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The Place of UX

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Every time "UX" comes out of my mouth or is typed by my fingers, I think, "did I just use that term correctly?" It feels like such a big and loaded term these days, that perhaps the way I use it only contributes to the confusion. Ryan Singer frames that problem well:

Debates continue to rage about the role of UX designers, user research, and how far knowledge about the user should permeate the organization. On one extreme, UX is seen as a specialized pocket of knowledge that informs the definition of projects and sets requirements. On the other, UX is something for which the entire organization should somehow feel responsible.

It can feel so big, like UX is literally the only thing that matters in an entire project. It can also feel so small, like 2px of extra padding on a specific dropdown will make the options easier to tap.