A discussion on my Facebook feed today read like the future my colleagues and I used to hope for when I was starting out in interaction design. Ken Stevens, a Director of Software Development at Intelliware Development Inc., said this:
I work at a 150 person custom software shop and have noticed times have changed considerably in just the past 5 years. 5 years ago, you could deliver an entire project without any specific UX effort. Because it was “just software”, and it “just needed to work”. In recent years, we have learned that with modest UX investment there can be a dramatic improvement of adoption, compliance and efficiency. Every project I work on now has at least 2 weeks dedicated UX time, and it's worth every penny. I was skeptical at first. But once I went through a few UX sessions I discovered that this was a real discipline that required a completely different skill set that I, a seasoned developer and product manager, did not have. This experience of discovering the indispensability of UX was very similar to my experience of discovering the indispensability of 70% automated test coverage. Everyone thinks they're a great designer. Until they experience first-hand how far off the mark their instincts actually are.
My old boss, Alan Cooper, has been saying for a while that user experience designers need to declare victory.
Well look at that: he's right.