Kill the UX designer

User experience was the hot issue at the IWDK conference on Wednesday morning. Six inspirational speakers and an enthusiastic audience debated the role of the UX designer.

Keynote speaker Benedikt Lehnert began his presentation by stating that he would kill the UX designer. Or at least the title. “Who here is a UX designer?”, he asked the audience. About 15 people out of the 100 attendants raised their hand to which he jauntily responded: “At the end of today, all of you will be UX designers!”

Breaking down the silos

Benedikt Lehnert’s point is that in a typical company, only 3 out of 100 employees actually work with user experience. According to Benedikt Lehnert, every employee should focus on it: “Titles don’t mean anything. There are many more UX designers than the titles suggest.”

Benedikt Lehnert emphasized the need for the designers to share their knowledge: “Your job is to make everybody around you understand designing better.” Benedikt Lehnert talked about breaking down the silos and urged leaders to create an environment for collaboration – an environment where everybody contributes, not only those with the actual diploma.

UX designers as facilitators

Stine Skaarup also talked about the role of the UX designer. She agreed with Benedikt Lehnert’s points and called for an incorporation of the UX perspective throughout the company: “Everybody should be involved in the process. We who have the titles should function as facilitators.” Furthermore, Stine Skaarup spoke about the importance of including both the client and the user for real insight when working as a UX consultant: “Build the design around the user.”

Multidisciplinary teams

Mikkel Bech spoke about challenging each other with interdisciplinarity: “We shouldn’t just have a design team, a UX team and a software team who send the project from one department to another. We should have multidisciplinary teams with an open mind.” Thus, Mikkel Bech rounded of the main points of the conference:

  • Everyone is a UX designer
  • We need to get out of the silos and start collaborating