Existential Uxery

Perhaps the new year finds me in a reflective mood. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Looking at my reading list for this week, it definitely feels like I’ve been thinking about the bigger picture.

What’s in a name?

UX - what's in a name?

I have been called all sorts of things in my time (I’m talking specifically about work here!) but ‘UX’ is perhaps the title that I think people have found most baffling.

When I stared out in UX over ten years ago, people were nonplussed because it was a relatively new concept but these days the nomenclature is prevalent so why do people still struggle to understand what I do?

I have my personal theory: I can see that ‘UX’ has become a catch-all title for what are actually a wide variety of disciplines, from research and analysis to visual design and even interface development.

Here’s a more in-depth thought piece from Slava Shestopalov that is worth a read:

Why UX, UI, CX, IA, IxD, and Other Sorts of Design Are Dumb

Bringing things into focus

British Airways - A UX case study

There is something about pitching for new work that I find always seems to bring the processes I follow into sharp focus.

Maybe it’s the enforced deadline or the need to really think about what I am selling. Whatever the reason, it has always helps me to avoid complacency and consider better ways of working.

I found that thought to be prevalent in a great case study from Jon Marshall, a UX freelancer employed by an agency to find ‘Pitch winning ideas’ to present to British Airways.

British Airways – A UX case study

What does the future hold?

Sorry US, the party's over

As I mentioned above I have had all kinds of labels attached to what I do. I have worked in human computer interaction, interaction design, information architecture, user experience and product design to name but a handful.

And though my job title may have changed over the past 20+ years and I have had to adapt to new developments and technology, I like to think my core skills have remained largely the same.

Robert Skrobe talks in his article about how UX could be squeezed out by other roles and I agree to a certain extent but I think this is nothing new to our industry. I think perhaps it is another example of us relabelling ourselves and taking stock of our own skill sets but I think the core of what we are and what we do will end up the same but better.

Sorry UX, the party’s over