User Experience is Everyone’s Responsibility

Getting Engineers Involved in UX

Flexport Software Engineer, Dounan, working with our global logistics team members, Brandon and Julia.

Why Design Shouldn’t Solely Own the UX

Users don’t see or understand the API, the data model, the support playbook, or the hard operations work that keeps everything running smoothly. The user experience is the product.

Often, various factions inside technology companies divide and silo user experience responsibility. Shouldering it entirely on the product and design teams. However, the best technology companies have a shared responsibility for their user experience.

Design Sets the Tone

Research is done alongside product managers to align with user needs, business requirements, and product direction. Product designers craft the core user flows, interactions, and visual design. The design team works to play the long game, building a system to support the product needs.

Engineering is the Follow Through

Software engineers help make a designed experience real.

It can be easy for an engineering team to push responsibility onto product managers to check their work or designers to sign off on the implementation. Caring about the final user experience is paramount.

All the work — from the data model and API construction to the frontend framework — collectively make up the user experience. In this perspective we shift the methodology of user facing and backend to a shared goal of presenting our customers with the best product possible.

Backend vs Frontend

More and more organizations are moving away from “Frontend Engineers” and “Backend Engineers” in favor for the term “Fullstack.” This title shift encourages a more complete understanding of the engineering challenges.

Similarly, when approaching product and UX discussions, take a more holistic stance. Engineering a product is as much about providing the best experience as it is as following best development practices. When we can instill ownership and inclusion across a technical organization, the end results will be a more thoroughly considered and better executed UX.

We’re All in this Together

Every engineer, designer, researcher, and product manager are in this together. Building a more fluid, candid, and cooperative environment ensures we all are focused on the best outcomes and user experiences.

When we all are aligned, we all win.


Quintin Carlson researches and designs for Flexport — a company that manages iconic supply chains and keeps freight moving around the globe.

Every Wednesday, the Flexport design team checks in to talk research, design culture, and building the best experiences for everyone.

Want to tackle design problems that impact the world economy? Join our team.

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