What’s behind great experiences: Team Mindset

Great products and user experiences have normally a great team working behind it.

These teams are not just designers or UX people. They’re a mix of people from different backgrounds. They have designers, UX, marketeers, developers and, very important to the success of the project, at lest one person that represents the business, that is an expert in the subject.

From my experience these teams have some characteristics that distinguish them from the rest. I believe one of those characteristics is a user-centred, evolving and cooperative mindset.

User-centred

You are not the user of your product

Getting into this mindset is perhaps the hardest thing to do. It’s very common to hear:

If I was the user…
When I do this kind of thing, I normally…

And it’s quite hard for one to contradict this way of thinking. On thing that’s normally an eye opener is talking to users, observing and understanding the things they do and understand why they do it. You’ll quickly realize not everyone thinks or does things like you. That’s why it’s important that the whole team is involved in this kind of activities, at least observing.

Evolving

It will never be finished

There are always things to improve, bugs to fix, features that would be cool to add. It’s important to keep track of all those things while keep the focus on the essential.

You want to do the basis first, and you want it to be great.

After you have covered this, you can move to other things.

One aspect, essential to make this work, is communication. Talking and listening to others is key. Communicate regularly as a team, with stakeholders, and with users to make sure you’re not loosing focus.

Keeping a product roadmap alive and visible to all is also important.

Cooperative

Cooperation over competition

When discussing ideas and points of view it’s common to get defensive about your own idea or opinion. If everybody adopts this mindset the final result ends up being the result of a battleground of discussions rather than centred on the user needs.

So my advice is avoid getting personal when your idea is not that well accepted. The principle is that everyone on the team is working for the same — providing great experiences to users — so when someone criticises your idea, he is not criticizing you, but the application of your idea.

Cooperation also implies some flexibility to adapt to changes and other people. Some people are harder to deal with. But we have to make it work anyway. Patience and negotiation skills are key.

Looking at your team

If you look at your team, would you say you have the characteristics of an user-centred, evolving and cooperative team? If yes, great! If not, it’s never let to try something different!