churchill — Director of Marketing Design, Service & Test Business Unit, Tektronix, Inc.

The ability to design a good User Interface is finally gaining recognition as a product development core competency. But products are still released only to receive immediate criticism for their poor interface designs. Many times this is a direct result of incomplete definition and lack of understanding between the project engineering and UI teams. To compound the problem, many engineering people are little experienced with the issues of UI design and have limited sensitivity to the trade offs involved in creating a great UI.

Determining how to meet both the expectations of the engineering team, while maintaining the functionality of the UI and fulfilling customers’ needs, presents the greatest challenge for a UI team.

I would like to talk about an up-front phase of the product development process in which the whole project team develops a clear list of deliverables, expectations, and critical requirements, and resolves conflicts of engineering and UI concerns in complementary and supportive ways.