Well, this question has been asked recently and I always answer “It is human centered technology.” That response usually will suffice for the temporary conversation, but if they asked a follow-up to that question, what would I say? My friend Aaron summed it up pretty well in this post on his blog.
To me, I guess Informatics is more than just technology. That idea was something that drew me to this major. I liked the aspect that what I was working on had a direct effect on the people using it. Also, the fact that it wasn’t CSE or IS was an added bonus. I really like the program that I am in. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I mean, look at the blogs that I read. Most of them are of the Informatics people. They are by far some of the coolest people that I have meet during my time @ UW. This makes me enjoy the major that much more.
Really, I am dry on a description on what Informatics means. I can think about what it means in my mind, but to put it into words is something that I don’t know if I can do. So, we’ll leave this for another day.
However, one theme that Aaron pointed out was that, “My classmates are very bright people who could tell you the advantages of applying Kuhlthau’s Model of Information Search Behavior to a particular User Group, but couldn’t code themselves out of a paper bag.” That can sum up the programming abilities of some on our major. But, hey, what can you expect? We are Informatics not CSE.