The user experience discipline suffers from constant reinvention of the terminology used to describe our concepts, leading to confusion, miscommunication, and rework. Let’s stick to the established names.
I have started in this field more than 25 years ago. Of course at that time nobody used UX and all the associated expressions of jobs. To be understood by my clients, I also changed my job title, shifting from usability to UX. Retrospectively I think it was a mistake, specially when UX is associated with designer. Who can design experiences? New gods maybe? Every single experience is by definition unique and personal. Usability, interaction design and other words used before UX seem clearer and less pretentious to me.
In my 8 year career I went from calling myself an interaction designer (how i graduated), ux designer (which i thought sounded better) service designer (since I also did business analysis tasks, plus it differentiated me from ux designers without a degree) and now product designer (because there is more work and pays better then a ux designer role).
Agile guru’s have declared me to be a developer, because in scrum there’s according to them only 3 roles: developers, product owners and scrum masters.
Now I am thinking whether in my next job I shouldn’t call myself a product manager (who does the design as well), because then I could get a raise and don’t have some manager above me who has the need to tell me how the product should be instead of letting me design it - apparently all managers seem to be allergic to listening to the designer since it offends their status.
So, yeah, I don’t mind calling it UX design - but if it means biting myself in the ass.. then, no thanks.
Absolutely on spot with some brilliant moments. I would also argue that vanity and the need to be perceived as innovative are key contributing factors.
By the way, "vocabulary inflation" is a very needed concept to describe all this terminological craze.
You forgot Interaction Designer and Service Designer ;)
This is everywhere, in every part of software. It's ambition, it's the narcisim of small differences, it's confusion, but most of all it's ignorance. I remember becoming agile certified, having worked in software for 20 years at that point, these people thought they invented stories, sprints, points and standups. Like we didn't have anything like that before. Some of them believed they invented a new way to work. Some just wanted to rebrand stuff and sell it, but most were just ignorant of the world before they existed. In the past software had go on disks, and shipped via mail or purchased in the store. So we had large releases and everything had to work when it went master. Now everything is done via servers and can be updated immediatly. So we changed processes to take advantage of that. But in the before time, we had tickets, now called stories. We did estimation for tickets, now called points, we also had objectives for functionality that we tracked monthly, now called sprints. We even had daily meetings, stand-ups. Waterfall and agile were exactly the same process the difference was the end point. So a bunch of people wrote books, but they didn't even understand what the difference was and why their process was successful. It allowed lower quality software allowing it to be released early and improve. Most projects in the past failed because you couldn't ship an MVP and fix it. So when I hear agile, when I hear service design, or design thinking, I think ignorance. I always liked human factors engineer myself.
Nice article, much needed thinking about terminolodgy's limitations. I detected a nice typo there:
- 'calling a spade a space?'
' Why can’t we just have a single name for each thing when most other people are perfectly happy calling a spade a space (and not a digging implement or an excavation solution)? '
To me it just proves Jakob Nielsen is not AI Nielsen. Great typos, haha!