Fire the user experience designer

This post makes a case for having a specialized “user experience designer”. The author makes the case that usability and interaction design is too complicated to be handled by someone responsible for other tasks. This is false.

If you are on a team responsible for a website or something similar, EVERYONE on your team should understand usability and interaction design. It’s not a special skill, it’s core competency, like communication skills and ethics. The real experts out are rare, and I mean “you’ll probably never even meet one” rare. Most people who specialize in it are just washed-up designers or coders.

You need your designers thinking about how people will interact with your program, or you’re going to end up with brochureware. You need you programmers thinking about it or you’re going to end up with a clumsy UI. You need your QA people to think about it or you’re going to end up with spotty test plans. You need your managers thinking about it to understand what’s important. You need your salespeople thinking about it to compare against your hapless competition.

Having someone responsible for it is a bad idea because not only are they probably going to suck at it, it’s just going to make everyone else lazy.