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As a ui/ux designer, I came to the conclusion that, the best to for or with, are those that create and maintain their own , rather than those focused on building others.

When a company works on its own products, they know they live on the result of their work, hence when it comes to ui/ux it’s likely for them to put more effort, time and resources to make sure such product thrive on the long term.

Now, how does that impact me as a designer?

I’ve worked for and with both type of companies. 
In my experience, when building products for other clients, ui/ux design tend to be perceived as an expense.
This means it should be reduced as much as possible.

Usual case scenario here is: we focus on building the best version of the client’s idea based on his input. The goal: building this idea and shipping it, while keeping the client happy (because he’s the one who pays me, no the end users).
You build a product with great coding, it works, it looks good -may be pretty awesome — and your job is done. You can now move on to the next one.
This is a valid business.

The thing is, when you won’t suffer the direct consequences of a poorly designed interface or experience, you may not put that much relevance on them, and well.. that is my field of action.
I don’t mean if the product looks ugly, or performs badly.
I mean when it was just about building an idea without ever validating anything with anyone but the client.
It may look good and work great, but to whom? to the people involved in its building, and they’re probably not the ones buying/using it.
But since the company won’t live on the outcome of that product, it’s not a problem.

What tend to happen to in this kind of work dynamics?
We tend to end up voiceless. 
Probably underpaid, and in some cases we become “the mouse” (the person who uses a software, which the client doesn’t know how to use, and it’s basically there to operate such software under client demands). 
It then becomes a struggle to make room for our role across the process.

Things are a little bit different when a company lives on the product you’re working on.
The fact that it satifies the client, in this case themselves, it’s not enough in this scenario.
The company needs to know it actually solves a problem their users have, and that it does this in a way that appeals to such users.
They depend on what happens after the product is shipped.
Understanding the user, its needs and desires, is a must.
The focus changes from the client to the end users.

This leads to a lot more room for UI/UX designers to work and grow, and improves the perceived value of their role and voice.

On a personal and professional level, this translates into real challenging opportunities and improves my place within a process and a company; personally and professionally.

I like having an active role on a process.
Though of course I enjoy designing interfaces, I enjoy doing so as a part of a bigger process which involves research, analysis, strategies, decision making, etc.

So, after many years working for and with different companies, I found out that every approach is valid, but the best place for me -and this is personal- is within, or with, companies that work on their own products and live on them.

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