What’s the big deal about UX? I thought that’s what industrial design has been doing all along!

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What’s the big deal about UX? I thought that’s what industrial design has been doing all along!

The post subject here is an interesting one - worth building on a little..

I'm curious how the readership here, who I assume to be mostly self described Industrial Designers, are finding "User Experience" (in the modern sense) bleeding into your work. Software seems to continue to become more and more a part of physical product experiences. I've seen quite a few folks from the physical product world make the jump to the software side of things as well. Where are you all at on that spectrum?

Do you think perhaps the whole UX thing is new to the other stakeholders that industrial designers collaborate with in today's cross disciplinary product development culture? For example, software engineering.

It's always possible. As popular a buzzword as UX is, I think most are familiar but may not know the details. I once spoke with the founder of a video game company who was seeking more UX oversight, but really what he was describing was more aligned with QA activities. I've also spoken with application managers who viewed UX solely as "response time per click" rather than the more holistic process/functionality/expectation management that we are referring to here.

I'm really glad you asked that question, and I hope we get some more responses here. For me, the UX process has HUGE implications for ID.

Like many, my first reaction to UX was that it's essentially what ID has done all along -ethnographic user research, ideation around user pain-points, develop ideas around usability, define user-relevant brand values, etc. What's the big deal?

But after adapting a lot of the processes from our UI and UX teams, I do see a big difference:

In the traditional product development process, the designer seems to be the only one prioritizing the needs of the user; the engineers have time & cost as priority and Marketers need to focus on getting product to and from the shelves. In User Experience Design (UXD) all team members are focused on the value to the user, we are all working towards the same goal instead of disparate ones. I hope more industrial designer begin to take advantage of this new tool.

This short article goes a little further down this trail of thought (if you may indulge me for a minute).

I agree with much of this - I started attending UX focused get togethers a few years ago in order to get a better handle on the distinctions. I usually came away with a strange sense of deja vu, like I had been in a room with long-time coworkers who now were calling each other by different names and had different haircuts. The difference that was most stark was that the UX people had it baked into a cross-disciplinary process that seemed more universal, while the designers and ethnographers I usually worked with kept it more proprietary and separate from management/engineering/etc... And while the term UX is certainly more encompassing than just GUIs and Clicks, the UX groups definitely had an overwhelming bias toward software and on-screen interfaces.

I too have a same doubt can anybody give clear idea about that.