Our Commitment to a Diverse Future for UXmatters
By Baruch Sachs
When I first started writing for UXmatters almost ten years ago, I did so with about ten years of experience behind me in the field of User Experience. I had designed things and gotten more technical than I ever thought I would to help convince developers that my designs were possible. I worked then—and continue to do so—in a management-consulting capacity with a focus on design.
Admittedly, at that time, I had not thought much about the bias that might go into what I wrote. If anything, I tried writing from what I believed to be a human perspective, transcending individual constructs and just looking at ourselves as human. Naive sure, but also hopeful.
As someone who leads a team of people, I have always striven to build a team that looks like the world in which we live. A team that reflects both shared and divergent values. If, from time to time, what I write has some influence on people or gives them some insights they were looking for, I am happy.
I don’t generally look to Twitter to inform my life. Although I do use it, I also know how easily it can become twisted, and navigating it can be exhausting. So the words of the editor of UXmatters escaped my notice for a few days. When I did read the post, I had two very visceral reactions:
- I didn’t agree with or endorse the words that were written and found them to be way out of left field. They bothered me and still do.
- Their sentiment has no place anywhere—and certainly not in the world of design.
So I had to decide what to do. I could not unsee that Twitter post or pretend that it did not exist. As a long-time columnist for UXmatters and someone who had lent my time to advising UXmatters in the past, I did not want to give up on the magazine. I wanted to understand basically what had happened and think about what needed to happen next.
While I don’t like or support what the editor conveyed, I do believe in the value of UXmatters. I could either immediately resign and walk away, or I could stay and try to fix the problem and make UXmatters better. I have chosen to stay. There really is no obvious incentive—financial or otherwise—for me to stay on the Advisory Board and continue to write for this publication. However, I do believe that we owe it to the readership of UXmatters to continue to provide this service and share our knowledge—and, going forward, doing so with a more diverse viewpoint—diversity among our authors and of our ideas and opinions.
What I can promise you is a more active Advisory Board—one that more deeply considers where ideas are coming from, ensuring that they represent a wide range of constituencies—ultimately, to regain some of the purity that should exist in design. We’ll give issues of diversity the thought they deserve and endeavor to focus our goals on how to represent them fairly, equally, and justly. That is the commitment that I am personally making to this publication and to our readers—and one that I know is shared by my colleagues on the Advisory Board.
Thank you for your continued loyalty to UXmatters, it means so much to us. We will work passionately never to let you down again.