When I first started blogging about usability, two great bloggers with similar interests commented on my early posts and, by doing so, encourage me to keep going. I'm referring to Dr. Pete of User Effect and James Breeze of UsableWorld.
A year and a half ago, it seemed to me that we were all blogging about very similar usability topics. Now though, we've diverged a little. The three of us still blog about usability, but our interests have evolved over time. The space we're in is rich with opportunities to specialize! To deliver value to clients and employers, it's important to take advantage.
User experience = marketing ...
These days Dr. Pete is posting more about search engine optimization and marketing. These are enormously important Web topics, but somehow in my career, I haven't had to focus on them. At most jobs, like now, I create interfaces that live behind login and don't have a search engine presence. At other jobs when I've worked on more public websites, we've had other folks in charge of SEO / SEM. When I need to get current, I know where to go.
Based on data ...
Over at UsableWorld, Mr. Breeze has been writing more about eye tracking. Years ago I worked with an eye tracker, but again, it's not something I've ever focused on. In fact, until recently, I was dubious about this expensive technology's real value to usability research. But recent UsableWorld posts, plus reports from Google and elsewhere, have reintroduced me to the value of this technique.
As for me, I've become more attuned to the role of design. Over time it's been more and more difficult to think about usability without it. After all, "without graphic design, all you have is a plan!" I've always wanted this blog to be business-oriented, and it seems to me that top tech companies differentiate on their product design process. I've been influenced by my current workplace, where developers and QA engineers regularly propose UI simplifications and challenge the graphic design.
What's your special area of focus within user experience?