Mike Propst User Experience

Is the golden age of UX really over, and what does that really mean

Maybe the "golden age of UX" really is over. I think a better way to put it is that we've been discovered out here in our clubhouse and now we're gonna have to grow up and play ball with everyone else. But this widely-shared article from Marvel (a tool I like a lot) has missed the mark in a couple fundamental ways.

First, strategy is not for everyone. We did what I think is a great job designing strategy at D&B, and it was in itself a design challenge. But not everyone on the team was involved or wanted to be involved. Disparaging non-strategic UX as a "production" role is an insulting mistake. This is skilled practitioner stuff, and there are still very few people who are actually good at it. The fact that there are exponentially more UX designers out there doesn't mean there are infinitely more good ones, especially since new folks are being raised on hot takes. So trying to convince the relatively few good ones to move on to strategic roles in companies that still need their user advocacy is not gonna help those companies.

Especially if your next aim is to get those designers on the growth or marketing trains.

"Growth hacking" is what UX designers are destined for now? Or social media marketing? Turn me into glue now, then, thanks. UX efforts are necessary in all of these worlds, and product marketing is inextricably tied to product design — but the core tenets of UX are unaffected by Valley trends (like "growth hacking") or marketing efforts, which are famous for attempting to subvert the true needs of the user.

Let's not lose the voice of the user in an attempt to stay relevant to a fad-driven Product Hunting world. And if the going wisdom is "we solved that, time to move the talented designers on to growth hacking and marketing," then I'd consider that all the more reason why UX is still badly needed on the ground.

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