When UX meets strategy
Recently, I found myself explaining to PO's/PM’s/UX Writers the responsibilities of a UX professional. It is taken for granted that UX Writers only write and are stuck in content inside a conversational design. Well, we can do a bit more.
UX professionals have a set of tasks that include
- Creating personas
- Designing conversational flows
- Defining information architectures
- Designing wireframes
- Building prototypes and mock-ups
I am sure I did not mention all skills a UX professional might have, however, the ones I have listed above contribute to enhancing user experience.
Usually, the work of a UX professional is supposed to develop is presented without context, understanding of user goals (and client goals as well), and roadmap. This situation is prejudicial to UX professionals for one single reason:
We design decisions that were made without our contribution.
For example, as a UX Writer, when I actively participate in meetings, I can understand clearly from the source (client). When this situation takes place, I am able to suggest/conduct the client for a better practice. This helps to reduce the chance of altering or creating new ideas that would disrupt the user experience.
Last but not least, understanding the client’s point of view by someone else can, sometimes, cause lead to a misinterpretation of the client’s statement.
How to fix this problem
Do not underestimate the potential of UX professionals. These professionals need to understand client’s strategy and the intention within that product/solution.
The perks of having a UX Professional in strategic gatherings
Having the entire team aligned with the objective of that solution is crucial for the success of it.
Personally, I have been working with UX Writing for Chatbots for a while and every time I had the opportunity to ask my client ‘why’ they wanted this service/solution in the first place, I was able to better design the solution thinking on the ‘because’. Also, there must have trust in one another when deciding purposes, for I cannot design for something that was never put on the table.
That is why there is no problem in listening the following sentence in a meeting:
I want this chatbot to make me money by solving this or that issue.
And this is totally fine, provided the UX professional knows this is the real purpose of the thing.
Success will come if the team executes bearing the purpose in mind.
On the other hand, by excluding UX professionals from these strategic gatherings, the company will count on a simple and ordinary design based on a decision interpreted by them. Again, this is 10% of what these professionals can do.
Does the client want to understand customer behavior, culture, and needs? Make sure to have UX professionals on meetings. I’m sure their point of view will add to the final solution.
Advocate for the cause
UX professionals must own their work. Whether it is a solution or a product, it is necessary to develop the feeling of ownership. Participating in strategic meetings, collaborating with different points of view, taking part in the final solution, are all aspects of the responsibility the UX must take on.
Otherwise, it is quite easy to step out if the solution or product does not take off.
UX professionals, unite! Develop the awareness of how important the presence of a UX professional in strategic meetings is. I am pretty sure you will self-develop, learn more and think more critically when together in the company of PMs/PO's and other management positions.
I came across Cristopher’s article when searching for this topic. My thoughts expressed here were based on his article found on this link.
I thank deeply Livia Mandarino, Luiz Barcelos and Yori L. Galvão Borges for dedicating some of their time to this article when it was only a draft. Thank you for sharing your point of views with me. I’m forever grateful.