Unlike the popular sentiment, I find the departure of Jony Ive from Apple a positive step. I am not worried about Apple, instead, I am eager to hear about Ive’s future projects. #loveform
So, wishing him on his new journey, I have decided to start blogging again. Again! Well, I had taken a sabbatical leave of sharing my thoughts online for many years now. More precisely, since 2015.
But, it is time that I start jotting down my thoughts and pick up where I left. The ideas are going to be similar but maybe a bit more mature and streamlined.
So, let me start with my concurring thoughts on UX and Design. #BewareRantAhead
‘Design’ is such a beaten-down word that I find difficulty in using them in a day to day conversations. It has lost its weight and meaning in our day to day dialogue. Like a meaningless bouncing ping pong ball, the word ‘design’ bounces to and fro in a discussion – with no lasting impact on the outcomes or thought process. In this random dance of the word, few other words tag along to make the conversation more exciting – experience, user, architect, thinking, delight and so on.
As a result, the concept of user experience has morphed into banality, just the way ‘design thinking’ has. It has given rise to various job descriptions and job titles which don’t make any sense. What is the purpose of a UX designer, anyway?
They seem to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They seem to be very important and yet neglected on multiple occasions. Yet, it is one of the highest-paid jobs in the market today.
If you have played Scrabble, then you will know that there is one piece which is blank and can be used to complete any word, but it will not add any point to the overall score. It is generally used when you have no other options and want to just complete the letters in a word. I feel that UX is becoming similar to that. On its own, it is nothing but it seems to complete the team without adding any value. And, crudely speaking that’s what a UX designer has become. Not carrying any weight but used to complete the team for the sake of it.
But, why am I babbling about the role of UX? Coz, people like me, who are inspired by the likes of Jony Ive and follow the 10 principles of Dieter Rams, are tired of blogs and videos that start with a title like “Become UX in 10 days!”.
So much goes into the process of building a product that it is ridiculous to pin UX alone as a benefactor of success. Many reputed UX strategist, designer, and professionals have a unique career path leading them to UX. Hence, in my belief, UX is like a level in a game which you unlock. It isn’t something that you start within a career but it is a phase or a level where you reach if you make various combinations of decisions in your career.
For instance, I think a customer service agent with no prior experience of design, art or technology can be well suited to unlock the UX badge if he/she starts making correct decisions in his/her pursuit of UX. The title or badge isn’t a privilege to few but is available to all who have the desire to empathise with the users.
This pursuit to understand and unlock UX is a journey which this random train of thoughts is going to take in upcoming posts and projects.