9 Responses

  1. Jonathan Wright
    Jonathan Wright at |

    The UX person on our team calls himself “UX Architect”. He doesn’t do any user interviews or testing or anything like that. He just does wireframe images based on his creative vision. He is a graphic artist type of guy and I think he just makes stuff up. He doesn’t know anything about HTML or CSS or javascript. I’m not sure how he got the job. He seems like a web designer who never learned HTML so he just calls himself UX Architect.

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  2. Samuel Hulick
    Samuel Hulick at |

    Respectfully, I couldn’t possibly disagree more with this take.

    Let’s say it’s Christmas morning and my toddler wakes up. He walks out of his room and finds a stocking hanging at eye level, overflowing with treats. He carries it into the living room and my wife and I are waiting for him with a mug of hot cocoa (ok, “warm” since he’s a toddler) and there’s a tree with tons of shiny presents underneath it. The smell of spruce needles fills the air, there are lovely ornaments reflecting blinking lights, and carols softly play in the background. Pleasant, no?

    Now let’s contrast that with a time he wakes up and wanders out of his bedroom into the middle of a Halloween party. It’s a noisy affair, with a crowd of adults wearing scary costumes. Dry ice “smoke” fills the air, making it hard to see very far. Strobe lights pulse in high contrast, making it even more difficult to get his bearings. Screams and rattling chains blast out of a boombox, but seem to be coming from all around. Fake rats and snakes are underfoot. It’s as frightening as it is thrilling.

    How could one possibly say these two experiences weren’t “designed”? It’s the same house, with the same activity (coming out of a bedroom). How is a digital environment and workflow any different?

    I suppose if you define “design” in a particularly restrictive sense of “directly manipulating things,” then no, in this scenario I wasn’t reaching into my son’s soul and turning the knob to “heartwarmed” or to “terrified”, but that’s really beside the point: I designed an environment that not only made those outcomes *significantly* more likely, but went about that design with the *sole intention* of eliciting that response. (Interestingly, the “my son” user was the primary persona for the first, but an incidental one for the latter — another reminder that the sum experience is “designed” for even those we aren’t necessarily considering).

    The patterns of pixels we create to show up on a screen are just a means to an end — specifically, the emotions and behaviors we elicit when someone experiences them. To constrain our purview to only what we directly have control over is to mistake the canvas & paint for the work of art.

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    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Great points! Thanks for reading and for commenting! I think that we are saying similar things (semantics… bah). I love that you pointed out that you designed the environment to help illicit the experience. That is a great phrase (designing the environment), whether you meant it that way or not. It’s helped to add to my vocabulary at the very least :-).

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  3. Dara Pressley
    Dara Pressley at |

    A baker makes a cake. She decides what kind of cake it should be, puts the ingredients in, crafts it into shape, bakes, and decorates. But until we taste the cake, we do not “experience” the truth of that cake. Does that make the baker, not a baker?

    Personally, I have always liked the term Architect. The experience architect is putting together something for the user to experience. But in the end it is still semantics. Someone has to bake the cake for it to be eaten. You can not experience what does not exist.

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    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Great points Dara! I think we are on similiar (if not the same) thinking paths. For me she is def a baker! She may not, say, be a cake experience designer (semantics, as you say). The idea is interesting indeed. Thanks for reading AND for adding your thoughts!!

      Reply
  4. epta
    epta at |

    Literally we create the spaces (products-apps-services) where the experience will take place, based on a set of hypothesis, and from that point we test/research the hell out of it and iterate to improve it, so we can meet user needs and business goals. I would say we mostly spending our time research/mapping the user experience in the space we crafted/prototyped.

    It makes more sense in my point of view that to design the user experience is a team effort of different specialists or professions , from interaction designers, user researchers, information architectures, designers etc. that have in common a process of design that focus on user experience.

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    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Great points! I completely agree! Any chance I can quote you in my next talk on this topic?

      Reply
      1. eptalab
        eptalab at |

        Feel free to use any of my comment Lis 🙂

        Reply
        1. Lis Hubert
          Lis Hubert at |

          Wonderful… thanks!!

          Reply

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