It’s easy to blame the designers involved for a lack of craft. However, most designers work within the context of an organization with a collective set of not completely rational and harmonious priorities. Even sole practitioners are working for someone. Too often competent designers are subject to a broken process for making decisions. The standard for success may be the wrong standard. There are too many competing interests. Ego or anxiety rule the day. The conditions for good design—a clear goal, the right resources, and necessary information—are not present. This is all complicated and less fun to talk about than just ripping apart the end-product or responding with a design of your own better mousetrap.
I also learned (re-learned? confirmed?) that experience design is absolutely an economic lever. At its most modest, it reduces engineering and maintenance costs by identifying requirements more accurately early on. It lowers support costs, because it makes it easier for people to self serve in digital channels. It drives desirable user behaviors that have direct financial impact and engender loyalty. And for companies with disruptive ambitions, it can help stake out new market opportunities in the experience gaps neglected by old-model industries.