The design field is in a very odd state. At least on Twitter, we seem to always be in a constant state of disagreement. But one thing I think we can all agree on, is that we are all utterly disposable, and quite possibly will one day (maybe soon) be replaced by algorithms.
If you don’t know me, I currently work in R&D for a major automotive OEM. My job most often involves creating new product concepts that convey how humans will interact with technology in the future, and I work with my team to help bring these ideas to life. The reason I bring this up is because as a result of this experience, I often work in less conventional ways, simply because conventional means don’t always work. I recently tweeted a thought that occurred to me and due to the limitations of Twitter, I felt like this subject was perhaps something worth digging a little bit deeper. So let’s begin.
So if you have been a follower of mine on Twitter, perhaps you know that I recently came back from a (business) trip to Germany. I wrote some other thoughts about my trip earlier, but now I want to talk about something more specific to design. When I came back to the office, I made a remark to a coworker about how I felt like some kind of a ‘design diplomat’, in the sense of having to negotiate design stuff with our colleagues.
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen these things. These clever little images that underscore the design industry’s persistent need to separate UX design from UI design. But as a designer, if you still think this way, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice and it’s time to rethink your approach. Continue reading “Designers, you should know better!”→
I wrote that tweet after an experience at work. It seemed like people were requesting to scale up the complexity of some of the features we were designing, without really any clear rationale (at least initially), and especially not following some sort of iterative release process. And the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. That is, there seems to be this idea that as designers, we work to make things simpler, and in the best of cases, we succeed. But in reality (where most of us live :P), this is not always the case, and in fact, products scale towards complexity as they become popular or successful at achieving their early goals.
Over the course of the past year, I have been in a state of transition. I changed jobs from leading UX design for new products at Alexa Internet (yes, that Alexa…) to working on in-car HMI and UX design at Mercedes Benz R&D North America (MBRDNA). As a designer, it’s an interesting change of focus to say the least.
I was having a conversation recently with someone in my industry. The issue of usability testing came up. Specifically, they mentioned that perhaps they might not have time to run usability tests in the midst of just GSD (getting s**t done). I get it. I’ve felt that pressure. With so many things coming at you on a daily basis, you never really feel like you have time to focus and dig into a meaty problem. My answer though, was that I’ve never really been in a scenario where some kind testing wasn’t possible. It’s simply a matter of scale.