I agree that UX and in fact most of the design world is plagued by bullshit, non-essential buzz words, that doesn't really mean or add anything. And yes, they are very harmful when used in discussion that's supposed to help in a given design work.
But I think Joel falls for over-generalisation of this problem. Yes most of the things he writes about can be used in a wrong way. But that doesn't mean they're universally wrong and shouldn't be used in any discussion, ever.
I think that the most important thing we as designers can do is to constantly reality-check our internal desires, convictions and prejudices, while doing or discussing our work.
I agree with you that these phrases aren't inherently bad. But I know so many designers (SO MANY) who constantly talk just to hear the sound of their own voice - using jargon and nonsense to try and prove their point to the stakeholders. I suppose on some level maybe this makes you sound more convincing, using all those designerly words and whatnot, but I'd much prefer that everyone involved actually understand why design decisions are being made and have a voice, rather than just accepting it "because the designer who uses a lot of big words so they know what they're doing said so and they know best."
Sure, I'm not trying to protect these phrases and jargon in any way. I guess what I tried to say is that I think that we shouldn't debate on the specifics of these, and focus our attention on the bigger picture, to not use our position to impose fake superiority or knowledgeability.
Really posted this more for the discussion than anything. Seems more like a critique of some UX experts than it does an actual extension to the headline's claim. While I can understand a lot of the frustrations presented in the article, I kind of have to disagree with a lot of them. They don't seem as ill-informed as they do convenient ways to explain to non-UX people why a solution is the solution.
Hey Jeff. The overall point of the article was that a lot of these methods SOUND like an explanation to non-UX people when they are actually not a valid explanation at all. When those non-ux people are spending a lot of money on these non-answers, it becomes problematic.
Ya that article could have actually been very insightful but the tone and headline ruined any chance of teaching.
This really is a situation where you can take out UX and replace with myriad professions. People who don't understand what they're talking about pick up on the base level terms that they hear all the time but fail to back them up. That's the part of this that I do agree with - that it isn't the terms that should scare people away, but the inability to explain how those terms apply to the given situation.
This reminds me of buzzword bingo a little bit.