Design lost its seat at the table

Why and what can we do?

Michal Malewicz
5 min readJan 9, 2024


UX design from 2000 through 2009 to Today
2009 was w crazy good year to be a UX designer!

We used to be problem solvers that entire room of stakeholders listened to with awe. Now we’re figma drag & droppers. Instead of awe we only get:

Slap our design system on it and shut up!

You can pretend that’s not the case because YOUR particular organization still pretends to do “ux” but the trend is there. More and more companies skip research, copy entire flows and “slap a design system on it”.

Let’s see the timeline.


Early 2000’s were a time of fun exploration.

Web design was all about trying new, crazy things and seeing what happens. There were no strict UX processes yet, but people used what worked and in many cases it did overlap with what was to come.

It was a wonderful time with plenty of job offers, stability and just plain fun.

A Flash web design for a surf store I did in 2005 where you could actually EXPLORE the shop in fake 3d.

I got my first industry job in 2001.

It was a designer/developer combo because back then that’s what designers did — coded the frontend. I replied to a job…