What Do We Care?

Why do we care about good UX?

Why does it matter if something is easy to use?

I think we all have something underneath the surface, telling us that it's better if something is easy to use, pleasing, and empowering.

But really, what do we care?

The reason I ask: it's easy to lose sight of our convictions. And if we lose sight of our convictions, then we are liable to be overrun by those with stronger convictions.

What do we care, when we could extract more revenue from a less useful product?

What do we care, when we could obtain more stakeholder return from bad UX?

What do we care, when it would cost less, be less time-consuming, less of a headache, and less painful to just ship the kinda alright UX?

Without convictions, then we will inevitably fall prey to those who have deeper convictions, more grit, more tenacity, more feeling, more verve, more care, more intensity, more passion, more power, more pressure, more clout, more say.

The best among us know getting a better UX is about more than just designing it, it's about wheeling, dealing, influencing, arguing, arranging, persuading, giving and taking, and politicking as needed.

And you junior folk might think: "If it's better, why won't it just get approved?" And I wish it were that easy. Even in a design-friendly organization, there's always tradeoffs, always constraints, always timelines. The more you can understand the goals, motivations, needs, desires, and behaviors of your partners in product, business, engineering, marketing, and support, the more capably you'll bring better UX into the world.

And by golly, doesn't the world need it?

If you truly empathize, if you truly care, you'll put aside your high-minded purity of the craft. You'll get down and dirty, make deals and make concessions, and you'll ship better UX.