I think a lot of what we see in the field is the result of a drive for efficiency. But I also think there is a lack of alignment in goals. Do we serve the business, the user, the organization or what? Ideally, we serve all of them, but not every project will fall neatly into a Venn Diagram.

The hiring occurs based on a need. You have to have an interface for almost any software project. UX comes to the table and says we need to do research before we can build that interface. If research discovers anything that affects the timeline, that becomes a problem. In many organizations, we are hired to help the business develop a product more efficiently rather than to develop a better product. When we begin affect efficiency, we are seen as less of a help and more of a burden.

Some of this is by our own design. We have developed models, systems and frameworks to help us keep up with agile methods — to keep up with the business. This, of course, has unintended consequences for us and the end-product.

Ultimately, our profession is evolving. I am just not sure we are always evolving into something better. But hope is what keeps me getting out of bed each morning. It’s what keeps me writing.

Thanks for the comment, James!

Healthcare User Experience Designer in the Greater Chicago area

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