UX in Flux

The lines seem to be blurring more and more around the field of User Experience (UX). With years to adapt and evolve, questions continue to prevail about the role(s) that lead the strategy and design of UX. 

In this great article by Nick Kellingley of Interaction Design Foundation, he reviews some of the basics that everyone should know about UX work:

1) Research is essential.
2) UX processes are naturally iterative.
3) There is no “one size fits all" approach to UX.
4) Test early and often is key.
5) UX is more than usability.

So, why is UX in flux? 

UX is often used loosely -- "I design the UI, therefore I am UX." "I build the front-end/CSS, therefore I am UX." "I write the messaging, therefore I am UX." If UX was a manufacturing line, each of these statements are partly true. These are all inter-dependent disciplines that make up the whole. More importantly, as this article indicates, UX is not simply the mastery of UX documentation tools -- that is like saying anyone can be a designer if they know how to use Photoshop.

UX is so much more about the soft skills — empathy, perspectives, bias, behaviors and more.

This field is made up of amazing thinkers, observers, analysts, creatives, architects, makers, artists, programmers, psychologists, theorists, collaborators and communicators.

UX is more about the thoughts of many than any one "designer" with a certificate.

UX is in flux because it does not fit squarely within any one role or org chart. It is not any one person, but the synthesis of many. It is not equivalent fo visual design just because you know "good design" when you see it. UX is the intelligence and empathy of the entire organization to respect design thinking, understand the fluid nature of change -- and take advantage of it, and be ok to take risks, make mistakes and always in the end be about putting the needs of the users first.