User Experience in the Real World

I’ve just been mailed by a company called Zetetic about their mobile password storage application called Strip.

Zetetic are interesting in that they are a small, cutting-edge software development house specialising in RoR and .NET. They appear to be principally a consultancy, but also develop and and sell their own applications. This is very similar to that other noo-tech (and intensely American) poster child, 37Signals.

Have a look at  Zetetic’s about page. What (to me) is also immediately interesting is that there is nobody on the team who is putting their hand up for user experience.  Both of the developers also have the word “senior” in their title, as if that meant anything in this context (the only other people in the company are the founder and a support hand). But I’ll let that go.

So what does the apparent absence of any experience design or IA responsibility mean? I see three possibilities:

1. They are not interested in it. They design for themselves. Alan Cooper never happened.

2. They are all dedicated to UX, and don’t see the need to even state this as it’s so damn obvious. With the Apple Human Interface Guidelines at their disposal, how can they go wrong?

3. They can’t pay for a dedicated UX person.

I’m tempted to go for 3 (or possibly even 1) given the fact that the only way of telling that Strip is an iPhone app is by inferring this from their links to the Apple Store. But perhaps that says more about the power Cupertino brainwashing than anything else.

So I’m filing this under “interesting” for now.