The reason why we wanted to start DUX and keep it small is because we wanted to be involved in every step of the way and get rid of the fragmentation of building a product. We wanted to claim ownership on every phase in the design process.
In the past we have been calling ourselves UX designer and UI designer (we were a team of 2), so we had defined our process in two separate phases. It was easy enough to communicate to the client. Or so we thought… When we redesigned our website in 2016 we also redefined our service concept (because it’s the only time you actually seriously think about it, right?) and how people see our brand, our services and the terminology that we use. Did they really get what we were trying to say so far? Nope.
As we started to take apart our work process into smaller pieces we saw that as a team we are involved in every step of the project cycle. Our tasks are actually quite similar. So why divide it? We also realised that what we had initially defined as our tasks were no longer exclusive to how we had called ourselves. Of course we both have things we are better at, but these shouldn’t have to matter to the client. Nobody actually gives a f*** and you are only making things more complex to understand.
Obviously in an ideal situation we are working together in every phase of the project. It’s something that we strive for and we think that it should be like that in general: designers, developers and clients must work together to create something valuable and awesome. Not divide one project to different pieces. It creates the the risk of everybody sitting in their own corner and minding their own business.
UX is a new hype in digital field. Often clients hear it somewhere that it’s something cool and new, so they must also have it: “May I have UX for 3000€ please?”. But the majority of people don’t fully understand what is actually behind the terms UX, UI, development & design. And we as designers attend to not make it clear to others. It’s more comfortable to use strange terminology to confuse people and to make them shut up, because nobody really wants to confirm that “they don’t know” something. It’s easier.
Get up from your ass! Our job is to make things more clear. So why do we communicate what we do in complex words that nobody fully understands? Let’s call ourselves designers and the process design process. No need for titles. When you are amongst your kind then call yourself user experience interface designer or wizard of the internet, nobody cares. But make it clear so that normal people actually understand you. They are paying your bills after all.
We design digital interfaces. So we call ourselves designers and our design process includes different phases like mapping, solution, visualisation. Our outcome what we hand over to client is interface design and guides for the developer how to put our design to work. Simple enough to understand in general what we do and what client will get in the end. If needed then we go in deeper detail to explain our process, but usually people just wanna see what you do and how. Make it visual.
Design is a system for solving problems. I bet you have heard it a lot lately. Everybody is talking about it now. At least it’s moving to right direction where designers are starting to analyse their work process and what actually matters in it. What is lacking now is the simple communication of what we actually do. We design products for people, but we forget that we also are talking to people, not to machines. And when you talk, do it so that people actually understand you.