Hi! I’m Loucas Papantoniou, aka loucaspapa.
I've been designing digital products since 2011, a long way in the tech-world.
I've worked in e-commerce in its infancy, when there were still no established UX patterns. I've been teaching ‘mobile-first‘, when clients were still doubting if people would access a website/service from their mobile phone. I've been practicing ‘user-centered‘ design, bringing the user in the design process to guide and help along the process. I've experienced the start-up booming from the inside, seeing some succeed and others getting busted. I have helped organisations with their digital transformation to catch up and stay relevant. I've ran and facilitated ‘design-sprints‘ helping deliver tangible value to our clients in a weekly basis. I have helped companies build their design systems to accelerate product development while keeping design consistent.
I have enjoyed the optimism and the naivety of our industry in the early years. I've appreciated how far we've come in terms of processes and tools. But also I've come to realise how we've plateaued as an industry. As James Garett states in his critique:
‘UX in many organisations is no more than 'UX theatre', a patina of legitimacy that’s just enough to look like a robust design process to uninformed business leaders and hopeful UX recruits alike.‘
We need to do better than that, we need to get back to the basics. We need to follow the process and not skip steps. We need to involve users in the process, we need to follow the data and not the the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion), we need to fund UX teams do the user research. We need to forget MVPs as they tend to focus on 80% of the users (that usually look like the ones in the room creating the product), leaving out the other 20%, the outliers, the innovators, the ones in need. We need to forget mantras 'Fail Fast, Fail Often' as the hastiness result not only poor work, but can often hurt people. We need to steer clear of the greed, the pompousness and the cynicism of the tech industry. Victor Papanek's words still sound relevant after 50 years:
‘There are professions more harmful than design, but only a few.‘
As designers we need to be responsible and accountable for what we put out into the world. We need to make sure that people don't get hurt or being left-out from what we design. We need to do what is right, not what is easy.
This is what I'm after.