Thursday, August 13, 2009

On Hiring Theater People

I was recently alerted to this great interview where Peter Menholz of Adaptive Path interviewed Jared Spool - user experience guru.

This excerpt thrilled me since I am a born and bred theater person turned business gal. Curtain up!

Hiring Theater People

PM: You mentioned that when you see a resume with a theater background, you find that encouraging. What is the perspective of theater people that you find illuminating in doing this kind of work?

JS: Theater people have an interesting viewpoint of the world and it changes our viewpoint towards them.

Theater, particularly live theater, as opposed to film for example, is a process where you iterate, you see what works, you try it in rehearsal, and then you make changes, and then you try it again. So theater people inherently understand vast iterations, and moving toward an objective. Theater is also very much about an experience, so quality theater people understand the experience design in that regard, and they understand elements of the user design, such as the illusion, and subtlety, and the back-channel communication sort of stuff. Theater people all know how to work on a deadline because the curtain goes up at eight, and so you either have everything in place when the curtain goes up or you just make stuff up, but the curtain is going to go up. Theater people also understand the difference between on stage and backstage, which in a consulting practice or a research business is actually very important.

See the full article at: http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/essays/archives/000516.php

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