A lot of companies promote themselves with the fact that they do “UX”. This happens so much that the term has become rather meaningless.
As a design team, everything we do within our projects ultimately has the goal of providing a good user experience, but the tasks themselves are sometimes wildly different.
One moment you are a quality assurance person testing the latest version of an app you helped design; the next moment you’re back in your familiar role of drawing on-screen interactions.
Recently Jared Spool posted a blog post that sparked quite the discussion within the community. He basically said that everyone is a designer. He went as far as saying even a performance engineer is a designer.
I really liked this post because it gives us a good term to play with: unofficial designers. Every time someone makes a product decision, they are essentially affecting its design.
Our role as designers is to map out the experiences that a user goes through, and try to affect the necessary stakeholders to do what we feel is the right thing for the end user.
The last few years some designers really liked the new pedestal they were put on (mostly by their own community). The design profession seemed to have gotten a new kind of respect, with business blogs stating the importance of designer founders in companies like AirBnB and Pinterest.
But big projects are the result of the thinking of many people. What we do might take on many forms, from sketches to code prototypes to a discussion that is all about words. And that’s actually not so different from a lot of other professions.
The things I do personally are all about software quality. I don’t really care if I have to do some copywriting, graphic design, QA testing, engineering, interaction design, sales or marketing… for me it’s all about delivering an end result that I can be proud of.
If you want to call that “user experience design” that’s fine for me.