UX: Not a design, but a reaction

"Do the UX for this page."

"Make the UX work better for this screen." 

We hear things like this all the time.

More often than not, developers, product owners and managers, architects, executives, etc end up speaking about "UX" as if it's some sort of entity that can be molded and finished within a number of development sprints. This isn't to point blame; I just see it as a symptom of an industry still trying to understand what we do and how we describe our work.

However, while I was doing my daily exploration of the Twitter-verse yesterday, I came across an interesting thread from Ryan Singer that described "UX" as actually being a reaction. "When the experience isn't right [i.e. what is desired], you change the product to produce a different experience."


This spoke to me.

If you consider Ryan's argument, a user experience is not actually something specific that you can design, and perhaps that's what makes "UX Design" a misnomer. While it may sound a bit pedantic, what we actually design are sets of enabling touchpoints over one or more channels that we hope will encourage favourable reactions by our customers.

I hope this leaves you with something to think about today.