Regenerative UX: Reimagining Interaction Design for a Post-Capitalist World
UX practice stands at a crossroads. Lately, many practitioners working in the industry report feeling adrift, increasingly constrained by business pressures to meet short-term, incremental goals. The optimism and idealism of IxD's early days has given way to a sense of resignation that the horizons of digital design work may actually be shrinking. Familiar culprits include Lean/Agile methods, A/B testing, and mechanistic management processes. For many of us, it seems like the horizons of design practice are shrinking. For many practitioners, that has translated to feelings of disillusionment, burnout, and a sense of helplessness.
The root cause of all this trouble may be nothing less than Capitalism itself.
If, as some economists have argued, the world is moving towards a new post-Capitalist era—one marked by a period of degrowth, a shift towards a knowledge - and service-based economy, and the decline of traditional corporate hierarchies—what implications might such a transition hold for working designers and researchers? How would our practices need to evolve?
In this talk, I will share findings from a six-year research project with over 100 UX practitioners, conducted as part of my doctoral research at the Carnegie Mellon School of Design, searching for new frameworks and tools to help practitioners explore ways to incorporate more sustainable, long-term perspectives into their work. This talk argues that UX practitioners are uniquely positioned to bring about transformative change, but that doing so may require them to look beyond the traditional boundaries of UX practice and consider new perspectives from outside the field: namely, alternative economics, futures studies, and the literature of meaningful work.
Accelerate impact: How to align design, data, and business to build products people actually use.
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