在短期内，总会有起伏，但让我们拍摄一次长时间并考虑a hundred years of user experience那from the early days in 1950 to the likely future state of the field in 2050. This 100-year view is positive beyond belief.
这Dawn of UX
In 1993 Don Norman coined the term “user experience” for his group at Apple Computer. (WatchDon explain the history of “UX”他认为人们现在如何使用他的话。）但是该领域比这个术语大。
It’s hard to draw the line between traditional human factors and what we might call ‘user-experience’, aimed at human-centered design of interactive systems. Bell Labs was one of the pioneers in making this transition, starting with the first psychologist hired to design telephone systems in 1945: John E. Karlin. By the 1950s, Bell Labs definitely did UX work, in particular on the design of the touchtone keypad. That we use its design to this day is proof of how important it is to get the UX right in the first place.
In 1990, I started a new job in one of the departments at Bell Communications Research that had grown out of this early effort. By then, there were several做伟大的ux工作的地方，但我选择了贝尔实验室因为我的评估，即这个群体是世界上的＃1。再次，展现出早期开始的好处。
100 Years of Growth for the UX Profession
UX has come a long way since 1950. It has even come a long way since 1990. But I still feel that the overall quality of user experience — whether on the web or for computers in general — is less than 10% of what it should be.Much too complicated for average people。We need to go a good deal further.
为贯彻执行“进步的问题UX field,” I’ve chosen a single variable: thenumber of user-experience professionals在世界上。显然，我只能给你最好的估计，因为没有关于什么构成“UX专家”的达成协议。（在我们的UX职业研究那we found that 1,045 UX people held 210 different job titles.)
这following chart shows the estimated number of UX professionals from 1950 to 2050, with future years being a projection:
3 Growth Rates
Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that the line in the above chart has different slopes in the beginning, middle, and end. On a logarithmic-scale chart, straight lines represent exponential functions, and the slope of the line shows the growth rate. Basically, I’m saying that the growth rates were somewhat different during each third of the 100-year period:
- 1950 to 1983：这UX profession grew from about 10 people (mainly those early Bell Labs guys) to about 1,000 people. A growth factor of100。
- 1983年至2017年：UX专业从约1000人增长到大约100万人。生长因子1,000。(LinkedIn had 1.5 million members in late 2017 who claimed expertise in user experience, usability, or information architecture.Claiming技能和实际havingit are two separate things, but then many people are not on LinkedIn, especially internationally, so the estimate of 1M UXers is not far off.)
- 2017年至2050年：这UX profession is expected to grow from the current about 1 million people to about 100 million people. A growth factor of100。
I started in UX in 1983, so that middle third of the 100-year period coincides with my career. There are a few reasons why UX grew extra fast during this period:
- 这PC revolutionof the 1980s put extra pressure on the computer industry to improve the usability of its products. Before personal computing, there had definitely been a need for usability, which is why UX personnel grew by a factor of 100 during the mainframe era. But mainframes were enterprise computers, meaning that those who used the computer were not the ones making the purchase decision. So, during that early era, the computer industry had had little incentive to produce high-quality user interfaces. With personal computers, the user and the buyer were the same, so the user experience directly impacted purchase decisions. Also, an extensive trade press published reviews of all new software products, often discussing their ease of use. (PC Magazine在1991年之前拥有可用性实验室，可用性分数计算了软件产品的整体审查评级的1/3，具有绩效和特征，对其他2/3计数。）
- 这web revolutionof the 1990s and 2000s put further pressure on companies to improve the quality of their interaction design. With traditional PC software, the sequence of payment and user experience had been as follows:
- You bought a box of shrink-wrapped software.
- You go to the company’s homepage. If it makes sense, you navigate the site. If you can find your way, you finally get to the page for a product you may be interested in. If the information on the product pages seems relevant to you, then you may proceed to the next step.
- You click添加到购物车那move through the checkout process, and finally give the company your money.
- 这伟大的新闻报道of usability made UX the “hot new thing” (although it was already 50 years old by 2000, so not really that new). Especially during the dot-com bubble, I personally remember doing more than a thousand press interviews, often with the world’s leading newspapers. (See some of the最有趣的UX封面故事。）这种强大的UX积极的PR使许多公司认为“我们需要一些。”
这三个因素(PC牧师olution, web revolution, press coverage) put extra oomph in the growth rate for UX during the middle third of the 100-year period I’m analyzing. Going forward, it would not be realistic to assume as high a growth rate, so my hypothesis is that, during the next 33 years, we will revert to the growth rate of the field’s first 33 years.
You may think that you don’t see the rapid UX growth that I have outlined above. That’s because the growth is driven by 3 factors, only one of which you personally experience:
- More UX staffwithin your company。This is the one aspect you can witness directly. Most companies gradually increase theirUX成熟程度and hire more UX people, as management recognizes that proper UX methodology substantially improves product quality.
- More companies doing UX。You won’t directly experience this factor, unless you pay close attention to the #UXjobs feed. But more and more companies start UX groups and hire UX staff. There are constantly more companies reachingUX maturity level 5那and they have to also hire UX managers. I can attest to strongly increased demand forUX management courses那driven by the large number of new UX groups in companies that didn’t use to have them. In the early days of my career (when there were about 1,000 UX professionals in the world), UX was basically found only in the IT industry. Now, every field of business needs UX, becausebrand is experience在现代世界。
- More countries doing UX。When I was young, UX was concentrated in the US, UK, and Scandinavia, with a few outposts in Australia, Canada, and Germany. No more. UX is now worldwide. Some of the bestexperience architecture innovations are happening in China(and I’m blown away by the talents of这Chineseinterns我聘请了我们下一轮与中国有关的研究）。这UX Conferencehad attendees from74 different countriesthis year, whereas only 69 countries attended last year. An increase of 5 countries in a single year.
We have to multiply these 3 growth factors together to arrive at the worldwide growth of the UX field. Yet, unless you’re from, say, Kazakhstan, you wouldn’t know that that country sent its first representatives to the UX Conference this year. And you probably also don’t know that the investment in UX in Indonesia has increased by an estimated factor of 10 in just the last two years. Thus, most of the world’s UX growth isn’t immediately visible to any individual UX practitioner.
Modest Past, Strong Future
上面的图表显示体验领域的增长on a logarithmic scale, because that’s the only way to properly visualize the changes during a 100-year period. However, we don’t live in a logarithmic world, we live in a linear world. So the following chart shows the same data on a linear scale:
On the linear scale, we see that the entire history of user experience is nothing compared with the likely future of the field. The line hugs the x-axis so closely that we can’t tell the difference between the birth of the field and the present day. Around the year 2020, the curve will finally start bending, and the subsequent years will be a true rocket ride. For all practical purposes,UX的增长仍然是到来的。
Is it realistic to expect that an entire percent of the population will be occupied with something as esoteric as user experience? Yes, becauseUX won’t be esotericin the future. It will be a key driver of the world economy. I think it’s completely realistic to expect 1% of the population to work on figuring out what should be designed, and then designing those products (和服务）。然后，剩下的99％的人可以在建造，销售和维修我们所设计的内容。
When most value is produced by knowledge workers, the way to increase productivity is to employ认知设计strategies and create products thataugment the human mind。Technologies that negate human skills are a prescription for continued low productivity in the knowledge economy.