UX design isn’t UCD

Bad UX design based on wrong assumptions is still UX design.

Ideas like “you’re not doing UX design if you haven’t done UX research” keep raising their head in the UX twittersphere. This irritates me. (“Oh no, someone on the internet is wrong!”)

User centered design is “… a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users … given extensive attention …” and normally informed by observation of the end user.

User experience design is the design of the relationship between all the touch points a customer has with a product, intented to shape the experience they have over a period of time.

UX design might be user centered, it might be business-centered, it might be design-centered, technology-centered, politics-centered or whatever-centred. The centered-ness of the a UX design process might be anything but it’s still UX design.


Being user-centered is a pretty good bet for any experience design process, don’t get me wrong. But just let’s not conflate the two concepts – it makes them a lot easier to talk about.


This is part of three “UX Design isn’t …” posts. The complete set is:

Next I’ll try to say what UX Design is.

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