While the field of User Experience (UX) in product design has roots that go back nearly a century, there has been an unprecedented increase in opportunities and buy-in for UX over recent years. Especially in many larger, enterprise organizations, the people who work to develop and design digital systems have gone from seeking authority and visibility, to taking an active role in product development and strategy.
In both research and design, the role of UX has been elevated from simply advocating for useful and usable experiences, to designing experiences that engage and delight users. Instead of being satisfied with products that have teams working to ensure products are usable and functional, savvy organizations are now looking for ways to ensure their products and services meet the values and emotional needs of their customers.
Now, design systems are growing in popularity, qualitative and quantitative researchers are sought by companies to understand what to build, how to build, and whether products and services are meeting their needs. However, the field of UX is also experiencing growing pains: some companies have so many design leaders that it’s hard to distinguish between a “leader” and a “worker,” and some organizations have become so metrics-focused that they strive to serve the “one metric to rule them all,” losing sight of other indicators that yield better insight into experience.
In this presentation, these themes and others will be explored, in an effort to understand UX research and design accomplishments, and the tensions that remain to be addressed.