I have never had an office with a door. At Koko (web development company I ran between 1995-2002) we all sat in an open space. At Remend, it was an open space. At Intuit, it was a life-sucking claustrophobic cubicle with 6 foot walls. At Marketo, I have always insisted on sitting out in the open with the engineers. Over-the-shoulder communication is paramount to successful design.
As the floor has become crowded and we are bringing in a new VP of Product Management, I wanted to ensure that he and I had as much communication as possible. Ample and healthy communication between UX and PM is paramount to yielding a strong product. So we decided to share an office together. It is my first time in an office.
So far (one day), it has increased my loneliness and decreased my communication with the rest of my UX team and the engineers. I feel like I am working from home or something. Although, to be fair, I haven’t many meetings in the last 24 hours. This might change my tune considerably as next week starts.
I think the key to success in an office is to not spend too much time in it. I have to get up and travel over to the engineers and designers and spend time with them. With that said…I have to go do that now.
Addendum: Having your back to the door is weird. People knock and I need to turn all the way around, 180 degrees, to see who they are. How very strange.