Should We Stop Calling it UX Design?

Over the last few weeks, I have been wondering more and more why there is such a disconnect between what much of the business and digital world thinks is User Experience (UX) Design versus what I think it is, and what many UX practitioners think it is. I wonder now if the disconnect comes from the job title (or discipline title, if you prefer) itself.

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Learn By Doing (Things Wrong)

A popular mantra in many organizations today – especially within the startup realm – is to learn by doing. Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky has a blog dedicated to this idea called Learn by Shipping, and it’s worth reading. However, the focus of this article is actually going to be on learning by doing things wrong.

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Assumption-Based Design

When designing and developing a product, it doesn’t matter how much design thinking you believe your organization exhibits if your designs are based on assumptions. Sometimes there is no way around assumption-based decisions, but if assumptions are your go-to method for solving problems, you’re in trouble.

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Translating Support to User Experience Improvements

I was hired at Learning Machine in a support role. Specifically, I was hired as an Account Manager. The beauty of working for a startup, though, is that you get a little exposure to everything. Since I previously had experience in usability research at GEICO as part of the GEICO.com team, I naturally gravitated back toward user experience-type things. I found myself scanning our products for usability flaws. I started searching for data to help navigate potential improvements. But I also started committing the ultimate sin in user experience design. I found myself ignoring customer needs.

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Follow Your Gut

A hunch. An intuition. A feeling. For the most part, we already know to trust our guts. When something feels right (or wrong) it probably is. Many times, we never come back and analyze just how right our guts are, but I recently did this.

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How to Fit User Experience Design into the Development Cycle

Even the most agile of companies struggle with having the time to incorporate changes to their product that are not explicitly bugs or enhancements previously listed on a product roadmap. That being said, the power of user experience design is becoming increasingly obvious. For every $1 spent on user experience, a company can expect to return at least $2 or more. But UX enhancements still get bumped from releases and prioritized far lower than they should.

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Take a Chance

For the first time in my life, I have a career. It’s strange to think I’ve finally found that elusive thing that differentiates a job from a life-long calling. But I’ve found it at Learning Machine.

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What I Did This Year

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m finding that taking the time to truly reflect on the past year makes it seem so much better than it may have otherwise felt. For anyone who thought 2014 was a down year, I highly encourage you to do this. Take the time to list out all of the things you accomplished. Do so month-by-month. I think you’ll be surprised by the result.

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2014 Year in Review

It’s hard to look back when we spend so much time looking forward. We look forward to that big promotion, the next payday, a family get together, or that next big movie. It’s only at the end of each year that most people take a few moments to reflect. Maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s bad. But if we reflected on our past year more just when it’s over, we might find ourselves wishing the year were over less often.

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