Elephant in the room revelation – most people think of UX as pre-design. Some UX practitioners focus on screens and wireframes, others have transitioned to Product Manager roles, where UX is just one of the many tools they wield. A smaller subset have realized the tipping point is here, now, and those enlightened leaders are focused on lasting change. The sort of change that transcends Phase 2, V1.3 and Sprint 18. The type of change that merges design and organizational health. I call this Transformative UX.
In my 15+ years of designing experiences I look back and see bits and pieces of design brilliance but mostly I see broken organizational systems. Looking back at projects from years ago I see a module left here and there, a line of copy I penned lingering, and the essence of a flow I created still moving users along. I also see the same processes, the same organizational fuzz and the same theater. People are replaceable. Deadlines are immovable. Profits take precedence.
The state of UX is changing rapidly but not in the ways you think. Soft skills have universally evolved to include customer-first thinking, empathy and lean methodologies. User flows and design patterns have been documented, tested and best practiced for most devices. And our toolsets have been narrowed down to The Big 5: Jira, Slack, InVision, Sketch and Zeplin.
The big opportunity is the utilization of UX as an instrument to affect organizational change. The real power of design resides in changing how people interact with the world and live in the world. That world is increasingly complex and butting up against automation and big data pools that know more about us that we do. Transformative UX is my vision for harnessing design for the health of organizations including their products, their people and their future.