How UX Designers Can Make Their Work Industry-Relevant
Designers are in demand for the esthetic value they bring to the user interface. But that’s not the only thing they do!
By limiting UX designers’ prowess to only the design aspect of app development, clients create problems as much to themselves as to the design professionals.
UX development is multi-disciplinary work. To serve the desired value, it must snap-fit into business or marketing objectives. Designers must keep track of their efforts at every step of the way. They must work intimately with the customer service team to know more about the target users. Understanding the company’s vision and marketing objective is the first but mighty step to kick start the proceedings in the right direction.
SET UP GUIDEPOSTS
To overcome the problem of this blinkered approach, set up guideposts that make your work as collaborative as possible. Create interactive fora: in conference rooms, at cafeteria, lunchrooms. Keep stakeholders posted about every new idea. Drop hints, sound updates, invite suggestions. By taking everybody in the loop and benefiting from timely interventions, you prevent your efforts from going down the blind alley.
Maintain a journal of project objectives split into small targets. Match your journey with these milestones. Share your work journal with stakeholders.
DON’T SKIP RESEARCH
Intuition has its place under the sun, but you cannot skip user research. Unfortunately, team managers often have other opinions.
User research needs time, money, staff, and equipment. But it is worth the trouble. An ounce of preparation saves a pound of problems. To calibrate design solutions to real problems, design professionals should drive efforts in sync with the research insights.
DECIDING WHICH PROBLEM TO SOLVE
Designers might come across more than one problem area in client interviews. The Curiosity to study the project may lead to multiple priorities. But as a UX designer, you will not be able to deliver if you don’t have your finger on the problem statement. Getting down to work without first defining the problem may be wayward, even counter-productive.
Have a clear picture of the real issues that the user research reveals. Avoid distractions and deal with the priorities.
COORDINATE WITH DEVELOPERS
No one can function as an island. It’s crucial to work closely with developers. One is incomplete and inefficient without the other. Take each other’s concerns into focus, and try to help with tweaks and maneuvering. This partnership will ensure that the output is consistent with the project goals and user-focussed.