A sobering look into the history of the UX industry. I think the outlined three "phases of UX" seem pretty on point from my own experience: from idealistic, trusted advisor; to oft-ignored and frequently devalued; to the antithesis of what it set out to be. To mimic the article, it's not that good UX teams and practitioners no longer exist (they definitely do), but that big companies are now more likely to listen to how user psychology can drive short-term profits over long-term satisfaction.
Suddenly the "get rich quick" mentality that had caused the 2008 crash was being adopted by senior leadership at Big Tech firms. Now it was data and algorithms, not UX, that mattered most.
"We're lying to our users," one anguished UX designer told me, explaining that leadership regularly ordered the UX team to create designs that were intentionally misleading. Apparently it helped boost profits.
Increasingly, I think UX doesn't live up to its original meaning of "user experience." Instead, much of the discpline today, as it's practiced in Big Tech firms, is better described by a new name: UX is now "user exploitation."
The mention of how Amazon has become a company famed for its dedication to user experience into one which uses six pages of dark patterns in order to cancel a subscription is, frankly, disheartening.
We're headed into a dangerous time, when our society is run on digital platforms, and UX isn't leading the way to ensure that those tools are usable.