Product design replacing UX?

Product designer David Cole of Quora writes in The Rise of Product Design:

“Looking back at the ideas espoused by the UX community, I find their relevance to my work winnowing by the year. Many of the practices seem forged in the fires of consultancy. Advocacy is a repeat theme in UX writing, but is borderline irrelevant when working for a product- and design-centric organization. Similarly, when you have internal stakeholders who understand the design process, you don’t need to worry about constantly building consensus. Deliverables like lengthy specs, comprehensive wireframes, and pixel-perfect PSDs are all artifacts from a time when risk-averse clients needed to enforce progress and limit variability. Inside of a product company, these efforts waste time, create politics, and mask responsibility.”

I tend to agree…although I don’t equate UX with deliverables necessarily. The reason why I now use the term “product design” is that it best captures the output of the design we do…as design titles have traditionally done. The items you make define what type of designer you are…and since so many people are now building products (vs. websites or even worse experiences) then that’s what we should call them (us). The age of product design is upon us.

Published: April 30th, 2013