Most of you already know I have strong ties with IDSA and as a Moderator also have strong ties to Core 77. This the below comment is not meant as an “either/or” suggestion.
I just went to idsa.org to take a quick look at if any changes have occurred. I along with many of you have been driven crazy by claims that things will improve, but never feeling that it did, at least to the outside observer. I have to say that I was amazed today with the amount of content that has been added to the site. yes you have the twitter feed and the different sizes depending on how often they show up in searches. All very nice and webby. But then I went to the eight buttons about a quarter of the way down the page. The button titles are:
Design In… Galleries
Education Paper Galleries
Design of the Decade Galleries
Women in Design Galleries
Design History Galleries
I was impressed with the content I saw in these sections.
While many people don’t like the look or navigation (and of course, show a time when all designers agree) but I do think kudos have to go out to the IDSA Staff and members for showing me that content is there and building.
There are 8 boxes, 4 of them are illustrations (bad ones), 2 of them are photos, 2 of them are graphics. Make it all the same.
The rest of the page is still highly fragmented, lots going on everywhere. Bad graphical form as well.
Of the 8 sections:
IDEA Galleries: don’t care much
Interviews: don’t feel like IDSA is the best source… not that many interviews up
Design In Gallery: again, why is the IDSA the trusted source for what is going on in a region? When I click the link for SF the content is rudimentary.
Videos: why aren’t these in the interviews section? Make it interviews and talks?
Women in Design: one of the most robust sections, some are deserving, some are not.
The Design History section reads more like a “Men in Design” section. Why not integrate them. Why is it more about people when it should be more about milestones? Designs.
Educational papers. I clicked it then closed the window. Should read more like a blog, or at least allow you to sort or something perhaps.
Tim- Thanks for posting. Like you I have had passion for IDSA and what it could be. My problem is that I have come very close to completely loosing that passion.
The problems with IDSA are much larger than just a website. There is a deep issue with the reason for being for IDSA. I still question why we have it. What is it bringing to us? I know the answers that most of the IDSA vets and that is going to be that it is the “foot on the ground organization”, I get Catalyst case studies, IDEA award, and sections. This isn’t good enough for me.
I won’t go through my thoughts on the above as I do not want to turn this into an IDSA bitch thread. If IDSA wants to draw designers to their site the same as Core77 or the above mentioned by YO they need to fix the bigger issues first. They have to give us an organization that we all are proud to be a part of. If not no matter how great the website is, it will get little traffic.
I don’t think IDSA should want to draw designers to their site in the same way as Core77. In fact I think IDSA draws more businesses trying to figure out what ID is to it’s site versus Core77. It is a conduit for those outside the profession to understand us better. Core77. is kind of our clubhouse. It is where we can talk to ourselves. The IDSA web site also seems to be to building a platform where academia and business can better connect on content.
As I mentioned above I am involved in both and honestly want them to remain separate in their goals and visions. I am glad they work together but having multiple methods of connection and involvement will ultimately help the profession. Again, this is not an us versus them topic.
As an analogy, since moving back to the US I watch many international news channels to figure out the real story versus relying on one voice as I have recognized that any single voice is slanted in one way. Having multiple voices allows you to figure out where what is really going on. Same with ID, I belong to IDSA, am switching from DMI to PDMA, am involved at Core77 and at multiple groups at LinkedIn, look at more than ninety bookmarked links to design topic and design organizations around the world. I don’t want my information to come from one place. History has proved what that gets you.
The problem with IDSA is that they do not follow their own objective. Tim and the idsa.org mission statement agree -
The Industrial Designers Society of America promotes the practice and education of Industrial Design.
Except that site has little or nothing to do with promoting ID to people who don’t know about ID. History of design? Design interviews? Those are not focused for people outside of design. What does the history of design have to do with a company needing a design service? Sure I could make an indirect connection, but there is no direct correlation between some vague history of design and discovering the needs of a customer. If they want to promote ID to outsiders, they need a better delivery that appeals to outsiders.
It seems to me, site is trying to appeal to designers, which is in direct conflict of their mission. But let’s look at the site’s appeal to designers. In that case, I also find the content to be lacking. WIFM. What’s in it for me. This site has none of that. Sure, there are a few papers and interviews of thought-leaders pontificating about design. And I could even think of that as a nice feature but what is the benefit? What methodologies are shared to grow my consultancy or help me branch out into other sub-specialties? What are you doing to get the best and brightest students into the profession? What does IDSA offer that I can bring to my company to increase profit? How is IDSA making me the hero?
I don’t see it. And in my opinion, if they don’t make me see it soon, IDSA will go the way of the dinosaur.
Also, is it just me or is the site incredibly slow?
