Thoughts on "You're not a user experience designer if..."

This blog post from Whitney Hess - "You’re not a user experience designer if…" is still very relevant today, 12 years later.

I think the terminology of job titles might have changed a bit since then, as UX designer morphed into "product designer" for some companies.

Here is one of her takes that really resonates with me:

"If you design entirely based on intuition without ever gathering intel from a single human being who might at some point in their life come into contact with your business, I’m sorry, but you just aren’t a user experience designer."

Where does the intuition come from? I think generally, people won’t have the "good" kind of intuition unless they’ve seen countless user research in a certain area and they kind of know how users would behave. Adam Silver and forms comes to mind, where he spent years observing how people fill in forms. However, in the 95% (totally making this number up) of cases, intuition = "I know better" attitude. Just talk to your users instead, see where they struggle and use that to inform your design decisions!

One of her other points kind of blew my mind, as I never thought of it this way:

"A true user experience designer understands their company’s goals just as deeply as they understand their constituents. That allows you to determine which of the constituency’s needs should be addressed by the product, and make a case to the powers that be how doing so will positively impact the business in the long run."

Firstly, I love the analogy of your users being your constituents and you standing up for their needs. Secondly, I always saw "company goals" as something almost set in stone by the business people that know what the business needs and your job is to make that happen. However, I didn’t think of having a business impact from addressing the users’ needs. It makes so much sense!

Anyway, the whole article is a gem and, like I mentioned, still relevant today so go and check it out!