How human nature, AI, and interest rates ruined it for everybody | by Rita Kind-Envy | Mar, 2024


A long explanation of why the UX market is not what it was.

The Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius” by Pierre-Jacques Volaire is a dramatic depiction of one of Mount Vesuvius’s eruptions, a theme Volaire revisited more than 30 times in his work. Created in 1777, this oil on canvas painting captures the night of an eruption with vivid detail and emotion. The scene is set against the backdrop of an erupting Vesuvius, with lava flowing down into the town below.
The Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius by Pierre-Jacques Volaire, 1777

What’s happening now with the market is kind of a Vesuvius eruption. Something that should’ve been expected, but no one really believed.

Throughout the 18th century, Vesuvius experienced a series of 6 eruptions. They were painted by artists who saw them with their own eyes. For example, in Volaire’s painting, people are shown in a state of panic, running to escape the destruction.

In the case of UX, there’s no lava or burning stones falling from the sky. There are numbers:

  • between 2022 and 2023, UX research jobs decreased by 71%
  • design jobs weren’t far behind, with a 70% drop
  • there was 11% drop in UX earnings for 2023

Here’s more data about the tech jobs market failing since 2021:

A graph showing a gradual decline in tech job postings: UX research, UX design, product management, software engineering through the years 2021–2023 (max drop in 2023)

Landing a job in tech right now is difficult. The market is saturated. Smaller companies don’t prioritize UX. This isn’t just a statistic — it’s a wake-up call.

We need to rethink the approach to the craft of UX. Right now, it’s not about your desire to craft “delightful” experiences. It’s about re-evaluating everything you’ve learned so far.

There are 3 factors that influence the market:

  • human desire to get the most money in the easiest way possible
  • technology, especially AI
  • post-COVID economy

Let’s start with the humans. Here are the behavioral trends that caused chaos in the market, scrapped all over the Internet, from my personal experience and the experience of my colleagues.

1. Skill factories made to earn a quick buck

Not all online skill factories (a.k.a. bootcamps) are bad. They provide a focused environment to grasp the fundamentals.

But here’s the problem. Cheap courses that promise high salaries disrupt the UX industry. They make…


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