The thing is Tim, I also like getting my design news from different sources, and the sources tend to align on the IDSA. If IDSA is about communicating to business, the site should reflect that, the conferences should reflect that. Instead we have a bunch of regional conferences at schools mainly attended by students. Last time I was at a national, I don’t recall any CEOs strolling the halls. Many of us on the professional side have daily SVP or C level contact at our companies or with our clients. Not once has one of them mentioned outreach from the IDSA or learning about ID through the IDSA… I have had several contacts based on the Steve Jobs book. That one guy did more in terms of business awareness for ID.
Also, you didn’t respond to my feedback on the site itself. At least just make it clean. The frog site is not super fancy by any means, but it is clean and highlights the content. We do have a lot of clients as regular readers of our media platform:
For the record, I belong to several professional organizations, mostly medical. I do it for the connections to potential clients and continuing education to an always moving marketplace. But 100% of the organizations exist to directly benefit their members. This is done mostly as acting as a knowledge resource and offering that knowledge to members so they can increase their value. Sure, they promote their profession, an indirect benefit, but at best, it is a secondary concern. RSNA does not exist to get patients to go see the radiologist, it is a place where a radiologist stays on the cutting edge of the field.
As yo points out, I have never gotten a referral from IDSA. If I want promotion, I’ll go to a PR firm or an agency. I’d get a greater ROI out of IDSA if they were the experts in the field of ID instead of promoting ID. Except they are not experts and I have more effective places to use my limited resources.
First I want to throw out there that Tim I applaud you for bringing this up. We have invited numerous IDSA members/staff to join in these conversations but only you and Warren will join us.
I think this is what starts my frustration with IDSA. I see a very big lack of acknowledgment into what we the designers feel are the problems. We have laid them out many times here in these forum. I have personally tried to get involved and tried to create a section and found that there is no interest in one of the biggest area of ID packaging/pop. I went to a town hall meeting at IDSANYC at the end of the year to discuss plans for the new year and only 4 people showed up. 4 PEOPLE!!! All officers and me! That is sad. How is it that on one of the largest cities for ID only 4 people show up for a year planning meeting. This is an even that everyone should be at. I walked out deflated as I voiced my opinion and was told that we got discounts on zip car other discounts and then discussed the Christmas party. This is crap I don’t care about. That is not value. I ask how do you make me come from Hackettstown NJ to NYC (45 miles) to mingle and want to be at your meetings? Right now there is no answer to that.
I said I was not going to turn this into a bitch thread, but I can’t do this anymore. I believe that IDSA could be great, but it is going to take a tone of work.
Edit: I would love to see IDSA run a bitch session for us to all come out in each region an voice why we all feel they are not living up to the expectations. I think they would learn a lot from our candid feedback.
I’m willing to discuss creating a new organization that fits the needs of Industrial Designers in the USA and/or the World, in a democratic fashion with the focus on “promoting the practice and education of Industrial Design”.
All the core77 veterans are chiming in here I see…
If you love reading, then the new IDSA site is for you. If you are a modern media consumer, then you need to have a charismatic talking head delivering the content to you (i.e. video) The site makes this difficult to access. They need to have relevant people’s faces as a link click to other content in order to be engaging.
By using the word “Gallery” or “Galleries” they immediately turn off a large portion of their potential viewing audience. Galleries are associated with the Art world and not part of the new globalized world of design. Design’s value is now networked and delivered via many sources at TimF suggests, not contained in a static gallery.
I am not a twitter user, but I understand how others find value in it. IDSA does try to be inclusive of the younger generation of designers, but that is as far as it goes. Downloading and reading an education paper is NOT like using twitter. Generating twitter content related to education papers, now that is what needs to be done. Some would call this gaming the system artificially, but it is the way it is done today to drive traffic and everybody knows this.
IDSA (in the first 30 seconds of viewing) should be more than showing links to a historical collection of design evolution (and members mugs). It needs to be a place where people of all sorts can come to discuss and interact. This site is is not that at all. Social networking today puts value on the “now” and “the empirical” rather than past history. Don’t misunderstand me, history is important, but what people are talking about right now takes precedence. Let the histories of awards, papers and female designer interests take a lower visual priority to what is being discussed today, right now. The video “gallery” page should be in the first second of interaction.
Always appreciate the reductionist comments Yo!..so very froggy
As a dues-paying IDSA member, I would like to see more focus in the website. Innovation is a great rag, why can’t we get the site right?
Maybe the front page should be just information on how to find a good industrial designer, how to recognize a good industrial designer and the different flavors of ID. Then you hit a button to access all the more member-oriented content.
I don’t mind some of the stuff. After all, someone must have petitioned to start up a history section, etc. It’s only right that they have contributions that are accessible through the website.
Something else cool would be for IDSA to sign an agreement with Core to make the Core Boards the official IDSA discussion boards, warts and all.