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  1. Good post… thanks Rafal. It was Donald Norman, an Apple designer who first coined the term user experience in the 90’s. He said “I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning.”

    I think he would agree with you!

  2. UX Design is a fill-in position for designers who can’t design and code websites/apps. Yes, before UX became a popular term every web designer was doing UX. But the design industry has become more segmented so positions like UX Designer popped up.

    • I have to disagree with you a bit there. Some designers that append the “UX” to their title have decided to focus more of their time in research, testing and mapping to metrics. Many other designers will devote more time to microinteractions, animations colour theory and interaction models. A choice in focus does not mean they “can’t” do something. It means that’s not the way they’re going to spend most of their time.

      The industry did get segmented, but it didn’t come from inability. It came from a lack of focus in validating design decisions, leading to better product design.

      I do agree that this segmentation has gone a bit too far. Now, everyone leaves “the UX guy” to question and make decisions, leading to more uninformed/uninvolved developers and UI designers.

      • I am a UX Designer who can code. I moved towards the UX field because it seemed to embrace what I thought was the purpose of design. I understand that in a way, we are all “UX Designers,”but if it is true, I need another title to describe myself, since I oversee the design from conception to finished project (and beyond). Rafal, you mention that this person may be called a “Lead UX Designer,” but then we’ll need another title for the position who oversees and sets design standards for other Lead UX Designers. A “lead lead UX Designer?” Perhaps the mess could all be avoided by calling a UI Designer a UI Designer with the understanding that, like everyone else in the organization, they ought to put user needs before their own.

        • Grant,
          I just wanted to point out that user experience is not just one person’s responsibility in the company. We should all (not just designers) have a basic understanding of what makes a good experience for users.

          By mentioning a “Lead UX Designer”, I just meant that it would be perfect to have someone in the company who oversees the user experience. I think it should be someone who can both code and design, so have a good understanding of both worlds. Of course, the company may call that person whatever they want. It can be “UX designer” if that’s the only person who does it.

    • I see UX as a skillset. No matter if you’re a designer, developer, copywriter or even a system administrator, you can apply some best UX practices to your work. It’s very valuable for the company if they hire people who understand principles of a good user experience.

      Now, there can be a position called “Lead UX Designer”. It’s someone who coordinates the user experience across the entire platform and makes sure that all the people who work on the product share the same values and that everything they do creates a positive experience for users.

      I can’t agree that it’s just a fill-in position for someone who can’t code and design. It’s actually a very important role and lead UX designer should know a bit of everything from design to copy and even marketing and business.

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