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UX Theatre: Are You Just Acting Like You're Doing User-Centered Design?

Back in January, I wrote a Twitter thread about projects that pay lip service to user-centered design (UCD) and what we can do about it as designers. Here's an expanded write-up of the topic, for those of you who requested some additional context. (The original tweets are in italics.)

A few projects I've come across recently are doing UX theatre, not actual user-centered design. Sadly, it's becoming more prevalent as execs learn the term UX but their teams aren't empowered to do all the work that UX entails.
Organizations have latched on to "user-centered design" as a buzzword. In many cases, executives seem to misinterpret it as a euphemism for "thinking from a user's perspective." They don't fund user research or provide project owners the latitude to create teams that include UX and service designers. For all the talk about users, there is no consideration given to including them in the design and delivery process.

People pepper their pres…

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