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In my User Interface position, we are facing the challenge of transitioning design emphasis from functional(level of effort, technical capability) to User Experience.

So far it is a slow transition. We see decisions made consistently on questions of "How long will it take", or "Can we do that technically", with little to no consideration for "How does this affect the user". This then results in consistent underwhelming user experiences as a default standard.

So my question is initially, Is a UX Champion a correct diagnosis for espousing a corporate-wide design focus change?

If no, what are other considerations?

If yes, and you have experience with these type of professionals - what traits or behaviors do they exude that help them successfully highlight the importance of UX?

In short, what does it take to be a successful UX Champion?

I have yet to work with such a person, but if you have, please describe the role.

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closed as not constructive by dnbrv, Ben Brocka Jun 12 '12 at 22:48

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2 Answers

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I think a good start is to make requirements customer focused. For instance, in agile methodology, requirements are often defined as user stories to make sure that requirements bring a customer value. For example, "As a user I want to be able to have a "Remember me" option so that I make a purchase easier".

Creation of personas at the beginning of the early stage could encourage perceiving the system being built not just as something that works technically but something useful for your persona.

Making usability testing results available for the teams (dev, test, etc) usually also helps convince stakeholders to focus on user experience more and add more stories to the backlog that would address usability issues.

In addition, it is important I believe to have team leads (in dev and test) that can teach teams to shift their focus from "my code works" to creating something that is actually accomplishes user's goals. If all team leads could take usability courses that would be great.

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Thank you Anna, this was helpful. –  ClintNash Jun 12 '12 at 17:33
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Realism

Perfect UX would be a flawless translation of thought into action. That's not going to happen. Do the best you can without sending your programmers to an early grave and your budget through the stratosphere.

Read Stone Soup and Boiled Frogs from The Pragmatic Programmer. It's a great little metaphor for getting everyone to do whats best for the group as a whole, rather than just themselves (Similar to Game Theory).

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