Way back before Twitter was a thing, there was a neat little mailing list for the IxDG. No, that’s not a typo. It was the Interaction Design Group before it became the official association we know and love. The mailing list had to have been one of the most successful discussion groups of its day. Its participants were very active. Against all odds, discussions were relevant, intelligent, and while some were heated, trolling was almost nonexistent. True friendships and professional partnerships were birthed from it. Then the organization got serious.
The IxDA decided to launch a new platform, replacing the aging forum with a robust discussion board befitting members of our profession. There were grand ideas and a lot of heart, but the result fell short. There were a lot of technical issues. The platform switch, the rise of blogging, Twitter, and other channels, and a huge influx of new members all created a situation that saw participation in the IxDA discussions drop off significantly. Where I was once getting around 100 posts a day sent to my inbox, the torrent reduced to a trickle. For years now, the forum has been a pale ghost of its former vibrancy.
But it doesn’t want to go on the cart! This week, a brand new discussion board has launched, and it looks promising. The visual design is appealing, it’s mobile friendly, and it has the bells and whistles one would expect of a contemporary web application. A few of us have already started some new discussions. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of trying to follow threads through tweets—some by those I follow and some by those I don’t—and worse, trying to express my own view in so few characters. I pine for the rich, deep, debates we used to have about design theory, craft, and yes, even defining the damn thing. Won’t you join us?
By the way, the IxDA discussion archives, dating all the way back to October of 2003 are still available. This is an excellent resource—over a decade of instigative design thinking.
I feel happy!