Confusess was a greek god which had the power to create chaos by making people lose their minds and become confused. No kidding, that was an utterly and complete lie.
From time to time I feel UX as an umbrella term confuses people more than it actually explains things, even though it is quite self explanatory. You might think I’m a bit of an odd ball saying all of these random things, but bare with me. I work mostly as a “developer”/”complainer” and “UX-head”, and I more or less hear the sentence “let’s add some UX to this design, or some nice transitions”. And if you’re like me, a control freak or a freak over all, this makes no sense. Massimo Vignelli wrote in his book Canon that “design needs to be the entire process” (paraphrasing), and it is the same for UX as an umbrella term. UX can never be a part of a design process or a develop-process of a product or system. It needs to be the process for it to be able to create the best product, a product that lives up to its intended purpose.
Linkedin sends me a lot of email regarding work they think will suit me, so in my curiosity I check them out, what harm can it do?
Well it does a lot of harm to the fragile brain of mine. In my Linkedin I have written stuff like UX (User Experience), HCI (Human Center Interaction) and front end developer (even though I do not see myself as a developer, but it is what the market needs right now, apparently). So when a company writes “Front End developer and UX expert”, my mind sort of blows up, what kind of wizardry are they talking about. In the description they write stuff like “Front End developer with expert skills in JS, and framework like Angular, React, and languages as PHP, and of course HTML5, CSS3, SASS, and we also like if you have contributed with neat and helpful stuff on GitLab, and yes you also need to be an UX expert”. What the fudge do they mean by expert skills in JS and an UX expert. Me being in my twenties, feel pretty damn overwhelmed by all this. How am I supposed to be a full stack developer and an UX expert. And what does it actually mean?
For me a JS expert is a person that has been part of creating JS as a language, or maybe created React or whatever, a person that has both theoretical knowledge but also hands on skills to take JS as a language to the next level. A person with not only skills but also experience. An UX expert on the other hand I have no idea what that is. So when Company’s write UX experts and that they need a person with knowledge in UX they (in my experience) always mean a person that knows design. They want a hands on person who can also do program and system evaluations, analyse, prototype and participatory design. Or wait a minute, isn’t that sort of two different people? And of course, someone who can write their own code. Can they make up their minds, what do they actually need? specifications please. Well I’m not educated at Hogwarts, I don’t have any magic, so I can’t be all that. And also what is up with over usage of the word UX. UX-designer, UX-architect, UX-strategist, UX-analyst, UX-engineer, UX-chef, UX-developer, UX-barber and so forth.
Can we at least come to an understanding that this is getting out of hand. I believe agencies have such pressure to offer their clients UX-people, that they just put UX in front of whatever they got to make it sellable. I sound like an old hag which is about to blow up in a million pieces, it is not that serious, but a reflection I made lately. But what actually disturbs me for real is that some people think it is so easy to just sprinkle the UX ferry dust on arbitrary design and make it “user friendly”, to add a couple of cool transitions to seduce the user to like the product. It is not a coincidence that IDEO probably has the best design and develop processes int he world, and also have made a couple of the best products in the world. On their web page you find neat assets which you can use on your way to glory.
I’m done now.