My 34 years as a user advocate has seen great tides moving back and forth every decade or so. Sometimes the boat of user-centered design has been rising, and sometimes the tides bring setbacks. Graphical user interfaces: mainly good. Websites: mainly bad, at least for the first decade. Mobile design: mainly bad, at least the first 5 years. Responsive design: mixed blessing. Agile development methods: mainly bad.
Of course, the truly big picture is that things are indeed getting better, because computers have much greater usability now than when I started doing user testing in 1983. Also, there are probably a thousand times more UX professionals in the world than my few hundred pioneering colleagues. But why do we still have the setbacks? Why isn’t the history of UX one of single-minded progress? Can we do better the next 34 years?
In this keynote presentation, Jakob will reflect on the evolution of our field and offer some ideas about its future.