UX Is More Than Tricks and Meetings

If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many links as I used to. There are two reasons for that.


The first reason: I have been working on my book with O’Reilly. UX for Beginners. For the last six months I have used a lot more of my free time to write and edit, rather than reading and posting what other people have written and edited.

The final book should be available in a few weeks.

But that’s not the point of this article. 


The Second Reason: I just haven’t found as many good articles about UX design lately.

One of the “rules” I have for myself on this blog, is that I want it to be more useful than philosophical, but also that you should learn how to think about UX design when you read a post here.

Not just little tips and tricks.

Not big rants about the importance of UX in the universe (it’s #3, after solar radiation and Justin Bieber).

Not how you’re a bad person if you don’t do UX.

And not about the challenges that every professional faces in a big company (”3 things you should ask yourself after every meeting…”).

But lately that is almost everything I have found.

Or just complete bullshit, like most of the articles on Creative Bloq.

What about people that just want to know more about actually designing stuff?


These are the UX topics I can see on Twitter right now:

How to build a UX team for a re-design.

How to manage client expectations about delivering on time.

How to get people to offer you jobs.

How to design your portfolio for a manager.

And so many “10 ways to…” lists that it’s hard to keep up.

Considering how much we talk about empathy, you would think there would be more focus on what designers need to know to design, rather than UX-related opinion columns.


Thought leaders are like power users: they are the minority & the majority.

There are WAY more junior designers and beginners than senior designers and managers. Way, way, way more. That’s why I write for them so much.

Junior designers and beginners also need to know a lot more, because they don’t have much experience. And everybody can use a refresher sometimes!

But the majority of articles are written by thought-leader types (or thought-leader wannabes, like on Creative Bloq). Just like the majority of content on a site will be produced by the power users.

It’s totally fine if thought leaders write articles, of course, they have more to say, and bigger audiences. The problem is that they are writing articles for other senior people.


Influential UXers: Teach more design.

I am sure someone is going to jump in here and say “learning to build consensus with stakeholders IS part of design!”

Fuck that. I’m calling bullshit. And swearing a lot for emphasis.

I dare all the senior designers to talk about how they design things, rather than how they sell design in their company.

Any time influential thought-leaders start talking about practical design skills, it becomes a trend. Mobile-first design. Content-first design. Responsive design. Data-driven design. Peanut-butter-first design. Even UX itself was originally “user-centered design” — a new idea that caught on and became an industry.

We need more of that.