There's more to user experience design than simply building products that are usable, accessible and pleasant to use. According to UX professional Nick Finck, who currently works as a product design manager at Facebook and who will be speaking at Generate Sydney on 5 September, it's about creating things that improve people's lives.
We are at the beginning of a new era of communication and design, he points out; we have more access to more information than ever before in the history of humankind, and the things we are creating today are going to shape the way the human race operates for the foreseeable future.
As craftspeople of the future, he says, we are in a rare and unique position to be at the forefront of this. And in his Generate talk, UX for change, he'll be exploring the possibilities of using design to change the world as we know it.
There's more to this than just talk. UX for Change is also the name of Nick's project to help designers improve the world. Its mission is to empower designers to help take accountability and to provide support for organizations, projects, and causes that operate for the better of humanity, and it's something that you can get involved in.
Nick has identified two major issues that the design community needs to tackle. Firstly there's what he calls the Experience Gap: the fact that many graduates lack the real-world experience they need to get their first web design job. And second is the Mentorship Deficiency; fewer experienced design professionals are participating in existing mentoring programs, and many talented designers simply haven't considered mentoring a designer.
UX for Change intends to address these issues head-on, by connecting young designers with mentors and with good causes and projects that help further humanity and which need design talent to help them succeed, and here's where you can get involved.
If you have a project that could use enthusiastic design volunteers, or if you want to mentor a young designer, you can sign up through the UX for Change. Similarly, if you're new designer and want to find a mentor or project to work on, you can sign up at the site as well.
And while UX for Change is currently operating with a very small team, it's looking to build a core team to help support the project; if you're interested in getting involved, get in touch.