A funny thought occured to me. The progress of our UI/UX design history kinda mirror that of Google, to the point before Material Design came along.
We started with pretty good design with an in-house UX designer. UX was even a competitive advantage in those years.
Designer subsequently left and was not replaced. UX/UI did not truly deteriorate, but it did not improve either.
Like Google, a brutally simple UX/UI was under demand to cater for more.
It did slowly crumble under added the weight of new features. Code and UX rot ever so slowly.
Until it became undeniable, serious effort was needed for Google to unify the entire G-universe under one design language.
What wasn't clear was what exactly forced their hand: engineering or business.
Draw what lessons you will from this. I haven't figure that one out yet.