When I started my career as a technical writer for a manufacturer of telecom networking equipment, there was no concept of “ user experience” in this engineering-driven world. The user interface itself was literally an afterthought (like, “maybe customers could use this tool we built for our QA team”). When a key feature almost shipped with no way for customers to activate it, I managed to convince to the system engineers that the UI must be part of the product’s specifications. I even persuaded them to work with the technical writers on the interface specifications.
As a tech writer at Uniden, Cisco, Microsoft, and Extra Hop, I had to write long explanations because the UI was poorly organized or had confusing labels. Most of the time, I could convince the UX designer to change it, and sometimes the PM even included me in the design process. These experiences taught me that I really wanted to work on the UX design instead of trying to explain it after the fact. I got my first UX Writer role AT&T Business, and all of my “fix the UI up front” dreams came true. (Well, maybe not all my dreams, but this was clearly the right direction.)
Now, I’m a UX writer for HBO Max, where the user experience is the product. It’s a completely different world now, and I couldn’t be happier.