A number of organizations which are aware that users are the most important in the product design chain are rising these days. It is not that hard anymore to persuade decision makers to allow special focus on user’s needs. Accordingly, the time put in research and testing is not likely to be considered a waste. With the same rationale, depending on challenges the organization is facing and capacities it has, UX design teams in enterprise environments are not a surprise anymore. Of course, their existence has to be justified, by e.g. increased hits, high user conversion rate, improved task completion time, etc.
UX teams able to satisfy these requirements are the ones consisted of capable and passionate individuals ready and steady to work in cross-functional teams. In line with this, every UX team member should be:
Focused on users
Realization of set goals and tasks is important, but doing it without having users in mind all the time and the effect your actions will have on them is pretty much contradictory for a UX professional.
Freed from vanity
Member of UX team has to be open for critique, whether it’s coming from fellow designers or non-designers (developers, analysts, managers, etc). The whole idea of becoming a part of UX team is to be ready to hear new ideas, take different angles, and know how to accept the failure as a natural component of constant reiteration.
Interest in productive discussions of future steps with team colleagues as well as careful observing of its progress or failures is necessary for creating the good user experience. This is why UX teams are not supposed to tolerate “hero” individuals, not ready to contribute to team synergy.
Besides this set of personal characteristics individual members are supposed to possess, what makes UX teams successful and functional is their structure. Practically, this means that besides different professions, you’ll also want varying degrees of experience in your UX team. These are positions which make a UX team agile:
This is a team visionary, a person who already have extensive UX experience and is comfortable to think about projects from the user perspective. Usually, this is also a manager of the team, whose special task is to keep team members aware and enthusiastic about users needs as well as all the iterations which are to be made during the project.
In charge for getting constant feedback from users and investigating their habits, needs, wishes. Simultaneously, this could be a role of a business analyst who’s getting information through checking out competitor practices, filed and usability studies and surveys.
Someone with great empathy, able to recognize the language of target user group, know to communicate clearly. Besides writing texts, in charge of shaping all other communication elements in line with your brand. Very important part UX team, but often neglected.
There are three designing roles you would like to have in your UX team. Depending on project requirements, one person could cover all three:
UX designer – in charge of delivering usable results through designing the overall user experience, including prototyping and user testing in combination with insight, got from field research and analytics. UI designer – or designer of visual elements, has to make sure that layout of visual elements, as well as whole design, are intuitive enough for users so they can interact with it easily. IA designer – delivering interaction design documentation (wireframes, sitemap, screen flows) and deciding which interaction patterns will be implemented.
This is usually front end engineer who’s making the ideas live through coding. Responsible for translation of all mockups and wireframes into working prototypes. Productive UX team is the one which supports mutual understanding and lean cooperation between designers and developers.
So, if in charge for creation of UX team, decide wisely and in line with future projects which professional roles you want to see in your team while paying special attention to their personal characteristics and preferences. Once this is done, next thing to take care of is setting efficient management practices to boost your team overall creativity and UX sensibility. Enjoy working with this awesome people!