The UX Process is Confusing, Even to Most Designers

In this article I explore the roots of the term “user experience design”, how its context has changed over the years, and why the “UX/UI Designer” became such a ubiquitous role before the advent of Lean UX methodology. With over 80k reads, it is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written.

By 2016, Don Norman was pretty vocal about how badly misunderstood the term had become. He talks about it in this short YouTube video. These days he says he’s a people designer (apologies, I’ve misplaced the interview link), sort of, but he’s non-committal about the title.

I can’t think of a better place to start unraveling the weird and confusing world of modern UX Design than this: Not even the originator of our field knows what to call himself anymore.

De-obfuscating modern UX requires understanding the history of both design and development since the 1990s. They’re intrinsically linked, so it helps to start just a few years after it all began.