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The future of UX will be defined by the alliances we invest in. Here are 5 key alliances every UX designer should be building.

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

What value does UX bring to teams trying to build great products?

UX designers continue to play a broad role in the research, design, and testing of digital products hitting the market every day. But UX is always changing. It isn’t what it was in the past, and in the future it wont be what it is today.

More and more, UX is fragmenting into specializations. Where in the past a UX designer would be hired to do all that UX stuff, we see more and more dedicated researchers, interface designers, product managers, and content designers center stage. …

On having an open relationship with process

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Background photo by Ryan Stone

Lot’s of designers hold their process dear. But in practice, does it ever look as good as it does in our heads?

We learn about process and we think about process. We get advice to show our process in interviews and through case studies in our portfolios.

For the design industry as a whole—and UX in particular—process has a sacred status in the holy temple. A lot of the time it feels like a thing that people aren’t comfortable questioning in public. But in private, our relationship with process is complicated, at best.

Maybe not for everyone. Maybe some individuals and teams strictly adhere to a formulaic multi-step process. Maybe they have the freedom to do that on every project. Maybe the outputs are consistently great. Maybe they love process, and process loves them back. …

The annual UX industry predictions you didn’t know you needed.

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No matter how much I cringe at end-of-year trend articles, and predictions for the coming year, I always click them. Last year, I wrote this article to take a new spin to looking ahead.

This year, we’re looking to 2019. Each entry asks you to vote for whether you think the prediction is Too Real, Plausible, or Absurd. Use Medium’s highlighter to leave your vote, like this:

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And if you have comments on my predictions, I’d love to hear them.

Let’s go!

1. We still won’t know if everyone — or no one — is a UX designer

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The esoteric debate about who is and isn’t a UX designer will continue. And, of course, the question of what UX really is. It’s essential to the industry. The confusion that simmers under the surface sustains us all. Plus, as more and more UXers call themselves product designers or move into management roles, calling everyone a UX designer will maintain the illusion that it’s still the hottest field to be in. …

About

Craig Phillips

ux/product designer, cohost of Opacity podcast, writer, creating a course to help outsiders break into UX at www.breakintoux.design

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