I am in the digital design industry for about 15 years. And in those years many of the conversations I have had or have read about are about how to close the gap between - us - UX designers on one end and - them - Development or Business on the other end. In many of these conversations we forget that we are keeping those gaps in place.
The UX Designer
I bet that many of you call yourself a UX designer and you work in a UX team within a UX department. Or you are this rare species called 'unicorn' UX Designer who is the UX department. But when you look who is in the UX team we only find 'design' people. Maybe some of you focus on the visual aspect, some on research, some on the interaction design and even some on content. But I know for sure you don't have a Product Manager or a .Net developer as member of your UX team. Why not?
How can we talk about bridging the gap when we claim to be the only designers of the User Experience? A developer who creates a crappy API, that forces the interface to load for 4 seconds, delivers a bad User Experience. A service desk employee who cannot help the user because s/he is not aware of the new features delivers a bad User Experience.
We are all designers of the experience
It is the sum of all interactions a customer or user has - when s/he interacts with a brand, service or product - that determines the value of the experience.
UX is not a job, it is a team effort.
To create the right experience, we must all join forces - Business, Design and Development. From this collaboration of complementary skills and thoughts comes a truly competitive advantage.
So let's stop calling ourselves UX Designers. Let's focus on our contribution to the overall user experience. Call yourself; Product Designer, Visual Designer, Content Designer, User Researcher, Product developer, Product Marketeer, Tester, DevOps engineer, Product Owner.... and let everyone become part of the UX team.
The best teams are those, where you walk in the room and you don't have a clue who is the designer, because they all care about the user and the overall experience.