User experience design is, at its core, a philosophy that products and services should be designed so that they are pleasurable and easy for people to use. While that might seem an obvious design approach, it’s actually not the way many designers historically thought about making things. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s that an industry came together around this particular approach to design.
I did some research to try uncover the history of this field, and, I didn’t find a lot – partly because it hasn’t been around for long. So, I had tea with Peter Merholz, who has been involved in the industry since its very early stages. We had a great conversation about what it was like when the industry started to come together and where he thinks it’s headed.