Discussions about UCD, UX and their relevance seem like flared pants: just when you’ve thought they’re gone for good … they’re back again.

William Gribbons suggest that we’re in the fourth wave of UX. Namely, that we have gone through external support, usable and useful, user experience, and are now at the intersection of UX and innovation. What does this mean? Gribbons highlights that we need to be savvy about business and particularly how there can be push back against the resources innovation needs unless there is a chance for a good return.

Are Personas Still Relevant? Paul Bryan argues that they are, as despite the rise of analytics, they’re far more meaningful to designers than any weekly visits chart or A/B testing sheet will be.

Kevin Goldberg goes through what UX means for different design departments.

Conversely, this reminds me of The Starlight Barking where every dog looks at the Dog Star (who has announced that he will show his ‘true form’) to see … that he is their breed.

Rian van der Merwe has written a post investigating the discussion about UCD, ACD and even genius design. Similarly, the old “don’t listen to your customers” call has come up on HBR.

Andrew Harder uses the example of Dyson’s so-called perfect UCD story to shoot holes in the theory (of course they didn’t really start with users as they actually had amazing technology to start from):

My chal­lenge to fans and crit­ics of UCD is this: we have to acknowl­edge that many, many inno­va­tions are technology-led. Our con­tri­bu­tion can be to pro­duc­tise these inno­va­tions into rel­e­vant, beau­ti­ful and suc­cess­ful offer­ings; that is find uses, mar­kets and cus­tomers. UCD gives us great ways to test and refine prod­ucts. But the user doesn’t always have to come first. We need to be con­fi­dent that we will end with the user, even if we don’t always start with the user.

Similarly, David Hawdale points out that the film Blade Runner could never have been made using an Agile process, and that those in product managers could do well to remember the importance of vision.

Speaking of film directors, Woody Allen is known for using the same typeface in every one of his films since Annie Hall (apart from Interiors), and he’s also been using the same typewriter since he was 16. He literally cuts and pastes.