Your UXer isn’t even the best UXer in your team

At the height of Beatle-mania John Lennon was asked whether Ringo Starr was the best drummer alive.

He responded, “no”.

“He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles”.

Chances are, your UXer is Ringo Starr — not even the best UXer in your project team.

Even though they probably think they’re John fucking Lennon.

Well here’s something to imagine.

Your site’s content is vital to the user’s experience. And content, as a discipline, gets this.

When you get it right, users keep coming back for more.

When it’s not, it’s more useless than a lifejacket made of bricks.

Most UXers, whose job it is to create this utopian experience, fail to consider the content.

There are too many of these SHUX (shit UX) professionals who don’t value it in the design process.

Only the good ones realise that content is inseparable from experience. And the lines between the two are blurred, like your vision after 12 pints.

In fact, your content person could actually be doing more for your users than anyone.

See, no one visits a website for the experience. They’re there for the content.

And if it’s good enough they’ll be there again and again — even if the design blows.

Reddit, for example. It’s uglier than arseholes and confusing for a first time user.

But we keep coming back.

Last month Reddit had 202,818,688 unique visitors.

That’s an uppercut to the nuts of design. A ballcuzzi for content.

SHUX (yep, I’m gonna make SHUX happen) focusses too much on business needs that require user X to get from point A to point B.

Users deserve better than that. We need to pay more attention to what our users are wanting out of it all.

To put this into a slightly different context:

Every year, National Rail boast about the percentage of trains that reach the terminus on time.

SHUX loves this. It’s a yummy soundbite to justify their work in the next presentation.

Yet every week, there are people on Twitter calling the social media intern at National Rail a cunt due to poor service.

Luckily for National Rail, most people’s livelihoods depend on that tin box of farts and influenza twice a day. So they can’t afford to forget it.

However, if it’s your shitty website and they’re not being served up the right content, they’ll ditch it faster than you can say “see you next Tuesday”. But first, they’ll tell their friends.

In retail, the customer is always right. On the web, the user is always right.

So when you design a website without considering a content strategy, you run a real risk of pissing off the people that matter most.

So, think…

What content do I need to serve up to my user today? What about in 6 months? Who’s going to be responsible for making that happen? Is my current content web-friendly? Is my content accessible?

And consider your typical digital agency disciplines: design, UX, front end dev, back end dev, project management — and if you’re lucky, content.

Include content in your team and you’ve got The Beatles, maybe the world’s most famous band of all time.

Exclude content and you’ve got Wings, maybe Alan Partridge’s best joke.

It’s time to wake up and smell the cheese.

Oh and in case you missed it, here’s why your website is rubbish and I hate it.

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