An image showing logos of various software platforms

On Relevancy in UX Design

Koan #47

Chris Kiess
Design Koans
Published in
4 min readJan 11, 2024

--

Am I relevant as a designer? It’s a question we all probably ask ourselves from time to time. The relevancy of a designer (or tech professional) seems to have a short shelf life. You can be relevant today and irrelevant 6 months from now. That’s just the nature of working in a fast-moving industry. But what is it that makes us relevant…or irrelevant?

Consider this. Back in 2015, I was at Walgreens and one of the issues our team was working through was our toolset. We were early adopters with Figma and had started using it when it was in beta. But for those who remember those early versions, Figma didn’t have the ability to prototype. Everything was a static screen with not even so much as click-through functionality. So, the debate we were having was whether to use Axure or some other tool to prototype screens for demos and usability testing.

Flash forward a year. Walgreens had hired some hot-shot consultants to come in and work with our division on our organizational structure and behavior. The one assigned to the UX team was a forty-something woman out of New York with the confidence and air of a Silicon Valley professional. She seemed to have all the answers and seemed to see the world mostly in binary terms.

So, the prototyping issue came down to a contest between Axure (which we already had access to and…

--

--

Chris Kiess
Design Koans

Healthcare User Experience Designer in the Greater Chicago area