The past 2 years have been disappointing for me and although since 2000 when I got into website and software usability the acceptance for UX was rare, what is shocking is how it remains so, 15 years later.
I've been job hunting. There isn't enough interest in usability and accessibility to sustain a consulting business, no matter how hard I've tried. I just completed a 130 page UX audit that the client and project manager adored and raved about but I'm not part of what happens after an audit is completed. I rarely know if my recommendations were implemented.
I had a fantastic chat with some people yesterday about corporate acceptance of usability and human factors design. They validated what I've been saying for years - that web and app designers are not trained in UX and user experience. They are graphic designers.
Programmers are not user interface designers. They are even more removed from the end users of whatever they are building. They will never be encouraged to take their product out for test drives in real word test situations during the build process. This is just not done.
Selling the idea of adding usability and accessibility to companies and clients is exceptionally difficult. We discussed that and my experiences with this.
Managers at the top level don't understand why users are important, which is incredible when you stop and think about this. What matters to them is advertising and getting good customer service to tackle complaints. It just doesn't seem to occur to them to develop a product that works for everyone who is intended to use it.
Companies that develop apps and websites are not hiring the right people. They are looking for graphic designers and programmers and digital marketers. There is no plan in place to build products that work and have what their end users desire. You can't have a plan when you don't ask what your customers want.
Most of the active folks in this community here are self employed and left corporate life. Here I am, wanting to be hired by a company that wants their products to meet UX and accessibility standards, and now mobile. What I keep facing, interview after interview, is that I need to be either a programmer or graphic designer. While I can create mockups, my work is all under NDA so I don't show it to anyone. And, it makes no sense to me to have a bunch of pretty pictures and not be able to explain the requirements, user personals, mental models, etc. behind them.
In the discussion yesterday, I brought up future thinking and company brand and reputation. I knew what I was saying was golden judging from the response but, as always, what I present is never implemented by companies. I brought up aging users who use the same product for years and how we use computer devices differently as we age or when we want to use them in various environments. I think of the stuff design and developers don't consider.
So my question is this.
Do you think companies will ever build products that are developed with a full plan, testing, user testing and with their end users as the main driving force?
When you look at your own products and services, do you view it all as a moment in Now Time or plan for the future?