I had never heard the phrase “artifacts” used to describe design documentation of any type until fairly recently, so clearly now it is my favorite new phrase to drop into conversations. It makes sense that we create physical, tangible documents to describe software development, considering the fluid nature of the web in general. Just thinking about the phrase “design artifacts” made me chuckle. Artifact has the connotation of something old, though more importantly, to me it also suggests discovery of something that was already there. The second feeling is one I hope to invoke when working on solving UX problems, as I am creating a new experience that should conform to and satisfy a user’s deepest desires and needs. I like the word artifact for this as we are simply discovering these desires and elevating them to a place of prominence within our design, we are not creating something brand new.
Over the next few weeks I am delving deeper into the world of design artifacts through the Coursera Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society class. Beyond broadening my design horizons, I’m excited about creating a physical artifact, something tangible that can be held in my hands without hitting crtl + p and something that will live on beyond the short lifespan of pixels on a screen.