The Future of UX as They know it – from the Origin Digital Blog.

By Posted in - design theory & Experience Design on September 22nd, 2011


A blog I wrote for the company blog.

There is a lot of discussion about the future of User Experience (UX) design among fellow practitioners. UX design, as an evolution from User Interaction design, Human Computer Interaction, Human Factors/Ergonomics, Usability Engineer, etc., has developed in parallel with computing and technology in our daily lives; a change that will continue as technology becomes ever more ubiquitous in our environment. However, this is not an attempt to further the discussion of the future of the UX practitioner, but it is my intention to explore how the rest of the business world currently views UX as well as how I view their understanding of the field, which will hopefully mature in the near future.

Currently, the biggest issue with the field of UX is the blank stare that follows when you tell someone you are a User Experience designer. It is usually followed with a “Huh?”, which then needs to be addressed with a crafted elevator pitch. The pitch explains how the UX role “is responsible for designing not just the layout of an interface, but also understanding the humanistic approach a user takes during their interaction with the software in order to appropriately accomplish a desired task.”

Imagine the design of an ATM at the bank. UX design is not just about the placement of buttons on the machine, but it is also about creating a machine that accommodates the withdrawal of ‘fast cash’ amounts. If the ATM was designed around a ‘fast transfer’ between accounts then the ATM wouldn’t work for the average person looking to grab some cash & be on their merry way.

As UX grows and more products are built with a specific focus, not only on getting the design right but also on getting the right design, there will be less blank stares and misconceptions about UX being a combination of a visual designer and a front end programmer. Although a new field, people will soon understand the value of UX design, both for individual products as well as for a company’s entire brand.

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