Refuse to Create a UX Portfolio
Timothy Jaeger

Timothy. Thanks for the article. I have a couple of observations I’d like to submit (with great humility). I think there’s an important component missing here. While I would agree with you that UX’ers are best served by presenting portfolios that include the business case, the success metrics and the overall result (supported with quantitative metrics), I think the industry is still trying to emerge here. There’s a direct conflict still occurring between business leads and UX leads. Business is not always inclined to share some of this information and asking for it can put a business leader on edge. For example, I recently asked about anticipated number of user’s impacted. The business had no idea. I asked about usability testing of some of the known critical parts of the experience. The money was not budgeted in during intake process. Can we put together some use cases to inform the MVP and flows most important to users? No. Let’s just get going on the landing page. To conduct the kind of UX program that is best, requires a buy-in and enforcement strategy occurring at the highest levels of an organization. In my experiences, most orgs are just now there yet.

New project intake for most organizations is absent the UX contribution whereby budget and time for user validation testing, heuristic evaluations, etc can be debated. Most organizations are not as mature as Amazon with their UX programs and still see (legitimate) UX professionals as simply, “designers.” As such, the people trying to fight the good fight, still need to evangelize UX with caution and tip toe around a bit as the organization and UX programs mature. They serve the user and business equally as best they can but are often left producing wireframes, flows and high-fidelity comps to simply inform developers during two week sprint cycles. I’ve literally seen UXer’s leave work in tears because of the stress and strain of trying to craft solutions to complex systems without information or input from real users or knowledge from the business about the “why”. Often, UXer’s are still “homeless” (meaning no Director of UX exists at the org) and are forced to report to Technology or Marketing directors who see UX in a completely different way than you or I might.

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