UX Should Be Taught in B-School

Ali El-Shayeb
2 min readJul 15, 2016

Successful startups and corporate conglomerates all have something in common: they design the product around the consumer. What does this even mean? Well, to start off, it’s easier said than done. Think of the 90% of startups that fail within their first year of launch, or the multi-millions a year wasted on failed product launches or merger deals by Microsoft, Google, or Wal-Mart.

User experience has grown in popularity among the community of business developers, technologists, and designers. Design thinking is taking the center stage for companies who want to reap big rewards out of the products they offer. This doesn’t just mean creating beautiful images, aesthetically pleasing art-boards, or awesome-looking products, but it’s really designing frictionless user experiences that customers love and appreciate — now that’s a challenge.

“Design is how it works” — Steve Jobs

So let’s cut right to it: business strategy is design at work. A huge part of product innovation comes from designing good experiences that will attract and engage users. Here, business schools have failed to equip its future leaders with the tools necessary to innovate with a design-centric methodology — let’s call it the new way of product innovation. Since business developers play a huge role in product teams, they need to be well-equipped to speak the language of design and UX in order to succeed in their roles.

Every industry has been disrupted in some way by technology. Business strategy (especially to the tech savvy firm) is constantly changing courses. Traditional models are no longer enough to remain competitive — creativity is becoming a strategic lever, UX design is taking over traditional hypothesis testing (data-driven testing), and design is becoming a gateway for better innovation. Since business strategy to the digital firm is changing, so should the way it is learnt. The curriculum needs to be strategic in how it is structured to meet the evolving trend of companies who value design as part of their commitment to constant innovation. According to the 2016 DesignInTech Report, all of the top 10 U.S business schools have design clubs led by students. Design-thinking teaches us to think differently, while prioritizing certain stakeholders that business thinking doesn’t focus on.

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