, 12 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
This description of the sorry state of the ways we understand #UX is very, very good.

And I have some quibbles with its telling of history which I hope folks will find useful in the discussion already brewing around this piece.


I have an old telling of the history of #UX design which takes a different slice through things and focuses on the way that it bound together different tribes of practice in an overlapping space of work


An important thing which I see present but unspoken in Max Taylor’s telling of #UX is WHY the term emerged when user experience has been a question in products and services since long before the expression “user experience” was coined

(Psst! It’s the SOFTWARE!)

I submit that #UX should be understood as the things we design when we design systems which have software in them, including BUT NOT LIMITED TO the encounter with the software.

Since software is “eating the world”, that now means almost everything.


I was initially resistant to the term “user experience”, but came to embrace it as a solution to the discussion of “big IA vs little IA” or “big IxD vs little IxD”:

how we talk about the big thing that includes the necessary narrow design practices


(At this point I am duty-bound to point to @jjg’s clarifying, influential early “elements of user experience” diagram and his essential book talking about many of the various practices and how they can be understood to interlock)


6/ The Elements of User Experience diagram by Jesse James Garrett
AND I want to cast this latest discussion of the debasement of #UX design as the latest round in a long series of debasements resulting in retreats from terms whose meaning got narrowed into uselessness:

#UI #HCI #IxD #IA #UX and more


Part of the problem is that this discussion of language for This Stuff We Do is blurry at both ends.

It is not just that the names of these design disciplines are not clear, it is that we lack a shared understanding of what the elements are which need names.

Just yesterday I was musing on my temptation to write a manifesto pinning down both ends of this disciplinary nomenclature problem at once:

THIS is my new name for what I do, and THIS is what I mean by it, and I will defend BOTH pieces of territory

I take Max Taylor as defending the term #UX from the cycle of debasement which has already squeezed #UI, #HCI, #IA, #IxD, and others down to their narrowest conceptions.

Maybe we need to learn from these failures in a new castle we build and defend.


A very good point about the way that the term #UX is overloaded

(There is the design domain of UX, the UXD which a system has, the UXD work which goes into creating it, UXD considered as a community of practice, UXD misunderstood as a skill ...)


Another gem of an example of the narrowing of the meaning of #UX, from a discussion just yesterday.

We are starving for a way to talk about the big thing, and every attempt to claim one ends up getting ground narrower and narrower.


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