The Decade of User Experience Design
“This is the decade of User Experience Design” – we heard that a lot during meetings with inspirational people such as Dave McClure, Paul Singh (both 500 startups), Hiten Shah (KissMetrics), Brandon Schauer (Adaptive Path), when, together with my team, we visited Silicon Valley to validate our long-term strategy for UXPin. As you may already know, UXPin creates tools for UX Designers, so we couldn’t have been happier to hear this. We literally felt like children at Christmas time.
This is a new quality though. At the beginning of the Internet era – technology was what mattered the most in almost all successful products. Technology was the toughest problem that companies needed to overcome, technologically skilled employees were the most scarce ”resource” and, finally, technology was the most important competitive advantage one could have. Design was mainly putted aside. Neither Google, nor Paypal, nor Yahoo cared much about design until recently. They didn’t need to – they had the tech in place and that just gave them amazing success.
Those times are gone. To win customers nowadays you must win their hearts with a stunning, precisely designed, user experience. Luckily for all of us, the great companies of today’s world recognized the importance of this shift in the new technology world. Google hired an army of UX Designers and redesigned all of their products (and they continue to do so! From the 13 current [September 10, 2012] vacancies at Google HQ in Mountain View, 9 are at least related to User Experience!). Even Paypal, who, well… was never famous for their solicitous approach to design, started to take care of the user experience with their recent interface changes. And we can argue all night long about whether Samsung harmed the patent rights of Apple or not, but well… even so, they showed that they care about design enough to risk a lawsuit. Isn’t that peculiar?
No matter if you’re producing amazing gizmos, fancy mobile and web apps, or innovative software – you must take UX seriously. This is the decade of User Experience Design.
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