When I started the digital design agency AJ&Smart in 2011, UX design was still so misunderstood that I spent the next three years just explaining to my clients what it actually was and why it was valuable (while also defining it to myself). It was also extremely difficult to hire good UX designers, as there was nowhere to really learn what was required for the accelerating digital product world.
The UX designer role itself was a tantalizing combination of many older job titles, like information architect, interaction designer, and many others. UX designers were in high demand and great UX design was a competitive advantage for the companies that managed to jump on board. Just think about Uber.
We would discuss “responsive design” and screen sizes on a daily basis while others looked on in awe. We’d debate endlessly over whether a hamburger menu was better than the standard nav bar. These conversations could derail any other topic, because we were the UX designers and we alone understood the user. Any conversation could be ended with a simple “Because: UX.” We were on fire. We walked around like we owned the place, because we did. Let’s call this era from around 2010 to 2017 the Golden Age of UX.
Photo Cred: www.usertesting.com