A product owner or manager considering cooperation with a UX team needs to know some things about us UX folks. By now you probably know a bit about the field, but we’d like to show you how we work from our perspective, too. You can read a lot anywhere about methods and UX design tools... But many things come to light only when we start working together on a day-to-day basis, the tiny details which only experiencing everyday interactions can bring, the “UXperience”, so to say. Ready? So let’s go! (Attention: may contain doses of self-irony ;) )
7 Things To Know Before Hiring A UX Team
1. We do more than just fancy layouts
It may sound trivial, but people often miss the fact that our job involves more than just making nice-looking screens.
A good UX team design complex experiences, not just interfaces.
As a result of that we work with information architectures, structures, flows and user journeys. We think in systems.
So imagine building a house. Interior design can’t begin without having built the basic structure. First plan and draw a blueprint, where the rooms should be, how it feels walking through them. Then decorate it as desired.
2. We never design without research
Be it user testing a prototype or conducting an extensive field study, we never design anything without talking to our users first.
Of course, there are some design best practices to follow but how else would you know what your users really want besides asking them personally? Or remotely.
Research aims to rather spend more time finding the core problem and do the right design for it than creating the right design for the wrong problem.
So we cry a little bit inside every time we hear things like “there’s no time for UX research” because only research and testing can confirm progress in the right direction.
3. We love to experiment
You surely have already heard a lot about the most common UX tools we use in our work. But they can also change.
We also try new things and develop new methods we think would better fit a certain project. So we experiment a lot like crazy scientists, but we don’t burn down labs.
Fortunately we take on less risk of messing things up, but only this way can we develop ourselves and eventually your product too.
You can learn more about how UX research fits in the product design process by downloading our free guide: Product Manager’s Guide to UX Design.
4. We love planning
Affinity maps, user journeys, roadmaps, wireframes, mockups… We love to ideate, sketch and prototype.
That results in covering the office in post-its all the time and always filling the whiteboards with drawings. (The average UXer goes through at least 10 kilos of post-its a year. Really).
So our work may never seem finished. Generally we collect many ideas and the majority of them ends in the trash. But these ideations and iterations move us toward the optimal solution.
As Einstein said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five thinking about solutions.”
5. We say “it depends” a lot
Our team at our UX company look at a problem from different angles. We consider the points of view of your business, your users and development.
Unfortunately, these views sometimes clash. A lot. At the same time, all of them can be right.
It might seem we can not give a straight answer, but dear product owners, please remain patient!
One of the beauties of our work lies in collecting all the info and examining it from different perspectives to be able to make the best decision at the end.
That makes it worth the wait, doesn’t it? Or it depends…
6. We welcome constructive debates
We know the world does not fall into just black and white. Many good solutions can come up for one problem.
That keeps us open to constructive criticism, different thinking and ideas.
We believe that merging all these ideas into one, we can reach a better output.
However, we need convincing and objective evidence about the validity of your statement. A good UX team don’t base decisions on subjective taste.
(We wrote about giving design critique too.)
7. We like to work as a team
Okay, let’s just say it: we feel uncomfortable with top-to-bottom communication, and not out of stubbornness to prevent adapting to your company’s structure.
A UX team can function to its highest potential when you treat them as a link between all stakeholders: the product team, the users and the development. It works the most efficiently in multidisciplinary teams and for that we need access to all decision makers of different divisions.
So, we should have a strategic role in your organization to facilitate the information flow and spread a common user-centered approach. With that we can bring everybody to the same page, which ultimately serves the development of a better product.
PS. Cartoons were made with ToonDoo.
We hope this sneak peek into working with a UX team will benefit your project management.
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