UX & the Big Blue

Saw over at Core 77 today the news that IBM is going to invest $100M in 10 different cities around the world, hiring 1000 employees. First off IBM, what’s with the powers of ten in the press releases? Could we state that each employee make $100,000 in salary? Nonetheless, it signals a great nod to the profession as a whole, given Big Blue isn’t really known for this generation’s usability. IBM was likely steeped in traditional HCI research long ago when it was more heavily invested in hardware, but other than their cloud service offerings, I can’t think of a single customer-facing product that I’ve come across from IBM in years. This is likely my limited scope of only using Snapchat and UberFacts for all my productivity needs.

Yet, initial poking around some of their research offerings provides some interesting concepts like Life Event Detection, Behavioral Pricing and Psycholinguistic Analytics. If you’re looking for a dedicated business services consulting team of Psycholinguistic Analysts, look no further than IBM.

So, thanks IBM! We here in the UX industry support your driving up the demand for researchers, designers and other practitioners. But no San Francisco / Silicon Valley as a center of research? With this earmarked $100M, I suggest that you invest in less scroll areas for your Interactive Experience department homepage.

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