"Focus on the user experience" was drilled into our heads from the time we were teenaged Industrial Design sophomores, yet after graduating we spend our twenties working for companies that placed it far down on the list of priorities. As designers we were beholden to Engineering, or Marketing, or Sales, or told that we had to compromise on X or Y if we wanted to meet the budget, or hitched to simply inescapable deadlines that had to be met at the risk of our jobs.
It all seemed so obvious to us, if you make that part out of plastic rather than metal it will break, or that button shouldn’t be there or it is accidentally going to get pressed every other time, or the parting line here is going to bite into the user’s hand, and you quickly discover that nobody cares. Your boss, also an industrial designer, used to care but no longer does because the system beat it out of him. And you realize that by your thirties you’re not going to care either.”