Here’s my list of things we in UX will need to do to remain relevant – and alive – in this economy:
Stop thinking about designing the perfect system. Perfection is expensive, illusory, and unattainable. Perfection will get you laid off. Good-enough will allow you to survive until the next round.
Design sustainable systems. Create revenue, efficiency, and value feedback loops. Design iterative workflows and self-sustaining user flows that add value, increase engagement, and make the system smarter.
Just design something that works. If it can’t be built on time and under budget, you have failed as a designer. Every subsequent iteration is a chance to improve the quality and return-on-investment of your user experience. But there must be something in place to iterate on.
Understand how your users will evolve. Look beyond the first site visit or the first use. Look at the entire lifetime relationship you form with your users. Design for their first visit, their 10th visit, and their 100th visit. And know how to measure the value of each visit.
Measure the performance of your design. Measure what will keep you your job — revenue, customer satisfaction, efficiency. Measure pre-design. Measure post-design. Fix what’s broken and measure the performance of your fixes. If you can point to measurable improvements, you’ll keep your job.