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Transitioning to UX

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  • pianomann81
    Hello everyone, I manage a team of 3 Web Designers at our company and am trying to sell UX as a benefit to our development process. My problem is that our
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 6, 2010
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      Hello everyone,

      I manage a team of 3 Web Designers at our company and am trying to "sell" UX as a benefit to our development process. My problem is that our company has not done something like this before, and I have little experience with this. Here's our setup:

      We develop Web Applications for a variety of clients. We have 4 teams, 3 of which serve several clients, the fourth is dedicated to our largest client. Each team is a scrum team that has at least 2 Business Analysts, at least 2 Support Analysts (QA), at least 2 Software Developers, and 1 Web Designer. I sit on the dedicated team, and manage the other 3 Web Designers.

      Traditionally, the Web Designers have basically just taken what was provided by our design department and had to just "make it work." We are trying to shift that role into a more UX-focused role, where the WD works with the design area to create the site designs, in order to implement usability concerns earlier in the process. I would also like to implement more of a UCD approach in our development process, where we are performing user analysis up front and during the development process.

      The problems I am facing are these: How do I redefine the WD role as more of UX role? Can it be done, or do I need to advocate for a separate role to be created and staffed, and how would that look? In addition, what is the best way for me to sell this to the rest of the company? The Technology area is on board with my plans, but there are other areas (like marketing) that we work with that might not be as keen.

      Has anyone else experienced a transition like this? If so, your experiences would be most enlightening to me.

      Thanks,
      Gene
    • Adrian Howard
      Hi Gene, Thanks for posting - some interesting questions. On 6 Dec 2010, at 14:58, pianomann81 wrote: [snip] ... [snip] You ve got a good goal - getting UX
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 7, 2010
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        Hi Gene,

        Thanks for posting - some interesting questions.

        On 6 Dec 2010, at 14:58, pianomann81 wrote:

        [snip]
        > The problems I am facing are these: How do I redefine the WD role as more of UX role? Can it be done, or do I need to advocate for a separate role to be created and staffed, and how would that look?
        [snip]

        You've got a good goal - getting UX issues addressed earlier in the process. It might be easier to think about the skills and practices that are needed to get that happening - rather than immediately thinking of roles.

        Once you have a list of skills and practices that you want to introduce earlier in the process, you may find that there are easier ways of introducing them than by looking at a single individuals role.

        For example - I've had great success in the past with getting the whole team involved in usability tests - developers included - rather than assigning one particular individual as the "usability" person.

        [snip]
        > In addition, what is the best way for me to sell this to the rest of the company? The Technology area is on board with my plans, but there are other areas (like marketing) that we work with that might not be as keen.
        >
        > Has anyone else experienced a transition like this? If so, your experiences would be most enlightening to me.

        I seem to be pointing people to this a lot recently - but you might find Jeff Gothelf's presentation on the agile/ux transition at theladders of interest (http://is.gd/ikKUq).

        Cheers,

        Adrian
        --
        http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
        t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh
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