The Great Convergence

This is a photo from the Hubble Space Telescope of two galaxies, NGC 2207 on the left, and IC 2163 on the right. They’re about 80 million light-years from here. And if it looks like they’re running into each other, that’s because they are. Even in the vast emptiness of deep space, galaxies sometimes collide. The interesting thing about galactic collisions is that because galaxies contain so much room between the stars, there’s very little actual colliding going on. The galaxies just sort of flow into one another, individual stars finding new places in the larger system developing around them in a process unfolding over billions of years. From the vantage point of someone living in one of these galaxies, even if you lived long enough to see the constellations shift and change around you, you still might not be aware of exactly what was going on. If you’ve been a user experience professional for the past few years, you may have noticed the constellations around you shifting as well. Stakeholders asking questions about customer satisfaction metrics. Conference talks about new deliverables like service blueprints. New functions arising in organizations, tasked with managing multichannel experiences. The constellations are shifting because we’re in the middle of a collision of our own. We’re in a collision of three different communities, with different backgrounds and different cultures, converging in the realm of designing human experiences. The customer experience community developed out of the marketing and customer support functions in organizations — in other words, the people traditionally mandated to pay attention to customer needs. They’ve led the charge in helping organizations create operational strategies based...