Design For Humans
I'm starting to notice a lot of people throwing around jargon these days. "User experience this and below-the-fold that." I'm afraid we're becoming negligent of the most important part of design AND development — people.
Now, I don't mean any disrespect to those of us that actually are user experience designers. What I mean by this post is how much I detest jargon. It's a cancer around any office or agency — jargon is toxic. Jargon is an occupational hazard.
When I dreamt about becoming a designer as a child, I never thought it would become the catchphrase of 2013. Because we live in the startup age (a.k.a., the entrepreneurial age), there has been a design-centric shift in the tech industry which will soon overflow into the rest of the business world.
Believe me, I take this as a positive. There will be more opportunities than ever before for the younger generation to learn and pivot in what used to be a single-focus field. But that doesn't mean that salespeople, marketers, developers (myself included), and product managers have the right to vandalize the most complex part of designing in the modern world.
People are Different
To say that a company needs UX design or that a project or product can do better at UX design takes away from how vast the journey actually is. It diminishes the effort given into the science of designing for humans! To me, the term user experience covers such a broad area that no one can ever truly be an expert at it.
You have to consider anthropology, psychology, user research, usability, graphic design, visual communication, human emotion, ethos, and so much more. What works for one person may backfire on another. No two people are alike on this planet so let's not kid ourselves.
Everyone has a different skill set and the learning curves are always changing because of it. What may come naturally to one person may cause confusion in someone else. It's not their fault—it's not your fault. People are different. They always have been; they always will be.
As product designers, for all types of people to understand our products, we have to ditch the user experience and start designing for human beings. We shouldn't be creating experiences for a website or a flow for a mobile app. Our goal is to understand how people interact with our products so we can make them better.