UX & Limited resources


The UX “team of One” in action is an interesting role but is a constant fight with ourselves and other. The constant tension between evangelising through expertise and trying to build yourself knowledge at the same time is a constant challenge. Professional need to develop strong skills such as facilitations, flexibility, assertiveness, observation and persuasiveness, if they want to be successful when using the team of one’s toolkit.

We all design differently. The methods that we have, our mental models are unique. The way every individual connects ideas is personal. Is one of the designers role to understand how these ideas and inputs are connected. Mental models are applied to everyone and every situation.

Having in mind that each organisation is different, and ways of work differ from team members and personalities, based on the cases studies and research feedback, a set of principles lead designers minds when driving for UX awareness in non-user-centric organisations. This is a non-linear process and collaborative thinking and doing is in the foundations of it. Making space for others and admit their observations is mandatory.

Strategic role. The designer position passes from technical specialists with functional expertise to a cross-functional team member — using and understanding different languages and perspectives in an efficient way — to influence the value of design, articulating ideas, concept;

Observe and adapt. To step way from a collection of beliefs and limited thinking, designers should take a step back and observe the environment that they are working on and towards. Technology is everywhere.

Spot the habits. Teams should study services and product history, the products legacy, to comprehend decisions and leverage the learnings and applying them do new projects. To a designer, an abundance of stimulus and cognitive load should be taken into consideration. The amount of development time, feasibility, dictates, in some cases, the amount of time to Define and Create.

Reflection. It is a hard task to think differently. The first attempt to do so, individuals often find the same norms framing our thoughts. The second step is explaining what can one see differently and manage others views and expectation. Sharing new things, new looks and perspective in a new light are hard because of the blink effect, people tend to see what they already know. Encounter the right audience to do this work is not easy. Understand the context is one of the paths that designers should study.

Look for the edges. Change happens at the edges and the concept of disruption states that is the same as doing things differently. Designing connected experiences that deliver brand value in every interaction is the main goal for a professional. The process can be improved because of the stakeholders, not because of company policy. Keep learning from previous and current experiences.

What and is the bottleneck for UX Strategy? In each process, identify the who and what can be influenced to change from “business as usual” to enablers of UX practitioners. Step a step, awareness is installed, and the bottleneck tends to disappear. Do not associate the UX subject to a single person; everyone can be the UX advocate.

Team. Like Jared Spool wrote, the success of user experience work, inside an organisation, is enhanced when the team already understood the value of great user experiences. User testing should be done at every stage. If it is done only in the final phase, or after the go-live period, the designer should grant time to fix defects solutions and project management need to contemplate time specified for user testing. A survey can be conducted inside the organisation to assess the level of expertise and knowledge about UX ( a copy can be found in Appendix D.) The same was used as a foundation of the present research.

Partial snapshot of the survey that could be applied in a professional environment to assess the understanding of the field (appendix D)

Measure and share. Measure all things and tell a story from an empathic perspective, about the user, helping to shorter the gap. User experience evolves and modifies over time. Practice and reframing the current mental model, fostering teamwork and innovation culture in the organization, bringing all stakeholders to the conversation.

Network influx. Keep study, talk to others about their processes, visit companies and take that inspiration to the organization. Help foster network innovations.

The How and the Why. Combining unexpected connections generates insights. The qualitative analysis demonstrates the intent, the why and how. Moreover, quantitive data can track the path that a user used. Apply the same principles when dealing with UX awareness. Design in a vacuum state can be considered not to be real and true, but sometimes that happen. Solving a real problem is design thinking.

Originally published at ines-bravo-ux-ltd-resources.squarespace.com
January 2016
Inês Bravo: Industry Research Project . MA Digital Media Management (PT Crew 1) — Hyper Island, London, UK . October 2015 / January 2016 
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