“I could tell you about the User Experience and all the technical things linked to it. But in most cases, people don’t really get my job” explains Thierry Croix, a UX Designer working in Brussels“. My job is to make things easy to use, and kind of sexy. Whether it be a website, a mobile app, an internal digital tool or even packaging”. This brief summary gets to the very core of what UX is all about. It is the ability to translate immensely complicated concepts and programs into something that appears effortless to the user.
Thierry highlights the vital need for good UX designers in an increasingly digitalised economy, stating that the target audience of his work are “people that are not always used to a digital interface. We are talking about a tool that will be used by your baker, or your plumber”. This is the challenge for designers like Thierry, to make the burgeoning digital economy one that is available for all and not something that isolates certain demographics of the population who may have less hands-on experience with online systems. A coherent implementation of UX design is essential for any company wishing to thrive in the modern world as web pages and apps are increasingly seen to replace storefronts and challenge the more traditional nature of face to face transactions whether that be doing your weekly food shop or making a transfer at the bank.
Sadly it is an area where many companies are failing to adapt and such failure often leads to disastrous consequences. We are inundated with news stories about the threats posed by digitalisation and automation in the future, however it is clear from the cautionary tales of many companies that the digital future has already arrived. You only have to look as far as iconic brands such as Blockbuster and Kodak to see the consequences of failing to keep pace in the rapidly evolving world of digital. People such as Thierry help to facilitate the vital change that companies must undertake in this shifting economic landscape. He describes one of his biggest challenges as the pursuit of creating products that are “future proof”, meaning that any project he works on must function as a long term solution, helping to keep his clients ahead of the curve in a highly competitive market.
Thierry concludes by highlighting the importance of having a client that truly understands the importance of the task at hand. He is able to foster a special relationship with those that can see the huge positive impact of UX design done well. Companies and workers often look to the future with fear when they are confronted with the unstoppable march of digitalisation. However, the work of people like Thierry shows the true benefits of embracing progress in an economy that is undergoing one of the biggest changes in history. The writing is on the wall, the companies of today must adopt increasingly digital practices if they wish to be the companies of tomorrow.