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UX is the sum of all things

The term -UX- is everywhere in the design world. A plethora of content on the matter offers silly definitions like:

UX design is the process of creating products or services that provide meaningful experiences for users, involving many different areas of product development including branding, usability, function, and design.

This common type of vague definition is anchoring in the tech world via hiring, process jargon, and the sheer volume of content generated.

I'll be honest, I hate the term. I equally acknowledge the importance of having names for domains of expertise. Except UX is not a domain of expertise or a single part of the process.

UX is the end goal, the sum of all parts of the process.

One cannot talk about UX without addressing the domain that is often associated and/or contrasted with - UI. It's the stuff that comes after right?

I've seen folks out there using the term "Interaction Design" instead of UX. It seems fitting to talk about the part of the process preceding the production of the visual/interface.

This leads me to the actual gross part of my theory. Here is my read of the unspoken:

  • UX (designer) = Limited visual designer, good design thinking, flowchart, user journey, user research, love meetings
  • UI (designer) = Good visual designer, limited design thinking, design system, asset production, hate meetings

A few years ago, you could have read UI/UX in my about blurb on my portfolio. Quite a cringe memory. The general usage of the combo seems to compare to what engineers call "Full-stack". Where one covers the full creative process.

However one thinks of UI, UX, or both, what comes before or after, consider that there is no style over substance. Data and user research are not the only way to guide design decisions. Rounded buttons don't convert more... All the attributes of a thing are its substance. Denying this is an ontological mistake.

← Index / Published on 2022-06-22