The State of UX Design

When I read this article, I felt like the author crawled inside my head and summarized my career…

Probably because he did, in a way; I was one of the “thousands of design foot soldiers” that IBM trained, after all.

I lived through Design Thinking going viral, and experienced firsthand the effects of design infiltrating the highest levels of the biggest businesses.

I realized early on in my career that in order for my designs to see the light of day, it wasn’t enough for them to be beautiful or visionary.

I also needed to know how the business worked, and how to play the game. Except there were very few people around who could tell me the rules of said game.

Or as the author puts it: “even as design thinking packaged itself successfully as a mainstream business process to senior management, we neglected to mention that designers, by nature, are pretty lousy managers.” 🎤💥

It’s not a coincidence that there’s a generation of design leaders having an identify crisis at the same time that I chose to step away from being an in-house UX designer.

The landscape is changing, in large part because of economics and technology (yes, AI 🐘). I think it’s right that we’re questioning how we define “design” and what its value is.

But design has never been just pretty graphics or user flow diagrams or a well-marketed workshop framework called, of all things, “design thinking”. I believe that at its heart, design is creative problem solving.

And that is a skill that transcends industries and economies.

And even though my LinkedIn job title may not say “designer” at the moment, I’ll always consider myself one 😎