Have you ever attended a kickoff meeting on a new project and notice several people on the team just don’t “get” UX design? While they know it’s important, you can tell they really don’t understand what it is.
This situation can set the stage for a very shaky foundation, and often results in miscommunications and project delays. Instead, why not take the lead from the start and help educate your team on the value of user experience? It’s possible to do this without ruffling feathers or potentially embarrassing colleagues.
How? For starters, never assume anyone understands the value of UX design at the same level you do. After all, they brought you in to help them figure this stuff out.
It’s so important to ensure your entire team has a good understanding of UX best practices from the very beginning – for example, how it can help teams communicate better, execute more efficiently and avoid surprises.
Three Key Concepts
Taking the time to explain why UX is valuable at a high level is a great investment for everyone involved in any digital design project. At my kickoff meetings I always include a few introductory slides to help people get better acquainted with UX design, starting with the three key concepts listed below. Feel free to use them in your presentations if you like.
1. What Is UX Design?
• In the online world, user experience design (UXD) is the intentional, informed process of creating a shared vision of a customer-centered digital product.
• UX design helps teams create effective websites and apps that improve business results.
• UX design answers the “Why”, “What” and “How” a product is developed.
2. What Users Want To Know
• What is it?
• Who is it for?
• What do I get?
3. UX Answers 2 Fundamental Questions
• What does the website or app need to do for the business?
• What do users need to do on the site or app?
That last point is particularly important. At the most basic level, clearly answering the two fundamental questions of UX is the key to articulating an effective strategy. Keep in mind it will probably take more than one conversation to get to the best answers. But once you have them, you’ll start your project on a firn foundation with a clear reference point for everyone going forward.
The House Building Metaphor
Once I’ve provided a high-level overview of UX, I also like to compare the role of a UX designer to that of an architect on a home building or renovation project. This visual seems to help people a lot:
Adobe also has a great series of instructional videos about The Role of A UX Designer. If you haven’t seen them they’re really useful and can help you explain your role to people outside of your immediate organization.
What about you? How do you communicate the value of UX design to people within and outside your organization? Let me know in the comments.